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Royals, Holland agree to terms on a contract for 2014

 The Royals announced today that the club has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with right-handed pitcher Greg Holland for the 2014 season, avoiding arbitration. Consistent with club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. 

Holland, 28, enjoyed one of the best seasons ever by a Royals relief pitcher, going 2-1 with a club record 47 saves in 2013, while recording a 1.21 ERA. The right-handed hurler was selected to the American League All-Star team and was also named the Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year by the Kansas City Chapter of the BBWAA. He also struck out 103 batters, tying a Royals relief record.

The Royals have now signed all arbitration-eligible players for 2014.

Royals name Mike Sweeney Special Assistant to Baseball Operations

Mike Sweeney with the great Buck O'Neil.

Mike Sweeney with the great Buck O’Neil.

The Kansas City Royals announced today that the club has named former first baseman Mike Sweeney to the front office staff, carrying the job title of Special Assistant to Baseball Operations.

“We’re thrilled as an organization that Mike will be joining our baseball operations department,” Royals Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations/General Manager Dayton Moore said.  “He’s a tremendous leader and I’m confident that he will impact our players and staff in positive way.”

Sweeney, 40, was a five-time American League All-Star with the Royals, whom he played with from 1995-2007 after being drafted in the 10th round in 1991 out of Ontario (Calif.) High School.  Sweeney was a .297 career hitter with 325 doubles, 215 home runs, 909 RBI and 759 runs scored.  He capped his playing career with the Oakland Athletics (2008), Seattle Mariners (2009-10) and Philadelphia Phillies (2010).

The club record holder for RBI in a season with 144 in 2000, Sweeney ranks in the top six all-time in Royals history in 17 offensive categories, including second in average (.299) and home runs (197).  He narrowly missed winning the 2002 A.L. batting crown, hitting .340 in 2002, the second-highest single-season average in club history to George Brett’s .390 mark in 1980.  Sweeney represented the Royals as an American League All-Star five times (2000-2003, 2005).  He is joined by George Brett (13), Amos Otis (5) and Frank White (5) as the only players in club history to make five or more All-Star appearances.

“It’s a great honor to have played in the Kansas City organization for 20 years. To be welcomed back by the Glass family, Dayton Moore, Ned Yost and the entire staff is a dream come true for me,” said Sweeney.  “The only thing I was unable to accomplish during my playing days was to bring October baseball back to Kansas City.  With this new position, my goal is to do as much as I can to help the Royals get back to being one of the prized organizations in baseball, as it was in the 1980’s.”

Truck Day is here and Spring (Training) is near!

A major snowstorm hit Kansas City on Tuesday, and while the snow has stopped, it is VERY COLD outside!

Nonetheless, members of Kansas City’s clubhouse, grounds crew and stadium services united on Wednesday to load the Spring Training truck.  All of this gear is headed for the Spring Training Complex in Surprise, Arizona.

The Spring Training truck includes the items that you would expect (balls, bats, gloves) and unique items (like Jeremy Guthrie’s bike).

Truck 2014Salvy Gear

Two Royals FanFest shows to air on FOX Sports Kansas City

FOX Sports Kansas City will air two shows centered on the 2014 Royals FanFest, which drew a record-setting crowd to Bartle Hall in the downtown Kansas City Convention Center last weekend.

In the first show FOX Sports Kansas City’s Ryan Lefebvre interviews designated hitter Billy Butler, Joel Goldberg goes one-on-one with general manager Dayton Moore, and infielder Mike Moustakas reflects on his 2013 season and plans to improve in 2014. There’s also a recap of the Royals awards ceremony.

The second show includes an interview with manager Ned Yost, a feature on the Royals’ three Gold Glove winners, a tour of FanFest with Rex Hudler and a look at last week’s Royals Caravan.

The Royals FanFest shows will be available on FOX Sports Kansas City and FOX Sports Midwest in western and central Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. DirecTV subscribers will find them on channel 671 and Dish customers on channel 418.

2014 Royals FanFest shows on FOX Sports Kansas City and FOX Sports Midwest
(times Central)
Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 9:30 p.m. (episode 1)
Thursday, Feb. 6 at 5:30 p.m. (episode 1)
Friday, Feb. 7 at 9:30 p.m. (episode 1)
Sunday, Feb. 9 at 9 p.m. (episode 2)
Sunday, Feb. 9 at 9:30 p.m. (episode 1)
Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 5:30 p.m. (episode 2)
Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 9 p.m. (episode 1)
Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 9:30 p.m. (episode 2)

2014 Marketing Theme: Royals Players and Fans are Ready to “Be Royal”

Still riding high from their best season in recent years, the Royals are cranking up the excitement with the introduction of their new advertising campaign and tagline, “Be Royal.”

“Last season, the Royals came to play,” said Michael Bucek, Royals Vice President-Marketing and Business Development. “Our ballclub was exciting and played meaningful games until the end of the season and our fans responded with energy and passion. As a team and a community, we proved to ourselves that we have what it takes to live up to the name on the front of our jerseys.”

Kansas City-based ad agency Walz Tetrick, now in their second year with the club, helped develop a campaign that highlights the leadership, poise and pride the Royals players bring into the clubhouse and onto the field and an unrivaled fan base that is second to none.

“We have a great tradition of baseball here in Kansas City,” said WTA president Charlie Tetrick. “So when you put on a Royals jersey, that means something. It means you’re going to play with confidence. And when fans put on their jerseys, they’re going to come out to The K, make noise, support their team and create a true home field advantage. That’s what baseball in Kansas City is all about. It’s in our blood. That’s what it means to Be Royal.”

The ‘Be Royal’ campaign will be seen throughout the preseason and regular season in TV and radio ads, outdoor boards, newspaper ads, online banners and social media.

Season tickets are currently on sale and available online at royals.com, by phone at 816-504-4040 or at the Kauffman Stadium Box Office.

Bruce is back: Chen signs with KC

Chen 2014 FanFest 1The Royals announced today that the club has signed left-handed pitcher Bruce Chen to a one-year contract for the 2014 season, with a mutual option for 2015.   In a corresponding roster move, infielder Emilio Bonifacio was designated for assignment.

Chen, 36, completed his fifth season with the Royals in 2013, going 9-4 with a 3.27 ERA (44 ER in 121.0 IP) in 34 appearances (15 starts).  The veteran worked out of the bullpen the first three months of the season, before earning a spot in the rotation on July 12.  He posted a 5-0 mark and a 1.62 ERA (13 ER in 72.1 IP) from the start of the year to August 17.

A fan favorite, Chen was introduced to great applause on Saturday at Royals FanFest.  He participated in two main stage programs, autograph sessions and a speed pitch activity (the soft-tossing lefty joked a little about his involvement in the speed pitch).

Butler and Crow distribute food at St. James Place

Royals designated hitter Billy Butler and his wife Katie have been involved in work at St. James Place Food Pantry and the Bishop Sullivan Center since 2008.  On Thursday, pitcher Aaron Crow joined Billy and Katie at St. James Place, where they packaged and distributed food, including Billy’s barbecue sauce.  Billy and Katie’s “Hit-It-A-Ton” program has raised over a quarter of a million dollars to help local families.

Crow St JamesButler St James 2Billy St James 1

 

 

 

Butler, Crow visit KU Med


2012 All-Star Billy Butler, 2011 All-Star Aaron Crow and Sluggerrr met with patients at The University of Kansas Hospital on Thursday, including children and caregivers in the Neonatal Medical Home.  The center will benefit from the upcoming Royals Charities Diamond of Dreams event on June 26.

Butler Crow KU Med 2

 
Butler 2 KU Med

 

2014 Royals Caravan: Visiting GordoNation (a.k.a. Nebraska)

Prior to today, this blogger had visited Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri over the last three years on Royals Caravan.  Today was my first trek to Nebraska while on Caravan – and what an experience it was!  Alex Gordon is the pride of Lincoln Southeast High School and the University of Nebraska.  Many fans today knew him personally and many more call him their favorite Royal.  Today’s Caravan with Gordon, Dennis Leonard and FSKC’s Joel Goldberg featured a stop at a middle school in Blair, Nebraska.  The kids made special posters for Alex, Leo and Joel.  They also learned the importance of hard work in the classroom from Gordon and Leonard.  The Royals donated seats from Kauffman Stadium to the school (the seats go in the school library as part of a reading promotion).  Four lucky students had their picture taken next to the seats with Gordon and later with Leonard.

Blair assembly 1

Blair PostersLeonardPoster

Stadium Seats Gordon

2014 Royals Caravan: Emporia, Topeka and Lawrence

Billy Butler, Aaron Crow, Brian McRae, Steve Physioc and Sluggerrr toured Kansas on Wednesday.  It was a homecoming in Topeka, where Physioc worked at WIBW and where Crow was born.

Aaron Crow signs for a young fan in Emporia.

2014 Caravan Emporia

Billy Butler in Topeka

2014 Caravan Topeka 1

Sluggerrr made new friends in the kitchen at our Lawrence stop!

2014 Caravan Lawrence 3

2014 Caravan Lawrence 2Billy and Aaron on the radio in Lawrence.

We are currently on Caravan and posting during our bus trip.  We will add more Caravan and FanFest pictures over the weekend!

 

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