Results tagged ‘ All-Star Game ’
Major League Baseball announced today that Kansas City Royals closer Greg Holland has been named a replacement on the American League All-Star team, taking the spot of Seattle’s Hisashi Iwakuma, who started today for the Mariners and will be unable to pitch on Tuesday night. Holland will join teammates Alex Gordon and catcher Salvador Perez, who were named to the 84th Midsummer Classic at Citi Field in New York last week. All three are making their first career trip to the All-Star Game.
This marks the first time since the 1988 All-Star Game in Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium that the Royals have had three players selected, when George Brett made his 13th and final All-Star appearance, going as a first baseman, and was joined by infielder Kurt Stillwell and pitcher Mark Gubicza. This is the 11th time the club has had at least three players named to the American League squad.
Holland, 27, has served as the Royals’ closer since the second half of last season after Jonathan Broxton was dealt to the Reds at the trade deadline. Greg has made good on 38 of 42 save opportunities since taking over the roll full-time, including a current run of 15 in a row dating back to May 30. Since that date, Holland has posted a 0.95 ERA, allowing just two earned runs in 19.0 innings, while recording 34 strikeouts and holding opponents to a .111 average (7-for-63). He entered today leading the Majors in strikeouts per batter faced (.444) and strikeouts per 9-inning ratio at 15.43.
Congratulations to Greg!
Major League Baseball announced today that Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon and catcher Salvador Perez have been named American League All-Stars. Both Royals will be making their first All-Star appearances at the 79th annual Midsummer Classic at Citi Field in New York on Tuesday, July 16. Both Gordon and Perez were elected to the team via the player vote.
This marks the first time since the 2003 All-Star Game that the Royals have had more than one player representative. Gordon is the first KC outfielder to be selected to the team since Jermaine Dye in 2000, while Perez is the first Royals’ catcher to be named an All-Star since Darrell Porter in 1980. Porter was also selected in 1978, but did not play, while the only other catcher in franchise history to attend the All-Star festivities was the first Royal All-Star, Ellie Rodriguez in 1969.
Gordon, a six-year veteran with Kansas City, is batting .290 with 15 doubles, 8 homers and 46 RBI in 81 games. He came into play Saturday leading the American League in 2-out hitting (.374), tied with Alex Rios for the league-lead in outfield assists (8) and was 10th in the league with 29 multi-hit games. He had a 12-game hitting streak earlier this season and had walk-off hits against Toronto (April 14), the Chicago White Sox (May 5) and Atlanta (June 26).
Perez is in his second full year in the Major Leagues and is hitting .302 with 15 doubles, 4 homers, 36 RBI in 71 games. He ranks second among A.L. catchers in batting average (.302) and is third in the league with a .403 average with runners in scoring position. He has thrown out 10 would-be base stealers, which is tied for third-most in the American League. He had an 11-game hitting streak from June 5-15 and has 21 RBI since June 1.
The Royals announced today an All-Star Game voting campaign in conjunction with in-stadium balloting for the 2010 All-Star Game hosted by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Tuesday, July 13. As part of the promotion, the Royals are hosting six Royal Blue Balloting Days at Kauffman Stadium during the upcoming homestand, encouraging fans to vote for Royals players by submitting Firestone All-Star ballots for an opportunity to receive an exclusive All-Star T-shirt and authentic game-used items.
During Royal Blue Balloting Days, the first 100 fans to turn in 100 completed ballots at the All-Star voting booth in the Outfield Experience on each game date will receive a 2010 All-Star T-shirt (pictured) and be entered in to a daily raffle for a Royals prize.
Royal Blue Balloting Days are scheduled on the following dates.
Tuesday, June 1 vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – 7:10 p.m.
Wednesday, June 2 vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – 7:10 p.m.
Thursday, June 3 vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – 1:10 p.m.
Friday, June 4 vs. Detroit Tigers – 7:10 p.m.
Saturday, June 5 vs. Detroit Tigers – 6:10 p.m.
Sunday, June 6 vs. Detroit Tigers – 1:10 p.m.
In addition to the in-stadium promotion, Royals fans can also cast their votes up to 25 times with the 2010 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot sponsored by Sprint. Online voters are eligible for exclusive Royals ticket discounts and will be entered into a sweepstakes drawing for a Kauffman Stadium All-Star Suite for 20 guests during a 2010 regular season home game and a jersey signed by the 2010 Royals All-Star representative.
In-stadium balloting will be held during every Royals home game through Sunday, June 6. Online voting is open until Thursday, July 1.
For more information on the Royal Blue Balloting Days or on the 2010 All-Star Game, fans can visit www.royals.com/vote.
The All-Star Break is here…keep up with Zack, Trey and other All-Star happenings on Twitter:
The Royals woes have been nothing compared to some teams, who’s pitching staffs have been shredded to bits like the Cardinals, the Orioles or the Yankees. And the K.C. position players have been relatively healthy with only two players actually going on the Disabled List this season. But these are the dog days, so let’s go Around the Horn…
The latest development was Ron Mahay. Mahay is day-to-day with plantar fasciitis, a bruise to tissue that supports the arch of the foot, on his left foot. The bruise causes pain in the arch and heel on each step as the tissue transmits weight across the bottom of the foot.
David DeJesus, who had a sprained ankle and sore back, is back in the lineup tonight after missing five games. He, as well as Mark Teahen and Jose Guillen, have been fighting back stiffness and other bumps. With the month of August rolling along, it’s not surprising the wear of playing everyday is getting to players.
The most recent serious injury was to Mark Grudzielanek, who was placed on the D.L. last Saturday after a collision with Ross Gload while chasing down a pop-up. Earlier this week, the team found that he has a torn deltoid ligament on the left side of his right ankle. Grudzielanek should be out four to six weeks, which might cost him the rest of the season.
Some good news on the injury front though, two players are in Triple-A Omaha on rehab assignments. Jimmy Gobble pitched earlier this week and throws again on Monday. Joey Gathright joined the O-Royals today and is most likely a lock to play until he’s ready to re-join the big club.
Also on the D.L. is John Bale, who will miss his 100th game tonight. Bale had a rehab assignment which he completed but he is still having some problems and is being re-evaluated.
Billy Butler is back at DH tonight. But not because he played poorly at first
base over the last few days. In fact, manager Trey Hillman said Butler’s play was outstanding. He commented on Butler’s good glove work and a few plays where he showed good footwork moving around the bag as well.
Hillman said he wants to field the best offensive and defensive lineup he can. With Jose Guillen able to play the field tonight, that puts Ross Gload at first and Butler at DH.
The Royals have a chance to even their record out to .500 on trifecta days (like 08/08/08). They won last year on 07/07/07 but lost the two previous years on 06/06/06 and 05/05/05 (they didn’t play on 04/04/04)…If you haven’t noticed, the Hall of Fame building in left field is taking shape with two stories of steelwork completed now…From Trey Hillman’s press conference: Opposing managers have commented that the 2008 Royals are fulfilling some of Hillman’s wishes, they are more fundamentally sound…Also from Trey: As an organizational stance, players who can play multiple positions like Mike Aviles, Esteban German and Ross Gload have a high value and are great options to have on the bench…On the Farm: Lefty Danny Duffy and Juan Abreu combined to throw a no-hitter last night for Single-A Burlington (IA).
It was just brought to Around the Horn’s attention today, but the Royals had another All-Star in New York. Danielle Menzel was honored as the 2007 Designated Driver of the Year. Menzel frequents Kauffman Stadium and signs up for each game’s Good Sport drawing. By signing up each game, she unknowingly entered herself into the Responsibility has its Rewards drawing. She was selected to be the Royals DD of the Year. She won an all expenses paid trip to New York for the 2008 All-Star game.
Around the Horn might smell a Touch ‘em All interview, who knows. But regardless, huge congratulations to Danielle. Hope you had a great time in the Big Apple!
One final All-Star note today. Your 2008 Royals All-Star currently has a vote going on. The Royals are letting you pick his nickname. The choices are El Lobo (The Wolf), El Castigador (The Punisher), The Mexicutioner and The Terminator. Around the Horn isn’t ready to support one of the candidates just yet. We need to hear the debate and weigh the options. So it’s all up to you.
Today’s Official Game Notes.
Whether you count the All-Star break as the halfway point or you’re technical about it and measure the year in 81 game halves, the season is past its halfway point.
The Royals have 96 games in the bag. Tonight is 97 and the start of a short three game trip to Chicago. Trey Hillman said it yesterday when he noted that we have a tough stretch ahead.
General Manager Dayton Moore and manager Trey Hillman addressed the media yesterday before the team’s workout at Kauffman. The biggest thing they stressed is more consistency from the bats and the arms. To get started off right, Zack Greinke will get the ball tonight. Greinke earned the No. 1 slot with consistent pitching. They want him pitching to both divisional foes, throwing tonight in Chicago and again on Wednesday in the last game of the series against Detroit.
He’s been nasty to hitters, striking out 104 so far this season and becoming the first K.C. pitcher to record 100+ punch outs before the All-Star break since 1997. Greinke also holds a .188 batting average against when there are men in scoring position, which is second in the A.L.
Trey said that pitching coach Bob McClure and the starters worked throughout the All-Star break at the Stadium. Trey cited a reason for the streaks the team has rattled off – both good and bad – has been because of the pitching, specifically the starting rotation which holds a 31-39 record. Last season the starters were 28-39 through 96 games.
Consistency is the motto and there is improvement. The biggest difference between 2007 and 2008, however is that seven pitchers have started games this year. 13 pitchers started at least one game last season.
The state of the position players was also addressed by General Manager Dayton Moore. He said the organization is looking for Billy Butler to continue to improve, Alex Gordon to become more consistent and Mark Teahen to build upon the improvements he’s shown over the last month. Moore also mentioned David DeJesus and acknowledged the outfielder’s continuing success.
DeJesus is among the elite in the game right now. He entered the break with a .460 batting average with men in scoring position, which leads the Majors and is 41 points higher than Rangers’ All-Star Ian Kinsler who is second. In fact DeJesus’ mark is the eighth best entering the All-Star break since 1974 when RISP became a stat. Among those higher than DeJesus at the Midsummer Classic, Tony Gwyn’s .500 in 1997, Barry Bonds’ .500 in 1990 and Rod Carew’s .467 in 1975. Needless to say, DeJesus established a Royals record, topping Mike Sweeney’s .438 in 2000 and Hal McRae’s .427 in 1982.
It should be noted that John Buck is 10th in the Majors with a .361 RISP average, the highest catcher in the Majors.
And as we wrap position players, Jose Guillen has to be mentioned. He’s had an outstanding season at the plate. So far: he’s tied a single game RBI record with seven in June 7, eclipsed last year’s RBI season high with 65 this year (tied for fourth in the A.L.), belted 13 homers (seven of which have given the Royals the lead) and he’s ranked in several other offensive categories.
As a team, the Royals have four players at 10 or more home runs with another sitting on nine. In 2007, only two players hit 10 or more and four hit 10 or more in 2006.
Dayton Moore mentioned that the team is always looking to improve itself through trades or signings but does not want to compromise the current core of young players for a few months of service time or even a year of service unless the team felt it absolutely necessary…The team hired Sports Psychologist Andrew Jacobs, who was introduced to the team before yesterday’s workout…Leo Nunez was moved to Double-A Northwest Arkansas for rehab, because of Triple-A Omaha’s All-Star break. He pitched two innings of relief last night, recording a pair of strikeouts.
The Royals return home for seven games on Monday. Plenty of promotions are in the works for the home stand including Frank White powder blue T-shirts Dan Quisenberry bobbleheads an Emerson Drive concert and the return of Girl’s Night Out.
Tonight marks the first of 28 straight games against opponents with winning records, 16 of which are at Kauffman. The combined record for the seven teams is 368-297 for a .553 winning percentage.
The Royals are working on a number of things for Military Appreciation Day, which is August 2. Around the Horn would like to request some help from our faithful here at mlblogs.com. If you have pictures of loved ones overseas wearing Royals gear, you can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we might be able to use them for a presentation during that day’s events. If not, Around the Horn is also working on a special post for that day and may post some of these photos right here. Please include the name of the person, hometown, where they are stationed and what branch they are in.
Thanks for your help.
Here’s today’s Official Game Notes.
After fighting a dead phone, a late night and an early flight, Royals Vice President of Communications and Broadcasting Mike Swanson (Swanee) is back in Kansas City. And we’ll get to the pics he sent earlier today as soon as we can.
We hope you have all recovered from the late night. The game ended at 1:37 a.m. when Minnesota’s Justin Morneau was called safe at home in the bottom of the 15th. Around the Horn took yesterday off… to recover. Hopefully you had the chance to as well.
Swanee didn’t. He had to catch a flight back early yesterday morning. He wasn’t even able to catch up and think about sending Around the Horn his photos until today, when his phone was fully charged. Unfortunately, it died right before the game started or shortly there after. Swanee’s phone was useless well before he got back to his hotel in midtown Manhattan around 3 a.m.
He snapped this from his spot on the bench. You can see Baltimore’s George Sherrill (52), Yankee captain Derek Jeter (2), Boston captain Jason Varitek (with the beard behind Sherrill) and All-Star Game MVP J.D. Drew (on the stairs between Jeter and Varitek) and Home Run Derby champ Morneau is standing with his back to Varitek (he’s the only other standing in the dugout who’s face is fully visible).
Around the Horn isn’t sure, and Swanee didn’t say, but we’re pretty sure the knees, hands and hat in the foreground belong to Texas’ Michael Young (who provided the game winning RBI with his sac fly).
49 Hall of Famers scattered across the field as a part of the opening ceremonies. One famous Royal stood at third, standing next to Wade Boggs. You may have seen George Brett telling the AL All-Stars before the game not to try to be heroes but to be winners.
Of course, the home team is closest to first, so Swanee snapped this pic from the dugout.
Royals’ All Star- Joakim Soria stood along the first base line for the introductions. Soria was between the Angels’ Joe Saunders and Detroit’s Carlos Guillen.
Swanee informed Around the Horn that it was the same crews that fly out of Whiteman Air Force Base near Knob Noster, Mo. It’s the same stealth crew that often fly over Kauffman Stadium on Opening Day and that flew over Bank One Ballpark in Arizona during Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, another game Swanee was at.
Swanee’s spot in the dugout didn’t allow him to get very close and his camera phone could only zoom so far.
He did get a lot closer to a few other stars though, including Kenny Chesney (pictured at right). He said Kenny was in a conversation and Swanee ddin’t want to bother him, but he wanted to give us an idea of who turned out for the big game in the Big Apple.
It was afterall the final All-Star game in the House that Ruth built.
Like we’ve said at the end of each post, Swanee, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy All-Star schedule to provide us with a chance to see some of the inner workings of how this whole thing went down. We know you’re still resting and recovering for the second half of the season. So enjoy.
Royals Director of Community Relations Ben Aken was also in New York for the game, as we mentioned. Ben snapped this photo of our All-Star Insider. That’s Swanee (on the right) with Minnesota Twins Director of Baseball Communications Mike Herman hanging out in the Yankees/American League dugout after the Red Carpet Show and before the pre-game festivities started.
Both Ben, Swanee and of course Joakim, thank you so much for representing the Royals with class, pride and style in the Big Apple. All three of you already have Around the Horn’s All-Star vote to go to St. Louis next year.
The Royals have three representatives at the All-Star game this week. Joakim Soria is the only player, but Director of Community Relations Ben Aken is helping Major League Baseball’s efforts to promote the game throughout New York. Hopefully we can get an update and maybe some photos from him as the week goes by.
The Royals other All-Star, Vice President of Communications and Broadcasting Mike Swanson (Swanee) has already been plenty busy. But he’s taking pictures with his phone (he apologizes for the quality) and keeping tabs on Soria for all of us back here in Kansas City.
Soria was conducting interviews with everybody who came by and in as many languages as he could speak (Around the Horn is pretty sure that’s just two, English and his native tongue Spanish).
One note about his heritage, Soria is the only Mexican player on either All-Star roster. In fact there are only 15 Mexican players who have played in the Majors this season and just 103 to ever play in the Majors. In comparison, the Dominican Republic has fielded 115 players in 2008.
Soria is the most dominant Mexican pitcher of all-time (only pitchers with at least 10 appearances were considered). His current 2.09 ERA in 112 innings edges Cy Acosta, who held a 2.66 ERA over 186 innings from 1972-75. And his batting average against is a full 40 points lower than Jose Cecena who established a .213 average against in 22 games in 1988 (Acosta holds a .216 batting average against).
Swanee told Around the Horn that Soria was stationed between two popular stops, Carlos Quentin of the White Sox and the Yankees Mariano Rivera (he’s the cause of the glare from the lights in the picture). Quentin is currently second in the American League in home runs (22) and RBI (70).
While Rivera, one of three players representing the host team, is considered one of the greatest closers of all-time. He’s putting together another solid season this year, sixth in the A.L. in saves with 23 which happens to be one spot and two saves behind Soria who’s 5th and tied a Royals pre-All-Star break record with 25 saves.
Home Run Derby Tonight
Swanee also reports that he’s in charge of the American League Home Run Derby players. He sent Around the Horn a photo from their press conference. Representing the league with the DH, will be four non-DH’s. Swanee should have an easy time with a pair of divisional opponents, Minnesota’s Justin Morneau and Clevland’s Grady Sizemore, in the mix. The A.L. will also send the Ranger’s Josh Hamilton, Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria to the plate. The National League will have Houston’s Lance Berkman, the Brewers’ Ryan Braun, the Marlin’s Dan Uggla and Philadelphia’s Chase Utley vying for the title.
Swanee’s American League guys are featured in the photo, going from left to right Hamilton (in red), Longoria, Morneau and Sizemore. Angel’s slugger Vladimir Guerrero hit 17 homers last year in San Francisco to win it all. Around the Horn doesn’t have a favorite, but is just pulling for the American League to keep the title. The Derby starts at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN. For more coverage, go here.
Around the Horn hopes to deliver more All-Star coverage throughout the week, keeping in touch with our inside man in New York. Swanee, thanks for the photos.
David DeJesus delivered with a walk-off game winner last night. DeJesus hit the first pitch he saw from Brandon Morrow 371 feet into the Royals’ bullpen. Joey Gathright scored and then the Royals mobbed DeJesus.
It was the Royals first walk-off since April 19, 2005 when Alberto Castillo hit one against Cleveland. And for DeJesus it was his 10th homer of the year, a new career high. His previous high was nine in 2005.
Not to be overshadowed, Mark Grudzielanek connected for hits number 1,999 and 2,000 in his first two at-bats last night. Around the Horn covered his milestone some already and for you stat geeks, expect a full break down later this week with regular season play at a halt.
The Royals will be presenting Joakim Soria with an All-Star jersey. But Soria isn’t the only Royal who will be in New York. Director of Community Relations Ben Aken has already been in the Big Apple for a couple of days. He’s working with Major League Baseball’s community relations staff and was the only team representative chosen to work the game.
Vice President of Communications and Broadcasting Mike Swanson hopped a plane today to head to New York. He’ll be working in the press box and helping with the Media Relations staff to support the huge media contingent covering the game. So congratulations go out to both Aken and Swanson.
Here’s today’s Official Game Notes.