Results tagged ‘ George Brett ’

Renovation Pictures – Retired Numbers


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5, 10, 20, 42. Brett, Howser, White, Robinson. Those are Kansas City’s retired numbers and the names that Royals fans associate with them. The numbers are getting a new home at Kauffman Stadium…they will be displayed on the front of the new Royals Hall of Fame in left field. Here’s a look at the numbers being installed in their new location:

  

 


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Would the real Billy Butler please stand up


9-3 Butler.jpgHe’s tearing up opponents right now. Last night he hit his third homer in the team’s last three games.

Not surprisingly they’ve won 2 of 3, notching victories in the games in which he’s gone yard.

Today we’re going to talk about Butler, who has the second highest average in the Majors over his last eight since August 24 (.500, Boston’s Dustin Pedroia is at .512) and note something that hasn’t happened since 1999. To do that, let’s go Around the Horn…

First
Part of Billy Butler’s surge can be attributed to “letting go.” Manager Trey Hillman told reporters that Butler said twice during batting practice in Detroit that he needed to “let it go.” Hillman said Butler felt like he was feeling for things too much. He repeatedly said to himself “I got to let it go.”

Apparently he has. Butler is in the midst of an eight-game hitting streak, though you could call it a hitting barrage. He’s 16-for-32 during the streak and has an RBI for every game in the streak. Last night he cracked a deep shot to left-center for a three-run homer and added another RBI later, tying a season high with four RBI. He also put together his seventh three-hit game.

Butler has been pretty solid since the All-Star break, though his average drooped slightly, he’s re-adjusted to the league and is turning things on in a big way. He’s raised his batting average a full 20 points since the streak started and is now at .281.

Last season Butler hit eight dingers and 52 RBI. This year he’s at 10 and 50 and the team has 25 games left.


9-3 Greinke.jpgSecond
Zack Greinke pitched his way to his 10th victory of the season last night. Not only is that good news for Greinke, who continues to add to his career year (he’s at career bests in wins, quality starts, strikeouts and after last night, ERA), but it’s great news for the Royals.

Greinke is tied with Gil Meche in wins and it’s the first year the Royals have had two double-digit game winners since 1999, when Jose Rosado and Jeff Suppan both tallied 10. Greinke’s strikeouts are also the most for a Royal since Kevin Appier put down 196. If Greinke punches out an average of seven or eight an outing for the rest of the season, he’s got a shot to challenge Appier’s total or even push for 200.

It’s a tall order, but he’s been mowing them down all season and produced eight K’s last night. So he’s definitely got the ability to do it.


6-23 Soria.JPGShort
Joakim Soria recorded the 51st save of his career and moved into fifth all-time on the Royals career saves list, passing Mike MacDougal who had 50. Soria needs 3 more to catch Roberto Hernandez at fourth and seven to match Doug Bird in third. After Bird, the all-time saves list gets a little tougher. Soria is 187 shy of Dan Quisenberry in second and he needs 253 to catch Jeff Montgomery who sits in first…Billy Butler became the sixth Royal to reach double-digits in homers. It’s the most since the 2003 team had eight guys with 10 or more…Ryan Shealy hit his first home run in his first game back in the Majors. His last MLB game was June 27, 2007 and his last homer was June 6, 2007…From Trey Hillman’s Press Conference: Hillman trusts Ron Mahay when he says he’s ready to pitch, but he will be careful in using Mahay. Expect to see him in less stressful situations and earlier in ball games to start…Also: Hillman said he studies the statistics and compares his club with others. As far as bullpen usage, he said the Royals are comparable and he likes where the relievers are set up at the moment and will continue to “go with the hot hand in the eighth”…Finally: There’s been a lot of speculation about Mike Aviles’ status next season. Hillman said he’s comfortable playing Aviles at short or second. During Spring Training he would have said he’d prefer to have Aviles at second, but Aviles didn’t play much short in Arizona. Now Hillman would say short, but he’s seen more of Aviles at short than second now. Hillman also complemented Alberto Callaspo on his defensive work at second, specifically the double play he turned on Saturday.

Third
Having the A’s in town doesn’t totally feel like a road trip for a few of their players. Mike Sweeney, the 13-year Royal9-3 Sweeney.jpg and one-time captain in Kansas City, was activated today from the Disabled List. Sweeney chose to wear No. 5 this season for the Athletics, in honor of the lone Royal player in Cooperstown, George Brett. Sweeney exchanged lineup cards last night during the pre-game conference.

Sweeney has a familiar face in the visiting clubhouse. Former Royal Emil Brown is now with Oakland, but he was not in the lineup last night.

Other A’s with local ties: Reliever Brad Ziegler pitched at Odessa High School and Missouri State University in Springfield. Reliever Josh Outman, who made his Major League debut last night, pitched at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. And reliever Joey Devine is from Junction City, Kansas, and we noticed a littler cheering section for him during last night’s game.

Tonight’s lineup: As Around the Horn was finishing this post, we heard the game was called. You can still enjoy the notes which were for today’s game.

The game will be made up tomorrow at 4:10. Brian Bannister is still scheduled to throw and Kyle Davies will throw the second game of the double-dip.

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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A Look Inside: The Royals Clubhouse

8-28 Clubhouse.JPGGood afternoon Royals fans. Hope all is well today and you’re ready for a nice long Labor Day weekend. Around the Horn is ready for some baseball after the off day. We’ve got three in Detroit and then another off day Monday before the Royals open their second to last home stand.

Since there wasn’t any baseball for us yesterday, today is the perfect opportunity to give you a look inside a place many people don’t get to see. Today, we’re going inside the Royals Clubhouse. We didn’t want to intrude on the team’s privacy too much so we waited for the team to hit the road before we snapped our photos. So here we go…

8-28 Gordon's Locker.JPG

The first picture is a general overall shot of the clubhouse. For the most part position players are along one row and pitchers on the opposite side of the clubhouse. To kill time, you’ll often find the guys playing cards at the tables in the center.

Here’s a close up view of Alex Gordon’s locker. He’s got a few pairs of spikes, some turf shoes and some regular workout shoes in there. And you can see the pile of batting gloves.

8-28 Trainer's Room.JPGThe trainer’s room is a place a lot of guys will go when they get to the park. Many get massages before the game, after BP or after the game. Despite the recent rash of injuries, the team has been healthy this season and that’s a credit to Head Athletic Trainer Nick Swartz and his staff.

8-28 Whirlpool.JPGThe whirlpool/hot tub is a nice place to soak the bumps and bruises and aches that come from the grind of 162 games in 180 days.

8-28 Mailboxes.JPGThese slots are the player mailboxes. Now you might be saying, there’s not really any mail in those boxes. Well, Around the Horn was informed after taking this picture that all of their fan mail had been moved to the actual boxes which sit below the mail boxes on the wall.

Each box is numbered, so you can see the No. 4 which is sitting on top of another box. Yep, that’s Alex Gordon’s and yes he needs two boxes. He gets a lot of fan mail. Apparently he’s popular in Nebraska.

You can also clearly see David DeJesus (No. 9), Alberto Callaspo (No. 13) and John Buck (No. 14).

8-28 Player's Lounge 1.JPGThe player’s lounge is just down the hall from the Clubhouse. Like the trainer’s room, this area is off limits to the media and other Clubhouse visitors.

8-28 Player's Lounge 2.JPGIt’s a neat room. Photos of former players adorn the walls, many of them with their kids or candid shots of them just hanging out. There’s a cooler with plenty of cold drinks for them to relax with before going out to the field. The recliners are also vibrating, so you’ll often see pitchers using them and collecting themselves before starts.

8-28 Food Room.JPGThe food room is right next door to the lounge and is a heavily trafficked area. Often times, the players will eat two or three meals a day at the stadium. So having a full service room is a nice way to monitor what they are eating, making sure its healthy and a place for them to grab a bite to eat anytime they need a little extra.

8-28 Jars.JPGAlthough most of the food in the food room is healthy, a little snack never hurt anybody. And when you’re trying to serve 25 guys plus a handful of coaches, you never know what they might have a sweet tooth for, so they’ve got a little of everything in there. It’s almost like a candy store.

8-28 Clubhouse Enter.JPGAt the end of the hallway joining the Clubhouse to the players lounge, food room, trainer’s room and weight room, this stands. It’s a tribute to two of the greatest Royals of all-time and the only two players with retired numbers, George Brett and Frank White.

Hopefully its a bit of an inspiration too, to see the two greats who once lockered where the likes of DeJesus and Gordon and Gil Meche and Zack Greinke do.

8-28 Video Room Monitors.JPGJust before heading to the dugout, an essential room is always buzzing. Mark Topping, the Royals Video Coordinator and his staff work diligently to make sure all the high tech needs of a baseball team competing in the 21st century are met.

This state of the art room is decked out with computer monitors and TV screens everywhere.

It’s all to allow the players and staff to watch or review anything that might help, be it a previous at-bat, an opposing pitcher or a minor leaguer in the Royals system.

8-28 Video Bank.JPGThe whole room is controlled through this bank. It’s home to the servers, tape decks, recorders and a host of other equipment that Around the Horn isn’t up to speed with.

The room was one of the first pieces to be re-done as a part of the renovation process.

8-28 Video Room Stacks.JPGWe had to take a picture of this. Around the Horn had never seen so many DirecTV boxes in one place. Each one is responsible for receiving a game to be recorded and each is marked with a Post-It note.

Everything from the high school prospect games, collegiate games, minor league games or even the Colorado-San Diego game tonight is recorder through this bank.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Off-day: Random Photo Day

 
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Around the Horn snapped this photo last homestand on Frank White powder blue t-shirt night. It was late… very late after the rain delay and these four guys stuck it out. David DeJesus was battling Detroit’s Fernando Rodney and we happened to see these guys from the pressbox down behind homeplate and so we snuck down got this.

You ever notice how 20 = 4 x 5? Around the Horn isn’t sure what that means but we’re pretty sure it can only be good.

Twins in town tomorrow for the last time this summer. Bobbleheads and Sluggerrr T’s Saturday and Sunday. See ya out there.

Pink = Blue

7-22 Girls.gifToday is a lot of things. It’s Girls’ Night Out. It’s the 25th Anniversary of the Pine Tar Game. And at the heart of it all, it’s the start of a four game series against the first place Rays.

Tampa Bay is bringing the heat to Kansas City with a .590 winning percentage and a half game lead over the defending World Series Champion Red Sox. The Rays aren’t messing around, so we won’t either as we go Around the Horn…

First
Girls’ Night Out brought huge crowds last summer and the demand was heard. So the event is back for another year. It will feature a two-hour happy hour, massages, manicures, players interviews, cheese and fruit and lots and lots of chocolate.

The party is out in Lot H, and lasts from 5:30 to 7:00.

The first 20,000 women through the gates tonight get a pink and white rhinestone Royals cap courtesy of Meierotto Midwest Jewlers. It should be a lot of fun for all the ladies who attend. And we’d bet some of the guys might enjoy themselves as well.


7-24 Pine Tar.jpgSecond
25 years ago today, Hall of Famer George Brett hit a home run off Goose Gossage, who will be inducted into the Hall this weekend. The only problem was Brett used an “illegal” bat. By rule no foreign substance can appear above the trademark of the bat (18 inches from the handle). Well, as Royals fans know Brett was a pine tar junkie. He got it on his uniforms, his helmet and it covered his bats.

The Yankees had noticed his bat was illegal a few weeks before and waited for the right moment. Brett’s two-run homer to put the Royals ahead in the ninth on July 24, 1983 seemed like the right moment. The rest is history. Brett was called out. He went ballistic. The Royals protested. The American League overturned the call. The Royals went back and finished the game on August 18, winning 5-4.

Short
Joey Gathright was put on the Disabled List with a bone bruise in his right shoulder…Mitch Maier, who was hitting .316 with 24 doubles, a triple and nine homers, was recalled from Triple-A Omaha to replace Gathright and will be playing center, batting ninth and wearing No. 35 tonight…Notes from Trey Hillman’s pregame press conference: Gathright’s injury is one that he’s been trying to play through, but because of the nature of the bruise, rest is really the only thing that will help him heal…Also from Hillman: He loves Maier’s ability to play the outfield and said he was one of the best defensive outfielders during spring training, and he definitely takes some of the best routes to fly balls…Two interesting Mitch Maier facts: He was in the same draft as Mike Aviles (2003) and Hillman’s compliments are more impressive because the outfield is Maier’s third position after being drafted as a catcher and then moving to third base.


7-18 Emerson.jpgThird
Emerson Drive is the next huge thing to hit Kauffman Stadium. The country rockers will play a concert on Saturday night following the Royals-Rays game, which starts at 6:10. Along with Emerson Drive on Saturday, Royals fans will be treated to Dan Quisenberry Bobbleheads.

The following Saturday, Aug. 2, is Military Appreciation Day with Royals camo caps. The game has been changed to a 2:55 p.m. because its getting national coverage on FOX.

But none of the festivities are being canceled. There will be several special presentations going on that day and we’re still looking for pictures of your loved ones who are serving our country. Any pics will do, but Around the Horn would especially like to see pics with Royals gear in them. If you have anything you’d like to send us, please do so at blog@royals.com.

Tonight’s lineup:

DeJesus LF
Aviles SS
Grudzielanek 2B
Guillen RF
Gordon 3B
Butler DH
Gload 1B
Buck C
Maier CF

Meche P

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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Swanee's Trip to the All-Star Game Concludes

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.

7-17 Dugout.JPGBut lucky for us, he had a seat worth remembering. He was in charge of providing players for FOX and ESPN Radio to interview.

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).

7-17 Hall of Famers.JPG49 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.

7-17 Line.JPGRoyals’ 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.

 

7-17 B2.JPGAnother sight Royals fans might be familiar with from the All-Star game, Yankee Stadium had a B2 Stealth Bomber flyover.

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.


7-17 Crow.JPGThe B2 flyover was during the National Anthem, which was sung by Sheryl Crow.

Swanee’s spot in the dugout didn’t allow him to get very close and his camera phone could only zoom so far.

7-17 Kenny.JPGHe 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.

7-17 Plaque.JPGWith all the talk about saying goodbye to one of baseball’s great stadiums, Swanee thought it would be appropriate to include a picture of Babe Ruth’s plaque in Monument Park.

It was afterall the final All-Star game in the House that Ruth built.

7-17 Swanee.JPGLike 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.

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Day 2 in the Big Apple – Game Day

7-15 All Star.jpgApparently there is an All-Star Game going on in New York. At least that’s what Vice President of Communications and Broadcasting Mike Swanson (Swanee) keeps telling Around the Horn.

If you watched last night, the Home Run Derby was by all accounts, amazing. The Rangers’ Josh Hamilton didn’t get the memo that Yankee Stadium isn’t scheduled for demolition until this off season and started working on that last night, launching a total of 35 homers into the stands (this is an 8-mintue video) with several into the 3rd deck and one off Bank of America sign on the back wall of the stadium. Minnesota’s Justin Morneau edged him in the finals by a score of 5-3. The AL Central’s other entrant was impressive too, Cleveland’s Grady Sizemore didn’t make it out of the first round. Swanee was in charge of the AL Derby contestants and his other guy, Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria hit three.

7-15 HR Derby.JPGSwanee had good seats for the show, sitting behind Chicago’s Joe Crede. That’s Hamilton at the plate during his historic first round. He broke Bobby Abreu’s 2005 record of 24 first rounder shots, with 28 last night.

Around the Horn is curious if Swanee’s neck is okay from craning his neck to watch all the shots Hamilton and Morneau, both lefties, hit to right field (they combined for 57 bombs during the competition).

If you were curious, the longest homer in the Majors this season (according to Hit Tracker Online) is 485 feet by Adam Dunn just last week on July 10th. That is not an official measurement but the estimated true or actual distance the home run would have flown if it had traveled all the way back to the field level.

If you check that site out, you’ll notice that John Buck owns the longest home run by standard distance at 478 feet, which is the same as true distance but factors out wind, temperature and altitude. Buck’s April 9th shot is also second on Hit Tracker’s charts for speed off bat, which estimates his homer came off the bat at 121.6 mph.

7-15 Fox.jpgToday, Swanee has been all over New York. FOX was setting up and rolling out the red carpet for the parade.

7-15 Radio City.jpgThe All-Star parade ran right past Radio City Music Hall. Swanee didn’t say if he stop7-15 Ben Aken.jpgped to see a show.

He did see Royals Director of Community Relations Ben Aken who’s in New York helping with some of the All-Star games charity work. In this picture he’s standing off to the side of the Boys and Girls Club.

 

7-15 Brett.jpgAnd he saw former Cubs’ star Mark Grace interviewing a Hall of Famer you should all recognize. And since we were talking homers in Yankee Stadium, George Brett is a very fitting choice for Grace to talk to.

Brett hit 17 regular season and five postseason homers in the “House that Ruth Built” and holds a lifetime .311 average there.

Royals fans won’t forget the “Pine Tar” Game or his homer in the 1980 playoffs.

7-15 Soria.jpgAnd lastly, but definitely not least, Swanee saw the All-Star Joakim Soria with his wife, Karla.

Again today. Big thanks to Swanee and we here at Around the Horn who are still in Kansas City hope he’s having a great time in New York.

He’s on AL Clubhouse duty tonight for the game. You can be close to the action too without even being in the Big Apple. FOX will have complete coverage of the game tonight which starts at 7 p.m. CT.

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