Results tagged ‘ Spring Training ’
Dave Owen was spotted hitting ground balls to Yuniesky Betancourt and Alberto Callaspo.
Players also spent time practicing their bunts. Here you see Rick Ankiel and Wilson Betemit getting their reps.
The Royals picked up their first Spring Training win on Thursday. Today, they travel to Scottsdale to play the Giants. Our pitching matchup is one that you’d love to see in the regular season when these guys could stretch it out and go deep into the game. Zack Greinke will make his 2009 debut against San Francisco newcomer Randy Johnson. The Big Unit is looking to put the icing on his Hall of Fame résumé in 2009 as he is 5 regular season wins shy of 300. Here’s the Friday lineup, along with Thursday’s home run swings from John Buck and Coco Crisp.
Alberto Callaspo – 2B
Mike Aviles – SS
Billy Butler – DH
Ryan Shealy – 1B
Miguel Olivo – C
Corey Smith – 3B
Mitch Maier – CF
Tommy Murphy – LF
Chris Lubanski – RF
Zack Greinke – RHP
The Royals have been extremely active in their Arizona spring home the last few days. Yesterday, in addition to going through physicals and a typical three-hour workout, catcher John Buck, first baseman Ryan Shealy and do-everything man Mark Teahen drove across the Valley of the Sun to Mark Grace’s Super Bowl Classic. The former Cub and D’Back hosts a celebrity bowling tournament each year in Scottsdale to benefit a specific charity. This season, the proceeds from the event went to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Buck, Shealy and Teahen were joined by more than 50 other celebrities and athletes such as Bob Uecker, Greg Maddux, and actor Bill Murray, who displayed his bowling talents as Ernie ‘Big Ern’ McCracken in Kingpin. Shealy rolled the highest score of the night among the three, putting a 173 on the board with the help of Buck, who bowled a strike while Ryan was away for a minute. All three bowled in the straight variety, electing not to put spin on the ball. Buck and Shealy shared a 16-pound ball simply because their fingers wouldn’t fit into any others. Apparently, Buck’s strategy was just to throw the ball as hard as possible at the pins while Shealy and Teahen were a bit more aware of aiming. All three said they were able to make their bowling shoes look good, so we guess that’s something. While none of the three won the tournament, they contributed in other ways, including Mark Teahen’s purchase in the silent auction of an NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals football helmet signed by the entire team. ATH is positive that will become one of Teahen’s prized possessions since he is a die-hard Cardinals fan, season ticket holder, and even made the trip across the country to the Super Bowl a few weeks ago.
Sunday was no less eventful here in Surprise.
The players and coaches arrived early to the complex for photo day. This is the day where all the photo agencies, including MLB Photos, Getty Images, Associated Press and Topps, visit the complex to take photos of the players for 2009. The images you will see all season on Kauffman’s giant CrownVision were created today.
In addition to photo day, today was FanFest day at Surprise Stadium. After the complex-mate Rangers worked out on the field for about an hour, the Boys in Blue took the field at 10 a.m. for a one hour and 15 minute workout complete with batting practice, relay throws and infield practice. Following the on-field workout, the team retired to the back fields for an intrasquad game. Famed bowler Ryan Shealy was one of three Royals to go deep in the intrasquad game.
Manager Trey Hillman was joined by pitchers Joakim Soria, Gil Meche and Ron Mahay for an autograph session and first baseman Kila Ka’aihue, third baseman Corey Smith and catcher J.R. House participated in a home run derby on the Surprise Stadium main field. House and University of Kansas product Travis Metcalf, a Rangers player, tied setting up a swing-off. The former Jayhawk prevailed, but it was a great effort by the Royals catcher and non-roster invite. ATH thinks if they settled it by who could throw a football the longest, House would have prevailed considering he was a big-time quarterback recruit coming out of West Virginia.
Stay tuned for more behind the scenes updates from Surprise, Arizona. Remember, games are just three days away as the Royals kick off the spring slate on Wednesday against the Rangers. Horacio Ramirez is scheduled to get the ball to start the opener.
The early days of Spring Training are dedicated to the fundamentals. Bunting, sliding, and defense are a few of the drills being emphasized in Surprise. Let’s take a look:
First base coach Rusty Kuntz specializes in teaching baserunning. He had everyone take off their shoes for this fun drill…it looks like some of the guys were taken back to their Slip ‘n Slide days! (Left – Willie Bloomquist, right – Billy Butler, below right – Alex Gordon)
Every player has been working on getting the bunt down…including Kila Ka’aihue.
The outfielders worked with Kuntz on technique (below left). Coco Crisp later spent some time fielding batting practice.
Crisp and his teammates were all smiles as they took some cuts in the cage.
Greetings, Royals fans! Team photographer Chris Vleisides is in Surprise. He sent along pictures from the last few days. Here are some of your newest Royals in action – Willie Bloomquist, Coco Crisp, Tug Hulett, and Mike Jacobs. Check back as we will post more pictures from Spring Training!
Well the day we’ve been waiting for since the final game of 2008 has arrived! Pitchers and catchers officially reported to Surprise today, though many of them have been participating in voluntary workouts at the complex. Workouts usually run from about 9:30 to 12:00 or 12:30 and are open to the public. For information on a particular day, contact the staff at Surprise Recreation Services at 623.222.2000.
Thank you to all of the fans who have visited ATH! February is the shortest month in days, but we are on pace to have our highest number of visitors since we started tracking page loads last July!
We want to let you know about a few new ways to keep up to date on your favorite team. First, royals.com beat writer Dick Kaegel has a new blog entitled Royals Beat. He will share insight from Spring Training, Kauffman Stadium, and Royals road games during the 2009 season. Dick made his first post on Wednesday, so feel free to ask him questions on the Royals.
Another Royals page to surf to is the royals.com Kansas City Royals fan page on Facebook. Several Royals pages have popped up on the popular social networking tool… but this is the official one. It just launched so it isn’t the largest Royals group on Facebook yet, however, we think it is the most informative. Our friends at Major League Baseball Advanced Media have added a RSS feed to ATH, so all of our posts will be displayed on Facebook! Just enter ‘Kansas City Royals’ under ‘Pages’ and find the page that looks like the screen shot below.
A moving truck pulled up to our temporary offices this morning. We’re not quite ready to move back to the renovated Kauffman Stadium…this was the Spring Training truck, destined for Surprise, Arizona. The event is an annual sign that baseball season is just around the corner and we couldn’t be more excited!
Later, the well traveled apple box arrived. Royals Hall of Fame broadcaster Denny Matthews has packed Spring Training items in this sturdy apple box for many years…we asked Denny how many years and he said “It’s like a tree…you have to count the rings, in this case, rings of tape.” We weren’t going to get that precise, so Denny estimated somewhere over 20 years. So, if you have some packing to do, find a reliable apple box!
Finally, we spotted outfielder and KC resident David DeJesus, who brought his duffel bag and luggage. Position players report on February 17, but David will head to Surprise in the next few days to start early workouts with his teammates, some of whom are already down there.
Happy New Year! Baseball is just around the corner! Individual game tickets for Spring Training will go on sale tomorrow, Jan. 3 at 9 a.m. Central Time. Tickets will be available through the Royals website, in person at the Surprise Box Office or by phone at 480-784-4444 or 520-321-1000. Spring season ticket packages are available now by calling 623-222-2222.
Kansas City’s 36-game Spring Training schedule, the largest in the history of the franchise, features 17 home games at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Ariz. The club will also face the Texas Rangers as the visiting team in three additional games at the facility, including the Feb. 25 charity game, which kicks off the 2009 slate.
A variety of season ticket packages are available, including a 17-game Royals package, a 7-game Royals package or a 34-game Surprise Stadium package for all Royals/Rangers home games. Royals season ticket packages (7 and 17-game) range from $84 to $289 while the 34-game packages are available from $374 to $578. If you want to simplify your vacation planning, several Spring Training travel packages are available through the Royals website.
Ticket prices for the 2009 Spring Training season are: $23 for lower dugout seats, $20 for upper dugout seats, $17 for infield seats, $13 for plaza seats and $7 for lawn seating. Parking for all Surprise Stadium Spring Training games will be free.
If you’re in Arizona and would like to buy tickets in person the box office is located at:
15960 N. Bullard Avenue
Surprise, AZ 85374.
Pitchers and catchers will report to Surprise on Friday, Feb. 13. Workouts for pitchers begin the following day, Saturday, Feb. 14. The remainder of the squad will report on Tuesday, Feb. 17 and begin workouts for the 2009 campaign on Wednesday, Feb. 18.