Tag Archive | "Batting Practice"

Cardinals Rotation In The Spotlight

The St. Louis Cardinals entered spring training with the fifth starter position in the rotation up for grabs.  It appears that the spotlight on that competition will shine bright over the next few days.

Trevor Rosenthal - photo from FoxSportsMidwest

Trevor Rosenthal – photo from FoxSportsMidwest

As the spring air was pierced by the sounds of pitchers and catchers warming up and early batting practice taking place, the Cardinals settled in for a competition for the final spot in the rotation.  The guys gearing up for that competition were Lance Lynn, Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal and Joe Kelly.

It did not take long for plans to change.  Veteran ace Chris Carpenter broke the news that he would not be able to compete this year and Lance Lynn was all but assured his spot as the number four starter.

Then there were three.

Miller appeared to be the favorite early on based on his performance last year, his off season work, and the perception that the top pitching prospect in the organization was ready to take the next step.  The trio of right handers have seen very little time to this point in the spring and, despite much speculation, the team has not been forthcoming with any news.

Meanwhile, Kelly and Rosenthal had proven that they could handle the pressure of the big leagues down the stretch and repeatedly in the post season last year.  Kelly specifically showed over and over again that he could pitch in the rotation after taking over for Jaime Garcia last season due to injury.

Rumors began swirling on Thursday morning, while the team was dealing with news about shortstop Rafael Furcal, that there had been progress in making a decision in the starter competition.  One report surfaced saying that the Cardinals held a meeting for their starting pitchers, a meeting that Rosenthal did not attend.

Possibly the most telling and interesting part of that case is that minor league starters were in the same meeting.  Signs are pointing to Rosenthal’s fate being decided and he may very well open the season in the bullpen for St. Louis.

Now there are two.

The two pitchers left in the competition will take their cases to the mound on Thursday and Friday with Kelly starting Thursday afternoon and Miller toeing the rubber on Friday.  While it would be surprising if these two starts formed the firm decision in the mind of the Cardinals management, it would seem that the spotlight is shining on the next few games to showcase the talent the Cardinals have available.

The decision could come as soon as this weekend.  It will most likely come sometime around March 15.  Ultimately, the decision is coming soon and it’s down to two young pitchers that have shown they can be successful at the major league level.

Soon, there will be one…

Bill Ivie is the editor here at i70baseball.
You can follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

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Kansas City Royals Spring Training Pics From Bob Fescoe

Bob Fescoe spent last week in Surprise, Arizona interviewing Kansas City Royals players and coaches for his morning show on Kansas City’s 610 Sports Radio.

When he was not on the air, he was taking in the sites of early Spring Training and snapping pics that he would later tweet out to his followers.

With Bob’s permission, we share those pics with you below:

Billy Butler BP

Picture 1 of 42

Billy Butler takes BP with Frenchy and Hosmer looking on

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball
Follow him on Twitter here.

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Home Runs For Hunger November 10

ROYALS CHARITIES PARTNERS WITH ROYALS GROUNDS CREW FOR HOME RUNS FOR HUNGER ON NOVEMBER 10

Event Gives Fans Opportunity to Participate in
On-Field Batting Practice by Donating Canned Food Items to Harvesters 

KANSAS CITY, MO (October 19, 2012) – As the holiday season nears, Royals Charities and the Kansas City Royals Grounds Crew are hosting the first-ever Home Runs for Hunger event at Kauffman Stadium on Saturday, November 10.  Fans who donate canned food items or make a cash donation to Harvesters-The Community Food Network will have the unique opportunity to take batting practice on the field and shag fly balls in the outfield.

Fans can secure one swing against a pitching machine on the Kauffman Stadium field by donating three non-perishable canned food items or by making a $2 contribution.  There will be a maximum of 20 pitches per participant.  Batters will be entered into a drawing for autographed memorabilia for each home run hit.

Fans will also have the opportunity to shag fly balls in the outfield for 15 minutes by donating $25.  Participants are responsible for bring their own gloves for outfield shagging.  The Royals will provide bats, baseballs and helmets for the event.

Home Runs for Hunger will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (weather permitting).  Please note that children must be at least 48” tall to participate, and all children under the age of 17 will need a waiver signed by a parent or guardian.

As fans enter Kauffman Stadium, Royals staff will be on hand to collect canned food items and donations and will give each participant a number indicating the hitting order and respective number of pitches and/or shagging time.  Family and friends are welcome to attend and may watch from the seating bowl.

Complete details on the event are available at www.royals.com/homerunsforhunger.

Fans who are unable to attend but wish to make a monetary donation may send checks to Royals Charities at One Royal Way, Kansas City, MO 64129.  Please note in the memo of the check that it is for Home Runs for Hunger.

As the area’s only food bank, Harvesters has been helping people in need since 1979.  The Harvesters network includes more than 620 nonprofit agencies throughout a 26-county service area, including emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, children’s homes, homes for the mentally disabled and shelters for battered persons.  Harvesters can feed five people for just $1 and provides food assistance to as many as 66,000 different people each week.

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ROYALS ANNOUNCE 2012 PROMOTIONS & SPECIAL EVENTS

ROYALS ANNOUNCE 2012 PROMOTIONS & SPECIAL EVENTS
Retro Batting Practice Jersey, Frenchy Quarter Thursday & 2nd Annual Celebrity Classic Game Highlight Promotions Lineup

KANSAS CITY, MO (January 19, 2012) – It’s “Our Time” this season at the ballpark as the Royals unveil an exciting 2012 promotions and special events lineup.  The schedule features great giveaways, the return of fan favorites and the introduction of special offers, which allow fans to experience all the ballpark’s offerings at exceptional values.

Highlights from the 2012 lineup of events, as well as details on some of the club’s new ticket offerings, are listed below.  In addition, the complete special events schedule is attached and can also be found at www.royals.com/promotions.  Please note all dates and times are subject to change.

EXCITING PROMOTIONS

Jackie Robinson Jersey Tee: Every year on April 15, Major League Baseball celebrates the legacy of Jackie Robinson’s first Major League game. On Sunday, April 15, the first 10,000 fans will receive a Jackie Robinson Jersey T-Shirt sporting the number 42 on the back.

Royals Retro Batting Practice Jersey:  Fans can gear up for the 2012 season in style by bringing back the retro 1980s look. On Saturday, April 21, the first 20,000 fans will receive a Royals Retro Batting Practice Jersey, presented by FOX Sports Kansas City.

Alex Gordon Rawlings Gold Glove Award Replica: For the 2012 season, fans will be able to celebrate Alex Gordon’s first Rawlings Gold Glove win.  On Thursday, May 3 when the Royals take on the Yankees, the first 10,000 fans will receive an Alex Gordon Rawlings Gold Glove Replica Award presented by Hy-Vee.

Frenchy Quarter Thursdays:  In 2012, the Royals announce a new fan section, The Frenchy Quarter.  Every Thursday for the 2012 season, fans will be able to purchase a $21 ticket that includes a Frenchy Quarter T-Shirt, a drink coupon and a seat in Jeff Francoeur’s cheering section in the right Outfield Box. This is a $35 value!

Salute to the Negro Leagues Day:  Come celebrate with the Royals as we pay tribute to the Negro Leagues on Saturday, July 21 when the Royals take on the Twins.  On the field, both teams will don Negro League uniforms from the Kansas City Monarchs and St. Paul Colored Gophers, presented by Sprint.  Also, the first 20,000 fans will receive a Buck O’Neil bobblehead presented by Hy-Vee.

Celebrity Classic Game: Be a part of the celebrity experience again in 2012 when our hometown celebrities, Paul Rudd, Rob Riggle and Jason Sudeikis will host the 2nd Annual Big Slick Celebrity Classic Game on Friday, June 22 prior to the start of the I-70 series against the Cardinals.  Don’t miss your chance to get up close and personal with your favorite celebrity.

RETURNING FAVORITES

Buck Nights: Buck Nights are back and better than ever!  For six select Friday dates throughout the season, fans can purchase hot dogs, small Pepsi products and peanuts for just $1 each.   The fan-favorite is scheduled for April 20, May 18, July 13, August 17, September 14 and September 21.

Hy-Vee/Pepsi Fireworks Fridays: Stay in your seats for a spectacular fireworks show following all Friday night home games presented by Hy-Vee and Pepsi.

T-Shirt Tuesdays:  T-Shirt Tuesdays return in 2012!  This season’s series will include five unique designs on May 8, June 12, June 26, July 31 and August 14.

Family FunDay Sundays: Join in on all of the fun on Sundays in 2012.  Every Sunday home game will feature special family entertainment and activities in the Outfield Experience. Also, kids can run the bases after the game during the Sprint Fun Run.  For details, visit royals.com/Sundays.

KidsFest: On Sunday, August 5, the Royals celebrate young baseball fans with a special event dedicated to kids!  With pregame activities, entertainment and a lot of fun in the Outfield Experience, kids will rule the day.   The first 5,000 kids 14 and under will also receive a Royals Sport Necklace, looks like the one the players wear!

Girls Night Out: Back by popular demand, ladies will receive the Royal treatment again in 2012.  The event benefits the American Heart Association and is slated for Friday, June 1.  In addition to all of the great activities and food, the first 10,000 females through the gates will receive a ladies Sun Hat.

Student Nights: Rivals Outfield Box or Hy-Vee Infield tickets are available for all Wednesday home games for high school and college students with valid ID at the Stadium Box Office for just $7.  Seating is subject to availability.  Making its return in 2012 is Local Music Showcase. Every Student Night will feature live local music pregame in the Outfield Experience.

610 Saturdays: The Royals will once again team up with Entercom Radio to bring live music and great activities to Saturday pregame festivities.  Events will take place in the Outfield Experience.

Sprint Fun Run: All fans can run the bases after every Sunday home game (conditions permitting).

Sonic Slam Seats: Back in 2012, if a Royals player hits a home run that lands in the Sonic Slam Seats located in left-center field, ALL fans win a free medium Sonic Slush by redeeming their ticket stub at participating Sonic locations by midnight the following day!  Fans sitting in the Sonic Slam Seats will also win a $5 My Sonic Card.

ADDITIONAL WAYS TO SAVE

Royals eSavers: Subscribers to the Royals Report – the club’s free email newsletter – will receive exclusive ticket offers throughout the season.  In addition, subscribers will receive the latest information regarding breaking news, promotions and more.  Fans can register for the newsletter at royals.com/register.

Sluggerrr’s Blue Crew Kids Club Presented by U.S. Toy: Membership includes a Royals white batting practice jersey, Royals jersey style backpack with MP3 player pocket, special edition reusable water bottle, VIP access to the Sprint Fun Run, two Royals game ticket vouchers, three complimentary vouchers to any of the Outfield Experience games, one free child’s admission to a stadium tour, exclusive Blue Crew events at the stadium and special offers from Royals partners all for just $20.  Available for youth 14 and under. For details, visit royals.com/bluecrew.

SEASON TICKET PACKAGES AND SINGLE-GAME TICKETS

 

Fans can take advantage of all the great promotions and special events planned for 2012 by becoming a Royals Season Ticket Holder. Starting at just $75 per seat, Royals Season Ticket plans are available to fit every budget. Fans can guarantee Opening Day tickets with any Full Season, Half Season or 21-game season ticket plan and enjoy all the benefits of becoming a Season Ticket Holder including reserved parking, first priority to purchase additional tickets for all 2012 home games and an easy, accessible way to manage your season ticket account online. Purchase a Full Season or Half Season plan and be among the first to have the opportunity to secure tickets for the MLB 2012 All-Star events to be played at Kauffman Stadium. All season ticket packages are available online at royals.com or by calling (816) 504-4040, option 2.

Single-game tickets for all 2012 regular season home games, including a limited number of Opening Day tickets, go on sale Saturday, March 3 at 10 a.m. (CST). Tickets will be available online at royals.com, by phone at 1-800-6ROYALS, at metro area Hy-Vee stores and at the Kauffman Stadium Box Office. Opening Day tickets will not be available for purchase at Hy-Vee locations.

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Celebrity Royals Fans

It seems to be celebrity week at Kauffman Stadium. Ned Yost brought his friend Jeff Foxworthy to batting practice on Tuesday, and Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis and Rob Riggle will be at the game tonight playing some whiffle ball, singing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” and promoting their Big Slick charity poker tournament. Riggle told 435 South magazine last year, “I’m a crazy Royals fan. Paul, Jason and I determined that we were all at unforgettable game six of the 1985 World Series.” The comedians’ appearance last year at a game provided some laughs and an enduring rally cry for pitcher Bruce Chen (“C’MON CHEN!”). As luck would have it, Chen is starting tonight.

I am not generally interested in the world of celebrity, but, perhaps because the team is playing so poorly right now, this tweet from Kansas City Star sports writer Sam Mellinger piqued my interest:

If Jeff Foxworthy is a #Royals fan now, he is instantly the team's biggest celeb fan, ahead of David Cook and Wayne Simien. #NotSayingMuch
@mellinger
Sam Mellinger

That seems to miss on a couple of points: Jeff Foxworthy is bigger than David Cook? And what about Paul Rudd?

OK, lobbying for Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, Rob Riggle, Preston Lacy and, most convincingly, Garth Brooks. Not bad. #Royals
@mellinger
Sam Mellinger

Also, nobody's mentioned Rush Limbaugh. I've got my ideas about you people's politics. #Royals
@mellinger
Sam Mellinger

Foxworthy is probably only a fan so long as Yost is around, but we can include him for now. He said on the TV broadcast, “I’m jumping on board right now with the Royals. I want to be here when things explode.” As for Garth Brooks and Rush Limbaugh, I do not think they are actually Royals fans. They do have some connections to the team: Brooks took part in Royals spring training in 2004 to promote a charity, but the Royals are at least the third team with which he has done that. And the Royals paid him to sing “Friends In Low Places” in a Royals jersey to subject fans to watching it at every single home game, but that hardly makes him a fan. Limbaugh is from the area and worked for the team many moons ago, but I doubt he keeps up with them anymore. If you want to include those guys as fans, they probably take the cake as most well-known.

I did not know who Preston Lacey or Wayne Simien are before Mellinger’s tweet. Lacey is from Carthage, MO and is part of the Jackass gang. Simien is from Leavenworth, KS and played the orange round ball sport.

Jon Gries

 

This article throws locals Don Cheadle and Maurice Green into the mix, but I have not found any other evidence that they are fans. Actor Jon Gries, best known as Uncle Rico in Napolean Dynamite, sported a Royals hat to the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. Whether or not Gries is a Royals fan I do not know, but the KC is not typically worn to be trendy. Wichita-born actor David Snell (from The Wire, among others) is a serious Royals fan. The team comes up regularly on his Twitter feed:

Eric Hosmer is reminding me of a guy named Brett!
@drsnell
David Snell

To get a totally scientific answer to who the biggest celebrity Royals fan is, I have compared how many Google results each name gets:

If Cheadle is a fan, he is way up there with 10.3 million results. Cook might get a small bump by having a common name, but he and Rudd at the top seems right to me

David Cook. Very famous.

Aaron Stilley also writes at his blog Royal Heritage and on the Tweeties.

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Is It Summer Yet?

As I sit to write today’s article I look out my window and see almost two feet of snow. The birds are not chirping. The air is not crisp, it is downright cold. It is February in Missouri and there is not a single sign of Spring, let alone Summer.

At least, to non-baseball fans, that is how it looks. But today, while browsing the internet, I watched a 2010 twenty game winner throw from a mound in a pair of shorts. I heard stories of a former pitcher turned outfielder taking some batting practice with his former team due to the close proximity to his house in Florida.

People everywhere started talking about their favorite players. People openly discuss the health of players hurt at the end of 2010. Pitchers begin throwing from mounds, others Tweet about their plans to travel south soon, and beat writers start talking about the escape to the 80 degree weather.

Spring, Summer, and Baseball are all right around the corner.

The Cardinals have fans fired up about a contract negotiation, the return of a fan-favorite, and the arrival of some new pieces. Young players are starting to get some attention of writers and fans and people will look to get their first glimpse of very young prospects in the organization. Fans wonder about the durability of some, the production of others, and the role of everyone else.

Spring training starts next Monday and I-70 Baseball will be ready to start breaking down the roster, the depth chart, and even take a look at the upcoming schedule.

Stay tuned, folks, baseball is near.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
He is the host of I-70 Radio, hosted every week on BlogTalkRadio.com.
Follow him on Twitter here.

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