Over the past week, there was much ado about the marquis players in sports; Lebron James signed a contract with Cleveland and baseball showcased its stars in the All-Star game.
Heading into Friday night’s game at Boston, the Kansas City Royals are in transition as to who their biggest stars are.
Just two years ago at the All-Star game in Kansas City, Billy Butler was in the midst of his most productive year with 29 homers and 107 runs driven in as the Royals designated hitter. He was the toast of the town as the Royals All-Star — this year Butler has only three homers.
In the Midwest, it’s not customary for fans and Kansas City Royals players to pull for anyone on the New York Yankees. Except for the last two years in the All-Star game.
Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon is injured with sprained wrist and couldn’t play in this year’s All-Star game, but one of the reasons he still made the trip to Minneapolis, Minn., was to be part of the American League team that would bid its farewell to New York Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter.
On the day before the All-Star break, the Kansas City Royals scored a first for this season. Until Sunday, the Royals were not able to beat the Detroit Tigers at home. They were 0-and-6 before Sunday’s 5-2 victory.
Royals designated hitter Bill knows how quick the season can turn.
“Nothing ever seems to be easy against them (the Tigers),” said Butler. “We can play as good baseball as we can. We were playing really good when we went into their place. I think that’s the way they feel right now.”
After stagnating for a month in the American League Central standings, the Royals have taken off in the last two weeks. But when the last homestand concluded with two of the Royals’ most traditional draws, their attendance didn’t take off as they hoped.
New York Yankee fan Mo Moffitt, recently moved to Shawnee, Kan., from The Bronx, found a way to attend a Yankees game in Kansas City.
“If you’re a diehard to your team, you’ll show up,” said Moffitt a Royals home game.
But plenty of diehard fans during the most recent homestand did not.
For fifteen-year-old Antonio Franco, going out to something like a baseball game can be complicated, even dangerous.
“I accidently ate the wrong kind of cookie,” he says, remembering a severe allergic reaction. “We ended up having to rush to the hospital.”
Franco is one of an increasing number of children and teenagers who have severe food allergies, especially to peanuts. Because peanuts and foods containing peanut traces are so common, these kids and their parents are often limited in where they can go for fun.
With 30 games complete, there are ominous signs for the Kansas City Royals this season. The latest setback was a 9-4 loss against the Detroit Tigers Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.
When the stadium gates opened, more than 22,000 fans filed in for Sunday’s series finale against the Tigers, the American League Central Division leaders and the team the Royals hope to challenge. But the Tigers pounded a total of 42 hits in the series and outscored the Royals, 26-8, in the three games.
The year got off to a promising start for the Royals and their fans. In January, the teen pop singer known as Lorde won Grammy Awards for Best Performance and Song of the Year for her hit “Royals,” which she claims was inspired by a picture of George Brett that she saw in an old copy of National Geographic. When she performed in Kansas City a few weeks ago, the Royals presented her with an autographed Brett jersey. Lorde, born 11 years after the team’s last playoff appearance, called it “one of the coolest things” she owns—and she owns two Grammies.
In pursuit of post-season play, the Kanas City Royals revived interest September baseball. For the final home game at Kauffman Stadium a crowd of more than 27,000 gathered. Manager Ned Yost sensed the enthusiasm.
“We needed to get the crowd into the game early, and we couldn’t do it,” said Yost.
Then the Royals loaded the bases in the tenth inning of the scoreless ballgame when Justin Maxwell stepped to the plate.
“I was just thinking of trying to hit it hard,” said Maxwell.
There was no doubt when Maxwell hit it. It was a grand slam.
Heading into late September, the Kansas City Royals are holding on to their hopes of reaching baseball’s playoffs for the first time since their World Series championship in 1985. A late season surge reversed a downward spiral at the All-Star break.
A rocky start to the season
This spring the Kansas City Royals tied a franchise record set only one year earlier for 11 straight losses at home. Manager Ned Yost seemed at a loss about what to do next.
It's nearly September, and the Royals have won more games than they've lost. This might seem like a minor achievement, but here in Kansas City, this is a huge deal. We haven't had a winning season since 2003 and before that, 1994. An entire generation of baseball fans have not seen the Royals do well. To put this into perspective, Eric Hosmer, the Royals' first baseman is 23 years old. He was born in 1989, a full 4 years after the Royals last made the play-offs (and went on to win the World Series).
Kansas City Royals legend George Brett is returning to the front office after almost two months as temporary hitting coach for the team. At a news conference Thursday, Brett was emotional when he said it wasn’t easy to leave the dug out once again.
The team is on the verge of traveling to three different cities on their current road trip, and Brett says traveling is rough on him.
Today marks the 30th anniversary of a game between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Yankees that made history. It would become known as the "Pine-Tar Game."
On July 24, 1983, in the top of the ninth, with the Royals trailing 4-3 and down to their last out, George Brett came to bat. Brett hit a 2-run homer that gave the Royals a lead in the game. But those runs were taken off the scoreboard when an umpire ruled that George Brett had too much pine tar -- a substance used to get a better grip -- on the bat.
Kansas City Royals' Lorenzo Cain (6) adds the bottle of Billy Butler Hit A Ton rally sauce onto his arm muscle in the dugout after hitting a two run home run in the ninth inning to tie during a game against the Detroit Tigers on June 12, 2013, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
Seven games into their 2013 baseball season, the Kansas City Royals have a winning record for the first time. The home opener against the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium took a dramatic turn late in the game.
Unlike last year when the Royals gave up seven runs in the first inning of the home opener, they kept the game close. Down 1-0 in the eighth, Lorenzo Cain doubled and scored in an inning that produced all the Royals' runs in their 3-1 victory.
In recent years, baseball games have become highly-produced multi-media events. But despite all the changes technology has brought, two aspects of baseball remain the same: the sport and the announcer.
The Kansas City Chiefs open their regular season this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. It’s hard to see underneath those protective uniforms, but this years’ team is….well, let’s not sugar coat it – young.