Surprise Party

Well maybe not a party, but when a new baseball season beckons, we all have a reason to celebrate.  This is Year 2 of my blog, which will let you see the 2009 Royals season through my eyes (or my cameras lense anyway).
 
Of course it all begins with Spring Training.  This is the seventh year the Royals and Texas Rangers have shared the City of Surprise Sports Complex.  It’s really a beautiful facility…still looks brand new. 
 
The 2009 exhibition season includes a club-record 36 exhibition games. You can follow the Royals throughout the Cactus League season on the Royals Radio Network (20 games) and/or Royals.com (all the games).  Some of you reading this will make your way to Surprise in the coming weeks.  For you, a preview of what you’ll see.  For those of you who won’t make it this year, I’ll try to show you what you’re missing.
 
Of course all the work down here is geared toward getting the team  (and its minor league affiliates) ready for Opening Day.  The Royals open the season in Chicago April 6th.  The new “K” opens April 10th with the home opener versus the Yankees! (and before you ask, no, I don’t have any tickets!).

CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO ENLARGE

Surprise.jpg
 
 
This is the view of the big league stadium, Surprise Stadium, from the broadcast level.  To say “it’s a beautiful day for baseball” down here is pretty unoriginal.  But it’s almost always true.
Fan Shot.jpg 

 

Royals fans commemorating their visit.  This is down the left field line, in front of the building that houses the Royals front office as well as the Major League and Minor League clubhouses.Batting Cages.jpg 

 

New this year adorning the side of the indoor batting cages, portraits of Royals Hall of Famers in alphabetical order.  The mural replaces the old sign that listed just the names.  A nice touch, designed by Dayton Moore to instill organizational pride in current and future Kansas City Royals.
 
Brett BP.jpg

 

Speaking of Hall of Famers, George Brett is one of many Royals legends in uniform working with players every day down here.  He throws batting practice every day.
 
 
Bunting Drill.jpg

Along with hitting drills in batting cages on the various practice fields, Royals hitters are doing a lot of work on their bunting.  Here, new coach Eddy Rodriguez works with Willie Bloomquist on his bunting technique.  It’s one area in which the Royals hope to see a big improvement.
 
Soria stretching.jpgBefore he left for the World Baseball Classic, to represent Mexico, All Star Joakim Soria stretches on the conditioning field at the Royals complex.  He does this before running wind sprints. The conditioning field looks like a shorter version of a football field, with yard lines to measure distances.  The good news is, no one’s trying to tackle you while you run!

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