At the All-Star break the Royals were 5 games above .500 on the road (26-21), with the final victory coming thanks to the 9th inning heroics of this guy:
There were (and are) lots of Royals fans in the Tampa Bay area…and they were out in force for the Royals series victory at Tropicana Field. Before I had the chance to do my radio interview with Salvador Perez (who had just hit the go-ahead 3 run homer in the final inning of a 9-game, 10-day road trip), Joel Goldberg interviewed him on Fox Sports Kansas City. The win made it a 5-4, winning road trip, with one of the teams leaders, Salvy, coming through. The large Royals contingent was chanting his name, “Sal-vy! Sal-vy!)
After he dazzled his former team, pitching 7 scoreless innings in a Game One 6-0 victory, James Shields had the chance to reconnect with his former teammates, including lefty David Price who’s have an excellent season. There were no complaints from the Royals side that Price pitched the night BEFORE the series began, so they didn’t have to face him.
Another ex-Ray who’s a big part of this Royals team is Wade Davis. Price spent time visiting with Wade and Florida native Billy Butler. Baseball is such a small world, and with all the movement between teams it seems that everybody knows everybody.
One pregame staple in every ballpark and every clubhouse in June and July was the World Cup. Here the Royals watched as they stretched. Baseball has become a much more international sport over the years, and soccer fits that same category as World Cup Fever hit the baseball world as it does every four years.
Even before LeBron James announced he was returning to Cleveland, the skies were brightening. While the Royals won only once in three games there before the break, at least we had beautiful weather. We can’t say that often in Northeast Ohio, so we enjoy it whenever we get the chance! Beautiful sunset near Lake Erie.
Tunnels of stadiums aren’t usually very interesting places. They are a means to an end. But at Progressive Field they’ve spruced up their tunnels with some interesting pictures and quotes. Here’s one of my favorite baseball quotes, from longtime Indians pitcher Bob Lemon, who later managed the Royals. “The two most important things in life are good friends and a good bullpen” Well said, Lem!
When we arrived (and when we departed) Minneapolis we were greeted by the site of the largest plane in the world that’s still flying. The Antonov An-225 was built in the old Soviet Union. It’s a cargo plane. According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, it was headed to the Middle East filled with an enormous payload of air-conditioning units. The plane went into service in 1988 to transport the Soviet Union’s Buran space shuttle, This was the only plane of its kind ever made, according to the newspaper. At 275 feet and 7 inches it is the longest and heaviest plane every built. It has a wingspan of 290 feet and stands 59 feet 5 inches tall. Bryan Schapiro, Joel’s pregame producer, snapped this picture for me, which was his biggest thrill of the the summer (until the LeBron news…Bryan is an Akron native…Cavs fan…and even played HS football against LeBron. Of course Bryan is MUCH more athletic than LeBron, but chose a career in TV instead….ok I’m kidding…just checking to see if you’re still reading!)