Results tagged ‘ Royals ’
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!).
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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.
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.
Before 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!
Members of the KCrew making sure John stays on his feet. An hour or so later, the Royals had a victory, and capped off a fun weekend at the K.
For those of you who follow such things, Relish won…Mustard came in second, and Ketchup finished third, but he did finish! (Thanks Joey!)
When the Royals recently visited Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, it was my tenth (out of 14) American League ballpark. It’s a very nice “yard,” but one word you would never use to describe it is “intimate.” It is very large, totally enclosed (with offices used by various local businesses stacked in the outfield).
This park opened the same year as “The Jake” (now Progressive Field) in Cleveland, 1994. Still looks new.
I couldn’t find a George Brett suite, so the closest KC tie I found on my quick look around, was the late, great Catfish Hunter, who spent his first three seasons as a Kansas City Athletic, before winning championships in Oakland and New York.
When you look at the levels of suites stacked on top of one another, the word “Titanic” immediately came to mind. Fortunately the media level is up closer to the top. No leaks were apparent, fortunately.
Right next to the Ballpark is Six Flags over Texas…the amusement park predates the stadium by many years. And, yes, a baseball season is a roller coaster.
A few blocks from the Rangers stadium, is another amusement park of sorts. Some of the locals call it “Jerry World.” That would be Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys. This incredibly large structure dwarfs the Cowboys’ current home, Texas Stadium. The Cowboys move into their new home in time for the 2009 season. They’ve already booked a Super Bowl. It will have a retractable roof, and hold more than 100,000 for events such as the Super Bowl and the Cotton Bowl, which will move from, well, the Cotton Bowl.
This is the Rangers’ mascot…Ranger Captain. Ranger Captain was born in 2003. The name comes from the Texas Rangers Law Enforcement Agency. Captains were the leaders for that group. When Ranger Captain was born, he (?) was sworn in by the mayor of Arlington (“Put your hoof on the bible and repeat after me…..”). When I had laryngitis I was a little hoarse…but nothing like this…sorry…
A shot of the Rangers Ballpark at night. Although it was incredibly windy (see picture below of the umbrella going through the car windshield), we at least came to Texas before the 99 degrees and high humidity hits! (any day now…)
And you thought the “wind comes sweepin’ down the plain” in Oklahoma? Check out this unbelievable picture taken by the Royals Senior Director of Team Travel/Clubhouse Operations, Jeff Davenport. Wednesday was an incredibly windy day in Arlington, Texas.
How windy? This is an actual photograph of a Starbucks umbrella that was blown out of its table base…and right through the windshield of this parked car. Davy’s booked a lot of flights in his day, but never has he seen an “unscheduled landing” quite like this one.
I hope the owner of the car had umbrella coverage. Seriously, it’s very lucky no one was in the passenger seat when this flying spear came through the windshield. Thanks for the pic, Davy…
As the West Coast trip started for the Royals, things changed. Time zone, city, division, etc. One thing that didn’t change….WEATHER! 45-ish degrees for both games at Safeco Field in Seattle. Beautiful city, beautiful ballpark, freezing weather. So the Siberian Express (aka the Royals’ season so far) went from Milwaukee to Detroit, to Minneapolis (where it really wasn’t THAT cold), to KC and on to Seattle.
It’s a pretty park, but with raw, cold, rainy weather, the roof had to be closed. It’s an open-air park, so the good news is you don’t have rain delays. The bad news is you can be very cold. The Royals split the two games, winning Monday, losing Tuesday. The only stop in Seattle all year, unfortunately…because it’s a great place. So in my limited, chilled day-and-a-half in Seattle, here are a few images:
Down the street from our hotel…Puget Sound…
Just to prove the sun was shining very briefly in our all-too-brief stay in Seattle…
Starbucks…..What a shock! A Starbucks! We had one right across the street from the hotel….that’s true at every hotel here, by the way.
Roof closing…..Hey…that roof saves a lot of games. Here it was closing prior to Tuesday afternoon’s series finale…
Ballpark shot….Looking forward to seeing a sunny open-roof day here next season….but nice to know you’ll always start on-time. Beautiful park.
April 15th was the 61st anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s Major League debut. They etched his number on the infield dirt. Trey Hillman, Luis Silverio, Jose Guillen and Joey Gathright all donned the number “42″ in Jackie’s honor.