Monday, April 26, 2004

Royal Weekend
It was another frustrating weekend for the Royals. On Friday night in a steady rain, my kids, mother-in-law and I watched as the Royals' bullpen refused to throw strikes. The relievers gave up 6 walks and 6 runs in the final two innings, losing their lead and the game 7-5. The late inning breakdown came after Jimmy Gobble pitched a gem in emergency duty. Kevin Appier got the start, worked a 1-2-3 first inning, and left the game after the first batter of the second inning. It appears his elbow is again hurting him. I have a feeling I witnessed the final pitch of Appier's great career. The Royals were up 5-1 after the fifth, and with the rain coming down, I was hoping the umpires would call the game giving the Royals a rain-shortened victory. But the rain let up and so did the pitching, letting the Twins steal one.

On Saturday, my wife and I enjoyed dinner at George Brett's restaurant on the Plaza in KC. Brett's is a very nice restaurant with excellent service and pretty good food. Of course, a small collection of photos, trophies and other artifacts are on display. We purchased a set of beer glasses that feature Brett's famous signature logo. And, at the stadium, the Royals got some offense and pounded the Twins 10-1. However, another emergency pitching performance was needed as Darrell May left with a groin injury. Sean Camp came into the game and pitched great to earn his first major league victory.

With the combination of shaky pitching and injuries, it seems logical to bring Zack Greinke up from Omaha. GM Allard Baird admits his stuff is ready for the majors, but wants him to get more seasoning in the minors.

Sunday was a real treat. My son's baseball team went to the game as a group. It was reunion day for the Fantasy Week participants, of which their coach was one. We sat in the left field outfield seats, and the Fantasy Campers hung out in the Royal Pavilion. The boys stood by the fence separating the regular concourse from the Pavilion, and coach Bill tried to bring various Royals Alumni members over to sign autographs. So, the boys ended up with their caps signed by guys like John Mayberry, Kevin Seitzer, Al Fitzmorris, and Brian MacRae. Of course, no matter who came over, the boys insisted on seeing George Brett. Finally, John Mayberry told the security guard that the boys in their Indians jerseys were with him, and to let them all into the Pavilion. I stood outside the gate until they finally returned with their caps signed by the great George Brett. They all had a blast, and it was neat to see those old players that I watched growing up. Maybe next year, I can go to Fantasy Camp....

Oh, and the Royals finally got some decent pitching Sunday, but couldn't hit in the clutch. Three times they had a runner on third with less than two outs, and yet failed to score. The Royals had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but could only get one across and they lost 4-2.

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