Jul 01

Francisco Pena on how to make friends in the dugout

Step One: Get Balloon

Step Two: Pop Balloon

Step Three: Giggle and run away

This has been Life Lessons With Francisco Pena.


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Mar 23

In Pictures: Today’s Royals Spring Training cuts

The biggest news out of Royals camp was Brandon Finnegan being optioned to AA Northwest Arkansas. Below are the other moves, so you can put faces with the names.

Michael Mariot – optioned to AAA Omaha
Michael Mariot
(More Michael Mariot photos here)

Francisco Pena – optioned to AAA Omaha
Frank Pena talking things over with Dwyer
(More Francisco Pena photos here)

Cheslor Cuthbert – optioned to AAA Omaha
Cuthbert relaxin' in the dugout
(More Cheslor Cuthbert photos here)

Terrance Gore – optioned to High-A Wilmington
Gore at bat
(More Terrance Gore photos here)

Parker Morin – reassigned to minor league camp
Parker Morin in his first game at Omaha
(More Parker Morin photos – though only a few – here)

Brett Eibner – reassigned to minor league camp
2014 / Minda Haas
(More Brett Eibner photos here)

Also moved, but not pictured: Yohan Pino and Reymond Fuentes optioned to AAA Omaha.

Mar 18

PHOTOS: today’s Royals Spring Training cuts

Andy McCullough tweeted today’s list of cuts from Royals Spring Training. Put faces with some of the names below:

Aaron Brooks
2014 / Minda Haas
(More Aaron Brooks photos here)

Buddy Baumann
Nice shirt, Buddy.
(More Buddy Baumann photos here)

Lane Adams
Lane Adams. Snazzy as always.
(More Lane Adams photos here)

Jorge Bonifacio
2014 / Minda Haas
(More Jorge Bonifacio photos here)

Casey Coleman
Casey Coleman
(More Casey Coleman photos here)

Matt Fields
2014 / Minda Haas
(More Matt Fields photos here)

Also cut from big league camp, but not pictured: Orlando Calixte, Hunter Dozier, Raul Mondesi (subject of today’s Countdown to Opening Day post), Bubba Starling, Joe Paterson.


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Mar 03

In pictures: Today’s Royals contracts

Today the Royals announced the signing of 8 pre-arb players to one-year deals. Some have passed in front of my camera, and they are pictured below.

Yordano Ventura: $535,675
Yordano Ventura

Francisco Pena: $508,700
Francisco Pena tried to swap hats with this kid.

Christian Colon: $509,525
Christian Colon at bat

Terrance Gore: $508,000
Gore signing a ball

Paulo Orlando: $507,500

Also signed, but not pictured:
Rule 5 pick Jandel Gustave: $507,500
Orlando Calixte: $507,500
Reymond Fuentes: $508,200

Feb 15

Opening Day Countdown: 50 days = 50 RBI by Alcides Escobar

A daily snack-sized meditation on how much closer we are to Opening Day than we were yesterday. Today:


is the number of RBI by Alcides Escobar in 2014.


There’s not much of a need to “analyze” someone’s RBI totals, but yay for nice round numbers, I guess? Moving right along. Alcides Escobar

Escobar played in a career-high 162 games last year, but ended up with far fewer PAs than previous seasons. He only had 620 PA last year, compared with 642 PA in 158 games in 2013, and 648 PA in 155 games in 2012.
The bulk of Escobar’s plate appearances in 2014 came in the 8th or 9th slots (440), compared with 256 PA in those spots in 2013 and and 171 there in 2012. In past seasons, he spent much more time batting 2nd.

It’s obvious to many people, of course, that weaker hitters should hit further down in the lineup to limit the number of times they’re likely to make an out. This is merely an example of how much of a difference it can make.


Now, is it April yet?


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Oct 15

Time machine: Royals in Omaha

This is apparently real life; it doesn’t seem possible but multiple sources confirm that the Royals are one win away from the World Series. One thing that tickles me about this Playoff team – among many things – is how many of them I’ve shot in Omaha.

It’s been a privilege meeting and shooting these guys who somehow, some damn how, have stolen the hearts of the sports world at large. I haven’t seen so many people in sports media just enjoy a pure sports spectacle in a long time. Maybe ever.

Here are all the former Storm Chasers and O Royals, as seen by a handful of my cameras through several years of learning on the job.
Tim Collins!
Tim Collins, doing a slip ‘n’ slide on beer and a plastic drop cloth. As one does. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 06

Housekeeping – I’m at Royals Review now!

Right around the time Mike Moustakas was demoted to Omaha – remember that? It was such a brief blip – I got added to the staff at Royals Review.

My job there is to run down the Minors every week, looking for notable performances, or underperformances. Those recaps run at 9:00 every Monday morning.

As always, I’m here on Twitter, here on Flickr, and would be eternally grateful if you’d do your Amazon shopping here at my affiliate link.

And below is my favorite pic of the whole season. Baseball is great, isn’t it?


Mar 31

Opening Day Countdown: ZERO!

The Internet is a valuable resource when you’re looking for videos and images to convey an emotion you’re feeling. Today, I’m a lot like this:

and I know you guys feel the same way. We’re all on the very same page today, like this:

And then I found this one while looking for the babies.

ANYWAY. It’s Opening Day. We made it. Tim Scott shared this video from 2009 Opening Day at The K, and hoo boy it makes me feel FEELINGS.

But most of all, let’s usher in the best day of the year with the happiest 30 seconds of all.

Thank you, Mr. O’Neil. Play ball.


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Feb 28

Today’s Royals contracts, pictured.

Ed. note: The Opening Day Countdown has been on an unplanned hold for a bit while I deal with a medical mystery. I’m probably not dying or anything, but am tired by the time I get home from work!
Today the Royals announced the signings of a bunch of players to one-year deals. They are:

Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 16

Opening Day Countdown: 44(ish) Omaha innings by Louis Coleman

Let’s see if I can come up with a post every day of the rest of the offseason. Today, there are 44 days left until Opening Day on March 31.


(plus two thirds) is the number of innings Louis Coleman pitched in Omaha last year. He was terrific, striking out over 10 batters per nine innings, and pitching consistently in spite of a lot of juggling his life between Omaha and Kansas City. And he was dependable for long outings, going two or more innings 14 times.


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