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.

That's a long stride, you guys
Danny Duffy, pitching.

Kelvin Herrera during the National Anthem
Kelvin Herrera, a big crowd, an American flag.
Greg Holland
Greg Holland, back when they were the Omaha Royals. I have newer ones, but a little nostalgia seemed more fun.

Another of Ventura
Yordano Ventura, shortly before #LETSTHROWFIRE became a Thing.

Salvador Perez mugging with Omaha manager Mike Jirschele
Salvador Perez, with bonus Mike Jirschele! This is one of my favorites, because Jirsch was in the middle of trying to make a serious point to Salvador, and Salvador just cuts him off mid-sentence, pulls him over to where I was standing, and asks him to mug for a picture. And Jirsch, not normally a fan of mid-game shenanigans, did it!

Colon throwing across the diamond
Christian Colon exists! Maybe he’ll play someday!

Tongue.
Eric Hosmer, with bonus Terrance Gore

Omar Infante in the dugout
Omar Infante, and gum.

Moose admiring his home run
Irving Falu and Mike Moustakas
Mike Moustakas, this year and then back in 2010.

4/4 then came up laughin at himself
Lorenzo Cain, laughing at himself after tripping over his feet in center field.

PART FOUR: The slide
Jarrod Dyson, stealing.

Home run swing! Alex Gordon
Alex Gordon, back when he was a failed 3B prospect trying his hand at left field. This was a home run.

Terrance Gore getting caught stealing
Terrance Gore, believe it or not, was caught stealing once. Here is proof! (that’s old friend Anthony Seratelli with the tag for Las Vegas.)

Sheepish Billy.
Billy Butler, looking sheepish. He has stayed in the Majors for so long I don’t actually have any photos of him playing in an Omaha uniform. I was got here in 2007, when he still played outfield and was on the way up, and I watched in 2008 when he was demoted and all the Omaha players hated on him the whole time.

There is not much of a larger point here. Baseball is awesome; these dudes were wee minor leaguers before they started hogging airtime on SportsCenter; I want them to win today.

There’s Always This Year?

 

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:

FRANCISLEY BUENO

CHRIS DWYER

DONNIE “DOJO” JOSEPH

JOHN LAMB

MICHAEL MARIOT

YORDANO VENTURA (right) AND ALSO CHRISTIAN COLON, OH HEY LOOK TWO IN ONE

PEDRO CIRIACO

LORENZO “YESWE” CAIN

JARROD DYSON

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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.

44

(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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Feb 14

Opening Day Countdown: 45 double plays turned by Christian Colon

Let’s see if I can come up with a post every day of the rest of the offseason. Today, there are 45 days left until Opening Day on March 31.

45

is the number of double plays turned by Christian Colon last season. 3 posts this week have touched on the Royals’ possibilities at 2nd base this time last year. Now, Getz is gone and Omar Infante is basically the whole picture, right? So Colon will probably be back at Omaha.

 

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Feb 13

Opening Day Countdown: 46 hits by Chris Getz

Let’s see if I can come up with a post every day of the rest of the offseason. Today, there are 46 days left until Opening Day on March 31.

46

is the number of MLB hits Chris Getz had last season.

 

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Feb 12

Opening Day Countdown: 47 saves by Greg Holland

Let’s see if I can come up with a post every day of the rest of the offseason. Today, there are 47 days left until Opening Day on March 31.

47

is the number of saves Greg Holland had last year. Saves are a silly stat, obviously, but I’ll take any excuse to think about Holland’s amazing 2013. In pretty much every category, he was the best he’s ever been. Magic. Magic!

 

(This pic is so old, both Holland and Mike Moustakas were still in Omaha. Ahhh, memories.)

 

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Feb 11

Opening Day Countdown: 48 plate appearances by Johnny Giavotella

Let’s see if I can come up with a post every day of the rest of the offseason. Today, there are 48 days left until Opening Day on March 31.

48

was the number of Major League plate appearances Johnny Giavotella had in 2013.

 

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Feb 10

Opening Day Countdown: 49 hits given up by Crow

Let’s see if I can come up with a post every day of the rest of the offseason. Today, there are 49 days left until Opening Day on March 31.

49

is the number of hits given up by Aaron Crow last season, in 48 innings. It was the most hits, relative to innings pitched, Crow has given up as a Major Leaguer. So perhaps it’s not surprising that his FIP and xFIP were the highest they’ve been in his career.

I don’t have any pictures of Crow, so here’s a dog I met through MidAmerica Boston Terrier Rescue.

 

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