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May 01

Billy Butler, O-Royals notes, etc.

So Billy Butler has been called up. I didn’t see the game, so I didn’t see how he did on defense, but my guess is he was…slow. I’m sure he’s a nice kid and all that, blah blah, but the inescapable fact is that the brother can not run. Don’t get me wrong: Of course I wish Mr. Butler the best of luck in The Show, but I’m not entirely comfortable with this roster move, especially since Shane Costa has been hitting as well as he has (17-game hit streak right now), and has proven he can play at the big-league level. As I told my dad, the good news in all of this is that Ryan Shealy will be playing at least one game in Omaha in 7-10 days. Here’s the thing about Shealy: when I met him last winter, he personally promised me that he’d kick ass this season (his words, not mine). He hasn’t done the best, so I feel the need to set him straight.
Alex Gordon was hit by another pitch tonight, putting him within one of Chase Utley for first in the majors in that category. Attaboy, Gordo!
As a good Royals fan, I’m supposed to have a strong distaste for the Cardinals. After tonight’s game between the O-Royals and the Memphis Redbirds (the Cards’ AAA team), it’s harder for me to dislike them. Some teams that have come and gone from Rosenblatt stadium have been less than classy. Players on certain teams which I won’t name — but one might rhyme with “Sound Sock Wexpress” — have been rude to my coworkers and me, to the point where I do not want to work near the visitor’s dugout. The Redbirds were quite the opposite. They never laughed at us for the silly things we have to do on the field, such as the Chicken Dance. Instead, one player congratulated each of my contestants for a job well done, and shared the team’s stash of bubble gum with everyone who passed by. The rest of the team lined up in the dugout and cheered on my contestants in each of our promotions: my rockin’ air guitar girl, water balloon toss girls, balloon bust couple, and the kids I brought down to do the chicken dance on the field. It was adorable, and a refreshing reminder that there are still good guys in pro baseball. I don’t know who the player was who shared the bubble gum and was so friendly, but I want to thank him for restoring my faith in The Good Guys.
Before the O-Royals/Rebirds game, I was doing my usual pre-game duties like locating contestants for the promotions and horsing around with the mascots. At one point, I glanced into the Memphis dogout, and was quite surprised to see David Eckstein in there! Again, I’m supposed to hate Cardinals but he is one of my exceptions for some reason. Maybe it’s because he’s short? Anyway, I guess he has been struggling mightily and was sent to AAA. I had no idea that was going to happen, and I was actually a little starstruck. I think it’s because I watched this man on TV helping his team to a World Series victory, and there he was, five feet from me.

Harold Reynolds
was in attendance at Rosenblatt tonight. I don’t know why he was there, but I do know that we thought about asking him to do our air guitar competition.
One last note before I work on packing and studying for a few hours:
I know I’ve spoken somewhat critically about Joey Gathright in the past, but I must admit that he’s pretty fun to be around. Plus, he always signs autographs for kids. During the 9th inning, Gathright scored from 2nd on a sac fly to tie the game at 4 runs apiece. When he slid home — a great slide under a decent throw and tag effort — he couldn’t stand back up. He’s now day-to-day after suffering a pretty nasty leg cramp. But while he’s in the dugout and still hurt, he doesn’t have much better to do than chat with me and my coworkers. He’s a pretty funny guy, although he likes to give people crap about anything and everything as much as he can. He also threw sunflower seeds at us, but we probably deserved it.
The whole Gathright affair, while it has been entertaining, has made me wonder how well I want to know any of the players I work next to. Can I be as critical as I need to about a struggling player if I know he’s a super nice guy? Or can I praise a player’s great performance if I know he’s a huge jerk? Fortunately, all of the Omaha Royals I’ve met have fallen into the “nice guy” category rather than the “huge jerk,” so I guess we’ll have to see if any of that clouds my ability to fairly assess their performance from an objective perspective.
I’m done rambling now; it’s definitely time to work on packing all my belongings in preparation of moving Friday. I have a final tomorrow night, a final Thursday night, another test somewhere between now and Thursday as well. Then I’ll move to Omaha so my commute will be five miles instead of fifty-five.

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  1. LOTS of baseball notes

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