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Omaha Royals open at home tonight » mindahaas.net

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Apr 17

Omaha Royals open at home tonight

Tonight is an event for which I’ve been anxiously waiting since last September: The Omaha Royals home opener!

The lineup for Omaha has received a bit of a hit without the on-base ability of Mitch Maier*, but this year’s team will actually be able to get by – this ORoyals team ought to be awesome. After last year’s rough season, it’s nice to actually have hope, in addition to having a whole host of players to look forward to watching. And it all starts tonight for the home crowd. Can you tell that I’m pumped? Because I am!

*Maier, of course, was called up when Alex Gordon was put on the DL. I haven’t addressed that here yet, but holy cow, is it bad news! Every writer and his/her grandmother correctly said that Gordon breaking out would be one of the top 2 or 3 keys to the Royals having a decent season. Sure, Gordon was only batting .095 before going down, but it is impossible for a guy to break out after a slow start if he’s not physically on the field. Here’s hoping he recovers quickly and fully. Meanwhile, Mark Teahen will move back to his old-old-old 3rd base position while Maier and Willie Bloomquist share right field duty in Jose Guillen’s absence. The good news is, Alberto Callaspo should see more time at 2B, and he is the guy I’ve thought should be there all along.

Without Maier in Omaha, the outfield will consist of the Tommy Murphy, Shane Costa, and the hot-hitting Chris Lubanski. As of right now, the ORoyals site doesn’t have anyone else listed as an OF, so I’m not sure what the team will do if one of those guys gets hurt or needs a rest. Brian Buchanan, maybe? <shudder>

Brandon J Duckworth is Omaha’s scheduled starter, and knuckleballer Charlie Haeger will start for Albuquerque. Oddly enough, the Royals have already faced Haeger this year, and they kicked the tar out of him, to the tune of 11 hits and 7 earned runs in 4 innings. However, Rany Jazayerli really, really likes Haeger and said his knuckleball is actually pretty good. This will only be the 2nd time in my life that I’ve seen a knuckleballer pitch in person, by the way. 

I’ve been nervously checking tonight’s weather forecast for the last two weeks, and for a while it looked pretty bad – there was something like 80% chance of rain. Over the last few days, the forecast has improved tremendously, but I will still be nervous about rain until the last out is recorded. We had a rainout on opening day last year, and it was just a deflating way to start the year. My fingers are crossed that that won’t happen tonight, and of course I extend my usual invitation right here: If you are in the Omaha area, come to the game tonight! (And come find me, if you wish, and introduce yourself. I like meeting you fine people! I’ll be on the third-base side tonight, and will spend as much time as I can in the stands. And I won’t make you sign up for the Dizzy Bat Race unless you really, really want to…)

On a somewhat related* note before I go, Tim Scott shared his thoughts from the home opener in Kansas City, including his rather amusing account of seeeing Reggie Jackson channeling his inner Martha Stewart.

*I think all baseball between-innings promotions people share some connection. No matter what level of team employs you, it’s a bizarrely wonderful job unlike most other jobs. That’s how Tim’s post is related to this post.  

Related posts:

  1. Back home in Omaha…the CWS is here!
  2. Home sweet home
  3. A short open letter to Chutley

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