Friday, August 10, 2007

Regal ballparks and royal pains

Why is it that we love seeing Kauffman Stadium so much? By foregoing the ostentatious retro-wankery of some newer ballparks, the home of the Royals remains a classic, and the only remaining stadium of its generation (with the exception of the soon-to-be-mothballed Yankee Stadium, which was redone in 1976).

One of our favorite Blue Jays moments occurred at the then-Royals Stadium on Opening Day, 1988. George Bell was fresh off an MVP season and an eventful offseason that saw the Jays trying to nudge him into the DH role, leading to his now classic invitation for the team's brass to "kiss my purple butt". (Update! Actually, Neate has the timeframe for this quote correct in the comments. Still, we always prefer our memory of events to reality.)

The Jays pushed the issue, with Bell DHing that day, Lloyd Moseby in left field, and the eminently forgettable Sil Campusano in centre. Bell responded by cranking out three dingers in the Jays' 5-3 with over Kansas City.

In the end, Bell only DHed six more times that year, but his production took a nosedive, as he finished the season with 24 HRs and 97 RsBI, a far cry from his remarkable 1987 campaign.

Enough with the nostalgia...here's your series preview
Tonight, the Jays get their first chance to knock around Gil Meche, who bailed on the Jays for the much brighter horizons in KC. Opposing him is Shaun Marcum, who will make $386,100 this year, versus Meche's $7.4 million (in the first year of a stupid five-year, $55 million deal that J.P. Ricciardi would have been too happy to hand over as well). Marcum, it should be noted, has Meche beat statistically in every category except Ks (but not Ks/9, don't you know.)

The Jays have taken two of three games in the series so far this year, but the Royals have a knack of beating the Jays at inopportune times, as they did last July when the Jays were surging and within three games of the AL East lead. The 13-3 shellacking on July 7 was the one of the lowest points of 2006. It also marked the last game for Pete Walker, who gave up four hits and five unearned runs, and was promptly sent into hiding.

3 comments:

sager said...

I always thought Bell said that in '89 when he was in a slump and fans got on him about his fielding... a certain columnist whose stock-in-trade is asking insulting, loaded questions goaded him a bit and he said something like, "If they don't baseball after 11, 12 years of watching the Blue Jays they can kiss my purple butt."

Darren Priest said...

Couldn't agree more about Kauffman. I've never been there, but it sure looks great in pictures. The picture featured in this posting makes it look like a MLB stadium was built in the middle of cow country. Like to see it myself someday.

bruce said...

Royals fan here. Funny what you said about the stadium being in cow country. The stadium is just off Interstate 70 on the eastern of kc next to Independence, MO. The stadium is part of Truman Sports complex with Arrowhead Stadium of the Chiefs right next door. As you noticed there is no surrounding businesses like bars restaurants in the area. The stadium IS NOT DOWNTOWN but like i said at the edge. What surrounds the area is a huge parking lot used for tailgating as well as for parking. The stadium is still beautiful and in fact is going to be under going some renovation in the very near future including a new scoreboard and video board. As for the cows-this is the funny part. In the early days of the stadium there were indeed cows in that picture across the highway in field.