Author Archives: annaciesla

Major league dream come true

Tom Makowski 1975

Tom Makowski 1975

The smell of a broken-in leather glove and fresh-cut grass; the crack of the ball hitting the sweet spot; the rough feeling of calluses formed from that same bat and the taste of dirt in your mouth after sliding into home.

This may not sound appealing to everyone, but for baseball players it appeals to the senses.

Aspiring players dream of experiencing these sensations in spring training. Tom Makowski is one of those players who got to live that dream. Continue reading

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Baseball royalty made their marks in the books photo photo

Jeter might have gone 0-5, but the Royals won 12-0.

While Derek Jeter was making his MLB debut on May 29, 1995, the Royals were making another tally in the win column.

The Royals had a victory over the Texas Rangers that day, while the Yankees fell to the Seattle Mariners in extra innings.

At that time, most of the current Royals roster was still in elementary school, and a couple of the players had probably just photo

completed potty training. Outfielder Johnny Damon was a few months away from making his MLB debut with the Royals.

Pitcher Tom Gordon got the win that day for Kansas City improving his record to 3-1, and Vince Coleman had a .301 batting average.

— Anna Ciesla


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Injuries-1, Royals-0


Yahoo! Sports photo

According to a Yahoo Sports article, the Royals right-handed pitcher Luke Hochevar is out for the first two months of the season.

Hochevar was finishing up his outing against the Chicago White Socks Monday night when he felt a twinge in his elbow.

On Tuesday an MRI revealed that he has a sprained ligament in his right elbow.

According to the Royals manager Ned Yost, Hochevar won’t throw for two-to-three weeks and probably the best-case scenario would be a return at the end of May or early June.

-Anna Ciesla

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Down and out in the sixth

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman took a line drive to the head Wednesday night during the sixth inning of their game against the Kansas City Royals, according to an article.

After being taken to Banner Del E. Medical Center in Sun City, Ariz., tests determined that Chapman has fractures above his left eye and nose. photo

The teams had been playing at Surprise Stadium when Royals catcher Salvador Perez hit a line drive off of Chapman in the bottom of the sixth inning.Trainers at the field and Surprise Fire Department paramedics immediately rushed to help. Coaches, players, medical help, and even Chapman’s father who have been in attendance gathered on the mound.

After the injury the umpires had decided to call the game. Crew chief Chris Guccione said that the players were “too rattled” to continue playing, and the coaches agreed with the decision.

The Royals would get the win in the record books with a score of 6-3.

– Anna Ciesla

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So long Santana

After having an off 2013 season with the Kansas City Royals, pitcher Ervin Santana has signed with the Atlanta Braves, according to a Yahoo! Sports article.

In 2013, Santana played with the Royals after a an eight year stint with the Los Angeles Angels. He went 9-10 on the season and had an ERA of 3.24. He became a free agent at the end of the 2013 season.

Santana had been looking for a long-term contract with a team, but after failing to find one he has reportedly signed to a one-year &14.1 million contract with the Braves.

Yahoo! Sports photo

Though they Santana is no longer in the rotation, the Royals will still have a strong squad from righty James Shields to lefty Bruce Chen.

-Anna Ciesla

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Kansas City Royals Outlook

Last season was not a banner year for the Royals, but then again it’s been so long since they’ve gotten one they may not remember what a banner even looks like.

The team went 86-76 on the season with a home record of 44-37 and an away record of 42-39.

Eric Hosmer had an above career average season last year with 17 home runs, 79 RBI and a .302 batting average. According to an ESPN article, if he keeps producing at this rate he will be a 30 home run first basemen.

In the offseason the Royals lost starting pitcher Ervin Santana and pitcher Will Smith.  They acquired Danny Valencia and Omar Infante, both infielders. The Royals also re-signed pitcher Bruce Chen.

Hitting is the main area of focus for the Royals to improve upon. They were last in the A.L. with 112 home runs last season and were ranked 24th in slugging percentage with .379.

Alcides Escobar, who had a subpar season last year with a batting average of .234 and on base percentage of .250, is one player that the Royals will hope to have a bounce back season.

While most of the Royals may have struggled at the plate, pitching was one area where the team was not terrible.

James Shields had a great season last year with a 13-9 record and 196 strikeouts. The Royals pitching staff had an ERA of 3.45 and were ranked sixth overall in the category.

The Royals are predicted by ESPN to go 79-83. They haven’t been to the playoffs in almost 30 years, since 1985 to be exact.

To put that into perspective, the last time they were in the playoffs Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” album was number one, Ronald Reagan hadn’t smashed Gorbachev’s wall, and over half of the Royals players had not even been born yet.

If their numbers stay the way they are the team might have to wait another 30 years to see a playoff birth.

-Anna Ciesla

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Surprise, Ariz. (Royals)

For 34 years, the Kansas City Royals had followed the MLB norm and held their spring training in Florida.

From 1969 to 1987, the team trained at Terry Park in Ft. Meyers, Fla., before moving to the new Baseball City in 1988.

In 2002 Surprise Stadium was completed in Surprise Ariz., and the Royals now call Billy Parker Field their spring training home. photo

The stadium holds approximately 10,500 people with both standard seating and luxury boxes. A concourse also surrounds the ballpark.

The stadium houses two 37,000-square-foot clubhouses that feature locker rooms, weight and training facilities, and even team kitchens. Not only that, but each team also has a practice infield and six full practice fields.

But the Royals are not the only team that holds their spring training in Surprise. The Texas Rangers have also been hosting their spring training at Billy Parker Field since ’03. Had the Royals remained in the A.L. West, Surprised Stadium would have been a great place for a preseason, inter-division matchup.

But there are also other “surprises” in the area as well.

There is an Aquatics Center and a splash pad to keep cool in the Arizona heat.  For nature lovers there is the White Tank Regional Park that features a waterfall trail.

For those of you that enjoy swinging something other than a baseball bat, there are eight golf courses in the area around Surprise.

Anna Ciesla

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Anna Ciesla

Anna is a native of Franklinville, N.Y. and has spent most of her childhood and teenage years on and around ball diamonds.  She is a sophomore J/MC major at St. Bonaventure University, and has interned with SBUTV. Though the Yankees are her favorite team, she hopes to get a broadcasting job for any baseball team.

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