Just like 2010, the Royals were off on Jackie Robinson Day, which Major League Baseball has celebrated on April 15 each season since 2009 to commemorate the day the leagues color barrier was shattered.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
Monday marked the 66-year anniversary of Robinsons debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, but the Royals and Braves along with the other 10 teams who were off Monday will mark the occasion Tuesday, with each player wearing No. 42 in tribute.
The significance of Jackie Robinson Day wasnt lost on the Royals.
Its a true blessing to be part of the day, Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson said Sunday. He went through a lot for the chance to be part of baseball. Im thankful for the things he went through to make changes in the game today, so guys like me get an opportunity at this level.
Fellow outfielder Lorenzo Cain also looked forward to wearing No. 42, which was Robinsons number and was retired throughout baseball in 1997. Only Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera still wears that number regularly among active players.
Most definitely, it has extra meaning with the stuff he went through to allow us African-Americans to get out there and play baseball, Cain said. Its definitely an honor for me. I really appreciate what he did and, every game I play, its a tribute to him.
Veteran infielder Miguel Tejada, a native of the Dominican Republic, said the day also had special meaning to Latin American ballplayers, who also were barred from the majors until Robinsons arrival.
It definitely has a special meaning for me, too, Tejada said. What he did was for everybody, not just for African-Americans in this game. Were all proud of what he did. He also provided the opportunity for players from the Latino community to play in this league, so we appreciate that.
Pitching expected to dominate series
Pitching is expected to rule the two-game series between the Royals and Braves. Atlanta leads the majors with a 1.82 team ERA.
Opponents are batting .200 against the red-hot Braves, who are riding a nine-game win streak and have allowed only 23 runs 22 earned in 109 innings, including three shutouts in the seasons first 12 games.
Of course, the Royals staff hasnt been too shabby, with a 3.32 ERA that ranks sixth in the majors and third in the American League behind only Boston and Texas.
Teams are batting .232 against the Royals, who have permitted 41 runs 39 earned in 1052/3innings.
Yost also returns home
Much like Jeff Francoeur, the upcoming series in Atlanta is a homecoming of sorts for manager Ned Yost.
Yost, 57, was born in Eureka, Calif., but now lives in La Grange, Ga., which is roughly 60 miles southwest of Atlanta.
He was invited to Francoeurs house for a team gathering Monday evening but didnt think hed make the trip.
I live two hours from there, so Im not making the trek, Yost said.
Instead, Yost planned to hunt turkeys Monday morning and work around his farm on the off day.