While the Royals have made some offseason moves that will give them a different look on the field this season, the team’s announcers will remain the same in 2017.
Television host Joel Goldberg confirmed he will be back for a 10th season on Fox Sports Kansas City. That means he’ll continue to be drenched by Salvy Splashes after Royals victories (as well as doing the pregame show).
Also expected to return are television announcers Rex Hudler, Steve Physioc, Jeff Montgomery and Ryan Lefebvre. It will be the sixth season for Hudler and Physioc, Montgomery’s eighth and 19th for Lefebvre with the Royals.
“We anticipate everybody being back for 2017,” said Geoff Goldman, media relations director for Fox Sports Kansas City.
Lefebvre said that the breakdown of radio/television broadcast duties hasn’t been determined yet.
“Discussions have begun for 2017 and I look forward to being in whatever booth the Royals want me to be,” Lefebvre said. “Like the rest of the fanbase, I’m eager to see how this team bounces back.”
After winning the American League pennant in 2014 and the World Series in 2015, the Royals missed the playoffs last season and finished 81-81.
Not surprisingly, Hudler is fired up.
“It’s exciting that they want to have me back,” Hudler said. “It’s a privilege to have a seat like that in Kansas City. … Does that make me special? No, but the job is special, especially for a franchise like this. It’s so fun to be able to teach the game and talk about the game to people.”
Hudler is known for his positive outlook and that goes for the 2017 season.
“It’s going to be a world championship season,” Hudler said. “Right now, this time of year, I don’t know if it’s in my blood or what, but I’ve been trained. Everyone’s in first place and we’re going all the way.”
Whether the Royals win or lose in 2017, it will be nothing that Denny Matthews hasn’t seen before. Matthews, the radio voice of the Royals, has been calling games since the team’s inception, and he will be back for a 49th season.
Matthews, who was the 2007 Ford C. Frick Award winner and honored during the National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony that year, has a contract that runs through the 2018 season, which will be the Royals’ and his 50th.
Steve Stewart also will be back calling games on radio. It will be his 18th season announcing in the major leagues.
This will be the last season for producer/engineer Don Free, who is entering his 32nd year with the team. He spent the previous 18 years at WIBW-TV in Topeka, making it 50 years in the business for Free.