Salvador Perez crashes Lorenzo Cain's press conference
Had Tuesday been any other day in any previous season, Lorenzo Cain sitting on the dais in the interview room at Kauffman Stadium would not have come as a shock.
He would have worn a Royals blue jersey and a KC logo on his cap. He would have joked about how much he disdained talking to reporters.
Same old Lorenzo.
To be fair, he did joke on Tuesday as he walked into the room, waving with his bat at the press corps that covered him through seven seasons, two playoff runs and a World Series Championship.
“Y’all know I don’t like talking,” Cain said as he settled in his chair and flashed his disarming grin. “So.”
Yet one thing was different: He wore Brewers blue, a shade just a notch darker than the Royals’ own color, and sported a Milwaukee M on his cap.
And instead of talking about the Royals like the team was his present, he reminisced about his past in Kansas City — as though he were an old-timer, not someone who roamed the roomy ground in center field some six months ago.
He hadn’t been inside this room in six months, since the Royals concocted a special tribute for Cain’s free-agent departure as well as for the anticipated exits of Eric Hosmer, Alcides Escobar and Mike Moustakas.
So Tuesday wasn’t just some ordinary day at Kauffman Stadium.
It was The Day Lorenzo Cain Returned.
And it was a day Royals catcher Salvador Perez, just like in the days of old, barged into the room with his cellphone camera turned on.
“Hermanito, LoLo Cain, back in The K,” Perez shouted.
Perez approached the dais, disrupted the conference and chided Cain for not having joined him on the field yet.
“They want me to talk,” Cain explained.
Perez said: “You like to talk too much.”
“Nunca,” he said.
Perez exited about as dramatically he entered: Upon Cain's request, Perez ratted out Royals vice president for communications Mike Swanson as the person who tipped him off to Cain's news conference.
Cain said to Swanson, who was in the back of the room for a change, "I knew it was you."
Then he turned his attention back to the media, back to reminiscing.
“I spent a lot of time here,” Cain said. “I made a lot of friends, a lot of brothers. … It’s good to come back. I had a blast just sitting down, talking to them (in the clubhouse). I think I stayed there maybe two hours. It was a little longer than I expected.
“Been thinking about this day for a while.”
So, too, might have Perez.
His season debut was delayed because of a fluke accident. The medial collateral ligament in his left knee partially tore when he slipped on a stair in his house as he carried luggage. His diagnosis didn’t involve surgery, just four to six weeks to heal.
Four weeks to the day, Perez was in the Royals lineup for the first time this season on Tuesday. With Alex Gordon returning from the disabled list alongside Perez, it almost didn’t seem like a coincidence that either was activated in time for Cain’s return.
“I think (Salvy) planned it that way,” Cain said.
He probably didn't.
But for a while, it was fun to believe.
"We grew up almost together," Perez said. "He’s like a brother."