Royals

Royals pitcher Brandon Finnegan answers fan’s request for tickets on Twitter

Royals legend George Brett had the honor of throwing out the first pitch before game three of the American League Championship Series, , throwing a strike to Royals catcher Erik Kratz.
Royals legend George Brett had the honor of throwing out the first pitch before game three of the American League Championship Series, , throwing a strike to Royals catcher Erik Kratz. The Kansas City Star

The Royals continue winning over fans here and around the country with their goodwill acts.

First it was Eric Hosmer and others buying drinks for fans at a local establishment. Then Scott Downs played catch with Orioles fans in Baltimore. Now, rookie pitcher Brandon Finnegan has come through for a fan.

Royals fan Nicholas Knapple asked pitcher Brandon Finnegan for tickets to the American League Championship Series, and Finnegan apparently came through with two tickets to game four.

Knapple tweeted: “I feel like I won the lottery.”

Local guy doing TV for TBS

When Excelsior Springs native Lonnie Dale was directing Royals games for local TV broadcasts, he had three cameras at his disposal.

Now, Dale is directing American League playoff games for TBS and he’s back at Kauffman Stadium overseeing 34 cameras during the American League Championship Series.

Unfortunately, that means placing some of those cameras in what had been seats during the regular season. Those are mostly used for shots down the foul lines and others that may be needed to make sure every angle is covered. TBS shots will be viewed by Major League Baseball if there are replay needs.

“Ticket managers say, ‘You want me to kill these seats?” Dale said. “And I tell them, ‘You want me to be here to do that?’ because that means you are in the postseason.”

Dale’s last year of doing Royals playoff games was in 1984, and he’s getting his first look at he renovated Kauffman Stadium.

“It looks magnificent,” said Dale, who graduated from Central Missouri. “It looks better than I recall it.”

Dale started his career at the CBS affiliate KCMO, which is now KCTV. In 1973, Royals games were on KBMA, which would become KSHB.

There was one quirk of broadcasting Royals games back in the day.

“When they made the playoffs in the ’80s, they let us televise the playoff games on the local station,” Dale recalled.

Dealing with the stealing

Baltimore pitcher Miguel Gonzalez has a plan for dealing with the Royals base-stealing threats when pitching in Wednesday’s game four.

“I’ve got to keep doing what I’m doing,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve got to keep changing speeds and my timing as well when there’s runners on. But I’m not going to try to do anything different than what I’ve been doing the whole year.”

Crazy about KC

The Orioles have been in town since early Sunday morning and were happy to finally play a game after Monday’s off day and Tuesday’s rain out.

“I love … I like Kansas City a lot,” said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. “I think it’s one of the best towns in baseball, I really do. It has a lot of similarities to Baltimore. But it seems like we’ve been here a while.

“But we’re hoping to stay here two more days. I’m sure (the Royals) will have something to say about that.”

Age is relative

Jeremy Guthrie, who started game three on Tuesday night, was the oldest player in Royals history to start a postseason game. He is 35 years, 189 days old. Paul Splittorff, who started game three of the ALCS against the Yankees in 1980, was 34 years, two days.

First pitch goes to Brett

Royals favorites assembled for the first pitch.

George Brett had the honor of the toss, throwing a strike to Royals catcher Erik Kratz.

Forming a semicircle behind Brett were long time players and organizational men. Broadcaster Denny Matthews, scout Art Stewart and groundskeeper George Toma joined pitchers Dennis Leonard, Jeff Montgomery and Bret Saberhagen and shortstop Freddie Patek.

To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to pgrathoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @pgrathoff. To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @blairkerkhoff.

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