“And here’s the 3-2 (pitch). Swing and A HIGH FLY BALL! DEEP INTO LEFT FIELD! IT! IS! GONE!!! A grand slam for Justin Maxwell!”
Ryan Lefebvre, Royals Radio
GH: I was limited to listening to Sunday’s final home game at The K on the radio as I and a friend traveled back from running the Omaha Marathon. We got into the car about 2:30 and caught the last half of the game via Denny Matthews’ and Ryan’s descriptions. Ryan’s call of Maxwell’s game-winning grand slam was classic. His voice quickly gave way that this was something special. The radio listener just has nothing else to go on but the play-by-play description of the broadcaster. Lefebvre’s voice rose quickly after announcing Maxwell’s swing. He had done a superb job of setting up the inning-deciding pitch by pointing out that there was no scenario where Escobar, who waited on deck, would bat in the tenth. How do you know a great play-by-play call when you hear it? When you want to hear it again. And again. And again. And…
“Look at this! A walk-off grand slam!”
Steve Physioc, on his call of Maxwell’s game-winning jack, Fox Sports KC
GH: It is unfair to compare the work of a a radio play-by-play broadcaster to that of the television play-by-play man. The radio broadcaster’s job is to be fully descriptive in relaying what he sees, hears and feels to his audience. The television play-by-play guy is far less descriptive in that his audience has the benefit of sharing much of what he/she sees. But 810 was stuck with having to replay any call of Maxwell’s homer BUT Lefebvre’s call on the Royals’ Radio Network. 610 is the Royals radio rights holder and they retain exclusive rights to all Royals radio broadcasts in the KC listening area. 810 has a similar advantage over 610 when it comes to Mitch Holthus’ replays of the Chiefs’ games.
“This is just me talking…but I don’t think that’s a very good gamble.”
Denny Matthews, after the Rangers’ Alex Rios tested Alex Gordon’s arm when he tried to tag on a fly ball to left but was cut down by Gordon’s throw and Moustakas’ tag, Royals Radio
GH: A friend of mine made a great point to me – what if Maxwell’s slam happens in the ninth while Denny is still at the play-by-play mic in the Royals radio booth? Does he undersell the slam with his typical unimpressive description followed by a loud, “GONE!” or does he use all that stored excitement that for years he has told us he refuses to waste on meaningless plays, hits, and games? We will never know. Not this game, anyway. Maybe Denny’s chance at another iconic call is yet to happen this season.
“10 innings and a walk-off grand slam? I don’t even know what to say? Is there really any need to go over the game? Let’s just have a good time. Holy cow! Forgive me for not being a very well-rounded broadcaster right now. But do you blame me?”
Josh Vernier, host of the Royals post-game show on 610 AM
GH: What a year for Vernier. He is the guy who was hired to replace Nick Wright by a now-departed program manager at 610 Sports. He was paired with Jay Binkley and Jayice Pearson to form what proved to be a short-lived afternoon drive show on 610. The new PM blew up the trio and moved Vernier to cover the Royals’ pre- and post-game radio shows. This is tough work. The hours are long and it can be incredibly tedious work when the home team stinks – as the Royals have under David Glass’ ownership. But Vernier seems to have found his niche here in KC as the Royals guy to field calls after a game. And what a game he had to cover on Sunday! His work was exactly what the situation called for – giddy goofiness and a lot of replays of Lefebvre’s call.
“My voice probably sounds like I’m an 80-year-old smoker!”
Caller Christine, who called into Vernier’s post-game show after being at the Royals’ game with her boys, 810 AM
“I was ready to give my (Royals’) tickets up last year. My wife says, ‘No, we’re keeping them.’ Now we’re definitely keeping them!”
Ronald Horner, Royals’ fan who was tailgating at The K with his wife and friends and listening to the end of the game on a radio, KMBC Channel 9
GH: How many Royals season tickets do you think Justin Maxwell sold with that grand slam? BTW, the Royals surpassed their 2012 attendance total with their final homestand – inflated All-Star numbers and all. This is a pretty damn good town for sports teams who underperform – and a damn jewel of a sports town for teams that succeed.
“They could win seven in a row. They have to.”
Gary Lezak, on the Royals who are still 3.5 games back in the wild-card race with just seven road games remaining, 810 AM
GH: The Royals are not getting into the postseason this season. We have a better chance of Ned Yost becoming a lovable character who flips the switch on The Plaza lighting ceremony this Thanksgiving. (Ned, that’s not a bad idea – you’re persona could use the positive pub.) But this was an entertaining last two months and one heck of a lot of fun at the ball park, at home, in our cars and even mowing the lawn. Was it enough? Hell, no. If you think competitive September baseball is fun, wait until you get a chance to play for real in October.
“Information obtained by The Kansas City Star regarding postseason prices set by several clubs shows the Royals’ markup percentage to be among the highest, if not the highest, in baseball for season-ticketholders. … (These prices) represent increases of 297.4 percent, 464.1 percent and 605.1 percent. Seem high? Several professionals in the field say they are among the sharpest increases they’ve ever seen for any event.”
Bob Dutton, kansascity.com
GH: So how does David Glass celebrate his first real op[opportunity to sell postseason tickets to his loyal fans who have endured almost nothing but failure and disappointment since he took over ownership of the club? With a mark-up pen he must have grabbed off the counter at Neiman Marcus. It sure didn’t come from one of his Wal-Mart stores.
“The Royals sent us a pricing structure and we signed off on it.”
Pat Courtney, MLB’s senior vice president for public relations, basically saying, “Blame the Royals, not MLB,” kansascity.com
“The postseason ticket pricing is determined from a study of both the primary and secondary market by each individual club, with Major League Baseball having final approval on the pricing structure. Factors include recent postseason participation by the club and last year’s All-Star events, which supplies the club with enough data to determine fair market pricing. Analysis of just one particular seating section for a portion of the entire postseason schedule can lead to false conclusions as some teams will price heavier in the early rounds and less in later rounds, which is the direction we chose to follow.”
Official Royals’ Statement, on their playoff ticket pricing decisions
GH: Dutton wrote that the Royals decided not to comment on his story with any direct quotes from management but rather issue a statement. This is just all kinds of wrong. The Royals can be so ridiculously cold at times – and there just is no need for it. An official statement? Glass should have welcomed the chance to address this and done just that – and maybe even said, “We don’t need to gouge our fans like this. Let me see what I can do to get this more in line with the rest of the league.” The job just isn’t nearly as difficult as these guys make it appear.
“(Royals fans) remain lukewarm on Yost. It’s a fascinating and puzzling dynamic that seems to ignore a major part of Yost’s job — the human elements of his influence on the team — and is informed by the notion that Yost is a dunce in his decision-making and the Royals almost win despite him.”
Vahe Gregorian, columnist, Kansascity.com
GH: Puzzling? Where has Gregorian been? Oh yeah, St. Louis.
“Toward that end, Yost practices habits that enhance his focus, including a self-imposed media blackout. Those #yosted and #yosting hashtags that trend locally on Twitter after one of his questionable moves? Yost has decided there’s nothing to be gained and only distressing distractions to be had by allowing his antenna to crank up.”
Vahe Gregorian, columnist, Kansascity.com
GH: I have always just been stunned by how some people of importance react to criticism from those who have zero say in whether they keep their job or not. Yost is another who just doesn’t handle being negatively critiqued. Read on.
“There’s a lot of people out there that aren’t here with us every day that will write articles that make no sense to me. But mostly … the comments after the articles are … (what) just get you so mad. But you’ve got to realize, and this is what I’ve done, that it’s such a small minority of people who are on there, that it’s not reflective of the mass view. But still it (hacks) you off, and I don’t need that mad energy from somebody sitting in their basement writing a comment on the story.”
Ned Yost, kansascity.com
GH: Ned gets (hacked) off by guys like Smartman? How small is this guy? I find that kind of ego to be nothing I want in my leaders. What a thin-skinned little man Ned Yost is. He makes millions to manage a baseball team but he wastes “mad energy” on those anonymous posts on the Internet? Somebody get this guy a real job and see how often he can stop by Starbucks for Frank’s latte.
“He never wavered in his consistency of just handling things emotionally and also keeping the expectations remaining very high. He always came through that clubhouse door with his head held high and a lot of energy.”
Dayton Moore, on Yost, Kansascity.com
GH: I would suggest to Yost to start showing that same kind of respect and energy toward the Royals’ fans. He is simply not a very likable sort. And that will play if a manager wins – a lot. But why not combine the two and live a great life? BTW, Andy Reid received a 100% approval rating in a poll taken by ArrowheadPride.com. It can be done in this town.
“You have to be able to communicate, you have to be able to trust, and you have to be able to respect each other to an extremely high degree.”
Ned Yost, on his relationship with Dayton Moore, kansascity.com
GH: So how about that same attitude toward the media and the fans, Ned?
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