Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Kansas City Royals Home Opener - Kauffman Stadium
Kansas City Royals Home Opener at the "K" - Kauffman Stadium
Basically known as adult Kansas City working class "ditch day", The Kansas City Royals home opener was packed with work-ditching Kansas Citians who, like every year consider opening day a national holiday. I too, am one of those people. Opening day really should be recognized as a Kansas City holiday. I mean who actually called in sick that day and expected anyone to believe them? There were a few children out there as well who's parents must have snuck them out of school.
But, a day outside beats a day behind the old computer monitor so this is the way the Kansas City Royals' opening day turned out:
No problem getting in the gate - we got to Kauffman about 2:20pm - perfect. The parking attendants DO NOT accept credit cards which is stupid considering no one carries cash anymore. The old man let us in anyway once he figured out who I was. Good start - free parking. Lots of tailgating going on, looks like many of them had been there since lunch or before. Not much baseball throwing, mostly football throwing. I think for most this was a teaser for the upcoming Kansas City Chiefs season and the required tailgating. This was proved to be correct when during the National Anthem, the entire stadium did the "and the home, of the....CHIEFS!" chant.
Enter the madness. When they say "sold out", they mean it. There were MASSIVE lines for anything that you wanted (or needed) to take care of. The beer vendors were the slowest in the universe. Our first one was a young black girl and an older white guy. It took us about 20 minutes to move up 5 spaces in line. The old man would take someone's order, one person at a time, even if it was ONE beer or hot dog. Then he would slowly bring the item over to the counter, set it down in front of the girl and wait for her to ring the item(s) up. He would put up his hand and say "hold on" if the next person in line tried to order while she was ringing the last person up. So he had to stand there doing nothing until she was done ringing up? That inept team was getting some great comments thrown at them as you can imagine. Next was the line to the bathroom. Approximate wait, 15 minutes. Guys line longer than the girls for a change. When you get in the bathroom you find out why. Three individual urinal stalls and 2 crappers. That's going to be a problem.
Anyway, after we got our beer we found our seats which were awesome. We had Outfield Box Seats next to the new Party Deck. It was a great view and we got there right when Zach Greinke was walking towards the dugout to the cheers of enthusiastic fans. Directly to our right, the new Party Deck area did not look like a good section to be in - WAY too over-crowded, standing room only for the most part, and unless you were up against the front railing you couldn't see a thing except the back of the person's head in front of you. The beer vendor NEVER came around. We had to wait in the 30+ minute lines EVERY time. The natives were restless.
Almost like magic, the sky opened up and the sun came out just as the opening ceremonies were starting. Awesome touch. The Glass family must have more money than we think :)
They announce the lineups:
D. Dejesus – RF
S. Podsednik – LF
B. Butler – 1B
R. Ankiel – CF
J. Guillen – DH
W. Bloomquist – 3B
Y. Betancourt – SS
J. Kendall – C
S. Getz – 2B
Starting Pitcher: Zach Greinke
The Band that Stunk Up the Field...
Enter the worst bunch of clowns we have ever seen, the so called "band" that opened up for the Kansas City Royals home opener, was the most horrific thing anyone had ever seen. They were lip syncing to some terrible song on a tiny little box of a stage with no flare or fanfare. The female lead singer was wearing white trash jean shorts with high heels on - yipes. There was a super dork of a white guy trying to be "hard core" dressed like a street bum, kind of like Justin Timberlake on crack. Then there was two old guys on drums and a fake keyboard, respectively. There was an old black guy playing the fake bass and he was the only one who bothered to dress up. I can't believe that whatever band given the chance to perform at the Kansas City Royals Home Opener would do so little to make a good showing. There are way too many great Kansas City bands out there to have wasted this opportunity on these schmucks. Whoever is in charge of marketing with the Royals really should have snubbed that band out in the planning stages. Must have been some friends of someone who works at the Royals front office because this band, or whatever it was, totally sucked. NEXT!
Kansas City native David Cook sang the National Anthem. His voice was a little hoarse but he did fine. It's hard to sing outdoors and it's REALLY hard to sing the National Anthem - go ahead, try it :) Then the fighter jets did an awesome fly over.
After the stench of the opening band left the field they introduced members of past Royals organizations such as Amos Otis, George Brett, and the biggest applause was for Willie Wilson. Video montages on the scoreboard followed and then the Kansas City Royals Home Opener commenced.
Basically, the game was pretty boring as neither team had any stand-out big hitters. Single here, double there, dropped infield fly ball by the Royals in the first inning allowing Detroit to score first. Yuniesky Betancourt provided a nice distraction by homering to left field. Zach Greinke pitched an OK game until they caught on to him in the 6th inning. The Royals bullpen collectively failed miserably, and Royals tumbled to an 8-4 loss on opening day at the K. We left sometime during the 8th inning to beat the traffic.