Kauffman Stadium is in the spotlight once again since the Royals have home field advantage for the second year in a row in the World Series.
Crews have been working around the clock to get the field ready for Tuesday night. They have cut a crown logo into the centerfield grass and painted a World Series logo on the field.
“Today is really all about cleaning up and polishing up,” said Royals Vice President of Community Affairs Toby Cook.
Crews will continue to work on the field until the first pitch on Tuesday night.
The Royals Hall of Fame is working to find room for a lot of new memorabilia.
“The last two years have just been tremendous because they’ve been filled with great moments,” said Royals Hall of Fame Director Curt Nelson. “If we keep winning, which we hope to be able to do, hopefully, we’ll build more space and more square footage, just to house all the great things and great stories that are happening in Royals history.”
The Royals are planning to start Edinson Volquez in the first game of the World Series because he is the most consistent pitcher. Johnny Cueto will start the second game, Ventura will start the third game in New York, and Chris Young gets the ball in game 4.
“We wanted Johnny Cueto in Game 2 because Johnny really feeds off the home crowd, and we’re able to have Johnny in Game 2 and Game 6 here at home,” Yost said. “We think that gives us a bit of advantage having Johnny pitching at home in front of our home crowd.”
The Mets will start Matt Harvey in Game 1, and then Jacob deGrom in game two of the World Series.
Volquez replaced veteran James Shields and has gone 13-9 with a 3.55 earned run average and has had three playoffs starts.
“It’s a great honor to pitch in this game, especially pitching at home,” said Volquez, who had never made it past the divisional round in two previous postseason appearances. “I don’t have to do anything different than what I’ve been doing,” he said. “I’ve got to stay focused in what you’re doing, especially this game, because this is a World Series game. You don’t have too many chances to make a lot of mistakes in those games.”
Cueto knows what it’s like to be in a hostile environment. In Toronto, he gave up eight runs in two innings, becoming only one of two pitchers to allow 11 baserunners in a playoff start that lasted two or fewer innings.
But Cueto said he is ready to put that game in the past and he’s ready to do what the Royals expect him to do when they traded for him.
“They brought me here for this,” he said. “That’s what they brought me here for, and I have to give it my all to make sure that the team that brought me here finishes off as champions.”
Ventura, who is set to start game 3 of the World Series, would not have been ready to pitch in the first game of the series because he started Game 6 of the championship series. Young is starting ahead of Kris Medlen because of his performance in Game 4 against the Blue Jays.
Ventura and Young work well together. Ventura throws a blistering fastball and a devastating curve ball, while Young thinks his way through the batters by throwing an assortment of off-speed pitches to confuse and keep his opponents off balance.
“If we brought back Ventura in Game 1, he would have been a day early. We didn’t want that,” Yost said. “We really like Chris Young in Game 4. He’s a guy that it doesn’t matter — there is nothing that’s going to distract him. There’s nothing that’s going to slow him down.
There is a 60 percent chance of rain at game time, so Major League Baseball fans are hoping the World Series can be played on time and without a rain delay interruption. The game is scheduled to start at 7:07 p.m.
Commissioner Rob Manfred said it was important to avoid a situation where “we start at 8:07 (EDT) and get rained out at 8:12 and burn two starting pitchers … I think that I would be reluctant to begin a game or even more reluctant to begin the warm-up process if I didn’t think we could play a substantial portion of that game.”
Good luck to the Royals and Mets in the World Series.
(Image via Shutterstock)