Robert Ford came to 610 Sports Radio in 2009 as the station’s “Royals Insider.” He currently serves as the pre and post game show host for Royals Broadcasts on 610. The Syracuse graduate has been around professional baseball as a reporter and broadcaster for over a decade.
Royals Spring Training Report for Tue, 2/28
by Robert Ford,posted Feb 28 2012 6:14PM
Like many of the media who cover the Royals, when I got the press release announcing “Major Announcement Regarding Contact [sic] Status of Royals Player,” I assumed the Royals had finally come to terms with Alex Gordon on a long-term contract. I was surprised catcher Salvador Perez was the one who was getting the extension, but I probably shouldn’t have been.
It’s not common for players to get long-term deals after just 50 days of Major League service, but Perez is an uncommon player. He plays the most grueling position on the field as well as anyone, the pitchers love throwing to him, his manager has a tremendous amount of confidence in his judgment and he has shown the ability to hit for a decent average with some pop. Plus, the Royals were able to get Perez to agree to $7 million over five years with three club options that will pay him a guaranteed $14.75 million if all of them are exercised, a deal that’s a steal even if Perez wins up being just an average Major League catcher. Some may wonder why Perez would agree to such a club-friendly deal, but I don’t think it’s a terrible deal for him. Sure, Perez could potentially command more in arbitration and on the open market, but those are far from certainties. Plus, the contract buys out just two of Perez’s potential free agent seasons if all the options are picked up. Furthermore, Perez will be no older than 29 when the contract ends, so he could still have a shot at another long-term deal.
For the players, spring training isn’t just about getting ready for the season; there are plenty of other mundane details that have to be handled, details that have little to do with actually playing in games. Today, photographers were on hand to do headshots of Royals players for their baseball cards. Even though most baseball cards have action shots of players, card companies like to have players’ headshots on hand as well, just in case they aren’t able to get great action pictures of certain guys.
Yesterday, several of the Royals players got their heads scanned for video games. Thanks to those scans, players’ faces look more like their actual faces in the baseball video games. The group doing the head scans works for Sony, but their scans are used for all baseball games licensed by the Major League Baseball Players’ Association. Generally, a player’s head has to be scanned just once for video game purposes, but if a player’s look changes, a new head scan is ordered; I was told Johnny Damon’s head has been scanned about three or four times. Some of the players whose heads were scanned this year include Johnny Giavotella, Wil Myers, Salvador Perez and Tommy Hottovy; their “faces” won’t appear until the 2013 baseball games come out.