Notes: Stairs wants to finish in KC

Notes: Stairs wants to finish in KC

KANSAS CITY -- Matt Stairs has been a lot of things for the Royals -- first baseman, designated hitter, outfielder, clubhouse cop, father confessor, volunteer coach, inspirational leader and a hitter with clout.

He'd like to continue wearing all those hats.

Stairs plans to meet with Royals management about staying with the club next season.

"I expect we'll talk this week and see what they expect in the offseason," Stairs said. "Everybody knows how I feel about coming back here. I want to finish my career here."

Stairs, 37, was hitting .266 and had 11 home runs and 44 RBIS in 88 games. He encountered a blip Tuesday night. After drawing a walk in the first inning against the Cleveland Indians, he left the game because of a right calf strain. He was listed as day-to-day.

"I can't say enough about his approach. He's a no-nonsense guy. He has a good on-base percentage (.367). He's filled in in the infield, the outfield and he knows his role," general manager Allard Baird said.

"He's a winning-type player. All business, but he understands this game is about having a good time."

For all those qualities, Stairs was the Royals player who attracted the most interest from other clubs prior to the July 31 trading deadline.

Stairs was signed prior to last season as a backup player but wound up in 126 games with 439 at-bats. He led the team in walks (49) and ranked second in RBIs (66) and home runs (18).

"Every year, the role starts out being a platoon and then it comes back to you're on a pace for 500 plate appearances," Stairs said.

He's normally the fourth-place hitter in the batting order behind Mike Sweeney. His plate discipline is reflected in 44 walks and just 47 strikeouts.

Despite another losing season, Stairs sees better days ahead for the Royals and wants to be part of it.

"It'd be easy for a guy to bail out and try to get on with the Yankees or Red Sox or somewhere," he said. "But I enjoy being with the young guys and this organization and you might as well stick to it."

Royals trivia: The 1985 Royals had a pitcher who won 14 regular-season games and one in the ALCS, yet he didn't get into the World Series. Who was he? (Answer below.)

Bringing in Brett: Hall of Famer George Brett was in uniform No. 5 and pitched batting practice before Tuesday night's game.

Manager Buddy Bell called Brett, with the Royals throughout his 21-year career, and asked him to come to Kauffman Stadium for pregame workouts as much as possible.

"He just provides so much energy and enthusiasm. I want our players to know how important he is to our organization and the tradition he shows. It's important for our guys to see a guy who played his whole career in one place and how important this game is to him," Bell said.

"I think sometimes our younger guys don't exactly know the history of our game so it's nice to have him around. He's a good friend, too, so it's a nice thing for me, too. I can kind of run things off of him."

Tim Bell services: The burial of Bell's nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Timothy Bell Jr., will be next Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery.

Tim Bell was killed along with 13 other Marines from his unit on Aug. 3 in Iraq.

Bell said he'd miss Monday night's game at Seattle, the first game after this homestand. He said he'd try to get to Seattle in time for Tuesday night's game.

Farm report: Double-A Wichita right-hander Ryan Baerlocher was named Texas League Pitcher of the Week after throwing a three-hitter in an 11-0 victory at Tulsa. It was his second straight complete game. Baerlocher, 28, has a 6-2 record and a 2.41 ERA in 10 starts.

Second baseman Ruben Gotay rejoined Wichita and had a hit, two walks and two runs in an 8-5 loss to San Antonio on Monday. Left fielder Billy Butler had three hits, a double and three RBIs in his second game for the Wranglers and is 4-for-8 with the club. Reliever Leo Nunez, also back from Kansas City, pitched one perfect inning.

Right-hander Kyle Snyder, in his first start after being optioned to Triple-A Omaha, went 4 2/3 innings and gave up four runs on five hits, including a homer, and four walks. Calvin Pickering hit two homers, including a two-run shot in the 10th inning to beat Tucson, 10-8. Left fielder Matt Diaz and third baseman Chris Truby also homered and each has three homers in their last four games. Pickering has 17 this season.

First baseman Kila Kaaihue had three doubles and six RBIs as Class A High Desert beat Inland Empire, 14-7.

Trivia answer: Right-hander Mark Gubicza did not play in the World Series after a 14-10 record and beating the Blue Jays in Game 6 of the ALCS. Manager Dick Howser used Danny Jackson, Charlie Leibrandt, Bret Saberhagen and Bud Black as his starters. Saberhagen will be inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame Saturday night as part of the 1985 World Series Reunion.

Reunion blood drive: As part of the reunion, the Royals are urging fans to donate blood at Community Blood Center locations in Kansas City, St. Joseph, Jefferson City, Topeka, Kan., and Lawrence, Kan., from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT on Friday.

The goal is to register 850 donors to bolster blood supplies and help save lives. Potential donors must be 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Type O blood is especially needed. For more information, visit

Members of the 1985 Royals scheduled to appear are: John Wathan, 9-10 a.m., 1124 W. Highway 40, Blue Springs; Greg Pryor, noon-1 pm., 10568 Metcalf, Overland Park, Kan.; Buddy Biancalana, 3-4 p.m., and Jorge Orta, 3:30-4 p.m., 4040 Main, Kansas City.

Fans registering to donate will receive a commemorative T-shirt, two tickets to a Royals game and a chance to win prizes including throwing out the first pitch at a Royals game. A free tailgate lunch will be provided from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

On deck: The Royals will play the Indians in the second of three games at 7:10 p.m. CT Wednesday. Royals right-hander Zack Greinke (3-13, 6.02 ERA) faces Cleveland left-hander C.C. Sabathia (7-9, 5.27 ERA).

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.