Royals preparing to play, weather or not

Royals preparing to play, weather or not

DETROIT -- After a rainout on Tuesday night and threatening weather throughout Wednesday, the Royals were doing a lot of talking about the weather -- even if they couldn't do anything about it.

"I think what's frustrating for me is, we're playing good and these are the times you want to play," right fielder Jeff Francoeur said. "I think Billy [Butler] said it best yesterday -- it's tough to get in an offensive groove. For a position player, when you don't see pitching for days, it's tough. But I give a lot of credit to our team; I feel like we've maintained focus and got our work done."

Before Tuesday night's washout, the Royals did get in both early batting practice and their normal pregame round.

"At least we got our work in," Francoeur said. "It wasn't like Boston where we didn't go to the field. So when we play [Wednesday night], it's going to be cold. It's not going to be a lot of fun. But we've got to try to find a way to win these games. For us the good news is when we get home, and I looked at the weather, it's going to be pretty nice. Kansas City is supposed to be all right."

Tuesday night's rainout was the Royals' first postponement because of weather -- they had one because of the Boston manhunt, subsequently made up in last Sunday's doubleheader. But the Royals still had seven non-playing days in the first 23 days of their season.

Before the weather cleared a bit on Wednesday evening, the prospects did not look promising.

"I got up, got a cup of coffee and I called [wife] Catie about noon and I looked out the window and said, 'You won't believe this but it's snowing right now,'" Francoeur said. "And she's down in Atlanta where it's 75 degrees. And she said, 'You ought to come down here and play.' And you think about it, the two best days we've had all season were those two games in Atlanta."

As game time approached on Wednesday, the temperature was 37 degrees.

"To me, the toughest thing about that is for pitchers, it's gripping the ball; for hitters, it's just being able to feel the bats in your hands," Francoeur said. "Sometimes, standing in the outfield you don't get any action at all and your hands are getting cold and the wind's blowing on you. It's not easy, you've got to be able to block it out. This is a time when as a hitter, you can't try to do too much. ... You just try to make good contact and drive the ball up the middle."

For catcher Salvador Perez, accustomed to the warm weather of Venezuela, this chilly April has not been easy.

"We have to play but everything is difficult," Perez said. "You can't feel the ball in your hand. But we have to do the best we can do."

Francoeur's idea of blocking out the cold just brought a smile to Perez.

"You can't forget it," Perez said. "You feel it, how can you forget about it?"

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