KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Royals win! Royals win!
Those two words aren’t as foreign to Kansas City Royals fans this year as they have been in past seasons, and that makes the man who coined the phrase smile.
Denny Matthews doesn’t report to the typical office, and he doesn’t work normal office hours, but he does carry a briefcase. It isn’t full of spreadsheets or note pads -- it's filled with score cards.
It's the same briefcase his father gave him when he became a broadcaster with the team in 1969.
The briefcase was at Matthews’ feet as he recently sat behind the microphone in the Royals broadcast booth at Kauffman Stadium. This is Matthews’ 45th season with the Royals. At 70 years old, he is just one of five announcers in the history of Major League Baseball to spend his entire career with one team.
Matthews on the future of the Royals
41 Action News Sports Director Jack Harry recently interviewed Matthews at Kauffman Stadium and asked what his future holds, and what's next for the Royals.
"My job really doesn’t change, Jack, because I come out, do a ball game as a broadcaster, and hold onto what’s going on down on the field," Matthews said. "You just try to have as much fun and polish as a broadcaster as you can. That’s all you can do. You can’t change the outcome. You can’t get really down when the team is down or sky high when the team is rolling, so you take it as it comes."
Jack asked, "We’ve gone through a stretch of almost thirty years without being in the playoffs. What’s wrong?"
"I’m going to say pitching," Matthews responded. "I think we’ve been improving for the last 20-25 years, but unless you have a solid, and consistent starting rotation, you are going to spin your wheels."
Matthews’ most memorable game
Since teaming up with Bud Blattner in 1969, Matthews has seen more Royals games than anyone, but he said there’s one game stands out.
“The most important game in Royals history was game three of the playoffs in 1985 when the Royals played against Toronto at Kauffman Stadium,” Matthews said. “The Royals went to Toronto to open the playoff series against the Blue Jays and lost the two games.”
“So we come back to Kauffman Stadium, and we’ve got to win game three. And that was George Brett’s most important game ever. I think he got four hits, a couple of home runs, a couple of doubles and made three or four sterling plays at third base.”
Without a win that day, the Royals would not have gone on to face the St. Louis Cardinals, which ended with the Royals earning the 1985 World Series championship title.
“Just watching George Brett offensively, defensively, and running to the bases for six months or 162 games. That was a treat,” Matthews added.
Praise and criticism on social media
The tools of broadcasting have changed a lot since 1969, especially with the growth of social media, which provides baseball fans an outlet to both criticize and praise.
“I think that’s one of the elements of the game, which makes it intriguing,” Matthews explained. “It seems like everybody - both women and men - have played baseball or softball at some point in their lives at some level. Everybody’s played the game but not everybody has played hockey or football or basketball so you have that element of feeling the game.
“So you think you know a lot about it because you’ve experienced it, and that’s very fair. The more you get into being a fan, the more you understand the game.”
Although his job is in broadcasting, don’t expect a tweet from Denny Matthews anytime soon.
“Tweetler? What is that? I don’t even gargle,” Matthews laughed.
Matthews’ future with the Royals
Mathews recently cut down on the amount of traveling he does with the team, citing a need to back away a bit.
“What’s going to happen in your future?” Jack asked.
“What I’m doing now certainly helps,” Matthews said. “It has become more commonplace, Jack, that broadcasters do baseball and it’s a long, long season and it’s a grind.
“It’s good to back away. You can recharge the battery.”
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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