The Kansas University basketball team kept Busy Bob Davis, the voice with boundless energy and enthusiasm, working college basketball games longer than anybody expected. No complaints. Davis viewed it as a memorable bonus.
Making the adjustment to being not as busy during the summer presents a tougher challenge. Until this season, Davis called Kansas City Royals games daily. The hiring of Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler has reduced Davis’ role to calling approximately 60 games, usually the ones Denny Matthews sits out.
“It’s been OK,” said Davis, 67. “I kind of miss it because I was kind of programmed that way. I’ll get back in the groove on this nine-game road trip.”
The Royals head into today’s finale of a four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at Kauffman Stadium with an 0-9 home record and riding a 10-game losing streak.
After that, it’s off to Cleveland, Minnesota and Detroit.
“Three places I like to go,” Davis said. “Good ballparks. Good hotels.”
Davis worked the season-opening trip to Anaheim and Oakland. The final two pitches of that journey, both thrown by Jonathan Broxton onto the body of an A’s batter to cause a 5-4 loss, portended the disaster that has come to fruition. Those pitches started the losing streak that has shown it’s not quite the Royals’ time, after all. As always, Davis remains bullish on the bad ballclub.
“The Royals, some of their great teams have had bad starts,” Davis said. “Sure didn’t expect to have a 10-gamer, though.”
Davis reeled off some of the key injuries — to relievers Joakim Soria (elbow surgery, out for season) and Greg Holland (left rib stress reaction, could return in mid-May), catcher Salvador Perez (knee surgery, possibly back by All-Star break), center fielder Lorenzo Cain (groin, on injury rehabilitation assignment in Double A) as factors.
“They were pretty fortunate with injuries last year,” Davis said. “Not so fortunate starting out this year.”
Murphy’s Law rules the Royals these days, and for a club that doesn’t spend to win, lack of depth gets exposed in a hurry.
Broxton became the first big-league pitcher in 46 years to end a game with back-to-back hit-batsmen in Oakland. On Friday, Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer became the club’s first player in 33 years to hit into a triple play.
“It looked like it was headed for the right-field corner, and it’s a triple play,” Davis said. “You know you’re not going good when things like that happen.”
Strange, strange things are taking place with the Royals. Oh well, at least Royals fans can take heart that a familiar voice will spill out of their car radios on the upcoming trip.
Listening to Bob Davis on a daily basis must be a difficult habit to break.