04/16/2013 6:39 PM ET
Host with the most: Francoeur invites team for dinner
By Jon Cooper / Special to MLB.com
ATLANTA -- Still giddy coming off the homestand-ending, walk-off win Sunday and facing an off-day in his hometown prior to opening a two-game set with his old team, the Braves, Jeff Francoeur came up with the perfect way to keep the Royals' good times rollin'.
He and wife, Catie, had the team over to his house for dinner.
"We had a good night last night," said Francoeur prior to Tuesday night's series opener with the Braves at Turner Field. "We just had everybody over, had dinner then we hit some golf balls in the back yard. It was fun to get everybody over at the house and show them Atlanta.
"For me, it's fun to be back home," he added. "This is a little easier now. When I used to come with the Mets, it was still kind of early and fresh. But now, it's going to be fun to be out there tonight."
Francoeur grew up in Atlanta as a Braves fan, was the team's first-round pick in 2002 (23rd overall), and played from July 7, 2005, through July 9, 2009, with the Braves before being traded to the New York Mets. The last time he played in Turner Field was Aug. 31, 2010. The Mets dealt him to Texas following that night's game. He joked that getting to play in the World Series that year with the Rangers was a fair trade-off. In December of 2010, he signed as a free agent with the Royals.
While his loyalties are with the Royals, he admitted it's nice to come to Atlanta every now and then and see some old faces, especially his best friend, Braves All-Star catcher Brian McCann. McCann is on the disabled list but flew into town to see him before flying back to Tampa to continue rehabbing his surgically-repaired shoulder.
He's looking forward to enjoying four days in Atlanta, as KC has an off-day on Thursday before heading to Boston for a weekend series with the Red Sox. Even though he'll have to wait until June to see McCann on the field, he is looking forward to catching his high school, Parkview, play this weekend.
He also enjoyed playing host to the team, something his teammates appreciated.
"He was definitely a great host. I didn't realize how big his house was," said outfielder Lorenzo Cain with a laugh. "We had a great time as a team, spent some time together, got a chemistry even better than what it was. We had a blast. I'm glad we got a chance to do that."
Dyson, Cain express gratitude to Jackie
ATLANTA -- Every player and coach wore No. 42 Tuesday evening at Turner Field to commemorate Jackie Robinson's legacy as the Royals took on the Braves. In 1997, under the direction of Commissioner Bud Selig, Robinson's No. 42 was retired across all of Major League Baseball in an unprecedented tribute.
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For Royals outfielders Jarrod Dyson and Lorenzo Cain, donning No. 42 hits close to home.
"It means a lot," said Cain. "We got a chance to go to the premiere [of '42'] and get a little insight of what he went through to give us a chance to go out and play this great game of baseball. I'm glad that he was able to go out and do such a thing, and I'm going to try to represent well today on the field."
"It's a blessing to be able to put on a guy's jersey that had to go through a lot to get into baseball, and not just for himself but for the people behind him," said Dyson. "I just want to give thanks to him for going through the things he had to go through on and off the field just to stay on the field. I'm sure it was tough, and I'm sure every African-American that is playing the game of baseball today really appreciates that. It probably helped more than just baseball. It helped all the sports.
"It helped everybody," Dyson added. "You have people coming from all countries to unite as one. It's a great thing for baseball to be able to look on a team and see Latin guys, Mexican guys, black guys, white guys all playing as one. It's truly a blessing. It's something great to be a part of."
Attending the screening of "42" reminded everyone of the extent of Robinson's sacrifice and what a special person he was.
"I didn't get a chance to meet him, but I really wish I could have had the chance to shake his hand and just get to sit down and talk with him," said Cain. "The things that he did and the things that he went through were huge for a lot of African-Americans today. I'm glad that he was able to do that and to allow us to go out and represent on the field."
The Royals will commemorate Robinson again on Tuesday when they host the Detroit Tigers. He played his one year in the Negro Leagues in Kansas City as a member of the Monarchs.
Yost enjoys life on his ranch during off-day
ATLANTA -- Royals manager Ned Yost is an old-school guy and in old-school manner, when he gets away from baseball, he really gets away from baseball.
On Monday, Yost got away from baseball.
It helps, of course, to have a ranch, which he has in LeGrange, Ga., a little over an hour south of Atlanta. Yost took advantage of his opportunity to enjoy nature by getting up at 4:30 in the morning, going turkey hunting at 6, riding in a motorized golf cart around his ranch, with his wife, Deborah, to admire the dogwood trees that were in bloom, then going bass fishing.
"It was really pretty nice," said Yost, who enjoyed momentarily talking about something other than the series opener with the Atlanta Braves, where he coached from 1991 through 2002. "It was really good. It was quiet."
The ultra-competitive Yost also had no problem conceding that Deborah was the big winner when it came to fishing.
"Deb out-fished me," he said. "She caught three big ones and I caught three or four, but none of them were any of that size.
"She can fish," he added. "I have to help her get it off the hook but she loves to fish. Her and my daughter are the two best fishermen we've got."
• Third baseman Mike Moustakas was back in the lineup Tuesday, batting sixth after getting Sunday off. Moustakas is in the throes of an 0-for-13 slump. Meanwhile, Francoeur hopes familiar surroundings can help him shake off his own 1-for-13 skein entering Tuesday's game.
• Eric Hosmer started for the second straight game at first base Tuesday. He started and went 1-for-3 with a walk on Sunday against Toronto after getting the first two games of the series off. Billy Butler got the night off on Tuesday. Yost said the two will switch tomorrow, with Butler manning first, while Hosmer rests. Yost said he wasn't enthusiastic about putting Hosmer in the outfield and Butler at first unless both were swinging hot bats.
"Right now, with [Hosmer's] quad, I'm not pushing anything," he said. "That was designed for, if one, him or Billy was just tearing the cover off the ball, and you couldn't keep them out of the lineup. Both guys are doing okay, but neither of them have gotten hot yet. The idea behind that was if one or both of those guys were hot, we had to keep them both in there."
• It if sounded like the Royals had decent support Tuesday night at Turner Field, it's because they did. Yost bought in the neighborhood of 40-to-50 tickets for friends. Francoeur, an Atlanta native who got a nice ovation during pre-game introductions, did the same, and he said that he was expecting more than 100 more friends and family to attend.
Jon Cooper is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.