Notes: Gordon remains hot topic
Fans want updates on first-rounder likely ticketed for Double-A
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The e-mails keep arriving at MLB.com.
Where will Alex Gordon open the season? At what position? How's he doing in Spring Training?
"It's nuts," Gordon said Saturday. "There are so many Nebraska-crazed fans. That's all they think about. I guess there's nothing else to do."
Gordon, who collected $4 million as the No. 2 choice overall in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, is one of the University of Nebraska's prized products. He was the third baseman on the Cornhuskers' College World Series team and batted .372.
The questions keep pouring in.
"They should be asking Buddy Bell that," Gordon said.
So far Gordon has played strictly at third base -- there have been just two workouts since his arrival. He's likely to open the season with Double-A Wichita.
"I kind of get the feeling that might happen, but I'm not 100 percent sure," he said.
Gordon has a special assignment Sunday, representing the Royals in a home run-hitting contest against the Texas Rangers. It'll take place about 1 p.m. MT before a celebrity game at Surprise Stadium.
He'll be joined by outfielder Chad Allen and first baseman Chris Richard, also non-roster players. Allen, who last played in the Majors for the Rangers, has 14 career homers (all for the Minnesota Twins).
Richard has 34 Major League homers, including 13 in 2001 and 15 in 2002 for the Baltimore Orioles.
"I'm just there as motivation for him," Allen said, nodding at Gordon. "They brought in an old guy to steady him."
Gordon, in his first pro exposure, had two home runs in the Arizona Fall League.
Catcher Paul Phillips promised to wear a Nebraska Huskers shirt and smuggle the school fight song onto the field.
"I'll have it on my ringtone in my cellphone and when he comes up, I'll turn it on," Phillips said. "I told him I'd bring something to make him smile."
The Rangers will send Kevin Mench, Ian Gac and Adam Hyzdu into the contest.
Dozen sign: Pitcher Zack Greinke and third basemen Mark Teahen were among 12 players who have signed 2006 contracts, the Royals announced Saturday.
The others are infielders Esteban German, Alex Sanchez, Donnie Murphy, Ruben Gotay and Andres Blanco; outfielder Chip Ambres, and pitchers Brian Bass, Juan Cedeno, Leo Nunez and Joel Peralta.
Terms were not disclosed.
Lights, camera ... Teahen, one of the players featured in the team's current advertising campaign, has been making more commercials this week.
What's ahead -- a film career?
"A few directors have called me but I want to make sure it's the right role," Teahen joked.
Falling from cycle: During batting practice at Saturday's FanFest in Surprise, Mike Sweeney recalled his near-miss with hitting for the cycle several years ago.
He needed a triple in his last at-bat, plugged the gap in right-center and then was stopped halfway to third by coach Rich Dauer. Sweeney retreated to second base.
"We were ahead by about five runs so I asked Richie, 'What's the matter?' I told him I needed a triple for the cycle. He said, 'Oh, gosh, my bad.' "
That leaves George Brett as the Royals' last cyclist. He had a single, double, triple and homer on July 25, 1990, at Toronto.
It's been accomplished just six times in team history, twice each by Brett and Frank White and once each by John Mayberry and Fred Patek.
Dick Kaegel is reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.