This lockout can kick rocks. I hope Rob Manfred sleeps on a bed of Legos.
I was looking at ways to maximize time in a potential road trip this year and figured I’d document some of them in case anyone else had plans to do a little road tripping as well. We’ll start with a cluster f…an assortment of ideas and then see what we can come up with at the end. Please understand this is 99% done out of boredom and will not be scientific. Will include the coasts in some capacity but that’s not an ideal road trip for most, just FYI.
- The Royals are in Baltimore May 6th through the 8th…I can’t find much else going on in Baltimore that weekend, but there is an MLS match in Washington D.C. on Saturday. Baltimore is a cool area in general so there’s plenty to do, but you could potentially catch a couple Royals games, watch the Houston Dynamo play DC United, eat some crab cakes…I don’t know. First interesting city on the list.
- The Royals are in Dallas May 10th through 12th. That’s a midweek series that…quite frankly is only on this list because it’s their only trip to the DFW area. There is a college game you could catch, as Oklahoma State is visiting Dallas Baptist on Tuesday the 10th. So you could get a college baseball game in and two Royals games theoretically. Also, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, the Royals AA team, is at home that week. So you could swing through Springdale, AR, on your way home and watch what should be a loaded AA team early in their season too. Maybe there’s some intrigue here after all.
- The Royals are in Denver May 13th through the 15th. Morgan Wallen is also in Denver on May 13th, so if you’re a fan of his you could make the trip to Denver that weekend and catch a concert and a couple of Royals games.
- Here’s a big one…the Royals are in San Francisco June 13th through 15th, Oakland the 17th through the 19th, and visiting the LA Angels the 20th through the 22nd. Yes, this trip requires you to drive all the way to California, but there’s a whole week and a half where you could follow the Royals around California which is easily the best and longest trip the Royals take this summer. There aren’t any minor league stops on the way for the Royals, but you’d theoretically hit some combination of Cheyenne, WY, and Salt Lake City, UT, or Albuquerque, NM, and Flagstaff, AZ. Even if you just flew to SF and rented a car…big time road trip potential just in California.
- The Royals are in Chicago taking on the White Sox August 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. On August 4th, the Turnpike Troubadours are playing at the Windy City Smokeout. So, you could potentially catch the Royals and Turnpike in one go there. The Chicago Cubs are home that weekend so you could catch a game at Wrigley if you wanted to. The Quad Cities River Bandits are also at home that week so if you wanted to take the long way home, you could catch the Royals High-A team in Davenport, IA. Omaha is also home that week…that’s a long road home but we’ll see.
- The Royals are in Tampa Bay August 18th through the 21st. I probably wouldn’t even have mentioned this one, but it’s a 4-game series in Florida, so…anyway. You could also finagle your way to Louisville on the way down and catch Omaha while they’re there. They take on Louisville in Louisville from August 16th through the 21st. On the way to Tampa, you pass through St. Louis, Nashville, Atlanta, so there’s some intrigue here I guess.
- The Royals are in Detroit from September 27th through the 29th and Cleveland from September 30th through October 2nd to closeout the 2022 regular season. Detroit and Cleveland are only a couple hours apart so you could theoretically get to both cities pretty easily on the same road trip. I imagine this trip won’t be very attractive to most…but the Chiefs have to travel to Cincinnati again next fall so you MIGHT get lucky and they MIGHT just happen to play in Cincinnati on this random weekend. Also, if the Royals are in the playoff hunt for some reason, this could be the potential clinching series. So…this final trip makes the list for a couple of very unlikely reasons.
The road trip schedule kind of sucks this year. The St. Louis series is a two-day venture on a Tuesday and Wednesday in April. The Seattle series is isn’t backed up by any other West Coast games and is also in April (while it’s still cooler and kids are in school). The Arizona series is a two-day series on a Monday and Tuesday and is also not backed up by any other West Coast games. The Boston series doesn’t start until after school starts again (which feels like an annual tradition, I’ve been waiting to make this trip for a few years now and haven’t because of school) and it also is not backed up by any other East Coast games. The fact that the Royals are playing the NL West this year instead of the NLC or NLE makes it a bit tougher too, given the driving distance. Otherwise, it’s just a lot of poorly scheduled series in terms of making an extended road trip out of Kansas City.
Anyway. hopefully the seven ideas listed above have given you some kind of inspiration if you were thinking about hitting the road this summer. Below I just decided to pick one out and plan a fake trip. It’s probably not the most efficient route in the world but…the Chiefs lost on Sunday and MLB is still locked out so I don’t know what the hell else to write about at the moment.
Day 1: Monday August 1st
I’m rolling with the fifth bullet point and the trip to Chi-Town. We will leave for Chicago on Monday, August 1st. Going straight through to Chicago on day one, arriving in time for the Royals game that night. I’m a big fan of Mission Taco in St. Louis so if you leave by 8:30 or so you should be in the Lou for lunch. Four more hours to Chicago from there. I don’t know what the consensus opinion on Giordano’s Pizza is but after a day of driving I could probably eat an entire pie by myself. If you can get to Chicago by five or so you’ve got plenty of time to grab a pizza, check in to your hotel (there’s some super reasonable rates right now if you check Expedia), and get to the game. Official prediction: Royals send Daniel Lynch to the mound to face Dylan Cease. Royals win 3-2 in 10 innings.
Day 2: Tuesday August 2nd
Pretty sure there’s some kind of rule about taking a picture with that giant, shiny bean at Millennium Park if you visit Chicago. So we can probably get that out of the way. If you’ve never been to the Museum of Science and Industry, that’s a pretty good time. There’s a 360 Observation Deck that lets you see the entire city and the lake that’s pretty cool. I’m a big fan of Shedd Aquarium, and aquariums in general to be fair. The time for the game today, August 2nd, hasn’t been announced yet. I don’t think it’s crazy to expect this to be a night game, but you may have to adjust the order of your schedule today if they wind up playing at noon. Some good eating options: Ed Debevic’s is a fun burger joint, Joe’s Seafood is a really nice seafood and steakhouse (also pricey but good), and the last time I was in Chicago the street food was A++. Official prediction: Royals send Brady Singer to the mound to face Lance Lynn. Royals lose 5-2.
Day 3: Wednesday August 3rd
Would expect this could be a day game for the Royals. So, plan accordingly. Otherwise all of the same stuff will still be here and you’ve got the day to plan around the game. Official prediction: Royals send Kris Bubic to the mound to face Michael Kopech. Royals win 4-3.
Day 4: Thursday August 4th
Two options. One, stick around for the Windy City Smokeout to see the Turnpike Troubadours. This is what I’ll be doing (and it’s also the reason I may not leave until Day 2 on this list). Concert won’t be until later at night so you’ve got the day to explore Chicago. Might be a day I head out to the Navy Pier and enjoy the water. On a…Long Hot Summer Day, if you will.
Day 5: Friday August 5th
Luckily for us, the Cubbies still play their Friday home games during the day! So I’ll probably swing through Wrigleyville in the morning and then go to the game at 1:20. By the time that game ends around 5:00, I’m headed out to Davenport, IA, to catch the Quad Cities River Bandits for a couple games. You can get there in under three hours so there’s no reason you should have to be driving around late at night or anything. It’s almost impossible to peg who will be in High-A right now, but if by some chance Ben Kudrna, Shane Panzini, Ben Hernandez, or Frank Mozzicato are pitching on Friday night, I’ll probably jet out of Chicago early to catch the River Bandits instead. Otherwise, you’re there for Saturday and Sunday’s games.
Day 6: Saturday August 6th
I’ve never been to the Quad Cities area before. Game is scheduled for 6:30 though so we have a whole day to kill. TripAdvisor makes it look like there’s plenty to do in Davenport but today may be a good relaxation day after all the traveling. There’s a casino, Great River Brewery, a couple museums, so you’ve got options before the game. Official prediction: River Bandits win.
Day 7: Sunday August 7th
Game is scheduled for 1:00 today. Davenport is roughly a five hour drive from KC so, if you get out of town at a reasonable time, you can probably get home at a decent time and be back to work on Monday. Could also reasonably just skip the game and head home. Official prediction: River Bandits win.
- Hotel in Chicago from August 1st through August 5th: $545.20
- Hotel in Davenport from August 5th through August 7th: $247.99
- Three games of Royals tickets for two people: $300?
- One Cubs game: $140
- Two River Bandits games: $80
- Concert tickets: $130
- Total: $1,443
- Plus gas, food, etc.
That’s if you really wanna do everything. Skip the concert, leave on August 2nd instead of the first, skip the Cubs game, and you knock off over $400 pretty quick. I probably won’t try to catch all three Royals games, I’d probably leave on the 2nd, but stay and go to the concert on the 4th. You could also save a chunk if you don’t go to the Cubs game but, I added that in there just in case. The road trip options you have for the Royals this summer are legitimately some of the fewest I’ve seen in a while. At least this trip to Chicago gives you a ton of extra stuff to do on the way and on the way home if you’re looking for a family vacation centered around a Royals road trip.
If you wanted to stay minor league centric, the Omaha Storm Chasers and Quad Cities River Bandits are both playing in Iowa the week of June 14-19. Would be a pretty good opportunity to visit the great state of corn and watch a bunch of different Royals minor leaguers. Otherwise they don’t really ever cross paths. The Low-A team is out in South Carolina and visits Myrtle Beach a couple times, but I understand not really wanting to drive all the way out there to see a bunch of teenagers you may not be super familiar with. Kudrna, Mozzicato, and company should be out there, so maybe in August you head out there, but I get it.
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