Classical music lovers in the Kansas City area will be pleased to know that April holds a very special event. The Trans Siberian Orchestra comes to town for an April 25th performance that anyone in attendance is sure to remember. Those who get Music Hall (MO) Event tickets to see the performance will be treated to some of the finest orchestral work they've ever heard.
The orchestra was founded in 1996 by Paul O'Neil and has been touring since 1999. On this particular tour, the orchestra will be telling the story of Ludwig van Beethoven through music, which is the concept of their album Beethoven's Last Night. Beethoven is one of the most recognizable names of all the great composers, rivaled only by Mozart, and his music has been cherished around the world for centuries. Much of Beethoven's music is featured throughout the performance. This is a concert that any classical music fan would not want to miss out on.
If classical music isn't your thing, then grab your baseball cap and glove and head to Kaufman Stadium for a Kansas City Royals game. The Royals kick off their 2010 season in April and hopes are running high throughout the organization. The Royals finished in last in the American League Central last season, but were able to make some significant strides that have fans hoping 2010 can be a successful campaign.
The Kansas City pitching staff is headlined by 2009 American League Cy Young winner Zack Greinke. Greinke burst onto the scene last season as a relative unknown, despite being a high draft pick several years earlier. The young hurler was able to win each of his first six starts last season and got off to an 8-1 start on the year. After his eighth win his ERA stood at a microscopic 0.84 and people started asking whether he was the best pitcher in baseball. While there was no way Greinke could keep up such a torrid pace, he performed well for the rest of the season, finishing with a 16-8 record, a 2.16 ERA and 242 strikeouts in 229 innings.
The Royals will need Greinke to put together another great season if they're going to contend for a playoff spot, as the rest of their starting rotation is a bit shaky. Gil Meche was brought in to be the staff ace a few years ago, but injuries and inconsistency have plagued his Kansas City tenure to date. If Meche can stay on the field in 2010 and perform up to his ability, the Royals will boast a formidable one-two punch atop their rotation. Another hurler that could be a major contributor for the Royals is Luke Hochevar. A former number one overall pick, Hochevar has also struggled with consistency, but showed some real promise for stretches last season. The club will need these two guys to help support Greinke.
The team's lineup doesn't exactly strike fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers, but they've got some underrated hitters than should contribute this season. Billy Butler hit .301, smacked 21 bombs and drove in 93 runs at the tender age of 22 last season. He should improve in both power and average this season and could develop into a marquee hitter in the American League if he realizes his potential. He's surrounded by guys that produce, despite their lack of big name recognition. Guys like David DeJesus, Mark Teahan and John Buck should give Butler some protection in the lineup.
The Royals have some big matchups in April, perhaps none more important than their series with the reigning American League Central Champion Minnesota Twins. The Twins took down the Detroit Tigers in a one-game playoff last season in order to earn the division crown and are looking to secure the title again in 2010. Led by reigning American League MVP and batting champ Joe Mauer, the Twins are a balanced team that can beat you with pitching, offense and defense. If former MVP Justin Morneau can return from some tough injuries and hurler Francisco Liriano can get himself right, this team will be incredibly tough to beat. With Greinke on the mound, the Royals can beat anyone, but when it's not his turn in the rotation other guys have to step up. Division games are always important, so the Royals will surely be giving their all against Minnesota.