KANSAS CITY -- The Royals observed a moment of silence before Sunday's game in memory of former pitcher Jose Lima, who died on Sunday morning of a heart attack at his home in Los Angeles.
Lima, a popular member of the Royals clubs of 2003 and 2005, was the Opening Day pitcher in '05. In his two seasons with the Royals, he had 13 of his 89 Major League victories.
The Royals' Jose Guillen was stunned when he heard the news before Sunday's game against the Rockies.
"He was a good friend of mine, we were real close. I talk to him every year and when I go there (Dominican Republic) I see him and we always talked," Guillen said. "This is a shock."
Pitcher Zack Greinke and outfielder David DeJesus were Lima teammates in his Royals years.
"Jose was just one of those guys who would bring life to the clubhouse and the team," DeJesus said. "It's definitely a tragedy for him and his family and our heart goes out to everyone that's related to him and knows him because he's just one of those guys who brought joy around.
"Even if he had a bad game, he wouldn't show it and let it get to him. Down inside it hurt but he would never show guys that he was defeated. I learned a lot from him and those are the kind of qualities you pick up from guys throughout the years."
Greinke also had fond memories of the ebullient Lima.
"He just had a lot of energy, he was always in a good mood," Greinke said. "He just lived life happy all the time and enjoyed every second of it."
Lima was known for the catch phrase, "It's Lima Time!" He made an immediate impact after signing on with the Royals on June 4, 2003, out of an independent league by going 7-0 with a 2.17 ERA in his first eight starts.
He posted an 8-3 record and 4.91 ERA that year, but left as a free agent and joined the Los Angeles Dodgers for a 13-5 season. He returned to KC for the 2005 season and was 5-16 with a 6.99 ERA in 32 starts. His big league career ended in 2006 in a brief stay with the New York Mets, but he continued to pitch in the Dominican Winter League.
Royals pitcher Brian Bannister was a Lima teammate during his Mets' Minor League days at Norfolk in 2006.
"His favorite saying was 'Jam!' He loved saying that. [It's] where you jam a hitter but he also used it to be funny," Bannister said.
At the time, Norfolk's roster included a former first-round draft pick in pitcher Royce Ring.
"I'll never forget because Lima bought [Ring's] white Hummer with the spinner wheels on it so he was driving around Norfolk, Va., in this white Hummer -- it was amazing. He just bought it right off of him. He was so funny," Bannister said.
Lima was a popular entertainer as well and former Royal Mark Teahen used a Lima recording as his "walk-up" music. He sang at a Houston night club while with the Astros. When KC shortstop Angel Berroa was married in the Dominican, Lima was the star of the reception show.
Sometimes Lima would perform the National Anthem before games.
"He was just a great dude," Bannister said. "He always had music going in the clubhouse, it was just nonstop. He was one of those guys who could get under your skin a little bit as an opposing player but, as a teammate, you loved the guy. I'll miss him."
Fowler hops wall to retrieve glove at KC
KANSAS CITY -- The Colorado Rockies' Dexter Fowler was throwing something leather in center field Sunday. Literally.
The game was briefly delayed in the seventh inning so Fowler could jump over the 8-foot center field fence and retrieve his glove, which slipped off his hand as he tried to rob a hit from Jose Guillen.
As Fowler leaped against the center-field fence, his glove slipped off his hand and over the fence. The ball bounced off the wall and kicked into left field resulting in a triple for Guillen.
"That' never happened before," Fowler said. "I know it's gonna be on [ESPN Sportcenter's] Not Top 10."
As Fowler stood in the outfield, gloveless, he contemplated what to do about his missing mitt.
"I was just worried about coming back over," he said. "There might not be anything to climb on. I could get over it, but getting back over it could have been hard for me. I didn't know how deep it was, either."
In the end, Fowler retrieved the glove and was just thankful there were no seats behind the center field fence.
"Seriously, they would have stolen my glove," he said.
Wood becoming mainstay from bullpen
KANSAS CITY -- Blake Wood has done exactly what the Royals have asked him to do in his first stint in the big leagues: get outs and keep runners off base.
Since being called up from Triple-A Omaha on May 12, Wood has made six appearances for the Royals, surrendering only one run through 6 2/3 innings. Wood has only walked one of the 22 batters he has faced, while only giving up four hits.
It looks like the Royals may have found their new setup man to closer Joakim Soria.
Wood has pitched the eighth inning in five of his six appearances -- and the young right-hander likes it that way.
"I think any reliever wants to be in there when the game's on the line and I've been fortunate to throw well whenever they've thrown me in that situation," Wood said. "It seems like they have confidence in me so far, so hopefully I keep performing and the team keeps winning."
Although he hasn't even been with the team a month, Wood has a consistent approach that he brings with him to every game.
"You can't really change your approach," he said. "You just have to go after hitters and throw strikes no matter what the situation is -- no matter how many outs they're asking you to get."
Bloomquist makes back-to-back starts
KANSAS CITY -- For the second consecutive day, Royals utility man Willie Bloomquist finds himself in the starting lineup.
Before Saturday's start against the Colorado Rockies, Bloomquist hadn't started a game since May 6. Now, he finds himself starting in back-to-back games as manager Ned Yost tries give his everyday starters extra rest with an off-day coming up Monday.
Bloomquist took a 0-for-16 slump at the plate before he ripped a single to left field off Rockies' starter Jeff Francis in the third inning.
As a utility man, though, Bloomquist says his stats don't often mean much, and he doesn't pay any attention to them.
"I don't keep track of my stats, [the media] keeps track of them," Bloomquist said. "When you play every other week and you start to look at stats, you're going to drive yourself crazy."
Bloomquist added that his .135 batting average isn't a true reflection of his game.
"People can say whatever they want, say I'm a .110 hitter, I don't care," he said. "When you play once every two weeks and get your at-bats sparingly off a closer or a set-up guy, and that's what I get judged upon, then go ahead. I don't care."
Yost adds personal touch to style
KANSAS CITY -- As Royals manager Ned Yost will tell you, there's more to managing a baseball team than just baseball.
There are 25 guys in the locker room who work, act and think differently. Managing those minds is an important component for success on the field.
Yost has only been here for a little more than a week, while compiling a record of 6-3, but he has already started the long process of building relationships with each player.
"It'll take some time to get to know all 25 guys as people -- what makes them tick, what their thought process is, and just get to know them," Yost said. "Their competitiveness, their want and will to win, those are all aspects of their make-up that I'm watching quite intently."
Yost commented on his ace, and reigning Cy Young award winner, Zack Greinke.
"He's extremely competitive and he's extremely smart and bright," Yost said. You don't win Cy Young [awards] by accident. You have to have the total package in order to do that. Zack is everything you want in a starting pitcher."
Samuel Zuba is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.