MINNEAPOLIS -- The Royals are asking fans to nominate military veterans for the honor of occupying the Buck O'Neil Legacy Seat during the Armed Forces Day celebration on Saturday, August 8, at Kauffman Stadium.

Fans can submit nominations at www.royals.com/buckseat. One veteran will be selected by a panel from the sponsoring National World War I Museum. The winner and four guests will see the Tigers-Royals game starting at 6:10 p.m. CT.

Nominations should include a description in 100 words or less of why the nominee should be honored and also provide pertinent contact information. Nominations are due by noon Friday, July 22.

Royals' record not due to offense

MINNEAPOLIS -- Royals manager Ned Yost was looking downright professorial as he sat behind his desk, occasionally passing his hand through his hair as he peered through spectacles at sheets of statistical data.

Outside late Friday afternoon at Target Field, it was pouring rain, but in his office he was poring over RISP figures -- hitting with runners in scoring position.

"Where do you think we rank?" he asked, then answered his own question. "We rank fourth in all of baseball."

That's behind only St. Louis, Atlanta and Cleveland among the 30 Major League clubs, with a .267 average.

"It's higher than I thought," he said, "but we're also ranked like 13th with two outs."

Still, that's in the middle of the pack.

"We actually have 224 hits with runners in scoring position which is second in baseball," he said.

The more Yost looked at various other offensive stats, the better they sounded. The Royals, for example, in the American League ranked sixth in runs, RBIs and total bases, third in average and hits, first in stolen bases and sacrifice hits and flies and so on. OK, just ninth in slugging but pretty good numbers overall.

In defense, the Royals ranked seventh overall, but they were first in assists and total chances, and second in double plays. Not bad at all.

Bottom line, the Royals are in last place in the AL Central with the third worst record in the Majors.

"Part of the job is analyzing where we are right now and what we've got to do to fix it," Yost said. "And every finger points to the pitching, predominately the starting pitching."

Sure enough, the Royals' pitching overall ranks second to last in the AL -- only Baltimore is worse -- in ERA and victories and near the bottom in other key categories.

Among just starting pitchers, the Royals rank last with a cumulative 19-40 record and 5.15 ERA. The relievers have done better, ranking 10th in the AL with a 3.64 ERA along with an 18-15 record and 18 saves.

A primary project for Yost and pitching coach Bob McClure in the remaining part of the season is to turn that around.

"I'm not looking to bring a bunch of new guys in. We've got to fix what we've got," Yost said.

There's a plan for that, but Yost isn't giving out any of his secrets.

"I've got an idea of what we have to do, now it's up to them to go do it," Yost said.

Frenchy at home in KC, doesn't want to leave

MINNEAPOLIS -- Naturally, the rumor mill will touch on Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur as the Trade Deadline approaches, but Frenchy would like to stay in Kansas City.

He's expressed that to Royals general manager Dayton Moore.

"I told him I'd like to be here because I like the guys, I like the coaches, I like where the organization is going," Francoeur said. "But Dayton was great, he said, 'Jeff, I'll be honest with you. When people call, I'll let you know. If you want to know where you stand, I'll tell you.'"

Trade Include

Boston, Detroit and Philadelphia are among the clubs that supposedly have some interest in Francoeur, who went into Friday night's game leading the Royals with 12 homers and 56 RBIs and batting .263.

Francoeur feels that at 27 he fits in with the Royals' youthful club, and there's no doubt that he's become a team leader in the clubhouse as well as on the field.

"I love it," he said.

Crown Points

• The Royals' event presentation and production department won four major awards this week at the IDEA conference in Kansas City, including the Golden Matrix Award for "Best Overall in Pro Sports" and the President's Award to department director Chris DeRuyscher.

• Steve Shannon, who did TV play-by-play for Royals games in 1978-79, passed away on Tuesday in Springfield, Ill. He was 69.

• The first T-Shirt Tuesday of the second half will be held at the White Sox-Royals game at 7:10 p.m. CT on Tuesday. The first 10,000 fans will receive a blue Royals script T-shirt.