'Wonder Dog,' Physioc join KC broadcast crew
TV play-by-play man Lefebvre to also call games on radio
KANSAS CITY -- Rex Hudler and Steve Physioc are joining the Royals' TV broadcasting team, Fox Sports Kansas City announced on Friday.
They will join Ryan Lefebvre, Jeff Montgomery, Joel Goldberg and Nate Bukaty on the 2012 telecasts.
Hudler, a former big league infielder, will take the analyst's spot formerly held by Royals Hall of Famers Frank White and the late Paul Splittorff. Hudler will call 120 games while Montgomery, also a Royals Hall of Famer, will be the analyst for the other 20 of the 140 regular-season games on the schedule.
Physioc, who worked with Hudler in the Angels' TV booth for 11 seasons, will do the play-by-play on 50 telecasts. Lefebvre, back for his fifth season of TV play-by-play, will do 90 TV games. He and Physioc also will call games on the radio, joining the team of Denny Matthews, Bob Davis and Steve Stewart.
"During the winter months, Ryan relayed to us a desire to expand his responsibilities and have a larger presence in the radio booth, thus bringing in a strong veteran announcer like Steve Physioc enabled us to give Ryan that flexibility," Royals vice president-communications and broadcasting Mike Swanson said in a statement.
Hudler and Physioc will be doing Royals games for the first time.
"This is a great day for our broadcast team," Lefebvre said in a statement. "For me professionally, I get to work with two of the most enthusiastic and respected men in our business, and personally, I'm grateful the Royals allowed me to return to the Royals radio booth in a larger role."
Hudler was a high-energy player for six Major League clubs before becoming a broadcaster for one of them, the Angels. He also has been host of the "Wonder Dog" radio show in Los Angeles.
"His enthusiasm for the game of baseball is infectious and it translates very well on the air," Swanson said.
Physioc, a Kansas State University alum, has 25 years of baseball experience, most recently from 1999-2009 with the Angels on Fox Sports West and on TBS' Sunday MLB broadcasts. He also called games for the Reds, Giants and Padres. Early in his career, he covered K-State sports and worked in Hastings, Neb., and Topeka, Kan.
"I spent countless summer evenings at Royals Stadium listening to Fred White and Danny Matthews calling the action, and cheered Kansas City on when they won in '85," Physioc said.
The Royals announced a TV schedule that will include two Cactus League night games, against the White Sox in Surprise, Ariz., on March 30, and against the Padres in San Diego on April 3. The regular-season schedule includes 66 road games, including the April 6 season opener at Anaheim, and 74 from Kauffman Stadium, all in high definition.
The "Royals Live" pregame and postgame shows will continue to be hosted by Goldberg with Montgomery as analyst and Bukaty as reporter on home games. Hudler, Physioc and Lefebvre also will contribute.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.