Maybe it isn’t the most critical piece of news in the young offseason, but Ryan Lefebvre, play by play announcer for the Royals for 13 years, is listed as the front-runner for the lead radio position with the Minnesota Twins.
No, the news isn’t as significant as if Denny Mathews announced he was retiring, but Lefebvre has been calling Royals games for nearly a third of the franchise’s history. That’s a sizable chunk of time, and while he has moments of exasperating calls, he’s shown to be a solid guy in the booth.
Now, the headlines say he’s a front-runner or finalist only, but he’s moving on if he gets the offer. He wasn’t recruited – the open position was posted and he submitted his resume. Maybe he was just testing the waters, but you have to think if he applied for a job and it’s offered, he’ll take it. Also, you may have heard that he attended the University of Minnesota.
While not as vital of a part of the organization as the players, coaches or front office, the announcers shape how fans take in the game, and Lefebvre has been a part of that for the greater part of many Royals fans’ lives. When I was growing up, back when the only games on TV were road games and Denny Trease and Paul Spllittorff called the games, if I heard the Royals on any other broadcast (other than Denny and Fred White on the radio), it didn’t sound right. Those years when Dave Armstrong took over for Trease never felt right to me.
Is it a huge deal? Not really, but it does have an impact. Plus, like him or not, Lefebvre is the devil you know. There are plenty of worse broadcasters. If nothing else, this developing story is something to watch while we wait for offseason moves to come.
Editor’s update: The Twins have notified Lefebvre that he will not be considered for the job. We’re stuck with him…or get to keep him, depending on your point of view.
Back in May, as part of the Blog to the K event, Ryan stopped and talked with us. You can hear the audio here.