KANSAS CITY -- Now it can be told.
Royals closer Greg Holland was a bit nervous as he prepared to pitch in his first All-Star Game last year at Citi Field.
Holland, a last-minute replacement on the American League roster, had to make hasty arrangements to get his family to New York. So things were hectic, but finally, on the big night, he was warmed up and ready to go into the game.
On Thursday, with prompting from club publicist Mike Swanson at an All-Star media session, Holland told about his wayward entrance into the game.
It was the seventh inning, and Holland charged out of the bullpen gate. He already was apprehensive, not wanting to let the AL lead slip away and ruin Mariano Rivera's chance for a farewell All-Star save.
"I'm not used to going in in the seventh inning and ... I put my head down and ran out there," Holland recalled.
"When I start running in, I'm noticing no one else is out there. 'What's going on? Did I run out for the National League squad, and they're just laughing at me?'
"When I got to the mound, I was staring Marc Anthony in the face, and he was about to sing 'God Bless America.' So I kind of casually just started slowly walking back toward our dugout, and I was outside standing on the warning track while he sang."
After Anthony finished, Holland went to the mound and pitched to All-Star batterymate Salvador Perez as if nothing had happened.
"I thought I was going to catch flak for a long time, but I never really got a whole lot of sarcasm from it, so that was good," he said.
"I don't think anybody noticed," said fellow All-Star Alex Gordon.
But it was an All-Star moment that Holland won't forget.
After appendectomy, Vargas on DL; Coleman recalled
KANSAS CITY -- Pitcher Jason Vargas, after undergoing an appendectomy, was placed on the disabled list on Thursday, and right-handed reliever Louis Coleman was recalled to take his roster spot.
Vargas had surgery on Wednesday night after being stricken at the team's hotel in St. Petersburg, Fla.
"Vargy had his surgery last night, and no complications. He'll spend today in the hospital and probably fly back to Kansas City tomorrow," manager Ned Yost said on Thursday. "So he's on the road to recovery."
There's still no forecast in regard to how long Vargas might be out of action. He is 8-4 with a 3.31 ERA in 19 starts this season, his first with the Royals.
Another left-hander, Bruce Chen, will start in Vargas' place against the Tigers on Sunday in the finale of the four-game series.
Coleman is back for his third stay with Kansas City this season. In 2013 he posted a 3-0 record and 0.61 ERA in 27 games but 2014 has provided more of a challenge. In 18 games his ERA was 6.41; in 19 2/3 innings, he gave up 26 hits and 12 walks.
"[Senior advisor] Art Stewart saw Louis throw his last four outings and said he was back to where he was last year, and I trust Artie's evaluations," Yost said.
Coleman twice was optioned to Triple-A Omaha and tasked with getting his velocity back, which, according to Stewart, he's done.
Unfortunately, he had a rough return, giving up four runs, five hits and a walk in 1 2/3 innings of Thursday night's 16-4 loss to the Tigers.
Moustakas better after bout with flu
KANSAS CITY -- Third baseman Mike Moustakas is recovering from the flu that kept him out of Wednesday night's 5-4 victory over the Rays.
"He feels better, he's ready to go," manager Ned Yost said.
But with the Tigers starting left-hander Drew Smyly on Thursday, the right-handed-hitting Danny Valencia played third base and batted fourth.
Legendary scout Stewart promotes book at Kauffman
KANSAS CITY -- Art Stewart, a legendary figure among Major League scouts, met the media on Thursday at Kauffman Stadium to promote his new book.
His purpose in writing "The Art of Scouting" with Kansas City Star columnist Sam Mellinger was to emphasis the importance of scouts in baseball.
Hall of Fame executive Branch Rickey, Stewart noted, said, "The scouts are the faceless men of baseball. They're the lifeline. Without them, there would be no players to develop, and you wouldn't see these players up in the Major Leagues."
Stewart has sent many players to the Majors in his six decades of scouting.
"When you go out to a game, a lot of people don't realize that every player on that field has been found by a scout," Stewart said. "Whether it's the cornfields of Nebraska ... or a little poverty-stricken town in the Dominican Republic. Some scout found that player. I wanted to really convey what a scout's life is like, their ups and downs, and tell their story."
Stewart tells a lot of his own stories, dating back to being hired as a scout at age 26. He's still going at it for the Royals at age 87.
The book was published by Ascend Books.
"I can't think of a better individual to tell the story of the scout and all the experiences and the passion they have for the game and what they represent than Art," general manager Dayton Moore said.
Royals' top pick Finnegan makes debut
Left-hander Brandon Finnegan, the Royals' first pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, made his professional debut on Thursday with Class A Advanced Wilmington. He threw two perfect innings against Potomac in Game 2 of a doubleheader, a game that was suspended in the sixth inning due to rain.
Thursday was the first time Finnegan saw game action since June 17, when he started TCU's first game of the College World Series. He allowed two runs (one earned) in eight innings against Virginia that night. He didn't factor in the decision, as the Horned Frogs lost, 3-2, in 15 innings.
The rain aside, Finnegan's first professional game went smoother than his final college start. He breezed through the first six hitters in the Nationals' lineup, striking out one and allowing just one ball to leave the infield.
The Royals selected Finnegan with the 17th overall pick on June 5. After helping lead TCU to the College World Series, he signed with Kansas City on June 28. He was slated to make his debut on Wednesday, but rain washed out the teams' scheduled doubleheader.
Finnegan went 9-3 with a 2.04 ERA in 17 starts this spring. He struck out 134 and walked 29 in 105 2/3 innings.