Pick a side: Gubicza has ties to Royals, Angels

Former Kansas City pitcher now works as broadcaster for Los Angeles

Pick a side: Gubicza has ties to Royals, Angels

KANSAS CITY -- Mark Gubicza, the former Royals pitcher and current Angels broadcaster, has been asked the same question a lot lately, whether he's hanging out near the press box or sitting in the stands or standing on the field during batting practice.

"You're rooting for us, right?"

It's coming from players and coaches on the Angels, and from luminaries from the Royals -- most notably Hall of Famer George Brett -- and Gubicza isn't quite sure what to say. So mostly he'll smile, nod and give them what they want to hear.

  Date Time Matchup/Result Network
Gm 1 Oct. 2   KC 3, LAA 2 video
Gm 2 Oct. 3   KC 4, LAA 1 video
Gm 3 Oct. 5   KC 8, LAA 3 video

"Yes, yes, I'm rooting for you."

"That's the thing," Gubicza said. "It's weird."

Gubicza was a second-round pick by the Royals in the 1981 First-Year Player Draft. He spent 13 of his 14 Major League seasons in Kansas City, racking up 132 wins, going to two All-Star Games and being part of the World Series-champion 1985 team, also the last Royals club to make the playoffs.

Gubicza was watching the Royals' American League Wild Card Game on TV with his kids and kept pointing out faces in the crowd that he recognized.

"They were like, 'How do you know them, Dad?'" Gubicza recalled. "You know what, I didn't even know if I knew them, but I felt like I knew them because we grew up together and they look exactly the same, as if time had stayed the same from that year [1985]. I felt like I knew every single one of them. It felt that way, at least. They made me feel very comfortable out there."

But Gubicza also spent his final Major League season with the Angels. He makes his home in Southern California, has been providing color commentary on Angels broadcasts for FOX Sports West over the last eight years and has made sure not to wear his World Series ring lately.

"I've forged some pretty good relationships with the guys here, so I think I'm going with these guys to win, the Angels," Gubicza said. "I'm rooting for the Angels."

Not just because they sign his checks?

"No, I don't care about that," Gubicza said. "I always say I'm playing with house money anyway."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.