Eiland, Royals employ new bullpen 'phone' in SF

Eiland, Royals employ new bullpen 'phone' in SF

SAN FRANCISCO -- There was a new installation in the visitors' dugout at AT&T Park for Game 4 of the World Series on Saturday.

A paper cup dangled from the dugout roof at one end, attached by a blue string running along the top edge to the other end. There, another paper cup dangled.

  Date     Recaps Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 21     SF 7, KC 1 video
Gm 2 Oct. 22     KC 7, SF 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 24     KC 3, SF 2 video
Gm 4 Oct. 25     SF 11, KC 4 video
Gm 5 Oct. 26     SF 5, KC 0 video
Gm 6 Oct. 28     KC 10, SF 0 video
Gm 7 Oct. 29     SF 3, KC 2 video

What? Well, that's the "phone" that allows Royals pitching coach Dave Eiland to "call" his relievers at the other end of the bench and tell somebody to warm up. There are no benches next to the sideline bullpens at AT&T Park, so the relievers sit in the dugouts.

It's the gag invention of reliever Scott Downs, not on the active roster but apparently in charge of dugout communications. Guess he couldn't find any tin cans and wire.

"I don't mean this to sound negative, but on this team, I've really had to adjust my old-school way of thinking," said the bemused Eiland. "Downs said, 'Just call me when you want somebody up.'"

Think the Royals aren't loose?

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.