Royals Rumblings - News for June 30, 2014
Andy McCullough answered questions in his mailbag, and dismisses the notion that this team can't handle the pressure.
I don’t buy it. To me, within the course of the 162-game season, the idea of "pressure" is a false construct. The team went into Comerica Park, the home of the division leaders, and brutalized a pair of Cy Young award winners on back-to-back nights. That sort of assignment seems more intense than a series at home against the Seattle Mariners.
I don’t think the Royals are unable to "respond under pressure." It’s more likely they are an above-average team who will likely hover a few games above .500 for much of the season. If they can achieve a few more peaks like they did earlier this month, and avoid the subsequent valleys, they’ll have a chance to surpass Detroit. Otherwise, they’ll spend October at home.
Jeffrey Flanagan thinks the lack of the power in this organization might be the way they teach their swings:
Astute Royals fans will remember that Lau turned George Brett into a Hall of Famer with the top-hand release approach. This mechanical technique allows a hitter to get full extension by releasing the top hand off the bat at contact. And also, it promotes more weight transfer to the front side as well as keeping the bat on a level plane much longer through the hitting zone.
Anyway, I am reminded of Lau's teaching when I see hitters come into Kauffman Stadium and smash opposite-field homers to right-center, something Royals hitters view as almost impossible. We have seen so many top-handed release hitters do it -- Miguel Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, Adam Jones -- at The K that it makes me nostalgic. And we saw it again Wednesday when Matt Kemp walloped an opposite-field homer. If you see the replay again you will notice Kemp's top-hand release. It was an almost effortless swing.
I just wonder why more Royals don't employ this method. Alex Gordon is the only one who comes close, and it's no coincidence that he probably has the prettiest swing on the team.
Speaking of home runs, the Royals refute the notion that Mike Trout's home run on Friday was the longest in Kauffman Stadiu history.
In case you missed it, the Royals inked top draft pick left-handed pitcher Brandon Finnegan from TCU and seventh-round pick Brandon Downes, an outfielder from the College World Series-runner up University of Virginia. Finnegan will throw about 50 innings in pro ball this year, starting out at Wilmington, and could be a fast riser through the system. Downes is probably headed to Idaho Falls.
MLB Daily Dish has a Royals trade preview. But it doesn't even entertain the possibility of a David Price-for-Christian Colon swap, so it is invalid.
Pete Grathoff at the Star asks why so many managers are former catchers. Like future Royals manager Jason Kendall!
Keith Hernandez is another Seinfeld cast member less funny away from the show.
"Major League" has the longest plot summary for a movie on Wikipedia. Its pretty complicated stuff.
Why are cartoon moms always dead?
That ridiculous-looking water slide at Schlitterbarn in Kansas City, Kansas finally opened over the weekend. You have to admit, the delays due to safety concerns are tremendous publicity for the park.
Your song of the day is Run-D.M.C. with "Tricky":