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Royals Rumblings - News for September 17, 2014

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Did the game last night ever end?

Ed Zurga

Royals Rumblings - News for September 17, 2014

Sam Mellinger sizes up what the Royals have to do from here on out to play October baseball.

It’s hard to come up with a scenario where the Royals win the division without winning at least eight of those 12, with at least two of them coming in this weekend’s series. That would put the Royals at 90 wins for the year, and they’d need the Tigers to finish 6-6. Winning nine of the last 12 would be the safer bet.

Beating the Mariners requires less, obviously, but the Royals are without the "control" of having any head-to-head games left. You probably want to figure on winning at least seven of the last 12. Doing that would mean the Mariners would have to finish 9-4 to tie, or 10-3 to win.

Now, as I understand it, there would be a one-game playoff in the event of a tie, whether that’s for the division or the wild card. As it happens, that one-game playoff would be played on Sept. 29 — the same day as the Monday Night game at Arrowhead between the Chiefs and Patriots.

I’m not sure where that would rank in the greatest days in Kansas City sports history, but I’m fairly certain it would the most exciting in my adult life.

Does post-season experience matter for the Royals-Tigers divisional title run? Russell Carleton of Baseball Prospectus argues that it doesn't.

If previous pennant race experience makes a difference, then we should see hitters with more previous experience getting more hits than we would expect based on the batter-pitcher matchup and pitchers fanning more hitters. The coefficient in the regression equation for that variable would be a significant predictor of success.

Except that it wasn’t. At all. For anything or anyone. There was no impact of previous pennant-race experience on what happened on the field. Hitters hit pretty much like we would expect given their overall talent and pitchers pitched like it. As un-Hollywood as it sounds, the team was merely the sum of its parts. That sum was good enough to be in the hunt for a playoff spot in September, so it was probably a pretty good sum. But there is no magical edge conferred by previous experience (or lack of experience) in winning "games that count." Neither the young Royals nor the battle-tested Tigers have an edge going into this year’s AL Central race. Sorry guys. You’ll actually have to win it on the basis of silly things like talent.

Radio hosts are reading too much into Royals post-game celebrations again.

"Clearly something (is going on). I thought I saw Billy Butler with his warmup on in the dugout (during the postgame celebration). I definitely think that Butler and Hosmer aren’t going to dinner. He certainly wasn’t front and center at the beginning of the dogpile – not that he had to be."
Soren Petro, after a caller asked what is going on with Butler and if he refused to participate in the on-field celebration, 810 AM

It is clear that Billy is upset though, as he's not talking to the media.

Billy Butler, whose role has been significantly reduced since Eric Hosmer returned from injury Sept. 1, normally has always seemed more than willing to share his thoughts with reporters.

But in the past week, Butler has politely declined requests. The guess here, of course, is that Butler does not want to answer questions about his reduced role for fear that his words could get misconstrued, leaving him to look selfish in the eyes of fans -- no one wants to hear about individual issues when a team is battling for a playoff spot.

Butler has started just six games since Hosmer returned, even though Butler was a driving force in the Royals' second-half resurgence.

Get on the bandwagon, Kansans.

Jonah Keri argues some road teams in the playoffs may have an advantage, specifically the Kansas City Royals.

Kansas City sits at 42-32 (.568) on the road this season vs. 40-35 (.533) at home, a gap of .035. The Royals are battling for their playoff lives, holding a two-game lead in the race for the second wild-card spot — not counting a soon-to-be-completed suspended game in which they trailed 4-2 in the 10th inning before rain pushed the game’s end to Sept. 22. That means if the playoffs were to start today, Kansas City would travel to Oakland for a one-game playoff. With veteran ace James Shields potentially getting the call for that game, the A’s limping to the finish line, and KC being tough on the road, that could be a favorable matchup for the Royals.

You can hear my voice! I was a guest on a podcast for "South Side Sox" along with Al Beaton of "Bless You Boys." Hear me speak inarticulately about the Royals chances down the stretch.

Here is a preview of Royals prospects in Arizona Fall League action. Play begins October 7.

This promo for MLB with Bryan Cranston is fantastic.

The Mets briefly removed the United Nations from the skyline in its logo. Why? Illuminati? Stonecutters?

The minor league affiliate game of musical chairs is beginning. The Sacramento River Cats are ending their affiliation with the Athletics, who may instead contract with Nashville. Rumors are Colorado Springs may end their relationship with the Rockies as well.

ESPN has announced its new slate of "30 for 30" films. Oh goody, not enough has been said about the New York Knicks.

Steven Hyden at Grantland asks if Royals super fan Garth Brooks can make a comeback.

Celebrate 30 years of Coen brothers movies by appreciating "The Big Lebowski." It really ties the room together.

Three talented actresses in three terrible new television shows.

Your song of the day is Chris Brown with "Forever."