Royals Rumblings - News for September 26, 2014
Sam Mellinger writes that reaching the Wild Card is nothing to apologize for.
You know all of that, which makes it insane that some of you seem ready to dismiss the significance, just because it’s not the division title. Like ending a playoff drought older than the last Halley’s Comet sighting isn’t worth a group of ballplayers going back to their hotel smelling of champagne and joy.
"These guys haven’t celebrated anything in 20 years," manager Ned Yost says. "Twenty-nine, 30 years."
There are doctors younger than the Royals’ playoff drought. There are college graduates whose parents had not even met the last time this team made the postseason. And some fans want to minimize the moment because it’s the wild card, and not a division championship?
Stop it. Don’t talk anymore. Loosen up. Have some fun. Enjoy it a little.
If you have rooted for the Royals for any length of time and can find it in your dark heart to be disappointed — in even a small way — by your team winning the wild card, you might want to reconsider why you bother with the whole thing.
The New York Times profiles embattled Royals manager Ned Yost and what he has learned from his embarrassing dismissal from Milwaukee in 2008.
"What I learned more than anything else is that once the game starts, there are a lot of things you can’t control," Yost said. "I can’t control if the other team scores two runs in the first. I can’t control if we strike out with the bases loaded. In Milwaukee, I always thought there was something I could do to control those situations."
In Milwaukee, he added, he tried to get his players to play the way he did. He was too inflexible, and never made the transition from development into win-now mode.
"I always felt like I was driving myself crazy," he said, "trying to figure out: What can I do to help this, what can I do to help that? You know?"
"It’s a lot easier this time around."
Gregory Dailey at Pine Tar Press writes about how Danny Duffy turned his career around.
Since two consecutive May outings in which he allowed five runs, Duffy has been pitching among the best in the league. In 18 games started since June 2, Duffy is 7-6 with a 1.93 ERA. He has allowed an opponent’s batting average of just .201. That is only 81 hits in 112 innings...
No one would have thought Danny Duffy would be a near lock for the Royals postseason rotation in 2014. He didn’t make the starting rotation and was left off the 25-man Opening Day roster. A brief stint in Omaha and an opportunity opened with Bruce Chen going down, and Duffy was in Kansas City proving he would be there to stay. Paired with Yordano Ventura, the Royals might have one of the best pairs of young arms in all of baseball.
Craig Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus argues its time to jump ship with Mike Moustakas.
.246, .252, .234, .235. Those are Moustakas’ True Averages (TAv) by season starting with his debut in 2011. Not only are those numbers pretty bad, but they’re heading in the wrong direction. While the third base crop is generally weak, and Moustakas’ 15 homers give you something to dream about, this is going to be a second consecutive season with a sub-700 OPS, and third out of four. Anecdotally, he’s performed better since his recall on June 1st, but the numbers don’t bear that out. Okay, fine, they bear out "better" but that doesn’t equal "worthwhile," unless you dig a .237/.292/.385 slash line.
Moustakas’ value is saved by the grace of baseball’s offensive decline, allowing his numbers to look at least a little more palatable compared to his peers. Still, he’s never posted a league average offensive season and is generally somewhere close to 20 percent below league average. After close to 2,000 plate appearances of this type of "production," it’s fair to wash your hands of him.
Later in the piece, John Lamb is mentioned as another prospect who is unlikely to turn things around.
Sean Keeler of Fox Sports Kansas City writes that as fun as this season has been, the best is yet to come.
"I'll tell you what: The way our club is built, there's never a day where I wake up and (feel) like, 'Man, I've got to go to the ballpark, I wish I had a day off,' " Dyson says. "It's never that.
"It's like, 'All right, cool, I'm going to work, I'm going to chill with the rest of my squad.' And I know it's going to be a fun time, every time we come in here, no matter what. I don't care if we get swept, or whatever happens, it's still going to be a fun time with this team."
Omaha has been building a dynasty with the Stormchasers and the future looks bright for them.
"It definitely is a Pacific Coast League dynasty, absolutely," Omaha General Manager Martie Cordaro said. "Are we a Triple-A or minor league dynasty? I think the argument can be made."
Jeffrey Flanagan reports that Greg Holland is pumped about this moment in franchise history.
The Derek Jeter farewell has been grossly over-reported, but his last home game at Yankee Stadium did have a pretty cool ending.
This Royals series will be the last weekend of Paul Konerko's career, so Beyond the Boxscore took a look back at some of his greatest hits.
Josh Levin of Slate.com writes why ESPN really suspended Bill Simmons after his profanity-laced criticism of NFL Commission Roger Goodell on his podcast.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as a Canadian Football League player in 1995.
Vox.com asks "is "Blackish" the new "Modern Family""?
Will drinking a fifth of Jack Daniel's in 13 seconds kill you? Or does it just earn you the title of "John Belushi"?
Obama has not done enough to secure our borders from people stuffing 51 turtles down their pants.
Selling sex toys is one way to close the budget deficit.
Your song of the day is "The Distance" by Cake.