Royals Rumblings - News for September 5, 2014
Ned Yost has an embarrassment of riches to play with now. How will he manage them all?
"I'm trying to get all those guys ABs," Yost said. "I'm trying to get Billy going again, which is going to be important. Trying to get (Willingham) and Peguero in there, but having them on the bench really helps, too.
"It's going to be mixing and matching. We won a game (Tuesday) night pinch-running for Moose (Mike Moustakas). It opened up our speed guys to help win that game. Having a bench helps.
"You know one thing: You got some good bats off the bench with Peguero, Willingham and Ibanez. After that, then you just try to pick spots when you get them a start to keep them ready."
Sam Mellinger writes that to appreciate Alex Gordon, we have to put away this silly MVP-talk.
Gordon is a two-time All-Star and a lock for his fourth consecutive Gold Glove. He has probably already played his way into the Royals’ Hall of Fame and is now working on a case as the franchise’s best player since George Brett. Leading the Royals into the playoffs would do that. And he does not need the MVP award to validate any of this.
Who gets the most love from "Baseball Tonight" on ESPN?
Lousy East Coast bias.
Ben Lindbergh at Grantland writes that Royals pitcher Brandon Finnegan is one September call-up you need to know.
His Game: Finnegan is a fastball-slider-changeup guy, and he’s not wild with any of his offerings. His heater reaches the mid-90s, and Finnegan masks his sinking change effectively. His slider, which ranges from 84 to 87 mph, features "hard, snapping bite with some tilt," according to Baseball Prospectus prospect staffer CJ Wittmann, who’s seen Finnegan and heard the scouts’ rave reviews firsthand. Evaluators are still divided on whether Finnegan’s compact (5-foot-11, 185 pounds) frame and high-effort delivery are better suited for starting or relieving, but for the next few weeks, he’ll be toughening up the soft underbelly of the Royals bullpen as Kansas City clings to its tiny AL Central edge over Detroit.
A pair of former Royals farmhands have reached the big leagues. Erik Cordier, once traded for Tony Pena Jr., has reached the big leagues after Tommy John surgery and nine years in the minors. Spencer Patton, the pitcher dealt to Texas for Jason Frasor, has also reached the Majors.
The point here is, Omaha used to be a Kansas City Royals town. And, like the Royals themselves, it’s coming back.
I spotted Exhibit A at an Omaha Storm Chasers game not long ago. You’re seeing more and more Royals gear at these games: George Brett jerseys, T-shirts, hats, etc. No surprise there. For the first time in a generation, the Royals are contending.
Then I saw him: a guy wearing a No. 45 Royals jersey with "Balboni" stamped on the back.
If you know who "Bye Bye Balboni" was, you are a Royals fan. If you care enough to have found his jersey or had it made, you are a Royals fan.
More and more of these people are coming out to make this a Royals town once again.
The Royals say this year's post-season tickets are cheaper than last year's hypothetical imaginary post-season tickets.
Former Royals great Steve Busby recalls how his young Royals made the leap from pretender to contender in the 1970s.
Russell Carleton at Baseball Prospectus asks former Royals pitcher Brian Bannister what a pitcher does after giving up a big home run.
Derek Thompson at The Atlantic writes that Pitch f/x ruined baseball.
Get ready for the NFL season by reading about the 20 most ridiculous food offerings at NFL stadiums.
Andy Greenwald at Grantland writes that the final season of "Boardwalk Empire" sputters to its conclusion.
Your song of the day is Van Halen's "Jump."