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Royals Rumblings - News for September 8, 2014

Relax, it was just one game.

Joe Robbins

Royals Rumblings - News for September 8, 2014

Joe Posnanski writes about the Royals twenty-game stretch left to end the season and how crazy things could get between them and the Tigers.

With just 20 games remaining, randomness takes a seat at the poker table, and it has a lot of chips. Twenty games is a blip. The absymal Colorado Rockies have had a 15-5 stretch over 20 games at some point this season. Chicago’s Adam Eaton had a 20-game stretch where he hit .458. It is true that water seeks its own level, but it’s also true that over the next 20 games the Texas Rangers might have best record and someone you never heard of might hit nine home runs and someone else you’ve never heard of might throw three straight shutouts.

Which is another way of saying: There’s no real point is talking about how much better the Tigers SHOULD BE than Kansas City. This is the reality in which we live. If the Royals split the remaining six games with the Tigers or take four out of six, they will be favorites to win the division. If the Tigers wipe out the Royals in their six games, they will have a clear route to winning the thing. Cleveland still has a say in all this too. It’s an old-fashoned pennant race, the only one going in the American League — the first one in Kansas City in more than a quarter century. Predicting is fun but it’s kind of pointless now.

Rany Jazayerli had some quick thoughts about last weekend's games and he's a bit concerned about Yordano Ventura, especially in light of the Danny Duffy injury.

Speaking of Ventura, he pitched six scoreless innings and afterwards Carlos Beltran said it was some of the best stuff he had seen in a while…but Ventura walked four batters and struck out two. Maybe it’s an anomaly; he had whiffed 44 batters in 44 innings in his last seven starts. But he’s a rookie, and it’s September, and we just saw what happened to Danny Duffy, and it makes me nervous. Anyway, it’s not like we’ve got any choice in the matter.

Rob Neyer thinks about third-order wins and the Royals and wonders if predictions and projections come down to more than just wins and losses.

I’m here to grapple with a question I’ve asked myself more than once, over the years ... If you predict that a team will win 85 games (or whatever), and they win 85 games, do you get to say you were right ... even if you were utterly wrong about how they won 85 games? We all had the Royals with a great bullpen, a pretty good lineup, and decent starting pitching. But we were right about only the great bullpen (and even there, nobody saw Wade Davis coming). The lineup’s been sub-par, and the starters have been great, bolstered by two young guys and (as Joe notes) tremendous defense.

Put in more specific terms, if we’d known before the season that both Billy Butler and Eric Hosmer would have essentially zero value this season, would we have projected 85 wins for their team? Probably not.

None of which is to suggest that Joe (or I) was wrong about the Royals. This business will keep you humble, though. Or should.

What's the latest on Greg Holland's health?

David Hill at Kings of Kauffman likes the case Wade Davis is making to be someone's closer next year.

Alex Gordon does not receive any votes in the ESPN American League MVP Award Forecaster.

Royals TV ratings are strong, but still many more people would rather watch the hapless Chiefs than the contending Royals.

Buster Olney is tired of repeat PED offenders in baseball. Meanwhile, no one seems to care about all the PED suspensions in football.

Jeff Passan looks at the flaws of WAR, particularly in positional adjustments. Dave Cameron reacts here.

The no-hitter thrown by Pirates pitcher Doc Ellis while on LSD back in the 70s is one of the more amazing stories in baseball, and now there is a documentary to be released on the strange fascinating career of Ellis.

So Ray Rice of the Ravens was released for having video caught of him beating his girlfriend, not for actually beating her in the first place.

The NCAA used the Rice news story as cover to say "oh by the way, Penn State doesn't have any sanctions on its football team anymore."

The Madden GIF-erator is sensational.

School is back in session, which means dads are getting some naughty time to themselves.

Have we found the identity of "Jack the Ripper" or is this just trolling?

Your song of the day is Spoon with "The Underdog"