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Royals Rumblings - News for January 22, 2015

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Does anyone want James Shields?

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for January 22, 2015

Craig Brown at Royals Authority takes a closer look at Danny Duffy.

When I hear talk about James Shields and how great of a leader he was to the Royals pitchers, I inevitably think of Duffy. Leadership gets the shaft in the sabermetric community, but it shouldn’t. Baseball is an incredibly difficult game chock full of ups and downs. Some players need a little guidance from time to time. Not only about how to handle the failures, but the successes, too. That’s where Shields supposedly played a part in the maturation of Duffy....

I side with Steamer in thinking his ERA is going to increase, but I’m not so sure it’s going to approach four. A correction is coming, but that’s one rude adjustment. I’ll be happy with an increase in his strikeout rate, if he can induce a few more ground balls and if he can keep his ERA in the 3.50 neighborhood. If you want to be the optimist on the projections, Steamer really only has a few months of Duffy as a starter to work with.

Lee Judge wants to debate again whether or not Alex Gordon should have tried to score in Game 7 of the World Series.a

So what’s the right answer?

Don’t look at me; at the time the play happened I thought Mike Jirschele made the right decision. Crawford had the ball too quickly—I thought Alex would be thrown out easily. After the game ended Jirschele said he wanted to send Gordon but when he saw where Crawford secured the ball, felt like he couldn’t.

But do the math on the Royals chances after Gordon was stopped at third base and it’s closer than you might think; with Bumgarner on the mound Salvador Perez was struggling at the plate and the Royals did not have any obvious pinch hit options.

Darin Watson at Pine Tar Press wonders if the Royals are in a new era of winning baseball.

I also bring this up because I think this is an interesting question to consider: what are the odds the Royals would ever go back to that situation?

I don’t mean the darkest days, the 2004-2006 period when the team lost a combined 310 games, losing at least 100 games all three times. That was a stretch almost unprecedented in baseball history; you almost have to work harder at being that bad than you would at being decent.

No, I mean just being your basic bad baseball team…losing 85-90 games without much in the way of memorable moments. It doesn’t look like the Royals will be back there anytime soon...Plenty of talent is going to be around for the next few years. And the farm system still looks pretty good—not as good as it did a few years ago, but still solid.

Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs tries to figure out who will sign free agent pitcher James Shields.

Alex Rodriguez is trolling sportswriters now - he has brought Barry Bonds in to mentor him.

MLB is moving the draft until July 1, so it comes after the College World Series.

MLB is also looking at shortening the breaks between innings to speed up the game.

The Giants and Yankees are having private workouts with Cuban free agent infielder Yoan Moncada.

Umpires and MLB sign a five-year labor agreement.

Grant Brisbee looks at how to build a bullpen at the last second.

The NFL was aware of allegations that the Patriots deflated balls before Sunday's game.

How to keep high school students from being bored.

Larry Wilmore's "The Nightly Show" on Comedy Central is taking a funny look at darker issues.

Andy Greenwald praises Amazon's "Transparent" but notes the rest of the streaming TV provider's lineup is less than stellar.

Your song of the day is The Sex Pistols with "No Feelings."