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Royals Rumblings - News for January 29, 2015

Bo never needed deflated balls.

Gray Mortimore/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for January 29, 2015

David Lesky at Pine Tar Press argues the Royals should be looking to bring back James Shields if the price is right.

I know, I know. There are an awful lot of hurdles, and a lot of what ifs to consider. If he’s still holding out for that massive payday, then the Royals still need to bid him adieu, but if he’s starting to get a little antsy that pitchers and catchers are all reporting in just a few weeks, maybe, just maybe, he’d be willing to sign for a bit of a discount. And maybe the Royals could use the Max Scherzer contract model to fit him into their budget over the next few seasons. First off, I wouldn’t give Shields any more than three guaranteed years. I think a vesting option for a fourth or even a famous mutual option would be just fine, but I don’t want to guarantee a 33-year old pitcher more than three years. So if that’s a deal breaker, then we’re back to saying goodbye to Shields and thanking him for the memories.

But we still haven’t really talked about why the Royals should bring back Shields on that contract. It’s pretty simple. James Shields is a better pitcher than somebody in the Royals rotation.

Craig Brown at Royals Authority gives Lee Judge the treatment for questioning Yordano Ventura's mental toughness.

If a pitcher is mentally strong that might not matter; he knows what he can control and how well the other guy pitches isn’t on the list. But if a guy isn’t confident it can get in his head; he feels like he’s pitched very well and is still losing.

How about this…

Three days later, Ventura started Game Two of the ALDS and dominated. He threw seven innings, struck out five and walked just one. He left with the score tied at 1. This means two things: One, he didn’t get the pitcher win that surely is important to this blogger. Two, he was pitching in some high leverage situations as the game progressed. In fact, Ventura’s average Leverage Index for that start was 1.31 which was his highest in a start in October. Oh, let’s not forget Game Six of the World Series. Do or die. Backs against the wall. And Ventura held the Giants in check for seven innings. His command wasn’t sharp (five walks against four strikeouts), but he survived, kept the Giants off the scoreboard and rode the Royals bats to the decisive Seventh Game. That took some cojones.

Rob Neyer writes about Art Stewart's scouting of Bo Jackson.

"It really is a shame that he couldn't stay healthy," Stewart writes. "There'™s no doubt in my mind he could've been one of our game'™s greatest players if he put all his attention on baseball."

I suppose that's possible. If all you knew about Bo Jackson was the numbers, you would just see a pretty good player who was peaking at 27, as so many players do, before he got hurt. Before he got hurt, he was showing a slightly better contact rate, slightly better strike-zone judgment, and slightly more power. But my guess is that Bo Jackson wouldn'€™t have been a truly splendid baseball player unless he'™d gotten an earlier start, played a lot more baseball in high school and college.

Speaking of Bo....

MLB Network's Harold Reynolds still believes in Bubba Starling.

After taking in a Wichita State basketball game, Brandon Finnegan spoke with our own Jeff Zimmerman about the upcoming season.

PECOTA standings are out at Baseball Prospectus, projecting the Royals to finish 72-90. Royals fans are not pleased.

The Star wants to know how excited you are for the upcoming Royals season.

Sports Illustrated is pretty impressed with the bobbleheads the Royals are giving away this year.

Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada should be eligible for free agency in a few weeks. Shouldn't the Royals be looking in on this guy?

Anthony Castrovince writes its time for hitters to start countering extreme defensive shifts.

Dave Cameron writes it is possible to have shorter games AND more offense.

The Orioles, fresh off an ALCS appearance, finally make a move this winter.

Jimmy Kimmel is thankful for the Z-Man he received from Joe's Kansas City.

People have hot takes on Seahawks running-back Marshawn Lynch.

Balls have been deflated in the NBA too.

Former KU stars Markieff and Marcus Morris are under investigation for assault.

Was Chandler Bing a horrible homophobe on "Friends"?

Andy Greenwald of Grantland writes that "The Americans" is getting even better in Season Three, which began this week.

Every time travel movie ranked.

The Verge takes you to the studio where ESPN is betting billions on the future of sports.

McDonald's CEO steps down after a string of failures.

Your song of the day is Vampire Weekend with "Diane Young."