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Royals Rumblings - News for January 8, 2015

Grudzielanek is gonna be one gritty manager.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for January 8, 2015

Rany Jazayerli has his mea culpa to Dayton Moore.

I was as wrong about The Trade as I have been about any piece of baseball analysis I have ever written. I am not alone in this regard; on the contrary, the overwhelming majority of the analytics world shared my opinion that The Trade was a terrible move for the Royals, even if they didn’t share my emotional investment in it. Other analysts, such as Dave Cameron here, have also acknowledged their mistake. I say this not to excuse or even defend myself, but simply to point out that my error in judging The Trade was not the result of a personal bias or a gut feeling or an overattachment to prospects, but the result of an adherence to principles which the analytical community widely shares, and which has served us extremely well over the years. We got this one wrong, but one mistake doesn’t invalidate our approach any more than Clayton Kershaw’s NLDS performance means he’s a bum. (Also, the non-analytic community didn’t like the trade much better. Most other front offices thought the Royals had gotten fleeced.)

But while it doesn’t invalidate our approach, it does mandate that we go back and figure out what we got wrong, in the same way the Dodgers are probably poring over video to see if they can figure out why the Cardinals beat Kershaw like a drum.

Lee Judge writes that Rusty Kuntz is to credit for the Royals success in stealing bases last year.

Rusty told me about spending two hours studying one pitcher to find a "key," the first physical movement that reveals a pitcher’s intentions. Remember, most teams have 12 pitchers — that’s a helluva a lot of time watching video.

No wonder Jarrod Dyson has said Rusty Kuntz is his video. Jarrod might steal the base, but Rusty probably did the work that made it possible. Look at the math: If a pitcher can deliver the ball to home plate in 1.3 seconds or less, he can shut down most base stealers.

But that 1.3 second delivery is measured from the time the pitcher picks up his front foot to the time the ball hits the catcher’s mitt. If Rusty Kuntz can study video and find something that indicates a pitcher’s intentions before the pitcher picks up his front foot, that 1.3 second delivery time can turn into a 1.5 — and now it’s off to the races.

Read more here:

John Viril of KC Kingdom looks at how Ned Yost may change his philosophy in 2015.

One early manifestation of this transformation was Ned Yost’s much-criticized move of using Yordano Ventura in the 6th inning of Kansas City’s wild-card win over Oakland....

Yost, along with the rest of baseball, seemed absorb the sabermetric concept of the "three times through the order" penalty during the 2014 playoffs.

This post-season lesson seems to have affected how general manager Dayton Moore is building his 2015 team. Unable to afford A-list pitchers like ex-Royal James Shields and Max Scherzer, Kansas City is loading up its bullpen.

Doug Miller at looks back at former Royals Assistant General Manager Dean Taylor's career now that he announced his retirement this week.

"You make a lot of sacrifices in this game over the years," said Taylor, 63. "It's going to be great to have some private time to spend with my wife and son and grandchildren. A lot of us that are in this game for as long as I've been in it, I think, really need to give back to their families because we do make a lot of sacrifices.

"I'm very grateful to my family for how understanding they've been. But it's going to be time to step back and smell the roses a little bit -- enjoy the things that some of us in this game miss."

And the game will miss him.

Jeffrey Flanagan lists five Royals players that need to step it up in 2015 for the Royals to be contenders.

Infielder Ryan Jackson cleared waivers and was assigned to AAA Omaha.

Former Royals second baseman Mark Grudzielanek will manage the Kane County Cougars in the Diamondbacks organization.

Yordano Ventura was thrilled that his fellow countryman Pedro Martinez was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this week.

Grant Brisbee tries to explain the Hall of Fame to himself in the year 2000.

Curt Schilling thinks being a Republican hurt his Hall of Fame chances.

A review of Super Mega Baseball on PS4.

Eric Thurm at our sister site "The Verge" writes that FOX's new show "Empire" is an outdated look at the music industry.

Does Marvels' "Ant-Man" need to lighten up?

Uproxx ranks the 50 best TV shows on Netflix streaming.

Your song of the day is Lyle Lovett with "She's No Lady."