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Royals Rumblings - News for February 4, 2015

The Royals are a rival to no one and a friend to all.

Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for February 4, 2015

Lee Judge writes about why professional athletes talk in cliches.

I was once asking Royals pitcher Luke Hochevar about a pitch sequence he threw to David Ortiz — why this pitch after that one — when Luke stopped and asked me: "Why can’t every interview be like this?" We were talking about something Hochevar cared about: how you get big-league hitters out. We were talking about the process of pitching, not emotions. I didn’t have a narrative I was trying to push; I just wanted to hear why Luke had thrown the pitches he threw. But it’s not like I’ve never asked a bad question. I was once talking to Eric Hosmer about a play at first base when he started laughing and told me my questions were terrible: "C’mon, Lee, you’re so much better than this."

Apparently I wasn’t.

I finally agree with Lee.

Jon Solomon, a college football writer for CBS Sports, writes about former Royals draft pick and college football player Roscoe Crosby.

"The only people I felt like was around me was people who cared about me playing sports," Crosby recalls. "Do you not know what I'm going through is very serious? I was about to explode. I was like, ‘nobody cares, nobody understands, the Royals don't understand, my family don't understand.' My heart didn't become dark, but it really hardened up at that time and I became more reckless in my mind and stuff going on with my life. It was almost like I had stopped caring at the time. I had put all my eggs in one basket and I had no outlet without sports."

Crosby fidgets with a rubber band and wears a Clemson warmup outfit while briefly discussing the suicide attempt. He's 31 years old and a student football coach at Clemson. Some noticeable extra pounds fill out what used to be a chiseled body that made Crosby coveted in two sports 14 years ago.

The $1 million in baseball money he received from the Royals? "It's pretty much gone," says Crosby, who lost a two-year arbitration case in 2005 when Major League Baseball ruled the Royals could terminate his contract and didn't owe him the remaining $750,000 in bonus money.

Wil Leitch of Sports on Earth ranks every team's top rivals.

Kansas City Royals

1. St. Louis Cardinals

2. Detroit Tigers

3. Oakland A's

The '70s were terrific for the Yankees, but 1985 and I-70 (along with the Cardinals swiping Albert Pujols out from under their noses) secured Royals' animus for the Cardinals forever. If the Royals can sustain what they did last year, this could be fun for a while.

Has he not heard of Grass Creek????

Fake Teams writes about the tepid enthusiasm in fantasy baseball circles for Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer.

Dude's not even 25 and a half yet. He hit 19 home runs as a 21-year-old, and has a career OPS+ of 104. His HR/FB percentage last year was 6.8, which is just silly - it had never been below 11.3 in any season before, and his successful 2011 and 2013 both fell above 13.0. Add just a few home runs to a .270/.318/.398 2014, and it isn't a great year, but it's no longer the disaster it appeared to be.

Best bet? Hosmer's fine in 2015. At this point, I think we have to revise our superstar prognostications of him. That MVP upside still exists, but it isn't high on the list of possible outcomes anymore. But Hosmer becoming James Loney isn't significantly more likely.

James Shields has "multiple offers" and plans to sign by the end of the week, according to Jon Morosi.

Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada has finally been declared a free agent.

The Chicago Film Archives has found footage of a day out at Wrigley Field in 1938.

Browns receiver Josh Gordon has officially been suspended for the 2015 season.

The Atlanta Falcons are the real cheaters,using fake crowd noise.

Thirteen standouts you won't see in the NBA All-Star Game.

Is hockey actually coming to ESPN?

Reclusive author Harper Lee will have her sequel to "To Kill a Mockingbird" published, 55 years after the original was published.

Politiical blogger Andrew Sullivan has retired from blogging - how did the British native change America?

Budweiser's Super Bowl ad is a good illustration of why their sales among young people are dropping.

"The Simpsons" opening sequence in pixel art.

This will come as a surprise, but the dude who plays "The Mountain" in "Game of Thrones" is really, really strong in real life too.

Your song of the day is Sonic Youth with "Ca Plane Pour Moi."