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Weekend Rumblings - News for April 25, 2015

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The first rule about fight club is: you do not talk about fight club.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Weekend Rumblings - News for April 25, 2015

Just a fair warning--this will be a brawl-free zone. Any discussion of Royals and/or fighting will probably be deleted. Anything else (within reason) is fair game.

Jeff Sullivan talks about how the Royals have been hitting, well, everything.

You can spot where there have been some individual gains. Lorenzo Cain has trimmed his strikeouts, while putting more balls in play in the air. Salvador Perez has cut his strikeouts in half, and he has yet to hit a single pop-up, after hitting 34 last season. Eric Hosmer's strikeouts are way down, and his walks are way up. Alcides Escobar has struck out just three times. And there's Mike Moustakas, who's cut his own strikeout rate in half. Moustakas is a case of a hitter with a changed approach: he already has 10 hits to the opposite field, after collecting 17 all of last season. Generally, hitters don't change things this quickly and this dramatically, but the Royals are at least raising a whole lot of eyebrows.

I remember writing something kind of similar about a year ago, about the Rockies, who were then showing a big improvement in contact. Through the end of April, they'd struck out just 17% of the time. From there on out, the rate shot up to 22%, and the team collapsed. But, those Rockies went through some major injuries. Their low-strikeout rate was less impressive than the Royals' low-strikeout rate. And, one busted example doesn't automatically bust a second, unrelated example. The Rockies came apart. The Royals won't keep hitting this well, but their plate appearances are starting to pile up, and their strikeouts aren't.

Over at Kings of Kauffman, David Hill discusses how the Royals' brand of energy and emotion is good for the game:

Yet, the Kansas City Royals are exactly the type of team that baseball should be embracing right now. They are an exciting team in virtually every facet of the game, making spectacular catches, running the bases with aplomb, having a bullpen that is enough to make mere mortals break down sobbing and a power game that is the perfect compliment to their offensive style. This is the type of baseball team that fans would enjoy watching.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that, as baseball has become more vanilla and the brash personalities have been leaving, questions have arisen about the long term sustainability of the game.

By the way, there was a brawl. You know. And things.

Other items of interest

Comcast abandoned its quest to acquire Time Warner Cable, and they have lots of people to blame.

Suicide Squad director David Ayer revealed the look of the new Joker. A stark difference from Heath Ledger's portrayal.

Weird and drastic changes are going to happen to the global geopolitical system in the coming years.

Can music streaming--even the big guys like Spotify--actually survive in the long term?

Your photo gallery of the week is ten of the world's most impressive opera houses.  Say what you will about opera, but these buildings are beautiful.

Weekend classic

Franz Liszt has been discussed before on Royals Review, and was one of the most prolific composers of the 19th century.  This piece for piano and orchestra, Totentanz or 'Dance of the Dead,' premiered a dozen years before the American Civil War.  It is a virtuosic piece and a very fun listen.

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