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Royals Rumblings - News for July 27, 2015

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HAPPY JOHNNY CUETO DAY!

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for July 27, 2015

Sam Mellinger writes about that intangible concoction known as clubhouse chemistry.

In both sports and business, there is a popular idea that a group is made better or worse by how it generates or loses energy together. So-called "energy givers" are valued, and "energy suckers" are rooted out and discarded. Chiefs coach Andy Reid, among many others, refers to this regularly. There is so much talk in sports about team chemistry, an impossibly vague term that often confuses cause and effect. Maybe there’s some of that here, too — there’d be a lot fewer high fives and funny jokes on a last-place team — but an organization-wide emphasis on how each player affects the next is as logical a reason as any for how this group has changed the history of a long-sorry franchise.

"You either give or you suck," first-base coach Rusty Kuntz says. "There’s no in-between."

There has never been, as far as I can tell, any tangible proof that team chemistry is a significant factor in teams winning or losing. At least, not a big enough factor to justify how often it is talked about. Teams tend to win or lose based on how much talent their players have and how well they play, not on how much they enjoy each other’s company. But these are human beings, and human beings have feelings. Ballplayers are like anyone else. When they’re around people they get along with, they’re happier. It’s simple.

Alex Gordon gives us an update on his groin.

Alex Gordon said his return to the field remains "five or six weeks away" before the Royals’ series finale Sunday against the Houston Astros. Gordon said he expects to start hitting off a tee during the Royals’’ next road trip, and already resumed throwing late last week. "I don’t know what the progression is, because I’ve never done this before," Gordon said. "But I feel good at this point."

Lee Judge talks about the Astros' shallow defensive positioning in the outfield and looks at why the Royals don't do the same.

So why don’t the Royals do the same thing? Command.

To play drastic shifts, the defense has to have faith that the pitcher is going to hit his spots. You can’t play your outfield shallow if your pitcher is leaving balls up in the strike zone. You would be chasing balls to the wall all night. Saturday night, the Royals played their outfield straight up, and if you paid attention, you could see why.

Matt Snyder at CBS Sports writes the Royals may not be done.

Omar Infante at second base is badly in need of an upgrade as well. They'd have to outbid about a dozen other teams that could use him, but Ben Zobrist solves the problem here.

Again, expect general manager Dayton Moore to remain aggressive. The Royals need to capitalize on the momentum from last season that has continued into this season and the Cueto move illustrates that Moore is on board with doing so.

Jon Morosi concurs.

Pete Grathoff has six facts you may not know about Johnny Cueto.

The Star looks at other big trades that have shaken up the Royals franchise.

Dave Cameron at Fangraphs predicted the Royals would get Cueto among his trade deadline predictions.]

Does anyone want James Shields?

Cole Hamels tossed a no-hitter on what might be his last start as a member of the Phillies.

Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, and Craig Biggio were inducted into the Hall of Fame over the weekend.

Reggie Jackson got into a confrontation with a fan while up in Cooperstown.

Adam Sobsey of Grantland looks at the pace of play rules in baseball and what they mean for the game's future.

Americans polled think steroid users should lose one-third of their stats. BUT WHAT IF A STEROID USER WENT AGAINST A STEROID USER?

A piece of Negro League history is wasting away in New Jersey.

The NFL is not allowing Junior Seau's family to speak at his Hall of Fame induction because, concussions and stuff.

Twitter is deleting stolen jokes on copyright grounds.

China is finally allowing foreign-made video game consoles.

Photographer Steve McCurry has a new book out that shows where your coffee comes from.

Your song of the day is the Pixies with "Here Comes Your Man."