Royals Rumblings - News for August 19, 2015
In his Twitter Tuesday, Sam Mellinger addresses how this year's postseason differs from last year's experience.
There is virtually no way that Kauffman Stadium will be louder in October 2015 than it was in October 2014. Johnny Cueto may or may not feel the ground beneath him shake from noise the way James Shields did a year ago, but it’s hard to imagine it shaking more. Maybe fans will park on the side of I-70 to take pictures or watch a bit of the game or soak in the noise, but it won’t be the first time. Because of the 29 years and the unexpected way last season played out — awful in May, below .500 in July — there was an unrepeatable explosion of emotion. I came to think of every game as something like group therapy for 40,000 fans at the stadium and however many more watching on TV. It was beautiful, cathartic, and unforgettable to witness.
This October will be completely different. We’ve been fairly certain for a month now, probably more, that the Royals would be in the playoffs. It is expected. The trades at the deadline were done to win playoff series, not qualify for playoff series. Anything that happened in the playoffs last year, particularly after that Wild Card game, was a bonus. I get the feeling now that anything less than a World Series appearance — perhaps even a championship — will be viewed by many fans as a disappointment. None of that means it won’t be fun, or that it won’t be loud, or that the memories won’t last. It just means it won’t be the same, because it can’t be the same, because you only get one breakthrough.
Dan Szymborski at ESPN says Lorenzo Cain is the best blend of power and speed in baseball this year.
To find the perfect blend of power and speed, Bill James developed what he called the power/speed number in an attempt to find the best combination of homers and stolen bases in a more analytical manner than simple statistical plateaus like 30/30 or 40/40. I'm going to take a different route and use isolated power (slugging percentage minus batting average) and the aforementioned speed score, and instead of the raw numbers, I'm going to use how many deviations from the mean players are in each of these categories. And the best combination of speed and power in baseball today is Cain, fittingly the center fielder on the best Royals teams since Bo played baseball. Next up is Mike Trout (hey, you can make only so many awards without Trout being near one.)
Lee Judge writes that Kendrys Morales on Sunday did a good job of "trying easier."
Baseball is a funny sport: unlike football or basketball, trying harder is the wrong approach. Try to throw a baseball harder or swing a bat harder is counterproductive. You tighten up and actually lose velocity and bat speed. Ask a ballplayer who’s in a hot streak what he’s doing and you’ll hear some version of "I’m not trying to do too much." Players know that trying harder won’t work, because they’ve all tried harder and seen the results. I’ve heard Jason Kendall say that in a big situation, with the game on the line, the player who can back off will succeed.
Clark Fosler doesn't get the angst over signing Joba Chamberlain and Wandy Rodriguez to minor league deals.
There is no harm in either signing because, quite frankly, if either Rodriguez or Chamberlain pitches a meaningful inning in a meaningful major league game for the Royals, the team has far, far bigger problems. I think it is unlikely that we see either in a Royals’ uniform this September and quite possible that the month they spend in the system will be their only time with organization. Maybe we’ll see them in Spring Training – again, no harm in having a bunch of arms in camp in March.
It is easy to overestimate the amount of angst contained in a Tweet or a comment on the internet, but if you had any – even one brief sliver of it – over these two minor league signings, you need to note that the calendar says 2015, not 2009. It is not like it used to be. Oh, and by the way, after years of very logical questioning of Dayton Moore, who are we to criticize the signings made by a GM who picked up Chris Young, Ryan Madson and, yes, even Joe Blanton for virtually nothing this year?
"A hypothetical Pirates-Royals World Series would probably rank among the lowest rated World Series ever, even though each team has an intriguing comeback story," says Paulsen, the founder of Sports Media Watch and a contributor for Sporting News. "Having said that, anything north of an 8.0 rating is probably good enough to satisfy Major League Baseball and Fox — especially given the football competition. Absent a big market or star player, the biggest factor in the ratings would likely be the quality of the games and/or the length of the series. Going seven games boosted last year’s World Series ratings from 7.3 (through six games) to a more respectable 8.2."
The Royals did not have a good night with replay last night, but coach Bill Duplissea has been pretty solid deciding when to challenge plays. (h/t Jesse Newell)
The Royals explain why your post-season seat may not be in the same place as your season ticket seat.
Matthew Trueblood at Just a Bit Outside writes that last year's Royals showed that the 162-game schedule means little in October.
Dave Dombrowski wasn't unemployed long, he has been hired to run the Red Sox with Ben Cherington on the way out.
Should MLB eliminate divisions?
Tony Blengino at Fangraphs wonders who is the real Mike Montgomery?
"Diehards", a book looking at the passion of baseball fans, including Royals fans, is available on September 1.
The Chargers and Raiders could realign into different divisions if they become co-tenants in Los Angeles.
The National Labor Relations Board says Northwestern football players cannot unionize.
KU football breaks into the Top 25....in player arrests.
Oscar Pistroius will serve five years for the killling of his girlfriend - in his mansion.
A writer diagnosed with celiac disease looks at the gluten-free movement with some amusement.
For the first time, Army Ranger school will have female graduates.
Is "Straight Outta Compton" one of the best first tracks on an album ever?