Royals Rumblings - News for August 4, 2015
Craig Brown at Royals Authority thinks the Royals shouldn't be the only targets of ire for Sunday's incidents.
I just don’t understand how umpires can be so tone deaf to the ebb and flow of the game. They are on the field as much as the players and they see thousands of pitches each season from the vantage point from behind the plate. On Saturday, Cain was hit when there were already runners on first and second. Besides, it was his third plate appearance of the game. I seriously doubt Mark Buehrle decided to wait until that moment to deliberately plunk Cain. Later in the game, Moustakas was hit in the ninth inning when the Blue Jays were trailing by a run. Again, who would throw at a batter and give a team a free baserunner in that situation? Apparently, home plate ump Wolf thought Volquez was on some sort of vendetta early on Sunday, so he felt the need to issue the warning.
This led to Josh Donaldson showing his complete lack of understanding of the game himself, by throwing tantrums every time a baseball was thrown on the inner half of the plate. Donaldson stands close to the home plate edge of the batter’s box. He has a high front leg kick and brings his foot down on the same plane where he starts. He’s not on top of the plate, but that high kick exposes him to a pitch inside. Ryan Madson struggled in his outing on Sunday. He had runners on first and second when he came inside to Donaldson. He’s not trying to hit the batter in that situation. That’s insane. Yet, Donaldson hopped away, gesturing to let everyone know he was displeased at Madson’s approach.
Donaldson looked like a child. And he certainly looked like he didn’t understand the situation or the strategy of the Royals pitching staff.
Grant Brisbee thinks umpire Jim Wolf was right in discerning intent on Sunday, but maybe we should have umpires be overly aggressive in putting a stop to beanballs.
The latter's umpiring philosophy, though, seems dangerous. By letting things get chippier and chippier, more players are in danger of getting hit with a ball. Sanchez kept the ball low, and good for him, but what if he missed high accidentally? Even worse, what if he were a macho weirdo who thought, "Well, they buzzed Donaldson's chin, so," and winged a ball at the batter's face?
The Jays-Royals set-to made me realize something, after decades of watching baseball, that I never thought about: I prefer the umpires who mindlessly toss pitchers out after a warning. It affects the pitcher's ability to throw inside and alters the game, but it stops the nonsense, usually. We got to see what happened when an umpire used his judgment, and even though it's likely that Wolf got each judgment call right, it ended up being more dangerous by the end of the game.
Grown men in pajamas threw projectiles and pushed each other around on Sunday, as is their strange custom. In this case, though, the umpire was more interesting. I think he got it right, and by doing so, he got everything so very wrong.
Former Royals catcher and current Blue Jays analyst Gregg Zaun calls out pitcher Yordano Ventura.
Dayton Moore talk about how morality is a character evaluation in his players.
When he arrived in Kansas City in 2006, Moore established three questions that had to be answered of all prospective Royals leaders. First among them was, "Are they able to apply moral principles in their lives?"
"Our goal from day one here in Kansas City was to create an organization we'd want our own sons and family to be a part of," Moore said. "With scouts that we hire, [we ask] would we want this particular scout in our home representing the Royals, talking to our son about joining the Royals? Would we want this coach, this instructor, this manager around our sons on a daily basis?"
Cultivating character among minor league players was particularly important to Moore because of his goal to establish a winning team with a majority of the players developed through the Kansas City farm system. Consequently, minor leaguers with the Royals hear speakers address morality, and they participate in character and leadership development programs.
David Temple at Fangraphs gets into the awesomeness of Wade Davis.
So while the end of his home run streak is certainly something worth mentioning, it’s also worth mentioning that Wade Davis has been a bananas reliever in the past year and a half. And I mean bananas in the good, Gwen Stefani-type way. He deserves better than a footnote or a "Did You Know?" article that everyone will forget in a day. I hereby declare [day you are reading this] as Wade Davis Appreciation Day.
If we round up and say that Davis’ relief career started in 2014, so far — in about a season and a half — he’s been worth 4.5 wins. Going by RA9-WAR, he’s been worth 6.4 wins. He’s been worth more wins than 40 qualified starters in that span. Number forty on that list? James Shields.
Andy McCullough sums up the confrontations the Royals have had with opponents all season.
Lorenzo Cain and Wade Davis were named Royals Player and Cyborg of the Month for the month of July.
The A's claim former Royals third baseman Danny Valencia off waivers.
A look at the game theory behind the trading deadline.
Rob Neyer wonders if the Cardinals deserve the benefit of the doubt despite evidence the Brandon Moss trade looks bad.
A Cardinals charity is not being very upfront about why the team is charging them so much for office supplies (h/t Joe).
These fake umps are having a great time in the front row.
The ten dumbest sports stories of July include the non-snubbing of All-Star candidates.
St. Louis can build a football stadium using public funds without a public vote.
After being traded from the Eagles, Brandon Boykin says coach Chip Kelly is "uncomfortable" around black players.
Pesticide drift threatens organic farms in Missouri. (h/t Bob)
Scientists say "fat" could be a sixth taste.
Is Windows 10 not a disaster?