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Royals Rumblings - News for September 24, 2015

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LET'S CLINCH TONIGHT!

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for September 24, 2015

Dave Cameron at Just a Bit Outside says you should be concerned about the Royals starting pitching, but not because of their September.

Maybe the Royals are on to something here: The three worst pitching-and-defense units in September all went on to make the World Series, and the 1997 Marlins got to throw a parade when it was all over. While this is only five teams, it certainly doesn't suggest that late-season pitching problems are a sign of impending doom for a team's chances in October.

Perhaps this shouldn't be that surprising. In most cases, when we look even at extreme performances in small periods of time, we find that there's little predictive value; it is almost always better to take a long view of a team's performance, and not overreact to what happened in the last couple of weeks. And the way the postseason schedule works, teams get to reduce the number of pitchers they have to rely on, so pitchers who are legitimately having issues can be hidden in October. Guthrie probably isn't going to draw a start for the Royals this postseason, so the fact that opposing batters are torching him every time out likely doesn't matter much for the team's October chances.

Sam Mellinger writes that taking the closer's role away from Greg Holland was harder than you think.

In the end, Yost knows his loyalty has to be to the team. To the grander goal of winning the World Series. He has said that one of his biggest mistakes in Milwaukee was staying in development mode for too long. He will not have to learn that lesson twice.

The big change came almost exactly a year ago. With the Royals in a crowded race for a playoff spot and a game against the Red Sox in the balance, Yost used an outdated bullpen-by-numbers process to choose Aaron Crow instead of Kelvin Herrera. The decision made no sense on any level, except that Yost had decided that the sixth inning would be Crow’s, no matter what. Crow gave up a game-turning grand slam, the Royals lost for the fifth time in seven games, and the next day pitching coach Dave Eiland persuaded Yost to take a more flexible approach.

For all of the criticism Yost has taken here over the years — much of it justified, and much of it hyperbolic — he has been a rock-solid leader as the Royals close in on their first division title in 30 years.

Salvy is fine. HE's FINE!

Jeremy Guthrie may not be in the rotation anymore.

Vahe Gregorian writes that Mike Moustakas was always an All-Star to his mother.

During his 24 hours or so of freedom between the game and the start of the second half of the season in July, Moustakas flew home to California to see his mother, Connie, who was in the hospital battling cancer and other undisclosed illnesses.

"I wanted to make her proud every single day …," Moustakas said Tuesday. "And to be named to my first All-Star team when all of that was going on was pretty special."

So was giving her his All-Star Game jersey, the thought of which still makes him think of her joyous smile and the vision of her wearing it. "To her," he said, "I was always an All-Star no matter what." Then she told him to "go back to work." And that was the last time Mike Moustakas ever saw his mother — at least in the material world.

Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs looks as to whether Salvador Perez's lower target actually made a difference.

It was after that start that the Royals and Cueto had the meeting, and Cueto opened up. So you’d expect lower pitches, by and large, from the last game.... The pitches actually ended up higher. Some of them, much higher. All but the four-seamer averaged a greater height than Cueto’s overall season mark, and the four-seamer was tied. So after one start, there’s no real evidence that Cueto was better about keeping the ball down. His results, though, improved.

Matthew Leach looks at some underrated trades that helped out contenders this year.

The Royals got so many players when they sent Greinke to Milwaukee, it's not a huge surprise that a couple of them hit. Still, the move changed the entire direction of the Kansas City franchise. Jeffress didn't work out, but the other three have been essential to the Royals resurgence. Cain has simply become a star, a great defensive outfielder with a broad-based offensive game, a tremendously fun player to watch, and one of the heroes of last year's postseason. Escobar's defense at short is a critical part of the Royals' way of doing business, and he had a strong year at the plate in 2014. And Odorizzi? Well, he helped the Royals land James Shields and Wade Davis from the Royals, a deal derided at the time but that looks pretty good these days.

Will Leitch looks at the potential post-season stadiums this fall and selects when they were at their best.

I'm not going to torture Royals fans by making them watch the Giants celebrate their third championship in five seasons on Kansas City's home field. Instead, let's remember the play that will forever live as a fanciful what-if in the souls of Royals faithful. What if Alex Gordon had run for home in the ninth inning? I think he would have been thrown out. But we will never know. And Royals fans will always wonder.

Greg Holland has switched agents to Scott Boras.

Local radio station 90.9 "The Bridge" is looking for fans to compose a Royals tribute song.

Jeff Sullivan writes that there is no correlation between strength of schedule and post-season success.

The Tigers have sent reliever Bruce Rondon home due to a "lack of effort."

Former teammates Barry  Zito and Tim Hudson will face each other this weekend.

Should President Obama give Yogi Berra the Medal of Freedom?

How bad is it to start 0-2 in the NFL?

Wrestling got a bit too real on the Night of Champions.

Coca-Cola spent $100 million to try to prove soda is healthy.

Evidence that galactic super-civilizations don't exist.

Netflix knows exactly when TV shows hook viewers.

Is Last Man on Earth trapped by its apocalyptic premise?

Your song of the day is T. Rex with "20th Century Boy."