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Royals Rumblings - News for September 9, 2015

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All is well.

Reed Hoffmann/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for September 9, 2015

Clark Fosler at Royals Authority talks about domes and "flipping the switch."

Therein lies the trick: you want to be rested and healthy going into the playoffs, but you do not want to be rusty or (gasp!) plagued by a little mental doubt. Sure, the Royals could play around with the lineup the entire month and score eight runs in the first two innings of Game One. That said, I would feel better (and it IS all about me) if the Royals had a good week or two of decent production from their playoff lineup heading into the post-season. I would feel better if the bullpen was back in their roles and back in sync well prior to calling on HDH with a 3-2 lead in the top of seventh. I would feel better if Johnny Cueto had gone seven innings his last two starts of the year while allowing just a run or two and if Yordano Ventura had struck out ten…..and not walked five in his last start.

No matter one’s belief in the mental side of the game, you are going to have a hard time convincing me that Kansas City can flounder through September and just flip the switch come the post-season. Flounder away for the next ten days, I say, but then let’s lock in the lineup and batting order and the bullpen and play like it matters.

David Lesky at Pine Tar Press isn't panicking about the Royals yet.

I will say, though, that wishing and hoping for and against playoff opponents is an exercise in futility. If the Royals plan to win a World Series, they’re going to have to beat really good teams in order to do so. It would be great if the Blue Jays could knock out the Astros or (preferably) vice versa, but the Royals will still have to take care of business against a very good team in order to play the winner of that series. So yeah, getting that best record is important, but it doesn’t make the road to the World Series that much easier.

With all of that in mind and with the Royals division lead shrinking a bit and their lead for the best record in the AL shrinking more than a bit, I’m still not worried. Yes, the Royals have looked bad for much of the last week and a half. The starting pitching has given up first inning runs like it’s going out of style. The offense has been great for games and basically dead for games. The bullpen isn’t at full strength, and it shows. But I’m still not worried.

I’ll ask you a question and you tell me what you think. Do you truly believe that the Royals have just forgotten how to be good?

Christopher Till at Royals Blue looks at how important home field advantage is in the playoffs.

The question I pose, though, is just how important is home-field advantage? I went back to postseason series since 2003 and calculated the record of teams with home-field in each series. In the Division Series, teams with home-field advantage have won 24 series while losing 24 series. In the League Championship Series, teams with home-field advantage have won 12 series while losing 12 series. The only series where teams with home-field enjoyed any advantage was the World Series with home-field teams going 8-4 (though 1 of the 4 were the Royals in 2014). The World Series, however, is determined by the league that wins the All-Star Game, not the best record. Overall, teams with home-field advantage enjoy a 44-40 record, which isn’t much of a statistical advantage.

Ned Yost chimes in on home field advantage.

Sam Mellinger chimes in on Brandon Finnegan's recent comments.

The problem for Finnegan is that this hints at an immaturity or lack of focus that some around the game have suspected. Finnegan’s stance isn’t without merit, it should be said. The Royals’ baseball ops department was split on whether he should be a starter or reliever, and their handling of him showed that. But most of the reason they were split was his fault. He showed up to spring training out of shape — or, to be more accurate, in a different, rounder shape — and did not make a convincing case to be in the rotation.

It’s also worth noting that the Courier-Journal story in which Finnegan is accurately quoted saying the stupid thing, his new coaches don’t seem to be entirely convicted in what to do with him, either, and particularly not as a starter.

Brandon Finnnegan got the call to the big leagues for the Reds.

Who is to blame for the Tigers' disappointing season?

The Yankees shut down pitcher Nathan Eovaldi for two weeks.

Yoenis Cespedes gets a waiver on an odd contract clause to allow him to re-sign with the Mets if he wants to.

RIP Joaquin Andujar, who was ejected in Game Seven of the 1985 World Series.

Kansas City native and Rockhurst high school grad Ray Chang played all nine positions in a minor league game on Monday.

A former Yankees clubhouse attendant has a tell-all book out now alleging a romantic relationship between Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada.

The Braves stadium project in Cobb County is already $300 million over budget.

Sports Illustrates looks at ESPN's attempts to re-tool SportsCenter as a Scott Van Pelt show.

Speaking of ESPN, they rocked the football world with their expose on how the Patriots cheated and the NFL covered it up.

Jon Bois explains that punts are the work of the devil.

The Kansas State band director is punished - but only for showing a Jayhawk during the halftime performance.

Google will begin delivering groceries to selected Midwest cities.

Kids who breathe in more pollution get lower grades.

Is there a "leading man" shortage in Hollywood?

Is Jim Gaffigan the top Christian comedian?

Your song of the day is Band of Horses with "The End's Not Near."