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Royals Rumblings - News for June 14, 2016

Hit Merrifield is going strong!

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Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for June 14, 2016

Blar Kerkhoff at the Kansas City Star writes about the Royals' first draft pick A. J. Puckett's journey from requiring brain surgery to becoming a millionaire professional baseball player.

"It all happened in a flash," Puckett said. "I was shocked a little bit when I woke up, and I tried to take it one step at a time."

Those steps included ending his high school football career at famed De La Salle High, entering Pepperdine University, where he just finished a remarkable junior season that included a 45 2/3 -inning scoreless streak and a phone call from the Royals last Thursday.

Julia Kauffman, daughter of Royals' former owner Ewing Kauffman, has donated $1 million to the Kansas City Royals Urban Youth Academy.

The donation will support the construction of the academy, which will house 800 to 1,000 youth baseball and softball players every year from ages 6-18. The Royals’ academy is expected to open in June 2017 and will be the seventh MLB academy site in the country.

"We couldn’t be more humbled and honored by this donation," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said in a news release. "Celebrating Mr. Kauffman’s 100th birthday observance in this way is the perfect partnership for the academy."

Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs talks about Danny Duffy's newfound brilliance as a starter this year.

I know there are reasons to be wary of Duffy. And I will get to those, but first, let me set the table. Understand that, if you’re looking for a really interesting pitcher in this Royals rotation, you have to lower your standards. I’m doing that by lowering my innings minimum. Duffy has started just six times, narrowly clearing 30 innings. I looked at all the starters with at least 20 innings. Here are some facts that I’ve selected:

  • Danny Duffy ranks No. 1 in first-pitch-strike rate
  • Danny Duffy ranks No. 3 in contact rate
  • Danny Duffy ranks No. 2 in in-zone contact rate

It’s just three facts, but already you can tell two things: Duffy has gotten ahead, and Duffy has been difficult to hit, even when he’s thrown strikes.

Ned Yost thinks that Whit Merrifield will stick around for a while.

Merrifield knocked his first Major League homer and his first triple in the Royals' 2-1 win over the Indians on Monday night.

"I just look at Whit ... and I just told [GM] Dayton [Moore], 'This kid is not a flash in the pan,'" manager Ned Yost said. "His swing works up here. It's very compact. It's very short. He covers the plate really, really well. He has a good sense of timing on breaking pitches. He just gives you really, really good at-bats."

Other items of interest

Russians have started a to replace Spider-Man's Russian voiceover in future Marvel films. Spider-Man: important to the motherland.

Hey Arnold! is getting a movie 12 years after its last episode.

Crash Bandicoot is also coming back with a remaster. Baggy jeans are going to be the hot thing this fall, too, as well as purple and aqua paper cups.

Microsoft is buying Linkedin for $26 billion, and here's why they're doing it.

Your photos of the day come from National Geographic's Reuben Wu, whose current project is an endeavor to capture beautiful and haunting landscapes in the night sky.

Tuesday classic

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in December 1791, one month before his 36th birthday. He was the textbook definition of a prodigy; his genius was fantastic, his style unique. His works will last as long as humanity will.

Other great composers were known for particular genres--Wagner for his operas, Liszt for his piano works, and Schubert for his lieder. Mozart's expertise extended to symphonies, opera, piano, string quartet, and chamber works.

Mozart himself performed his 27th Piano Concerto in March of 1791. There is little bombast or virtuosity, especially in the Larghetto movement; it's full of simple and lyrical beauty, wise and weary as if Mozart knew his time on this Earth was short.

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