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Royals Rumblings - News for June 21, 2016

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A day without Royals baseball seems like the longest day in the world.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for June 21, 2016

Craig Brown at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City looks at why the Royals are so good at home.

Remember a couple of years ago when it became a thing to mention how the Royals crapped their pants every time a crowd of more than 25,000 showed up to watch them play baseball? There was some sort of insane stat that supported this hokum that the team was something like 1-10 when playing in front of what we would consider to be a large crowd. (I really can’t be bothered to look this up, but trust me when I tell you it was a thing.)

Narratives are a funny thing. They can change in a single moment. Suddenly, this franchise has gone from freaking out every time people fill the stadium to winning postseason games to thumping opponents on the regular. Naturally, attendance is up. That happens when you win games. Everyone loves a winner. So does the crowd feed the offensive frenzy? Perhaps. There’s obviously no way to measure this, but the players certainly seem to think this happens. The mind is a crazy and wonderful thing, especially in a sport geared to frequent failure like baseball.

Jeffrey Flanagan writes about the tweak in Whit Merrifield's swing that made the difference.

Merrifield doesn't remember who specifically inspired him to try the top-hand release approach to hitting, but he thought he'd give it a whirl. In that technique, the batter brings the bat through the zone with both hands. But upon contact, the hitter releases his top hand and pulls with his bottom hand to create lead-arm extension through the zone and toward the pitcher.

The result, when done properly, is more backspin on fly balls, thus more distance. It also allows the barrel of the bat to stay in the zone longer, creating more consistent contact.

John Viril at Kings of Kauffman points out that Whit Merrifield is in the running for Rookie of the Year.

However, if you throw in Merrifield’s defensive skills, plus his versatility, I think he’s got a shot to take home the award if he can finish out the season somewhat close to how he’s started it. Consider that Merrifield ranks no. 2 in fWAR (Fangraphs Wins Above Replacement) for all AL rookies, and he’s only behind Mazara with 1.3 fWAR. Note that Mazara has played 59 games compared to Merrifield’s 26, and that WAR is a counting stat.

Merrifield is providing value in all phases of the game, with the bat, with the glove, and on the base paths. None of the other top rookie performers can say the same thing.

Kris Medlen was less than impressive in his rehab start. But Alex Gordon looked good with two hits, including a home run.

The city is investigating the puppy left in a car at the stadium during Sunday's game.

The Royals radio and TV broadcasting teams rank in the middle of baseball, according to a Fangraphs survey.

The Red Sox placed $68 million free agent outfielder Rusney Castillo on waivers.

Are the Marlins for real?

Where do baseball front offices find their employees?

Who are the greatest teams in sports who failed to win a championship?

UFC has been sold for over $4 billion. Or was it?

How Bleacher Report screwed over one writer.

The SEC approves a newer, slower stock exchange.

Tom DeLonge quit the band "Blink-182" because of the national security threat posed by UFOs.

Your song of the day is Erasure with "Chains of Love."