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Royals Rumblings - News for October 20, 2017

Dodgers to World Series; Astros/Yankees Game 6 tonight

World Series - San Francisco Giants v Kansas City Royals - Game Seven
2014 World Series Game 7
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Old friend (and current BPKC writer) Craig Brown posted his thoughts on Dayton Moore’s year end press conference:

I used to be able to depend on Dayton Moore. His year end press conferences were red meat for the blog. Not anymore. The delusion and defiance of the past have been replaced with a pragmatism that underscores the Royals development as a franchise under Moore and his team.

Some of the Royals new core will be playing together in winter ball.

Like last year, shortstop Raul Mondesi and outfielder Jorge Bonifacio are expected to join the Tigres de Licey in their native Dominican Republic league. Third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert, who is from Nicaragua, is also on the list to play there.

“You just want them to just keep playing, keep getting at-bats, stay healthy of course,” Moore said in a scheduled news conference Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium. “That experience will obviously serve them well as they continue to grow as players.”

As can sometimes be the case, two writers on different Royals blogs write about the same topic when news breaks. This time, it's KC Kingdom's Leigh Oleszczak writing about expansion the day after Max did.

KOK’s Nicholas Sullivan revisits 1985 World Series Game 1, which is a perfect segue into...

We only have a couple of weeks of playoff baseball left so only a couple more chances for game threads in the Best of Royals Review. Three World Series threads came to mind but only two are going to make the cut. Next week’s is pretty obvious. But for this week, I opted with the dramatic events before intermission rather than the build up to the final climax: 2014 World Series Game 7.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals have rapidly oscillated between mediocre, awful, and amazing, with seemingly no warning. From the meh points of April to the low of May and pre All-Star break July to the fantastic run from August till now, the Royals have broken hearts, reconstructed them, and shattered them again and again.

Fortunately, that all ends tonight. Unfortunately, that all ends tonight.

The end, in particular, is an interesting read as the pain is raw but it’s mixed with a pride of all the team accomplished in the 2014 postseason. I still can’t get over how lucky we were as fans to have that sad ending turn into a prelude.

I’m guessing this one might have been in the can for a week or two in the event of a Yankees-Cubs World Series, but with the Cubs down in their series yesterday (and now out), CBS’s posted Dayn Perry’s story on the 1932 World Series on their front page. It’s not the most cohesive article ever written but a number of threads intertwine in an interesting time and place with a colorful cast of characters.

Division III Occidental College (presumably in the west) had to forfeit the rest of its games due to a lack of players “as the team was down to ‘around 35 players, including one healthy defensive lineman’”. No word on if Kansas is considering doing the same, though this author is still annoyed they can’t seem to crack ESPN’s Bottom 10 this season.

With the NBA season starting a couple of nights ago: how about something different? I have a little bit of a weakness for shoes. Not like full on “I have a closet full of 100”, but I do like to have a nice pair of shoes for work and play. Here’s Sports Illustrated’s 2017 NBA Sneaker Preview.

After the previous article devoted a decent amount of time to the Greek Freak (yes, I admit it: I can’t spell his name without having it in front of me), I saw SBNation had an interesting article on how he’s up for “shoe free agency” and there are estimates he could make $7-10 million per year on his shoe deal.

October is the scary movie time of year. My wife and I had some time away from the kiddo this past weekend and we watched Scream. Neither of us had seen it in years or remembered much about it, except that we had a vague positive impression despite neither of us liking horror movies. After a rewatch of it and the sequel, I think both still hold up quite well and I ran across some decent retrospectives from last year as it was the 20th anniversary. The one I liked best was from ET.

And, of course, you can’t have Halloween without candy. Vox tackles how dark chocolate went from candy to “super food”. The answer is: millions in research grants from confectioners. The story even talks about a chocolate-avocado bar, which presumably will prevent all millennials from buying homes. TL;DR: Sorry, chocolate (even dark) is not a health food; the negative effects of the sugar from it far outweigh the benefits.

A mention of Perfect Dark is met with one of two reactions typically: “huh?” or “that’s a great game”. It was released at the end of the N64’s life in 2000, more than a year after Project Dolphin (aka the GameCube) had been announced. The sixth generation was already under way with the Dreamcast released and the Playstation 2 and XBox on the way.

Developed in Rare’s heyday (we’ll probably talk about them at more length in another entry), it would become their 7th million seller on the N64 (after GoldenEye 007, Donkey Kong 64, Diddy Kong Racing, Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie, and Jet Force Gemini). It was originally going to be the Tomorrow Never Dies-based N64 sequel to smash hit GoldenEye 007. However, because of Goldeneye’s success, EA (over)bid and won the rights to make the next James Bond game. So Rare created their own original (very 90s) IP for the single-player campaign with a female secret agent named Joanna Dark, rival corporate and shadowy government organizations on different sides in an intergalactic war, clones, and, of course, an alien named Elvis.

For multiplayer, the technically demanding FPS genre on the PC had far outpaced consoles, with the Playstation and N64 showing their age. On that platform, Quake was 4 years old and Half-Life was 2. The previous year had seen Team Fortress Classic, Counter-Strike, Unreal Tournament, and Quake 3: Arena released. But for consoles, dorm favorite GoldenEye was still dominant and better than the best Sony had to offer (Medal of Honor?). Perfect Dark was a significant improvement across the board with amazing multiplayer customization for the time: standard story co-op, “counter op” (story mode where the second player takes control of villains trying to stop the hero), and combat simulator, the more traditional multiplayer.

In the combat simulator, you could play with up to 4 humans and 8 computer-controlled sims. And each of those computer-controlled sims could be one of a couple dozen types from the awful meat sim to the nearly unbeatable dark sim to the crazy revenge sim or slow but shielded turtle sim or insane Kazi Sim. It was ridiculously customizable and you could divide up these teams for death match, capture the flag, king of the hill, and more. I’m not sure there will ever be a more complete and polished FPS, relative to the available hardware and current gaming conventions than Perfect Dark.

Of course, as they often do, Microsoft came along and ruined everything. First, they raised the console FPS bar in a huge way with Halo (2001). And, second, after Rare had already started hemorrhaging employees to Free Radical and other companies, they bought up the remains of the once-great Rare and put out a couple of mediocre sequels that tarnished the legacy of the original.

Like so many things about this game, the end credits, both music and style are so very late 90s: