In case you didn’t see on the front page yesterday afternoon, Salvador Perez, Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon, and Lorenzo Cain were named AL Golden Glove finalists. Winners will be announced November 7th.
“[Frank] White and civic leader Randall Ferguson, Jr. were named this week as recipients of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum’s 2017 Buck O’Neil Legacy Award.” Read more about the award and the relationship between two Kansas City legends in this piece by the Kansas City Star’s Maria Torres.
Also in the Star, The Urban Youth Academy at 18th and Vine is almost complete, writes Aaron Randle.
Its goal: Change the downward trajectory of baseball and softball in Kansas City’s urban core. Now that the academy is almost built, organizers are working to ensure that players from that community will indeed come.
It’s taken me a while to notice, but I think old friend Craig Brown’s day to write at BPKC is Thursday as it seems like I’m always linking to his articles for Friday Rumblings. Today’s topic: the Melky Cabrera trade, first in a series.
Today, we begin our 2017 postmortem. This will be a series of posts detailing those final two months and how the Royals ultimately fell short in their quest for one last shot at glory with their championship core.
KOK’s Nicholas Sullivan writes about one of the most famous games in Royals history. Hint: it is seasoned with salty Cardinal tears and a dose of bitterness fermented for more than 30 years.
I swear: Leigh Oleszczak does almost all the writing for the Royals at KC Kingdom. This week, she looked at the 2017 Royals Pitchers of the Year. You won't believe who is #1! Yup, sorry, it's a slideshow.
For this week’s Best of Royals Review (TM), I wasn’t going to use this game in the first set of Rumblings. But after Wednesday night’s World Series game, which certainly is deserving of the term “instant classic”, I just had to post a Royals World Series contest which shares that description: 2015 World Series Game 1 (3101 comments)
The death of Edinson Volquez's father cast a pall over everything and we, the audience, found out about it before the night's starting pitcher. Esky had the leadoff inside-the-park home run. Fox lost their broadcast. Mets took the lead, Royals tied it. The Mets retook took a lead on a Hosmer error. And then Alex Gordon's glorious home run in the 9th tied it, leading to Denny's radio call of "this place is pulsating at the moment". The game would end with Chris Young against Bartolo Colon as the teams went scoreless for the 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th innings. In the 14th, Hosmer got his chance at redemption, hitting a sacrifice fly to end the longest game in World Series history.
We can always post one more game thread next week after the World Series and the universe won’t break.
Speaking of World Series Game 2, now that they’ve destroyed the paper towel, breakfast cereal, and soap industries (presumably all to finance their avocado toast empires), Millennials are setting their eyes on baseball, specially the Dodgers. At least according to Steve Garvey.
While we’re on the topic, Travis Sawchik at Fangraphs declares "Game Two was so 2017".
The affair included tandem pitching, multi-inning appearances by closers, a veteran broadcaster and ex-player (John Smoltz) citing — somewhat begrudgingly, it seemed — Statcast data. It had elite velocity (Kenta Maeda sitting 95). And, more than anything, it had launch angle and juiced balls. Game 2 had home runs.
And speaking of the universe not breaking, how about the headline “The Universe Should Not Actually Exist, Scientists Say”. Maybe the scientists forgot to carry a 1. Or God. Whoever. If you’re talking about a deity, is “whoever” still the proper interrogative pronoun? What if only one of the collective you are talking about is a deity and the other mortals? So many grammar questions.
And I didn’t find the answer in my copy of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. Maybe that’s why it’s starting to fall out of educational fashion? And, yes, I still have a copy (not that you could tell by my writing).
If you need a new copy delivered, you could always have Amazon deliver it right into your home. Wait? That can’t be right. Delivered in vague proximity to my door with either way too much or way too little packing material? Sure. But in my house? No thanks.
And if that’s not enough scary futurism for the day, when a reporter asked a robot about the dangers of AI, it responded “You've been reading too much Elon Musk. And watching too many Hollywood movies. Don't worry, if you're nice to me, I'll be nice to you.” That totally couldn’t be construed as a threat or, reminiscent of scenes in said movies immediately before the robots begin their takeover.
Amazon may enter the pharmacy business so CVS counters by floating the idea to buy Aetna. I’m sure having the company who pays a pharmacy owned by a pharmacy will be great for the pharmaceutical consumer and insurance premium payer, alike.
I think this paragraph just floats between “humble brag” and straight up “brag” so I might as well own it. I managed to get my hands on an SNES Classic this past week. The only game I didn’t already own and haven’t played is Star Fox 2. Here’s The Verge’s review of that game. And here’s an ars technica interview with one of the programmers, Dylan Cuthbert (more about him in the youtube video linked below). And that in no way is a shameless segue into our song of the day.
Last week, in talking about Perfect Dark, I touched on how FPSs on PCs were way ahead of those on consoles. I mean, in a way, that’s going to be the case for all games. The moment a home console comes out, the technology is already a year old or more and it just gets older until the next generation. The bulk of the best games in a generation are typically two to four years after release, as developers take time to learn and optimize the new systems. This is why PCs tend to have a 3-5 year technology advantage and why most groundbreaking happens there. (FYI: This is not to say PC gaming is superior as consoles benefit from standardization in configuration as well as optimization for gaming. It’s just that PC and console gaming are just different.)
To bring us back to today’s game, while Star Fox wasn’t the first polygon-based 3D space shooter, it’s the most well known on a home console. If you’re interested in more of the story about its development, Wrestling With Gaming did a good youtube video on the topic. It was developed by a company, Argonaut Software, that had released 3D space shooter Starglider and a sequel on the home PC platforms in the late 80s. If you check out the screenshot from Starglider 2 on its wikipedia page, you can see some similarities to Star Fox.
Now the 3D looks very primitive, but it was an impressive technological leap at the time. It was powered by the massively hyped FX chip, basically a GPU within the game cartridge. And the hype was deserved as it took the rotational SNES Mode 7 graphics seen in sprite form in games like F-Zero and made “true” 3D. To get that out of the 16-bit systems of the day was quite an amazing accomplishment. The chip was only used in a handful of games but, for instance, it allowed Doom to play on the SNES, as well.
When I snagged my SNES Classic, it was the first game I played. It’s a short game by today’s standards - you can beat the easiest path in the game in under 30 minutes. While, again, it looks quite dated by today’s standards, in the memory’s eye, it’s absolutely beautiful. Here’s the music from Corneria, the first level: