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Royals Rumblings - News for July 14, 2017

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Baseball’s second half begins!

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Texas Rangers
Royals v Rangers tonight
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

MLB requires teams to have a translator but Pedro Grifol serves in that capacity for the team. However they had to cut a deal and forfeit some money from MLB to do it.

And in 2016, when the league and the MLB Players Association rolled out what they called the bilingual media coordinator program, requiring teams to staff a full-time media professional trained in translation, Grifol was allowed to retain his hybrid role...

The organization argued Grifol had been crucial in giving a voice to Latino players like pitchers Yordano Ventura and Johnny Cueto throughout their run to the World Series championship. The Royals weren’t willing to compromise that mechanism — or risk a possible disruption of clubhouse chemistry by bringing an outsider into the room.

Raul Mondesi has hit 10 home runs since his demotion to Omaha.

Despite focusing on improving contact, he has not experienced a dropoff in power. Mondesi has put up a career-best slugging percentage: .544 in 263 plate appearances. He slugged .469 in 231 trips to the plate last season in the minor leagues.

And Jeffrey Flanagan says he's pretty much untouchable.

The prize jewel of the farm system, shortstop Raul Mondesi, isn't going anywhere: He is insurance if the Royals lost shortstop Alcides Escobar to free agency.

Here’s a roundup of some All-Star stories you may have missed:

Yahoo talked to some All-Stars about the theory of the juiced ball:

“Global warming, dude,” Mariners DH Nelson Cruz said. “I’m serious!” (He was not serious.)

“I don’t have any idea,” Rockies closer Greg Holland said. “I just chuck and duck.”

The MLB Futures Game gets buried and that’s a wasted opportunity.

Perhaps the simplest solution would be to get rid of the usual Sunday Night Game on ESPN and make the Sunday night showcase the Futures Game, instead playing all 15 MLB games slated for Sunday during the day. Then the All-Stars all get to fly to the All-Star destination before the middle of the night.

The commissioner talked about potential expansion at his annual press conference on Monday. This was briefly touched on Wednesday but I thought another interesting note was that this was waiting on Oakland and Tampa to figure out their stadium situations.

Manfred explicitly named Montreal, Charlotte, and Mexico City as possible MLB destinations... Manfred has once again laid out a vague expansion timeline -- after Oakland and Tampa/St. Pete achieve some kind of closure -- and specific destinations. It's going to happen, and it may happen sooner than most fans realize.

And, sadly, the Freeze lost in Miami on his largest stage to date. He’s still an awesome story.

Cubs and White Sox make a huge trade with cost controlled Jose Quintana going to the north side while some big name prospects go to the south side. The White Sox have really cleaned up with their last 3 trades and could be a huge force in a couple of years.

Speaking of Chicago, I never expected to see Sammy Sosa called Willie Wonka by the internet, but here we are.

The DraftKings-FanDuel merger is not happening now.

I’ve been flipping through my baseball cards lately, trying to get my order for 2017. Anyone checked out the Lifetime Topps project? It was an invaluable resource when I went back and filled in some back years in my collection. The author is a Reds fan, trying to collect every base set (and some of the inserts) for Topps since 1980 forward. Here’s a sample post, finishing up his 1991 set.

Last week, on July 6th, Pokemon Go celebrated its first 1st anniversary. It’s not the fad that it once was but there are still 65 million users and forever changed how businesses approach AR and VR.

An oldie but a goodie: It seems like every time someone mentions one of Wait But Why’s posts, another someone hasn’t read some of the more interesting ones. I’ll throw out the one about the Fermi Paradox and life on other planets.

Poor guy got stuck in an ATM room while repairing the lock. Passes note to customers to get rescued.

It’s my day so, as you probably know, we’re doing video game music. I’ve done some more obscure stuff so let’s go more mainstream this week. I wasn’t able to find the exact story on this but the Boston Pops playing the Mario theme has been floating around the internet for quite a while. I just assume it’s something they played one time because they’ll play most anything popular and make it sound good. Anyways, here’s a good rendition of it with someone playing a perfect game of Mario in the background (not totally chronological or complete to make it fit to the music, though). It even has some of the more obscure levels for those who don’t go 1-1 to 1-2 to 4-1 to 4-2 to 8 or who throw down the controller in frustration midway through world 3, trying to go the long way.

Baseball’s back and the Royals have a huge 10 game homestand starting tonight with the Rangers. Back in April, the 7-7 Royals got swept by the Rangers, starting their 9 game losing streak, from which they have just recently recovered. I think some revenge is due.