I told you the subtitle was going to be a groaner.
The Royals and Indians have 10 games remaining against each other, though none until August 18. With the Twins, Tigers, and White Sox all crashing and burning, it’s now up to the Royals to challenge Cleveland’s supremacy. Who knows if this level of play is sustainable, or if the “real Royals” are more like the ones from the beginning of the year or right now, but over the past week, this team has been scary as hell.
Royals fans have also taken notice with stadium attendance, tv ratings, and merchandise sales all going up.
Another day, another metric that thinks the Royals are over-performing and should come back down to earth.
Among other clubs, the biggest differences between the actual standings at the break and their BIP-based projections belong to the Royals (+6), Orioles (+7) and Angels (+5). My method has consistently underrated the Royals, but until this year, it always liked their team defense. This year, they’ve posted an AL-worst 122.3 multiplier on grounders. I’ll sum it up thusly; their offense has 10 hits on 75 grounders between 85-90 mph, and they’ve allowed 24 hits on 69 grounders in that same velocity bucket.
Lookout Landing had a pretty awesome gag about trading for Danny Tartabull a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, he landed in the news recently for other reasons. He called the cops because someone was breaking into his car but they arrested him instead due to an old warrant from back child support.
These two squads... embody the riddles that come with running a major league team in a challenging market in the 21st century. But I will temper my analysis with the understanding that you're not just dealing with the on-field fortunes of a ballclub; you are dealing with the still-bruised psyches of great fan bases not far removed from near-annual irrelevance.
Speaking of the Pirates, Eno Sarris digitally penned an interesting story where he interviewed Andrew McCutchen and put graphs and advanced stats next to the transcription to show what Cutch was talking about.
Are this year’s hitters particularly unpredictable?
Wednesday night, there was some fun with Adrian Beltre moving the on-deck circle and then getting ejected.
Here’s a minor league home run off the head. Or as they used to call it, “A Canseco”.
Earlier this week, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg got in an online fight about AI. Mostly, it was covered as a stupid Twitter spat between two titans of tech rather than debating the merits of their 140 character positions on AI.
So, if you wanted some AI debate- here’s another Wait But Why, this time on Artificial Intelligence. If you thought the Fermi Paradox one from a couple of weeks ago was a downer, you might want to skip this one.
This was mentioned in a Rumblings comments earlier this week, but now it’s a headliner on take-out-the-trash Friday. This story has everything: cheese, squash, sarcasm, pity for food service workers. Actually, that’s most of what it has.
At this point, the customer has been arguing with the customer service desk for 13 minutes. He could have been in and out of the store, with cheese, returned home and likely had most of it cubed by now. However, this box of squash has become the hill he’s going to die on
The world’s oldest manatee in captivity, Snooty, happily celebrated his 69th birthday and then tragically died in an accident that night.
There’s this video on Vox called the bizarre physics of fire ants and... THERE’S NO WAY I’m clicking on that, much less posting a link to that here. Anyone who lives in fire ant territory is probably nodding their head in solemn agreement here. Let’s go with fake monsters instead...
Speaking of Nintendo, the Switch has sold almost 5 million copies already. The disappointing WiiU sold 13.5 over its 4 year lifetime.
And, really, those last couple just segue us into our song! Last week was from probably the best RPG of all time (and there’s quite a bit of consensus around that if you’re grading for when the game came out). This week’s selection comes from what many consider to be the best game of all time. I think that’s a much more robust debate. This is a compilation of the ocarina songs from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I like that music is used as part of a game mechanic and I love how the simple tunes lead into a fully orchestrated song (and all on cartridge technology).