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Royals Rumblings - News for September 29, 2017

The Final Weekend of Baseball

Minnesota Twins v Kansas City Royals
The man who helped create this window returns to Kauffman
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

2018 Royals Fan Fest tickets are on sale now.

Join us for Royals FanFest presented by Commerce Bank on Friday, January 26 and Saturday, January 27 at the Kansas City Convention Center.

The event will feature autograph sessions with current and former Royals, interactive games for fans of all ages, main stage programming and more! A portion of the proceeds will again benefit Royals Charities. More information coming soon!

Dayn Perry of CBSSports weighs in on the Royals rebuild:

Because we're talking about the Royals, it bears repeating that Moore and company try to bring back one or two guys, plug holes around them, and try again. It seems unlikely to work, but it's prominent among the range of possibilities. If the rebuild is embraced, though, then it's likely to be a long and incremental one. All but the most recently converted Royals fans can probably remember what that's like.

Another national story as The Sporting News did a Whit Merrifield profile:

His favorite moment with the bat this season didn’t come via the long ball, though. The 6-0, 195-pound infielder said it was his first walkoff in the majors, a two-run double near the left-field bullpen to give Kansas City a 5-4 win over the Blue Jays on June 23.

KOK's Nicholas Sullivan previews Zack Greinke opposing the Royals tonight. There’s something poetic about one of the main catalysts of this Royals dynasty returning home for its final weekend.

Lorenzo Cain’s son is cute.

Another Cain, 13-year career Giant Matt, is retiring after his final start this week.

In the second half of the season, former Royal James Shields has gone to a lower arm slot and achieved better results.

Earlier this week, the Rangers released drawings of their new park. It looks a lot like Minute Maid Park in Houston to me. Yesterday, they broke ground on the new stadium.

CBS MLB’s front page story yesterday was about catchers and concussions. Oft battered Salvy not featured in this particular article.

There was this story earlier in the week where Cub Addison Russell dove into the stands and took out the nachos of a Cards fan. But then Russell hand delivers some replacement nachos. Of course, the Cards fan can’t help but be a slightly ingrate Cardinals fan: #BFIB.

@cardinals thanks for the loaded nachos @cubs thanks for the plain nachos. Thank you cubs and cards. Unforgettable. #nachoman

Joe Posnanski looks at the record breaking home run total of 2017 vs the previous record holder of 2000.

Speaking of Poz, while we won’t have this kind of drama in 2017, I wanted to link to one of my favorite articles of all time: Baseball Night In America. It’s his wonderful chronicling of 2011 Game 162 and, yes, I know it wasn’t the Royals but I still get chills from the video of Longoria’s home run in the 8th.

Never been a night like it. Funny, if I was trying to explain baseball to someone who had never heard of it, I wouldn’t tell them about Wednesday night. No, it seems to me that it isn’t Wednesday night that makes baseball great. It’s all the years you spend waiting for Wednesday night that makes baseball great.

Matt Moore does a great job of tracking all the significant moves of this NBA offseason, the most volatile in history.

All in all, players with 66 combined All-Star appearances changed teams in the span of four months between June 1 and Sept. 23. That number will change to 78 when Dwyane Wade signs. Trade demands from stars in their prime next to LeBron James, free agency declarations, retractions and re-commitments in the span of 12 hours, tampering, and even the top pick in the draft being moved. This summer had it all.

Today is the day the SNES Classic drops. Polygon reviews it and can help you in your search for one. I totally should have gone with an SNES song down below but, whoops. I kindof forgot this was coming out today because I already assume I can’t get my hands on one.

This is just kindof a depressing week: Royals eliminated, baseball season ending soon, and the end of an era. Let’s turn out minds to more happy thoughts: atomic annihilation!

Why not nuclear bombs first? Last week, Max linked to a story about Stanislav Petrov, who saved the world from nuclear war in 1983. After reading about that story, I ended up down a bit of a Google hole and apparently this wasn’t (isn’t?) all that uncommon. Pick your scary year to learn about:

  • 1962 (Cuban Missile Crisis)
  • 1979 (Wargames-like)
  • 1983 (Petrov’s incident)
  • 1983 (NATO drill Able Archer 83)
  • 1995 (Norwegian Rocket Incident)

Like reactors instead of bombs? How about South Carolina’s nuclear debacle? Start with the headline “Utilities ditch reactors that launched U.S. nuclear renaissance” and you might ask “What nuclear renaissance?” And you’d be right. It all starts with money: “The Energy Policy Act of 2005 offered the nuclear power industry financial incentives and economic subsidies that, according to economist John Quiggin, the ‘developers of wind and solar power could only dream of’.” Of course, only one reactor has actually been built (Watts Barr 2) and most of the projects have been scrapped. Four more reactors were on track to be built by the end of the decade, however, the company potentially providing them, Westinghouse Electric Company, was put in bankruptcy by parent company Toshiba due to over $9B in losses related to the reactors. And now you end up with this week’s news, which has all sorts of fun like state legislators requesting a criminal investigation, insider trading, and the usual campaign contributions and coverups (yes, each of those links are different stories about each facet of the story) after a South Carolina power company jacked up rates a number of times only to back out of building their plant:

A lawsuit filed Monday in Columbia alleges that SCANA violated a federal racketeering statute when it charged customers for the cost of a multi-billion dollar nuclear project that won’t be completed.

The federal lawsuit, which could result in rebates to customers if successful, says SCANA and partner Santee Cooper knew the nuclear project was running off the tracks, but continued to provide an optimistic view of the effort – even as customers were billed for the work.

(Ed note: Once again, helping illustrate two points that seem overlooked in today’s society: 1. state legislators are so much cheaper to buy than national so business entity telling you to “move things down to local control” may just want to save money and 2. local papers are pretty darn important in uncovering these sorts of stories so their cratering budgets and consolidations harm all of us)

If we’re talking nuclear and video games, it has to be Fallout. It’s such a strong connection that this is the first time I’ve gone for game first, song second instead of the other way around.

The two original entries by Black Isle Studios never captured my imagination the way it did with some people. We’ve talked before in this space about my fondness for well-developed linear plots and Fallout’s most revolutionary draw was the extremely open nature of its world and decision tree. You could be good, neutral, or evil and still “beat” the game. Actions had “real” consequences and you were not necessarily rewarded for the morality of your decision.

In the decade after the first two games, Black Isle parent Interplay went bankrupt and a third was never made. The rights to the franchise were sold to Bethesda Studios. After their success with the Elder Scrolls series, they revived the franchise with a hefty budget, high production values (Liam Neeson, Ron Perlman, and Malcolm McDowell were among the voice cast), and an expansive and complex world. Living in Richmond at the time, I was in particular awe of the care taken in generating the post-apocalyptic Washington DC. Yes, the game is more glitchy than any released game should be. And you can get bogged down by some of the midgame and lack of central plot. But I definitely agree with assessment from 1Up: "[a] hugely ambitious game that doesn't come around very often". It’s a bestseller and critical favorite for a reason.

Today’s song features "I Don't Want to Set the World On Fire" by The Ink Spots. Apparently it was going to be in the initial game but they couldn't secure the license. Below is the intro to Fallout 3: