Slow day for Royals content, but soldier on we must.
Royals.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan tells how Bubba Starling nearly walked away from baseball:
Starling chose baseball and the Royals instead. But after six-plus seasons of mostly struggles, Starling virtually reached the end last May when he stared in disbelief at his .121 average at Triple-A Omaha.
”I thought that was it for me,” said Starling, a career .234 hitter in the Minors. “I remember sitting in the batting cage the next day just thinking it was done. I remember calling my parents that night and I was bawling. I said, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’”
But his parents urged him to continue.
David Lesky argues for the Royals trying to get “Baseball Buscemi” (his thing) Daniel Robertson for a song.
One Baseball Buscemi who has waited a long time is Daniel Robertson. Yes, I’m talking about the guy who hit .225/.287/.338 with a .211 TAv. Maybe it’s the fact that he had two of his three multi-hit games in 2017 against the Royals, but I have to wonder if he’s a guy who could make an impact on a team. Make no mistake. He isn’t a star, but that’s what makes him a Buscemi, right? In 10 years in the minors, he’s hit .299/.375/.404 while playing all three outfield positions well enough to work as a fourth or fifth outfielder. He’s also worked in some time at second and third base over the last few years, so he gives a team an opportunity to carry some very real depth. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d work out as a team’s emergency pitcher.
At Deadspin, Emma Baccellieri exclaims, “God Bless Alcides Escobar, the actual replacement-level player.”
Baseball can, of course, show you plenty of examples of such guys every season; the replacement player isn’t just a mathematically-derived value, but an archetype constantly seen on the field. These are the guys literally used as replacements, the ones repeatedly called up as emergency 25th men or constantly bouncing around on waiver claims. But last season had a different sort of replacement-level player, who perhaps didn’t fit the term in spiritual terms but did exactly in statistical ones: Alcides Escobar, who became the first player in decades—the only one under modern standards of measuring defense, and just the second ever—to post a Baseball-Reference WAR of 0.0 while playing every single day of the 162-game season.
Boras likes to defer money to puff up the reported value of contracts (see Scherzer), but Royals historically have avoided outright deferred salary, preferring to use backloading and option buyouts (including mutual options!) as de facto deferred payments.— Gopherballs (@Gopherballs1) January 31, 2018
At Royals Farm Report, RR’s Patrick Brennan takes a gander at overlooked prospect Gabe Cramer.
Yahoo’s Tim Brown penned a touching tribute to former Padres’ and Diamondbacks’ GM Kevin Towers, who succumbed to cancer at 56.
At BP, Darius Austin details just how special Rafael Devers’s debut was.
Jeff Long, Harry Pavlidis, and Martin Alonso team up to update BP’s pitch-tunnel work.
Eno Sarris’s days at FanGraphs are sadly in the rearview mirror.
Screw the 40-hour work week. Just work five a day, sucker. (h/t to royalcreole)
At Paste Magazine, Michael Salfino looks at how David Bowie arrived at the addled splendor of Station to Station.
The Guardian gets its Oscar of Oscars underway with greatest directorial effort of all time.
If you bought your tickets to Coachella, the co-owner of AEG is under fire again, as he’s been found to donate more to anti-LGBTQ organizations and groups against marijuana legalization, the latter being especially noteworthy considering the massive amounts of marijuana taken in during the festival.
This gent used growing rice to revitalize his abandoned village.
The song of the day is “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby” by Cigarettes After Sex: