Much of yesterday’s news was still about Lucas Duda.
The KC Star’s Vahe Gregorian introduced Duda with a story and some Eric Hosmer parallels.
Here stood Lucas Duda, in his first public moment as a Royal, suddenly up against a wall in an interview room next to a poster of the Sports Illustrated special issue commemorating the 2015 World Series championship. The scene was absurd and ironic and symmetrical all at once. Bless his heart, as longtime Royals coach Rusty Kuntz might say, Duda glanced at the image of Salvador Perez hoisting the trophy overhead and let out something between a groan and a throat-clearing.
Old friend Craig Brown at BPKC approves of the Duda signing.
Duda alone won’t move the win-loss needle above .500, nor will he make you forget about the legend of Eric Hosmer. He will provide some power and balance in a lineup that was lacking. He’s a short term solution to a problem that’s been on the horizon for some time. Really, there’s nothing to dislike about this deal. If the Royals find a right-handed hitting compliment to Duda, they would absolutely maximize his value to the club. It allows Hunter Dozier to return to Omaha to recoup some of his development time lost to injury last summer and get some reps at first, should the Royals decide that’s where his future is located. And if Dozier has a bounce back year and adapts to a new position, Duda’s affordable salary can make him an attractive trade candidate at the deadline. And should Duda stick it out the entire season in Kansas City, the first base position will be open for competition in 2019.
He also drops in this little nugget:
In the aftermath of the signing, there were some quick to draw comparisons between Duda and the player he is effectively replacing in the Royals lineup, Eric Hosmer. Such comparisons looking at fWAR or WARP are simplistic and should be taken with a grain of salt.
Fangraph’s Jay Jaffe was quick to draw a potentially simplistic comparison between Duda and Hosmer using fWAR. I think I heard elsewhere that it should be taken with a grain of salt.
All of which is to say that the separation between the two has more to do with perception than reality, admittedly amplified by the wide gap between their 2017 performances.
KCKingdom’s Leigh Oleszczak calls the Duda signing a “puzzling move for rebuilding Royals”.
While KOK’s Joe Green thinks that veterans like Alcides Escobar and Duda allow for the Royals to bring up the next wave of talent together.
And that’s your news from Hosmer Review!
Next week, we’ll talk about his favorite fish tacos and Kacie McDonnell’s taste in clothes.
A couple of days ago, Max wrote “The Rays have a lucrative new TV deal and that bodes very well for the Royals”. Craig Edwards at Fangraphs looks at the Rays deal and drops in a mention of the Royals:
Tampa Bay’s new deal bodes well for a handful of smaller-market teams currently on relatively weak deals. The Brewers, Pirates, Rockies, and Royals are all believed to have deals that will expire in the next few seasons.
Darin Watson continues his “50 Greatest Moments in Royals History” with #40-31.
In our last month of Best of Royals Review (until next offseason), we’re going to feature Fanposts.
(it helps if you read this next paragraph in your best “old man” voice)
What-posts, you may ask? Well, come sit down, whipper snapper, and I’ll spin a yarn about the before times. A couple of redesigns ago, there were these things called “Fanposts” where people not on the masthead could create a story just as easily as the Kevins. In fact, many writers for the site got started doing Fanposts. Of course you’ll say: “I know all about those; all you have to do is scroll halfway down the page and you can find them”. However, then we’ll all have a hearty belly laugh because we all know that no one scrolls down a page on the internet so they’re essentially worthless. But here’s where I blow your mind, sonny: they used to be prominently featured! (Right there! Right next to the main stories! Crazy, I know!)
(To be fair to Max, he’s really good at promoting Fanposts to the front page - it’s just that all Fanposts used to be in a more prominent position so there’s not a lot of participation any more.)
Concluding our “Big Three” sabermetric trio is Matt Klaassen and his classic post: Attention Aspiring Nerdlings: Some introductory sabermetric links. Yes, a number of the links don’t work anymore since it’s almost a decade old, but many still do. For some of his other work, I already linked to his Fangraphs farewell to Will and from there, you can find his Fangraphs archives. He also did some amusing non-sabermetric things back in the day like his nicknaming decision posts.
Thankfully, someone is standing up to Derek Jeter’s tyranny.
On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that Jeter and the Marlins are likely stuck with the sculpture, named “Homer,” for the foreseeable future. No matter how much Jeter might want to get rid of it, the ballpark and the sculpture are owned by Miami-Dade County. And Michael Spring, director of the county’s department of cultural affairs, told the AP that they’re not interested in moving it anywhere.
Travis Sawchik at Fangraphs is asking if per-batter switches are “The Next Big Thing in Defense”.
Apparently, everyone already forget about this awesome game (and box score).
Finally, while I was on the KC Star site looking for Royals stories, I ran across this glorious headline: “Naked man on ATV leads police on wrong-way, highway chase in Kansas City”. There’s even video. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I was out of town (actually, up in KC, Lawrence, and Manhattan) the first half of this week so I haven’t had time to give a new game my usual Song of the Day treatment. Thus I’m reaching into the “another track from a game we’ve already done” vault and going with a soundtrack (and sequel) I’ve been listening to at work the last couple of weeks.
Hollow Bastion has always been one of my favorite tracks in the Kingdom Hearts series and they get a lot of mileage out of it in subsequent games. Frankly, I think the well developed setting and music in the original Kingdom Hearts was the reason the world was featured so prominently in Kingdom Hearts 2. Enjoy!