Rustin Dodd writes about Jason Adam’s long road to the big leagues.
Adam was no longer the young kid whom Wilson once managed in A-ball. He was 25 and married, focused on his family and his future. He had also transformed his delivery, shortening his arm stroke and focusing on max extension at his release point.
Adam had once brought the baseball down by his hip, the classic release of a big right-hander like Justin Verlander or Matt Harvey. Now, he looked like a 6-foot-4 slingshot, the ideal delivery for a max-effort reliever.
“Short in the back, long in the front,” Wilson said.
And if you want more Rustin Dodd from The Athletic:
Seventeen years ago, Rex Hudler had a brain hemorrhage and thought he saw a ghost. The story of Hud’s near-death experience, his angel, and why he’s rooting for the White Sox’s Danny Farquhar. “It changed the way I look at things,” he said. https://t.co/JQy8gMFpFH— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) May 11, 2018
MLB.com’s Jason Beck picks an unsung hero for each team in the AL Central:
Royals RHP Brad Keller
Why you should know about him: Keller, 22, has emerged as one of manager Ned Yost’s go-to guys in the late innings. He has appeared in 15 games already -- nearly half of the Royals’ games -- and has a 2.70 ERA with a four-seam fastball that can touch 99 mph and a two-seamer that sits at 91-93.
Why you don’t: Keller was a Rule 5 Draft acquisition who the Royals had hoped to develop slowly -- to the point of somewhat protecting him from high-leverage situations, at least early in the season. But the plan to have veterans Justin Grimm and Blaine Boyer take a setup role for closer Kelvin Herrera hasn’t panned out. And Yost has more and more leaned on Keller, who has three holds.
Keith Law redrafts the 2008 MLB Draft. The Royals get a familiar face:
3. Eric Hosmer 1B
American Heritage School (FL)
15.6 career WAR
Hosmer’s career in Kansas City was capped with a world championship, but I don’t think he ever turned into the player he was supposed to become out of high school when he projected to hit for average and power while providing plus defense to warrant becoming the rare prep first baseman taken in the first round.
Hosmer played first and pitched in high school, with right field a possibility had the Royals wanted to explore moving him. After an injury-wrecked first full year, he had laser eye surgery and destroyed the minors for 700 PA, hitting .354/.426/.573 across the top three levels of the Royals’ system before his debut.
His last season in blue was his best, but he had three below-average seasons mixed in as well, and ended up a solid pick for the Royals rather than a franchise-altering one.
Hosmer’s actual draft spot: first round, No. 3 overall (Royals)
Royals’ actual 2008 draft pick: Hosmer
Old friend and BPKC’er Craig Brown is left with “That familiar sinking feeling”:
So we’re left to ignore records and run differential and the stink of the Escobar/Goins tandem and find ways to be entertained. Tuesday’s first inning was certainly a reminder of how fun baseball can be when you move the sliders to “rookie” mode and start crushing center cut fastballs sitting in the low 90s. Wednesday’s game was was different in that it hung in the balance until Jon Jay offered at three pitches out of the strike zone. Both were eminently entertaining. Yet different. And it was all baseball.
Seth Maness asked for and has been granted release from royals org. He prefers to start. 2.89 era in minors career as starter.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) May 10, 2018
A trio of transactional tweets from MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan:
Looks like Bubba Starling was removed from tonight's Omaha game as a precaution after feeling an issue with his oblique again, @BooneOWH reports.— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) May 11, 2018
Royals have released Kyle Lohse.— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) May 10, 2018
Former Royal Chris Young has been hired by MLB and will work under MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre. Chris will be involved in on-field baseball and umpiring operations. Terrific guy.— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) May 10, 2018
Lucas Duda’s hit a home run Wednesday into the Royals bullpen. Kevin McCarthy caught it on one bounce.
KCStar’s Maria Torres credits Salvador Perez’s fun police act as being the start of, well, I guess we’ll call it a 7-5 “warm streak”.
KC Kingdom’s Leigh Oleszczak asserts “Kansas City Royals need to stick with Eric Skoglund in rotation”.
The county Board of Supervisors passed the agreement 4-1 a week after making the deal public, ending a longstanding lawsuit. It allows the team to immediately start looking for another home in exchange for dropping its demand for the county to pay up to $187 million in stadium upgrades.
Under the agreement, if the Diamondbacks found a new location in Maricopa County, the team could leave Chase Field without penalty in 2022, five years earlier than the team’s current contract.
A new stadium built on tribal land, an idea that has been rumored, would have to charge the same taxes as currently charged at Chase Field, according to the agreement.
Further west, California is always at the forefront of technology. They are going to require solar panels on any new home. I’ve been advocating this for a long time and I don’t get why this hasn’t happened sooner. It would reduce a lot of strain on the power grid and, when weighed against the cost of any new home, it’s such a small percentage.
Left coasters are also going to have widespread pizza and beer delivery.
Delphine Gibson, the oldest living American, died yesterday at 114.
In this space, we’ve talked about the idea of “best game” and “favorite game” as not being the same thing. If I’m asked for The Best Game of All Time (in all capital letters), I usually fall back on Super Mario Bros 3. Yes, it’s an older game that has been surpassed by others in many ways. However, it was also well ahead of its time, the platformer progenitor for the next decade. It packed more varied and technically brilliant gameplay into an 8-bit cartridge than should have been possible at the time.
Personally, over the last month, I went through a giant completist playthrough and something I’ve always loved about this game is the attention to detail. There are so many little tidbits that most players may never experience or know about. If you take the most popular route, from world 1 to 2 to 8, you miss a lot of the game. Similarly, there are a number of levels where the secrets are off the beaten path and not required to complete the level. For instance, you can have Starman power the entire level if you know which blocks to hit or you can explore hidden areas, but only if you have a leaf or frog suit. I credit most of my knowledge to my extremely well-loved 30-year old copy of Nintendo Power’s Super Mario Bros 3 strategy guide.
Most people have played the game in some capacity as it’s one of the best selling games of all time and has been remade on several Nintendo systems. So rather than rehash a game most are familiar with, I thought I’d touch on some trivia you may or may not know.
- Let’s start this out with my favorite and a pretty well known one: Kuribo’s shoe. It only appears once in World 5-3 and disappears when the level ends. It’s fun to play around with as it allows you to jump on Spinies and Munchers, but why put effort into programming a game mechanic that is literally only used on one level? As AV Club put it: “So, basically, nothing about it makes sense, which makes the fact that it’s so uncommon even more confusing. Why did Nintendo design this weird thing and then barely let you use it? Because it’s fun, that’s why. Nintendo has never needed any reason deeper than that.”
- Speaking of power ups and doing things just for fun, this quote is from Shigeru Miyamoto: “The Tanooki Suit turns into a statue! Even though I knew it wouldn’t make sense to some non-Japanese players...I was so excited about it that I left it in.” If you beat the Koopaling ships in different suits like Frog, Tanooki, or Hammer, the saved king says different flavor text.
- There was a trick in Super Mario Bros to get “infinite” lives (well, unless you go past 128, in which case you end up in negative numbers and the game ends after your next death). SMB3 was capped at 99 lives and most people learned that lesson in the World 7 fortress coin bonanza. One of the lesser known tricks was that on every world, there was a single level that could trigger a White Mushroom House (for the record, I couldn’t collect the 78 coins needed in 6-7, the one blemish on my game). And, on selected worlds, you could turn a hammer brother into a Treasure Ship.
- Most people remember that you can fall behind white blocks by crouching on them. After all, that’s how you find the first warp whistle. But did you know that you can fly underneath a number of levels with a P-Wing? A number of observations were put together into an internet theory that SMB3 was all just a play. Then, a couple of years ago, Miyamoto confirmed this was true! I would approach this with a little skepticism, however, as he sometimes plays around with the media.
For our “song of the day”, we’re going with a clip from The Wizard. For those who have chosen to block this out of their memories, it was a giant commercial for Nintendo (not just SMB3 but also the Power Glove). It was basically a video game rip off of Rain Man starring Fred Savage, Christian Slater, and Beau Bridges. There are so many things wrong with this scene, I don’t even know where to start (the acting, the repetitive dialog, the host kept saying the wrong level number, the scores don’t match what they show on their screen, warp whistles don’t help your score, after Jimmy beats the fortress he is shown beating a different level on the overworld map, and so on).