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Royals Rumblings - News for June 1, 2018

A’s come to town in a battle of fourth place juggerna... two months down, four to go and, hey, the draft starts Monday!

Phillie Phanatic/Pokemon
It’s the best MLB Pokemon picture I could find

Old friend Craig Brown at BPKC is unhappy with Blaine Boyer still being on the roster:

Thanks to the Baseball Reference Play Index, we see relievers as bad as Boyer has been don’t often have a chance to stick around. Boyer has thrown 20.2 innings this year, so that’s our baseline. Here are the relievers in the last 20 years to throw at least 20 innings with an ERA of over 11.

Spoiler: There are 3. 2 are Royals. Can you guess the other?

KC Star’s Jesse Newell talks about Hunter Dozier’s... speed?

Hunter Dozier’s eyes scanned the clubhouse, going from locker to locker to make sure he wasn’t leaving anyone out.

He’d been asked to guess the fastest player on the Royals’ roster, and the first baseman took a few seconds before giving his best guess.

”On the team?” he said. “Maybe Whit.”

Dozier was close ... but not correct. Teammate Whit Merrifield, according to Statcast’s Sprint Speed metric, was second on the active roster, capable of covering 29.0 feet per second.

The fastest as of Wednesday — at 29.1 — happened to be Dozier himself.

Pete Grathoff had a couple of little stories from the game Wednesday. The first was about a little girl who caught Moose’s home run. The second, reminiscent of last decade’s Royals, was about the Royals forgetting how many outs in an inning.

Here’s your daily dose of the Royals from The Athletic (subscription required):

ESPN’s David Schoenfield puts out his “way too early” All-Star rosters. He has Mike Moustakas as the lone Royals representative but leaves this caveat: “However, if Moustakas and Perez both get shut out, the Royals don’t have a rep (probably reliever Kelvin Herrera).” #VoteOmar

He also had a piece on historical draft picks by team:

Kansas City Royals

Best first-round pick: Kevin Appier (ninth pick, 1987). Zack Greinke has more career WAR, but Appier earned nearly 20 more WAR in a Royals uniform. On the other hand, Greinke was traded for Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar, who helped the Royals win a World Series.

Late-round gem: Bret Saberhagen (19th round, 1982). Saberhagen missed most of his senior season with a sore arm. Three years later, he pitched a shutout to win Game 7 of the World Series at age 21. He topped all 1982 draftees (of those who signed) with 59.2 WAR.

The one who got away: Will Clark (fourth round, 1982). For whatever reason, 1982 ended up as the draft with the most unsigned future stars: Clark, Barry Bonds, Randy Johnson, Rafael Palmeiro, Barry Larkin, B.J. Surhoff and Bobby Witt were all premium high school talents but elected to attend college, setting up the 1985 draft as one of the strongest ever.

With the day off, Royals news is a bit more sparse so here’s some other sports news:

Dayn Perry of CBS Sports uses a Ken Rosenthal (The Athletic) interview of MLB commissioner Rob Manfred as a jumping off point to talk about an automated strike zone. The commissioner is quoted as saying the following: “The accuracy is way up -- way better than what it was a year ago. The technology continues to move ... and it actually moved a little faster than I might have thought.”

Dan Wetzel says MLB needs to do more to promote Shohei Ohtani

It’s been the sport’s struggle of late, building stars. Mike Trout was here too, of course. It didn’t matter. A metro region of 4.3 million shrugged. Across baseball, attendance is down about 2,000 fans from last season. The game has become too regional, surging or dying based on the win-loss record in individual cities.

Ohtani threw the fastest pitch by a starter on Wednesday and has the 5 fastest SP pitches this season, all over 100 mph.

After he left the game, the opposing Tigers employed a Rally Goose to help defeat the Angels.

Usain Bolt was an unprecedented 9 for 9 in Olympic golds, winning the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay in 3 Olympic games. However, one of his teammates from the 2008 relay failed a drug restest, disqualified Jamaica, and spoiled his perfect record.

A couple of days ago, Nintendo announced Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee for the NIntendo Switch. These games will likely sell at least 10 million copies and probably half that many Switches. How do I know that? Because they’re promoting it like a mainline game in the series and every other one has done that number or higher. The last time the beloved first generation was remade, it also sold over 10 million copies.

But I think a lot of people have this idea that it’s just a kids game or a passing fad. I’m hoping to dispel that notion with some numbers.

Pokemon is the 2nd highest selling video game series of all time behind only Mario as the games have sold over 300 million copies. It’s also a multimedia franchise with a tv show, movies, trading cards, merchandise and more: the franchise has made almost $60 billion dollars. By comparison, Star Wars is ”only” worth about $42 billion and Harry Potter is a distant third at $25 billion. If Pokemon had been a country over its 21 year history, its GDP would be around $2.8 billion or greater than that of Greenland, Belize, or the Central Africa Republic, depending on the agency measuring.

Today’s song of the day is a compilation of the main title theme for every generation of Pokemon games: