Old friend Craig Brown asks “Now What?”
We remember the halcyon days of scoreboard watching and counting down the magic number to secure a spot in the postseason. The scoreboard is still there and we are still watching, but the focus has changed … What did Baltimore do? They’re winning? Thank god! ...
We’re still weeks from the All-Star Game and I have to be honest, I have no clue how to process what we’re seeing. The Royals teams of the past (the latter years of the Allard Baird era and the early part of the Dayton Moore tenure) were likewise abysmal but sparked something of despair from those who followed the team closely. There was no plan. They insisted there was, but there really wasn’t. It was about piecemealing a roster together with castoffs, minor league nobodies and surly veterans, bitter that the curtain was falling on their career in the dead end of Kansas City. Those teams were difficult to watch.
Lots of good stuff from Royals Farm Report. Alex Duvall tries to “[Put] a Mike Moustakas trade into context”.
Mike Moustakas is a fine baseball player. He’s a better human being. There will be teams that seek out his help on their way to a playoff run this summer. They just aren’t going to give you one of their top prospects in return. If they do, then great. But you must start viewing Royals players in the same light that the industry sees them, otherwise you’re going to be really disappointed when the Royals don’t get much in return for Moose this summer.
Hello and welcome. It feels like forever since we did our first ever Top 100 list this winter. We’ll be updating our lists throughout the year to include new prospects, but we’ll vote on a new top 100 twice a year. One mid-season, one in the offseason.
Drew Osborne implores us “Don’t forget about Anderson Miller”.
It’s easy to forget about the guys we already have in the system immediately after the draft. Especially when they play the same position as the top two prospects in your system such as Khalil Lee and Seuly Matias who are having really good seasons. But don’t forget about outfielder Anderson Miller at Northwest Arkansas.
She also tackled the Kelvin Herrera trade.
No Royals fan is going to be upset about trading Herrera. We knew this day would come, especially after the sluggish start, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be bummed and reminisce on the good times. Herrera was a prime part of those good times and we’ll all be pulling for him in D.C. as the season rolls on. Thanks for everything Kelvin Herrera! Kansas City will miss you!
Elsewhere on the Fansided network, KOK’s Tyler Dierking talked about the Herrera trade
So the question comes up again. Did the Royals get a good return for trading arguably the best trading chip in baseball this year? In short. Maybe? And that is 100% acceptable. As of right now, the idea that they have two players who are above-average defensively, someone they can work on offensively and is known to be a very strong athlete, should bring a lot of optimism.
KOK is also doing a “Prospect to Watch” series and Morgan Vogels takes a gander at Nick Pratto.
Onto the national stories.
MLB.com’s Jason Beck asks a “pressing question” for each AL Central club:
How many players will general manager Dayton Moore move before the Trade Deadline?
Moore has said repeatedly he won’t trade players for the sake of trading them, but he also is committed to restocking Kansas City’s farm system. Trading Herrera and Jon Jay has already landed the Royals several prospects, and Moore has other attractive assets in third baseman Mike Moustakas and super utility man Whit Merrifield. Moore is hesitant to move his best asset, All-Star catcher Salvador Perez, because he doesn’t think he’d get the return they’d expect. But the Royals will likely entertain offers on anyone else, from Danny Duffy to Jason Hammel to Justin Grimm and so on.
Yahoo’s Mark Townsend takes a look at how the “Rockies spent over $100M to have the worst bullpen in MLB”. Wade Davis currently has a 4.55 ERA and 4.27 FIP.
The last week has included numerous bullpen meltdowns. Sunday in Texas, Rockies relievers combined to allow eight earned runs over the final three innings. That included Davis blowing a three-run ninth-inning save chance after walking four batters.
Speaking of former friends, Matt Strahm is adjusting nicely to a new role in San Diego
Since Strahm became a starter — or, more precisely, “an opener” — he’s been dominant. In his last three appearances, all technically starts, Strahm has recorded 11 strikeouts and no walks against 29 batters while conceding just three hits and a single run in 8.0 innings.
It’s a week old, but I don’t think this one has been posted here. This story by Yahoo’s Mike Oz about the late Ryan Freel and his dad, well...
Patrick Freel knows mortality all too well. Life, as he learned the hard way, can be gone in an instant. It was three days before Christmas in 2012, when his son Ryan took his own life.
In the last month or so, I’ve watched a number of “older” movies I had not seen before or in a long time. Below are my one liner #hottakes for each.
- The Music Man (1962) - Colorful, albeit long, classic musical with amazing performance by Robert Preston and catchy songs
- Network (1976) - Prescient, interesting, and really tightly wound for the 70s, with memorable monologues and great acting
- Big Trouble in Little China (1986) - Cult classic John Carpenter B movie that is so very 80s and quite enjoyable
- Crocodile Dundee (1986) - Pair of fish-out-of-water tales blended together in Tarzan-like movie which is better than given credit for
- When Harry Met Sally (1989) - Classic romcom with famous scenes that understandably restarted the genre
Any thoughts or memories from any of these movies?
So far in our month of sports games, we’ve been in the 16-bit era. Let’s go back a few years to the NES. The 3rd generation was one of the longest video game generations as it had to restart the industry after the crash of the early 80s. However, it’s quite impressive how many baseball games came out for the NES. If you look at future generations, you’ll see quantity, but it’s mostly iterative: MLB The Show 14, 15, 16, 17, and so on.
With the NES, there was variety! Nintendo’s Baseball, plain old Major League Baseball, Bases Loaded 1 through 4, Tecmo’s Baseball, Baseball Stars and its saved game seasons, Baseball Simulator 1.000 and its customization, the battling robots of Base Wars, and SNK’s Little League Baseball.
The most beloved of them all is probably RBI Baseball. The graphics weren’t very realistic, it only had a fraction of the teams, and it didn’t have some of the features of other games like a season mode. However, it was popular for its quick and simple arcade play and MLBPA license. It was even revived a few years ago by MLBAM to add an arcade-style game back to the baseball marketplace.
Like Tecmo Bowl last week, customizations of the original are still popular. For instance, here are “replays” of famous games from the 1988 World Series and 1986 World Series. Unfortunately, there is not one for the 1985 World Series. However, behold this “simulation” of Game 7 of the 2014 World Series in all of its glory. Unlike the others, this one doesn’t exactly go as the game on the field did. Guthrie is still pitching. Granite! Camaro!