It’s been a long week again at work and a slow week for baseball so we might be a little light here. Good news (I think): the Royals get back on the field tonight!
Moustakas’ suitors are few. The Dodgers sold the farm for Machado and are off the table. The Yankees no longer appear interested in adding Moustakas as a first baseman, as they were a week before the All-Star break.
David Lesky at BPKC plays with the Royals first half Statcast data:
One of the great resources that has become more and more publicly available in recent seasons is the Statcast data, which can be equal parts amazing and overused, but it’s still fun, so let’s take a look at some of the highs and lows from the pre-break Royals.
Here’s your daily story from The Athletic. If you subscribe, I receive 113 pounds of frozen Atlantic salmon from The Athletic’s Fish o’ the Month Club (TM):
My latest column for The Athletic looks at whether truly terrible teams are worse off in the long run than just ordinary bad teams. If you’re a Royals fan, you’ll want to read it. Or an Orioles fan. Or a baseball fan. https://t.co/oUKC2jnyr4— Rany Jazayerli (@jazayerli) July 19, 2018
Looking ahead to next year, Drake Downing of Royals Farm Report begins a series of “Names to Know for the 2019 MLB Draft”. High school hitters are first.
Around the Fansided network:
- Morgan Vogels of KOK looked at six years of All Star Salvy.
- KC Kingdom’s Leigh Oleszczak* writes what must be a short story: “Positives from first half of 2018 season” (warning: slideshow)
- She also declares “Trades contributed greatly to World Series victory”.
*(one of these days, I’ll be able to spell her last name without looking but today was not that day)
I always like finding Royals stories on non-standard sites. Today’s Royals-tidbit-from-an-oddball-site is from Kansas City Public Radio KCUR and Victor Wishna. Bonus: The picture atop the story one of Minda’s.
It’s so bad, they had to fire the guy who paraded out that big W after every win. Seriously. Okay, it happened before the season started, but I imagine he’d have been laid off by now anyway, for lack of work.
This morning, were you thinking to yourself: Where is former Royal Casey Coleman (2014) now? He was playing with the independent Sugarland (a Houston suburb) Skeeters and is now back in the Cubs system
For our national listicle story, ESPN’s Sam Miller looks at what each team should call success in the 2nd half:
29 & 30. Kansas City Royals (56 projected wins) and Baltimore Orioles (54)
The Bad Stuff: The Royals are projected to win 56 games. The Orioles are projected to win 54. Worst of all, it’s not clear that either team was trying. The Royals started almost all veterans in their Opening Day lineup, have the fourth-oldest lineup in the American League and spent the winter trying to re-sign Eric Hosmer. The Orioles signed Andrew Cashner and Alex Cobb in the offseason and held on to Manny Machado until this week.
There’s no shame in being bad these days. But you could see, in each team’s winter, just a little bit of hope that it could catch a miracle -- each team had, in the past few years, defied projections and conventional wisdom and bigger-budget rivals and done it. It’s that hope, extinguished, that makes for a truly terrible season.
I’m barely at 500 words so here’s some stuff about the trades the last couple of days:
- Dan Szymborski at Fangraphs: “Are the Dodgers Now the Team to Beat?”
- Eric Longenhagen at Fangraphs: “Scouting the Orioles’ Return for Manny Machado”
- Mark Townsend at Yahoo Sports: “How have past notable trade rentals like Manny Machado fared?”
- RJ Anderson at CBS Sports: “Here’s why Nolan Arenado could become baseball’s new walking trade rumor following the Machado trade”
- Travis Sawchik at Fangraphs: “The Indians Did What They Had to Do”
Tying it all together is Jay Jaffe at Fangraphs: “After Acquiring Machado, Dodgers Need Relief”. There are words about the Dodgers trade, relief pitching, and mentions of former Royals aplenty: Scott Alexander, Joakim Soria, and this
Via Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, the Dodgers just improved their odds of winning the NL West by 10.4% (to 80.0%) with their deal for Machado — and improved their probability of winning the World Series by 2.2% (to 16.3%). Nothing they do with the bullpen, short of building a time machine to that could summon vintage Mariano Rivera, Goose Gossage, or Wade Davis is going to move the needle nearly that much. But having come as close to a championship as they did last year without winning, they owe it to themselves to keep trying, and the best that can be said is that they have no shortage of options for directions to go.
Mentions of the Cyborg or HDH get me a little misty these days.
Due to the aforementioned work busyness, I can’t do justice to some of the games I want to do so we’re going with something shorter. I picked up the NES classic and my wife and I have been playing some Dr. Mario. For those who don’t remember, it was one of Nintendo’s entries into the puzzle crazy in the wake of Tetris’s massive popularity. It’s a simple color matching puzzle game where you have to line up pills of the same color to kill viruses in a medicine bottle.
The peppy music below is composed by Hirokazu “Hip” Tanaka, one of the giants of the NES and Gameboy era. He has worked on the Donkey Kong, Duck Hunt, Metroid, Kid Icarus, Tetris, Earthbound, and Pokemon franchises. This track is called “Fever” and is one of the two major gameplay songs in Dr. Mario. I’m sure we’ll revisit the other, “Chill”, at a later date: