Jeffrey Flanagan reports that Alex Gordon has at least considered retirement at the end of his current contract:
In considering his future, Gordon also takes into account the Royals’ current direction, in terms of building for the future.
”Obviously, I’m getting up there in age in terms of not many years of me left playing,” he said. “I think I dealt with this mentally the last time I signed a contract. It depends on how I feel in one year and two months. Who knows? I may want to play longer. Or I may just want to be with my family. It’s the family decision that I think about most. [Retirement] crosses your mind.
”I’m a family man. One thing about this game is that it has given me everything in the world. I’ve been very fortunate. But it does take a lot of time away from your kids and your family. My oldest son is going to be 8 years old and I’m missing out on a lot of things he is doing.”
It remains the iconic quote of Royals futility, and probably always will: “I never say it can’t get worse.” It has been 12 years since then-manager Buddy Bell said those words after the Royals lost on April 19, 2006, their 10th loss in a row. He was right. Two nights later, they lost their 11th game in a row. And in May, they outdid themselves again, losing 13 in a row.
So believe me when I say I understand the weight of those words. Or at least, if it does get worse than this, I don’t want to be around for it. The Royals are 33-73, barreling toward their worst season in history. They are on pace for a 50-112 record, worse than the 62-100 record they finished with in 2006, worse even than the 56-106 record they had in 2005, when they lost 19 games in a row. We’ve never seen anything like these Royals. And I hope we never see their likes again.
But with monumental incompetence comes clarity of purpose. There are no illusions about what the Royals need to do. As rebuilding teams get closer and closer to contention, they must begin shaping the talent they have on hand to fit the constraints of a major league roster. For instance, when you’re ready to contend, there’s no point in having two excellent DHs and no closer. Phase 2 of the rebuilding process involves making those kinds of trade-offs. But the Royals are squarely in Phase 1, if not square one. They have one mission and one mission only: acquire talent. By any means necessary.
Also at the Athletic, Rustin Dodd tells of Ryan O’Hearn’s big first game:
In the moments after the game, there was a wild postgame victory celebration and more interviews and a counterfeit home run ball presented by reliever Brandon Maurer. It came with a Sharpie-d message between the seams:
“Bryan O’Hearn 1st Dong.”
O’Hearn laughed at the fake ball. He had the real one somewhere. He talked about his family and how much the moment meant to him. It was difficult to put into words.
Dodd also write about how Dayton Moore is far from satisfied.
At BP KC, David Lesky tries to make sense of Dayton Moore’s plan:
Again, some will miss, some might move faster and some might appear who we aren’t even thinking about, but I believe this is the Royals thought process here. While it’s not exactly what I’d have likely done, I think there’s some logic to it. The talking points we’ve heard from Dayton Moore are that he’s embarrassed about this season and is trying to make the 2019 club better, which doesn’t sound great because who cares about the 2019 club? But at the same time, I do believe it’s in the team’s best interest to have some established players in the big leagues when their next core starts to come to the big leagues.
It will be nice if Phillips or Goodwin or Herrera or whoever is in the big leagues and playing well when Lee comes up so he doesn’t have to hit second right away. Or if Merrifield is there so Isbel can slide into that role with a little less fanfare. I think that’s the thought process here.
I have some big-time doubts about whether or not this will work, but I can at least see what the Royals are trying to do and I’m not sure it won’t work either. Ultimately, the longish-term fate of the organization rests in the hands of the guys who aren’t going to be counted on now or next year and maybe not even in 2020. If they work out, this all likely works out. If they don’t, well, it doesn’t matter what the Royals do to bridge the gap. But I think I see their plan at least and I don’t think it’s as crazy as it might appear on the surface even if I’d be far more focused on 2021 and beyond than they seem to be right now.
- Dan Szymborksi checks in with ZiPS to see how the teams in the AL moved their playoff chances at the deadline.
- David Laurila chats with Kyle Gibson about fastball efficiency and pitch-to-pitch sequencing.
- Sheryl Ring looks at how the Mariners’ request for public stadium funding is different.
- Craig Edwards opines that local TV ratings are good but have nowhere to go but down.
- Rachael McDaniel weighs the Astros trading for a domestic abuser in Roberto Osuna.
- Russell Carleton looks at what happens when position players catch.
- Scott Delp tries to look past the holes in his own analysis in profiling Rhys Hoskins.
Last year was the hottest year that didn’t feature an El Niño.
The final season of Parts Unknown will air this fall on CNN.
A Quincy Jones documentary co-directed by Rashida Jones is coming to Netflix in September.
These Siberian worms survived in permafrost for 30,000 years.
The song of the day is “Hands of Time” by Margo Price: