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Royals Rumblings - News for October 10, 2019

“Aaron Crow’s inning is the sixth inning. Kelvin’s is the seventh.”

ALCS Game 1: Kansas City at Baltimore
Lo, Danger Ox!
John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Daniel Lynch and Kyle Isbel named to the, ahem, double checks, “Fall Stars Game”, which I guess is the Arizona Fall League All-Star game.

I’m not quite sure why this story about the Royals Spring Training schedule is at the top of and dated as of this week. I’m pretty sure they already released the dates and times of Spring Training games back in August.

Nothing new from The Athletic or The Star. Someone wake up Royals Farm Report and Royals Academy.

We’ve had some links from Clubhouse Conversation in Rumblings in the past but I’ve never made time to listen to them, which is silly as they get some really interesting interview guests. Yesterday, they came out with “60 Minutes On 2019 Season, Owner/Managerial Changes & Lots More!

Good news! Since this is a Thursday and not a Friday, I get a Leigh Oleszczak story from KC Kingdom. Bad news. It’s a slideshow: “Storylines to follow in 2019 offseason”.

Thankfully, KOK continues to churn out stories:

Side note: That’s not actor Michael Massee, who I didn’t realize, was born in Kansas City (see, this is how we’re pretending this is topical). He is, unfortunately, most notable for (per wiki): “ the actor who fired the shot that killed Lee by accident on the set in 1993, due to an improperly prepared prop gun. He was so traumatized by the event that he returned to New York and took a year off from acting and never saw the film.” They were also not talking to Michael Madsen (Mr. Blonde) or Mads Mikkelsen (La Chiffre) who are from Chicago and Copenhagen, respectively. This nonsense has clearly gone on long enough.

Just because it’s not Friday doesn’t mean you don’t get a Best of Royals Review (TM). As mentioned last week, we’re hitting up some of the most underrated games of the postseason run. This week, we’re looking at Game 1 of the 2014 ALCS (maybe KOK can feature it next week). Aside from the “These O’s Ain’t Royal” Guthrie kerfuffle, I don’t think people remember a lot about that series. The Orioles are not a hated villain, and “fun” fact: “It was the first ALCS since 2005 not to feature the Yankees, Red Sox, or Tigers.” And many of us were happy they had vanquished Detroit, who seemingly had the Royals number.

While the series was a sweep, it was decided by a total of 6 runs as every game was won by 1 or 2 runs. Game 1 was the Royals 5th playoff game after the Wild Card Game and 3 game ALDS. It would be the 4th extra inning game out of those first five. The Royals jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the 3rd but the Orioles clawed back into it against James Shields and the game was tied after 6. The Royals loaded the bases in the 9th with nobody out but failed to score. But Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas hit home runs in the 10th to give the Royals a lead for good. Royals Review was alive with almost 4000 comments between the game thread, 4 overflows (one) (two) (three) (four), and recap.

Ahead of the Game 5s yesterday, Will Leitch listicled the best LDS Game 5s. Hard to argue against the top 2: “The Double” and the bat flip.

We’re not even going to tlak about the first game. Hall of Very Good member Brian McCann retired after the game.

THIS IS NOT A DRILL! THE NATS HAVE WON A PLAYOFF SERIES! REPEAT: THE NATS HAVE WON A PLAYOFF SERIES! Two home runs off Kershaw in the 8th and a Howie Kendrick grand slam in the 10th sink juggernaut Dodgers. For the NLCS, I think this is appropriate:

While the other six teams battled for a grueling five games, the Yankees decided to add to their own degree of difficulty. Yankee closer and 30-game domestic violence suspendee Aroldis Chapman injured himself during the ALDS celebration when he was hit by a champagne bottle.

Yesterday, Jay Jaffe at Fangraphs observed “Starting Pitching is Making a Postseason Comeback

The death of the starter has been greatly exaggerated. On the heels of a regular season in which starting pitchers threw a smaller share of innings than ever before, and one year after a postseason in which they threw barely over half the total innings, it seemed quite possible that the trend might continue this October, particularly with each of the four 100-win teams spending September scrambling for a fourth option and some of them publicly floating novel ideas about how things might unfold. Admittedly, it’s early in the 2019 postseason, but already we’ve seen some monster pitching performances in the playoffs — Justin Verlander‘s seven innings of one-hit ball, Gerrit Cole‘s 15 strikeouts, Adam Wainwright’s 7.2 scoreless innings — and in general more reliance upon teams’ front-of-the-rotation starters than in the recent past.

After firing their GM and amid talk about cutting payroll to get below the luxury tax level, the Red Sox have, of course, announced ticket price increases. The lowest price to get an actual seat (i.e. not SRO) is $30. I suspect this is also before fees.

Speaking of screwing over baseball fans and taxpayers, Rob Manfred was out doing his impression of an extortionist. ”Say, it would be a real shame if something would happen to your baseball team just like what happened to your football team.”

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf confirmed in a television interview Tuesday that Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred warned city officials that the Athletics could relocate to Las Vegas if the city didn’t drop its lawsuit to stop Alameda County from selling its share of the Coliseum to the team.

Manfred confirmed Tuesday that Las Vegas came up during a meeting with Schaaf, but said there are no plans for the A’s to move. “In a recent meeting with the mayor of Oakland, I did mention Las Vegas in the context of pointing out that the A’s might have to relocate if a new stadium can’t be built in Oakland,” Manfred told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “There is, however, no plan to move to Las Vegas.”

Needing no segue, ESPN’s Steve Wulf asks “Could the Black Sox scandal happen today?

One hundred years might seem like a long enough time to wait. But what we are talking about here is the Black Sox scandal, baseball’s darkest hour and an oft-told tale that has captured the imagination of historians, novelists, filmmakers and those fans who feel the betrayal in their bones. The gamblers and crooked ballplayers who conspired to fix the outcome of the 1919 World Series robbed people not only of their money but also of their faith in baseball.

That’s why baseball became puritanical about gambling, why Rule 21d, the prohibition of betting, has been posted in clubhouses since 1927, why the all-time hit king, Pete Rose, was banished from baseball. For years, MLB argued in courts to prevent states other than Nevada from legalizing sports gambling. But then Major League Baseball and MGM Resorts announced last November that they had entered into an agreement to promote legalized gambling just in time for the 2019 season, and ever since, the gnats of irony have been buzzing about.

They just happened to choose the centennial anniversary of the 1919 World Series and the 30th anniversary of commissioner Bart Giamatti ejecting Pete Rose to roll out this new policy. The same Pete Rose who often signs autographs at MGM Resorts’ Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas. The same MGM Resorts that owns the Borgata, a rose-colored high-rise paradise north of the Boardwalk in Atlantic City. The same Borgata where disgraced NBA referee Tim Donaghy liked to try his luck.

Due to work demands, I’m having to do Rumblings on Thursday instead of Friday this week so I guess that means no video game music. But that doesn’t mean you get to escape my Rumblings ramblings.

There are three SBNation sites I frequent: Royals Review (naturally), Rock Chalk Talk (for news about my alma mater’s gridiron prowess of course), and The Dream Shake (as I’m from Houston and follow the Rockets). TDS used to do their song of the day in game threads and, back for a game in 2012, I saw a song related to today’s: “Crecendolls” by Daft Punk. Not familiar with it, I found it was part of a larger whole: Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem or, 5555, for short. The simplest way to describe 5555 is that it’s a full length anime movie that’s a music video for Daft Punk’s entire second album, Discovery. The animation was done (mainly) by Toei, under the visual supervision of Leiji Matsumoto or Space Battleship Yamato/Star Blazers fame. Unfortunately, it wasn’t available on a Region 1 DVD so I had no way to watch it (and then I forgot about it until this year when I stumbled across it on Youtube).

What makes 5555 unique is that complete absence of dialog and very minimal sound effects. The animation and music must do all the storytelling, similar to an across-the-pond contemporary, Genndy Tartakovsky’s tour de force, Samurai Jack (2001). The animation style looks very 70s but with late 90s animation technology, like an updated Star Blazers. This aesthetic fits the music, as a number of Daft Punk’s tracks on Discovery have a very 70s sound. “Digital Love” and “Something About Us” especially sound 70s, but the whole CD has a distinctly retro feel. I think that explains why this pairing work so well: retro 70s animation paired with retro 70s sound. And the animation is perfectly sync’d to the music: as an animator, this must have been difficult but also a complete treat.

Honestly, I expected it to be draggy, forced, and a bit trippy – but it rarely proves to be any of those. The narrative is quite tight, an impressive feat considering the restrictions of musical pacing and lack of dialog. Here’s the opening song the starts the movie and Daft Punk’s biggest hit off of Discovery, “One More Time”, which may or may not whet your appetite for the rest of the movie.