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Royals Rumblings - News for December 6, 2019

I, for one, am happy that Rusty’s impeccable hair is back

Kansas City Royals v Cincinnati Reds
Moose against his future team
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Well, it’s finally happened. The only new Royals stories yesterday came from the Fansided network. No. The Star? Nope. The Athletic? Nada. Fangraphs? ESPN? CBS Sports? Yahoo? None of the above! (Well, Rusty’s back, but Max already stole that thunder)

But let’s give the Royals Fansided blogs their due today with the top spot.

I shouldn’t slight Drew Osborne over at RFR. He had a few paragraphs about the pair of notable stories on Wednesday: the Royals competitive balance pick and’s Mock Draft.

The rest of the stories are all from earlier this week but are getting their first mention on RR.

Baseball America posted this two days ago:

Also from Wednesday, Royals history blog U.L.’s Toothpick asked “What If…The Royals Had Acquired Reggie Jackson?

“Finley was asked how much he would sell his franchise for and he said $15 million. Then I asked him how much he would sell one player for. He thought about it a minute and said he would sell any player on his club for $1 million.”–Kauffman, quoted by McGuff, The Sporting News, August 2, 1969

Three days ago, Fangraphs had a story about Wichita’s, um, dubious name choice for their new team, the Wind Surge:

Wichita fits into a distinct level of awareness from the rest of the country: Recognizable by name, but generally, not by much else. It is the largest city in Kansas; it stands at the crossing of rivers called “Arkansas” and “Little Arkansas.” It is named after a Native American tribe that was displaced to a reservation in Oklahoma, and it is the birthplace of Barry Sanders, Gayle Sayers, Kirstie Alley, and the inventors of Pizza Hut. The ingredients are there for something that is uniquely “Wichita,” but what?

For the longest time, im_not_that_bright appeared on the Masthead of this site. He had under 100 comments on the site but would swoop in, drop in a peculiar FanPost (A what post?) with a title like “I am Dazzled by the Dazzlingly Dazzling Bright Future of the Kansas City Royals” and vanish as quickly as he arrived. I think many fans of his work would have expected “A Review of the 2012 Kansas City Royals Season as Written in the Style of the Fyodor Dostoyevsky Novel, The Idiot” would make the Best of Royals Review (TM, patent pending). But today’s post is “A Literary Review of Ned Yost’s Lineup Card from 5/9/2013”.

As literature, Ned Yost’s lineup card from 5/9/2013 is a stunningly brilliant work of staggering despair. Reading the lineup card took me into the abyss that the author, Yost, is clearly looking into. In just a few short lines I was brought to the edge of hope, only to have that hope crushed by the depravity of the human condition. No matter your criteria, Ned Yost’s lineup card is supremely great literature.

This man of mystery has repeatedly denied being Will. However, he has implied he may be one of Muzzy Jackson, Yuniesky Betancourt, Pete Grathoff, Leon Sandcastle, Scott Pioli, Rex Hudler, Yuniesky Betancourt, Billy Beane, Frank White, Jason Whitlock, Mitch Album, Scott Boras, Trey Hillman, Rufus Dawes, Frank White, Trey Hillman, Jose Guillen, Mitch Maier, George Will, or Boutros Boutros-Ghali. I choose to believe he was a perfectly normal person driven mad by the pursuit of good Royals baseball. Godspeed, twisted genius and tortured soul, wherever you are.

Sam Miller of ESPN had a really fun story about “breaking down a single play” for its WAR value. Here’s just a taste:

And then there are the parts of the play that do go to a batter’s WAR, but the credit is dependent on how different sites code of all what we just watched. Lorenzen’s baserunning value gets knocked, because he didn’t score from second on a two-out single to the outfield. It might well have been the correct call -- he might have been out at home had he gone -- but 88% of lead baserunners scored from second base on two-out singles to the outfield in 2019. Lorenzen, by holding, is considered to have failed: Baseball Reference docks his WAR by 0.14 runs. It docks Peraza’s even more, since he made the crucial baserunning out: 0.51 runs.

But at Baseball Prospectus, Lorenzen -- by holding at third -- absorbs all the lost credit, because he is the lead runner. In that site’s formula for baserunning value -- part of the player’s WARP -- trailing runners are considered to be “pulled along” by the lead runner. So Lorenzen, who ended the inning safely on third base, is docked 0.6 runs. Peraza’s baserunning is not treated as its own event, but only part of Lorenzen’s, so Peraza’s WARP takes no blame.

Korean league players Kwang-Hyun Kim, LHP, and Jae-Hwan Kim, OF, were posted yesterday.

Current and former Royals Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, and Zack Greinke are all on the MLB All-Decade defensive team at CBS Sports.

Yahoo’s Mike Oz asserts that “The Hall of Fame may have a Harold Baines problem”:

This weekend a veterans committee from the Hall of Fame will give 10 oft-debated Cooperstown candidates another look. Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Lou Whitaker and Tommy John are among those wondering if this is the year they finally get a call to the Hall. This weekend we’ll also learn whether Cooperstown — as many people have feared for the past year — now has a Harold Baines problem. Because if Harold Baines is in, then Dale Murphy now makes a lot more sense, right? What about Dave Parker? Dwight Evans? Aren’t they better candidates now?

In case you’ve been thinking “Hey, free agency has been off to quicker start than the last couple of seasons”, you’d be right. Brendan Gawlowki at Fangraphs looks at the start of this season’s free agency:

So far though, the market looks more active and we should root for that to continue. A vibrant free agency not only signals that more teams around the circuit are playing to win in 2020, but that the league itself is perhaps a touch healthier than it looks. A few free agents earning their money won’t be enough to offset the growing inequality between management and labor, but a winter in which good players get paid could perhaps go some way toward deescalating brinkmanship in advance of what will surely be tense collective bargaining negotiations after the 2021 season. We’re far from that point, but the early returns from the current free agent period seem encouraging.

I seem to remember having a problem finding Christmas video game music the last couple of years. As we haven’t revisited Animal Crossing: City Folk yet this year, let’s use one of the snowy hour long themes. Relax this holiday season with one of the most relaxing video game soundtracks of all time.

(FYI: Animal Crossing:City Folk reused the music from Wild World, hence the video title.)