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Royals Rumblings - News for March 1, 2019

Farewell, OMD!

Kansas City Royals v Baltimore Orioles
Black and Blues today
Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

This coming season, we may see shift happen with the Royals, according to Lynn Worthy at the Star.

Defending out of non-traditional alignments has been a focus this week in camp, and the Royals have already adjusted their thinking from the recent past in regard to who will move when they shift against a left-handed hitter (they shifted 39.7 percent of the time against lefties in 2018).

Also at the Star, Pete Grathoff reported on the czar of gnar’s plan to fix winter for Kansas City.

He tweeted: “feel like all of kc and surrounding areas should just pile into like 7000 busses and come kick it with the real bros of phoenix valley til opening day at this point. So steez.”

If you pester The Athletic enough, maybe they’ll hire OMD. David O’Brien wrote about everyone’s favorite tattoo-covered Australian submariner’s retirement.

Peter, keep being awesome:

Royals Blue even had an article: “A Sunny Surprise, in Sunny Surprise!

Fansided had many:

Two listicles today:

ESPN’s David Schoenfield picked “The player we should talk about more in 2019 on all 30 teams”:

Kansas City Royals: Adalberto Mondesi

He’s a popular fantasy pick after hitting 14 home runs and swiping 32 bases in just 75 games and hitting a surprising .276/.306/.498. Prorate those numbers over 150 games, and he’s a potential 25-homer/50-steal guy, something only seven players have accomplished: Hanley Ramirez, Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson (twice), Eric Davis (twice), Ryne Sandberg, Joe Morgan (twice) and Cesar Cedeno (twice). That would make Mondesi one of the most exciting players in the league. Still, there’s a wide variance of outcomes here, as his pitch selection leaves something to be desired (11 walks and 77 strikeouts), and Statcast data suggest his quality of contact was nowhere near as good as his slugging percentage indicated.

This week at CBS, Mike Axisa ranks the “MLB bottom-dwellers with best chance to reach postseason in 2019”:

Kansas City Royals

Maybe, if things break right ...

2018 record: 58-104 (33 GB)

2019 SportsLine projection: 76-86 (3rd place in AL Central)

The Royals are on the bubble. I had them in the “no chance at the postseason” group in earlier iterations of this post. Ultimately, I’m sticking them in the “maybe if things break right” group because the AL Central is pretty weak. The Indians remain the class of the division but they spent the winter shedding payroll rather than reinforcing the roster. The Twins have a sneaky strong position player group but could use another starter. The Tigers and White Sox? Rebuilders.

Kansas City’s best chance at the postseason involves two things. One, the Indians and Twins dealing with injuries and unexpectedly poor performance, and two, several of their own youngsters breaking out. Specifically, that means Adalberto Mondesi and Brad Keller building on last year’s success, Jorge Soler coming back healthy and Ryan O’Hearn showing last season’s power numbers were not a fluke. Squint your eyes and there’s interesting talent in the projected lineup:

Hard to follow up on OMD’s final post yesterday so we at Best or Royals Review (TM) are going to close up shop early and return next week.

Time to scrape through some other news stories that may or may not have previously appeared on RR.

ESPN revisited the Tim Donaghy story recently. I’m a bit surprised they’d do it, considering the fat NBA broadcasting contract they have. And the conclusion seems pretty clear: Donaghy was fixing NBA games. They narrowed the scope of this crime drama down to a short time period in 2006-2007 so it sounds like there was “minimal damage”. But they established in other parts of the story that he was betting on games for even longer but on a smaller scale. Frankly, it sounded really easy to do and it doesn’t make me feel any better about how easy it is to rig NBA games. It’s always been shocking to me how easily the NBA was able to sweep this under the rug. Whole movies were made about the Black Sox scandal a half century later but this blew over for the NBA in less than a year.

Also, here’s a couple of lottery-related stories I’ve been sitting on.

The first was from Business Insider (posted on Yahoo). Back when the jackpot was close to a billion dollars, they ran the numbers on the expected return from a lottery ticket. At first blush, it’s a pretty good investment, but when you adjust for additional winners, taking the lump sum, and figure in taxes, it becomes much less so.

For the record, I really want to do this. A man in Iowa won $1 on a scratch off ticket, went down to his local office and asked to be paid his winnings in a giant check. They agreed! He got his picture taken, framed his winnings, and “says he has already spent his winnings on a ‘half of a gallon of gas’”.

It seems appropriate to re-visit Chrono Trigger and use the closing song: Epilogue ~To My Dear Friends.