Not a lot of baseball stories right now. Slow season and that whole election thing going on. Nothing Royals from KCRoyals.com, the KC Star, or The Athletic. Alec Lewis has a mailbag that should drop today, so that’s something to read later today.
We got a national story as Alan Eskew at Baseball America talks about Asa Lacy and some other fall Instructional League notes:
His first name comes his Swedish great-grandfather Asah, and the biblical king Asa who ruled Judah for 41 years and was a descendant of King David. The Royals prefer to call him future ace, and they don’t believe it will be too long before the future arrives in the majors.
I’ve got a kindof lame Listicle. Sam Miller at ESPN has a great idea for an article with “One great moment of the 2020 MLB season for all 30 teams” but the Royals moment looks like he was trying to shoehorn in other entries with KC’s:
Kansas City Royals: Trevor Rosenthal’s dominant four-out save on Aug. 8
It takes three of something to make a trend piece, so somebody should have written this one: Three of the best relievers in baseball this year were pitchers who had recently dealt with control problems so severe they could have ended their careers — and, in two cases, appeared to have:
Daniel Bard — formerly a Red Sox setup man — hadn’t pitched in the majors in seven years, after a stretch in 2013 and 2014 in which he walked 45 batters in 16 innings across multiple levels. For the Rockies this year he saved six games, had a 3.65 ERA and walked only eight batters unintentionally in 25 innings.
Tyler Matzek — once a Rockies first-round pick and top-50 prospect — left organized ball after 2016, when he walked 33 batters in 27 innings at Double- and High-A. He worked his way back through the independent leagues and this year dominated big leaguers with Atlanta, walking just 10 while posting a 2.79 ERA in 29 innings.
And Trevor Rosenthal was released by the Nationals’ historically bad bullpen in 2019 after walking 15 in six innings, including a nightmare stretch when the first 10 men he faced to start the season all reached base safely.
The last one is who interested the Royals, and in Kansas City this year Rosenthal — signed to a minor league deal before the season — reemerged as one of the league’s best relievers. He had the sixth-highest strikeout rate (minimum 20 innings), the 17th-best FIP and the seventh-most saves. He ended the season saving games for the Padres, having netted the Royals a potential major-league-ready regular (Edward Olivares) in return.
We’re also seeing most of the Royals blogs go light this week.
After Max linked to this article about QOs: “Relative Shortage of Qualifying Offers Another Sign of a Chilly Winter To Come”, Jay Jaffe reuses the “chilly” in talking about options: “Declined Options Reflect Chilly Market and Short Season Struggles”.
Jon Lester bought almost $50K in beers for Chicago bar patrons in what may be his going away party from the Windy City where he helped bring a World Series title.
Thanks for coming out this weekend y’all! Yesterday we added 1,372 @MillerLites to my tab, bringing our grand total to 4,838. Shout out to all the bars, their staff, and those cheers-ing from afar! Whether this is goodbye or see you next year, I love you Chicago! #JonsTab pic.twitter.com/OTEIO2gOjc— Jon Lester (@JLester34) November 2, 2020
I totally missed this story. Or maybe it’s the first most of us are hearing about it.
The Los Angeles Angels and Major League Baseball moved Monday to dismiss a lawsuit by former Angels visiting clubhouse attendant Brian “Bubba” Harkins. Harkins was fired March 5 after an internal investigation confirmed suspicions that he was providing sticky ball-doctoring substances to opposing pitchers. According to the Los Angeles Times, Harkins filed a lawsuit Aug. 28, alleging defamation against the Angels and MLB, saying he “never distributed an illegal substance” and was made a “public scapegoat.”
Wait? What? He was doctoring balls for the opposition?
Remember that thing in Game 6 of the World Series where Justin Turner had a questionable COVID test and so they rushed his other one and it turned out he was positive so they took him out an inning before the World Series. But then he went back out on the field, sans mask, to celebrate with the Dodgers? Apparently MLB and MLBPA have reached an agreement on his discipline but it hasn’t been shared what that agreement was.
And, finally, speaking of MLB and MLBPA, Brian Cohn of The Crawfish Boxes (Astros SB site) breaks down the impending labor strife with this cheery title: “Prepare for an MLB & MLBPA off-season battle”
MLB’s books are private and only visible to the owners. Any statements about losses are not able to be supported by data (this does not mean it’s untrue). The owners have a vested interest in this information looking as if they were losing money, not only this year but in general. Independent sources that have studied, believe that the MLB made less money this year, but did not actually lose money. None of this is able to be definitely proven as the books are private, but make logical sense particularly given the reporting that is required from the Braves. All of this will lead to an off-season of turmoil and a battle between the MLB and the MLBPA.
Let’s revisit PSP puzzle game Lumines. This is the menu track “Welcome to the Club”: