This week will be the last on the Royals beat for Jeffrey Flanagan, who announced his coming retirement in a tweet.
Alec Lewis fielded some Royals questions for The Athletic ($):
Lynch, whom The Athletic’s Keith Law ranked as his top prospect this spring, made important strides this season — strides that were always going to be necessary for him to pitch in the big leagues.
Pitching at 6-foot-6 is different. Ask other lanky lefties such as Randy Johnson or Chris Sale. Consistent command for guys who create the type of angles they do is difficult. That’s why Lynch spent so much of last season working with director of pitching performance Paul Gibson. They focused on Lynch’s favorite feel: When he gets his arm on top of the ball and throws downhill. Lynch also started to throw his changeup more.
Though he pitched in the Arizona Fall League, Lynch hasn’t pitched above High A in a normal minor-league season. He’ll certainly compete for an Opening Day roster spot in spring training, and if he blows the Royals away, his early presence might be possible. For now, the likeliest scenario seems to be Duffy starting out of camp. That would shield Lynch from having to throw too many innings; it would also give the Royals a chance to evaluate Duffy for a few more months to see what road to take, given Duffy is entering the final year of his contract.
In LIDOM action, Kelvin Gutiérrez smacked this dinger:
Kelvin Gutierrez just smashed a huge homer to tie it up 8-8 for Gigantes in the bottom of the 7th (7 inning game, first of a doubleheader).— Céspedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) December 22, 2020
These two teams have the same record and are fighting for a trip to the playoffs with only 2 games left after this one. https://t.co/z4QxEm1UaQ pic.twitter.com/3GcTYqk0Mv
If your TV provider still has FSKC, here’s the schedule for the Christmas Eve marathon:
1 p.m. July 25 at Cleveland
Royals take advantage of new extra-innings rule to win their first game of 2020.
3 p.m. Aug. 25 at St. Louis
Royals rally from early deficit, get stunning outfield assist to hold off Cards.
5 p.m. Sept. 13 vs. Pittsburgh
Backed by 11 runs, Keller throws first career shutout.
7 p.m. July 27 at Detroit
Royals overcome 5–1 deficit by pounding out team record-tying six homers.
9 p.m. Sept. 10 at Cleveland
Brady Singer throws 7 2/3 no-hit innings while Royals score 11 runs, all with two outs.
Note: Games are edited to two hours
FanGraphs is rolling out the results of the fan rankings of TV broadcasts. Here’s #30-21, which means the Royals are somewhere between #20 and #1. This set of notes on the Cardinals made me laugh:
Jim Edmonds is the best color commentator they have.
Edmonds once learned about the Binghamton Rumble Ponies during a broadcast and spent the next three innings looking up weird minor league team names and laughing at them.
The Mets avoided arbitration with Noah Syndergaard.
Why MLB declared war on the minor leagues. ($)
Sam Fuld will be the new Phillies GM. When I worked for the Omaha Royals and Fuld played for the Iowa Cubs, I recall seeing him reading books in the tunnel by the clubhouse before games. I do not recall many other players doing this.
(NB: those were the olden days, when my daily work crossed through the little tunnel leading from the concourses, past the clubhouse door, to the field at Rosenblatt. The clubhouses at Werner Park are beyond the outfield, so it’s possible lots of players are reading books out there pregame and I simply do not see them!)
A neat video graph showing how many MLB home runs were hit by players from countries other than the US, over time.
Florida basketball player Keyontae Johnson was released from the hospital.
Here’s a writer from The Simpsons demistifying jokes and gags fans misheard or just plain didn’t “get.”
Profiling actor Giancarlo Esposito, who is in basically everything nowadays, including The Mandalorian and of course Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.
COVID-19 has reached Antarctica.
Would you like to cringe so deeply your internal organs feel it? Read about the Journalist* and the Pharma Bro.
*I promise you, journalism schools teach you that sources can’t be lovers. Any j-school freshman would know this.
SOTD: All I Want for Christmas is You, but in a minor key.