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Royals Rumblings - News for December 24, 2020

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Be good, for goodness’ sake.

In honor of Christmas in July, Kansas City Royals mascot Sluggerrr wore a Santa hat as he cheared on the Royals during the ninth inning against the Texas Rangers. The Royals defeated the Rangers, 6-3, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, Saturday, July 25, 2009. Photo by John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for December 24, 2020

David Schoenfield at ESPN lists the most interesting 2020 stat for each team.

The number: Adalberto Mondesi, six steals of third base

I sometimes feel as if Mondesi is single-handedly keeping the stolen base alive. He swept 24 in 2020, nine more than Trevor Story, the No. 2 guy. A quarter of those were steals of third, one of the most exciting plays in baseball. I also feel Mondesi is a man out of time. We need to transport him back to the 1977 Royals, where Whitey Herzog could let him run wild on the bases and teach him to better utilize his speed at the plate. Like nearly every player of this generation, Mondesi is trying to hit every pitch as hard as he can — and he does have some pop (47th percentile in hard-hit rate). That comes at a price: He swung and missed 40% of the time (only Keston Hiura, Miguel Sano and Luis Robert swung and missed more often among regulars). He also rarely walks, which means he’s not on base enough to take more advantage of his speed. I’d love to see him sacrifice some power, focus on putting the ball in play and use his speed.

They’re crowdsourcing TV broadcasting team rankings at Fangraphs, with the Royals’ crew ranking #20.

Lefebvre and Physioc are excellent on the analysis and coherence but down on charisma. Hurdler is down on the first two but dynamite on charisma. So actually it’s a very balanced booth. I enjoy listening to them. But I must admit that Rex Hudler is an acquired taste. I have come to enjoy his work.

Entertaining? Yes. Good? Hmm…not sure. Is there a difference? Even less sure.

KC’s broadcasting teams have been in place for too long, and sound like it. They need updating for a fresher outlook on the game and to reflect diversity. All the radio and TV crews are composed of white men.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter writes that year two will provide different challenges for Mike Matheny.

Year two has typically “made” or “broken” managers in Royals history. Tony Pena had a sensational first full season in Kansas City in 2003, giving the club their first winning season since 1994. However, the Royals went 58-104 the next year, and he was gone after 33 games into the 2005 season. Trey Hillman, Moore’s first managerial hire as Royals GM, went 75-87 in his first year as Royal skipper in 2008, a six-game improvement from Buddy Bell’s final year in 2007. However, the club went 65-97 in Hillman’s second year, and he was eventually replaced 35 games into his third season with Yost, who ended up managing the Royals for roughly the next decade.

And thus, how Matheny develops as a manager with heightened expectations, and in a different Central landscape, could be the key to forecasting Matheny’s tenure as Royals manager.

Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman would like to see Danny Duffy live up to expectations.

The Dodgers sign reliever Tommy Kahnle to a two-year deal.

The Red Sox sign reliever Matt Andriese to a one-year deal.

The Mets avoid arbitration and settle with pitcher Noah Syndergaard for $9.7 million.

Cuban pitcher/outfielder Oscar Colas is declared a free agent.

The White Sox land top international prospect Yoelqui Céspedes, brother of Yoenis.

The questions facing baseball this off-season.

How Mookie Betts set the Dodgers on a World Series path.

The hiring of Kim Ng to run the Marlins provides hope for other Asian-Americans in baseball.

When the Blue Jays gave away Derek Bell’s car, and other baseball pranks.

The best rookies in the NBA preseason.

How would a one-city NCAA basketball tournament work?

Do we need to change how we search for alien life?

George Clooney’s latest film continues the trend of serious sci-movies with serious directors.

What did 2020 mean for the video game industry?

Your song of the day is James Brown with Soulful Christmas.