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Royals Rumblings - News for February 12, 2020

Have YOU reported for Spring Training yet?

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Happy corgi
Minda Haas Kuhlmann

Should we all pitch in to buy stuff from the Pine Tar Game at auction?

Later this month, a trove of artifacts connected to the seminal game between the Royals and New York Yankees will be sold by Heritage Auctions.

The highlight will be the jersey worn by Brett and expected to fetch more than $100,000, but nearly every other significant piece from that game - except the bat, which is at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York - is on the auction block with the sale set to end the weekend of Feb. 22.

At Forbes, Tony Blengino previews what’s ahead for the Royals this spring:

Some of the club’s young regulars - like Adalberto Mondesi, Hunter Dozier and Jorge Soler - are good enough to handle what is being expected of them. I’m not so sure that Ryan O’Hearn and Nicky Lopez are, however. Lopez’ glove is strong, but he simply doesn’t make hard enough contact to make much of a dent with the bat. I do expect a solid bounce-back from Alex Gordon, whose peripheral batted-ball numbers were much better than his standard 2019 stat line.

Danny Duffy’s family suffered a loss:

A few items related to the cheating beat:

  1. The Red Sox have hired Ron Roenicke as their manager, but:

Although there is no expiration date on Roenicke’s tenure, the interim tag will stay until Major League Baseball completes its investigation into whether the Red Sox engaged in illegal sign-stealing during their 2018 World Series championship season. If the inquiry clears Roenicke, who has denied being part of any rules violations, he is expected to stay.

“We felt that naming Ron our interim manager was the best way to respect the investigation that’s ongoing into our 2018 club. But we feel very strongly about Ron’s ability to lead this group and how well-suited he is for this task,” Chaim Bloom, the Red Sox’s chief baseball officer, said in a news conference on the eve of the team’s first formal workout.

2. The Washington Post gathered sources who describe the Astros cheating as an open secret, going back several years:

“It was a big open secret, really big. Throughout baseball, throughout the scouting community, for several years, not just starting in 2017. I would say probably 2016, maybe earlier, through [2019], things were going on that were blatantly against the rules.”

3. Former Royal Carlos Beltrán had a much bigger role in the cheating than previously known, per The Athletic. It’s...disappointing.

Carlos Beltrán, a highly respected veteran with a Hall-of-Fame resume, had helped create the system, and as the senior member of the team, his voice functionally prevailed over all others. Clubhouse dynamics are a powerful force, conditioning players to keep quiet and respect veterans, and ultimately played a role in the Astros’ snowballing scandal.


Beltrán’s sway over the clubhouse, however, helps explain the inaction of Hinch and his other coaches and players, even as some who were there say they felt conflicted about the team’s misconduct. The reluctance of anyone in uniform to challenge Beltrán spoke to the power of the accomplished veteran in the sport’s political pecking order.

Elsewhere in baseball:

The Mariners signed veteran outfielder Carlos Gonzalez to a minor league deal.

Old acquaintance alert: the Giants signed Trevor Cahill to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training.

The Angels’ two-way player Shohei Ohtani should be able to return to his pitching duties in mid-May. Until then, he can play as a hitter in the Majors and also do a rehab assignment for pitching.

At The Athletic, Fabian Ardaya runs down how the Joc Pederson trade from the Dodgers to the Angels fell apart.

Three NBA teams - the Knicks, Lakers, and Warriers - are valued at over $4 billion.

HBO’s Last Week Tonight is hosted by John Oliver, who recently gained U.S. citizenship. He spoke to Stephen Colbert about how scary the test day was.

Dwyane Wade shares thoughts about his daughter Zaya on Ellen.

NASA had to clarify that actually, you can balance a broom upright any day of the year, and they were way nicer about it than I would have been in that scenario.

This section is kind of light today, so the free discussion topic is: portrait photography! Have you had portraits done? Do you take portraits? (Please brag on yourself if you do!) Does “portrait” even seem like a word anymore now that it’s been used so many times in the previous few seconds of your life?

NEW MUSIC ALERT: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Be Afraid. (Also - tour dates!)