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Royals Rumblings - News for March 20, 2020

We missed the Equinox!

House Sparrow
Nowhere near extinction
Photo by: marka/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Despite no baseball, there’s a decent amount of news. YAY!

Want to watch baseball on TV? Fox Sports KC has you covered:

At the Star, Vahe Gregorian caught up with Bob Kendrick to talk about the NLBM, the pandemic, and life:

“To me, that’s the Buck O’Neil perspective,” he said. “Every day we’re a little closer to this being over, it coming to pass.”

Lynn Worthy profiled six players who stood out in Spring Training. You won’t believe who is number 3!?! Oh, well, maybe you will


This is a pivotal spring for the hometown product who made his MLB debut in 2019. Starling is out of minor league options, which means the Royals would have to expose him to waivers if he doesn’t make the major league roster, which would open him up to being claimed by another organization.

This spring, Starling swung a hot bat to the tune of a .367 batting average to go along with a .441 on-base percentage and a .767 slugging percentage. Starling struck out just four times and walked three. He also hit three home runs in 30 at-bats and stole three bases.

He also reported on MLB’s decision around minor league pay:

Major League Baseball said Thursday afternoon that it plans to pay minor-league players the amount of money they would have received from the start of spring training through April 8, had camp not been cut short by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Finally, the Star had a guest writer, Alex Weiner, write about Foster Griffin and Brady Singer.

Alex Weiner is a junior majoring in sports journalism at Arizona State University. This story is a part of a partnership between the Denver Post and Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The Athletic (sub required) is still churning out stories:

Quite a few stories at ye olde Royals blogosphere:

Going to throw a couple of MLB stories here, too:

Chris Sale is going to have TJ surgery. Considering the train wreck that was the Red Sox offseason and the uncertainty of 2020, it makes a lot of sense.

And Marcus Stroman is trying to put together a “Dream Team” for the 2021 World Baseball Classic:

Upon hearing the call, several prominent players, including Trevor Bauer, Walker Buehler, Eric Hosmer, Christian Yelich, Pete Alonso, Mike Clevinger, Nolan Arenado and Blake Snell, all committed online to playing in the event.

Like most people, we at the Best of Royals Review (TM, patent pending) are considering what to do going forward. Usually, at the end of each Spring Training we end with a list of stories honored this past offseason. As the season was expected to start next week, we’ll still do that while figuring out what to do next:

2019.10.04 ALDS Game 2 Open Thread: Astros at Royals

2019.10.10 ALCS Game 1 Open Thread - Kansas City Royals vs. Baltimore Orioles

2019.10.18 ALCS Game Two Thread: The Blue Jays of Toronto versus the Royals of Kansas City

2019.11.01 World Series Game Four Thread: The Royals of Kansas City versus the Mets of New York

2019.11.08 SB Nation Winter Meeting Simulation Thread

2019.11.15 Dayton Moore Incompetence Tournament

2019.11.22 Royals Complete The Inevitable, Sign Former Brave Outfielder, Out Machine, Jeff Francoeur

2019.12.06 A Literary Review of Ned Yost’s Lineup Card from 5/9/2013

2019.12.13 Baseballs are a disgrace to baseball

2020.01.10 Shields and the Royals defeat the Devil Rays and Russia, 6 - 0

2020.01.17 Fielder Jacked, Cano Skunked, Royals Fans Awesome

2020.01.24 Royals not televised, so here’s their 7-3 loss re-enacted with Legos

2020.01.31 Royals’ defense and Guthrie’s struggles give Tigers 9 - 5 win

2020.02.07 Spring Training Photos: An Analysis

2020.02.14 Royals Review wishes you a Happy Valentine’s Day (unofficial)

2020.02.21 There is no Premium on Ideas, or, The Battle For Grass Creek is Not Alone

2020.02.28 The Betancourt trade recapped through Instant Messenger

2020.03.06 Royals and Peanuts Baseball Eerily Similar

I always thought the Equinox was on the 20th, but I was wrong. Apparently, it was on the 19th and we missed it.

If you’re surprised that spring equinox is not falling on the 20th or 21st, it’s for good reason. You have to go back to 1896 to get such an early equinox, according to the Farmers Almanac.

Why? Well, that’s even more complicated than figuring out which day it is. It involves how leap years, leap centuries, the Gregorian calendar and the speed of the Earth’s rotation don’t precisely align and how and when we make periodic adjustments to sync things up as much as possible.

The bottom line is get used to more 19ths! Every coming leap year (2024, 2028, etc.) will give us a new “earliest” spring equinox. Later in this century, Europe, Africa and parts of Asia will eventually see spring equinoxes on March 19.

Other news from March 20th?

The Dutch East India Trading Company was established March 20th, 1602 and lasted nearly 200 years until 1799. This is, of course, not to be confused with the British East India Company that lasted from 1600 until 1874.

In 1815, it was the start of the Hundred Days War. History buffs, correct my (likely horrible and oversimplified) reading of these events. Basically, Napoleon gets exiled to Elba for a year while the rest of Europe tries to carve up his former empire a the Congress of Vienna. He escapes and builds an army out of old French loyalists which prompts a number of other great powers (Austria, Prussia, Russia, and the UK) to build an army to oppose him and defeat him once and for all at Waterloo. The 20th was the day he returned to Paris and was the unofficial start of the war.

As Farmhand is probably aware, it’s also World Sparrow Day. Why we need a day to commemorate one of the most plentiful birds around is beyond me. I mean, they’re pleasant enough birds, but, really, they’re damned near everywhere.

Birthdays for March 20th? Ovid, B. F. Skinner (I love his pasta!), Bobby Orr, and Mister Rogers.

The new Animal Crossing game for the Switch drops today! Here’s what I wrote about the original Animal Crossing back in 2017:

(Wait? That can’t be right. I’ve been doing Rumblings how long?)

Animal Crossing came out before its time - it’s a social media game before social media or cell phone gaming existed. The first (of four) in the series was released for the Gamecube back in 2001. For the uninitiated, you build your own town doing fun and relaxing activities: catch things for your museum like fish and bugs, collect furniture for your home, plant trees and landscape, talk to other NPC villagers, and, generally, waste time (or it’s an Orwellian slave camp simulation).

The game works off of the system’s real time clock. So when it’s nighttime in real life, it’s nighttime in the game. If it’s summer in real life, it’s summer in the game. If it’s nighttime and summer in the game, you can catch bugs that you would find at that time like fireflies. Similarly, to vary up moods in the game, there is different music for each hour - softer at night, peppy in the morning, leisurely in the afternoon. At the top of every hour, the music changes to the next track. If you want to check out what the current song, based on your computer time, there’s even a site for that. Many on YouTube have created extended “videos” of the songs so you can listen for 30 minutes or an hour at a time and even compiled playlists of entire song days. Conceivably, one could even download the audio off of those, create a playlist on iTunes, and just pick a random spot each day.

The 2 AM music was kindof funny. In subsequent games, the evening music was subdued, as if to tell you “go to sleep”. Not in the original! Back after closing time? TIME TO PARTY, ANIMAL CROSSING STYLE!