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Royals Rumblings - News For April 10, 2020

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Royals still in first place!

UK Remains On Lockdown Due To Coronavirus As Infection Rate Appears To Slow
Or better yet, stay home, if you can
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Last night, the Royals, Chiefs, and Sporting teamed up and began their #LightItBlue campaign.

“The goal of this effort,” they continued, “is to create a global expression of support and gratitude to the healthcare and essential professionals who are saving lives around the clock, ‘toward creating a universal symbol of solidarity and hope.’”

All three teams will display the campaign logo on their digital boards at their respective stadiums. The effort was created in late March in the United Kingdom as major landmarks were lit throughout the country to support their healthcare providers.

{soapbox}

As someone who works at a medical institution, is related to 3 different medical professionals, and is friends with countless others, I’m going to editorialize a smidge here today. If you really want to show “support and gratitude towards the healthcare and essential professionals”, there’s one thing you can do more than anything else right now. It’s not giving money to organizations that support them (though that’s helpful). It’s not praising them in Facebook or in person (though that’s nice). It’s staying the F at home.

You need to go to work? Cool! Me, too! Are you more efficient at work because the infrastructure is better, your interactions with people are better, and you don’t have your family bugging you every few minutes? Cool! Me, too! (mostly) Guess what? I’m not going to pretend I have to go in to work to feed my ego about being essential or to get away from my family.

You need groceries? Cool! Me, too! You like going to the grocery store to pick out produce and veggies because I want to pick the best veggies and the best cuts of meat? Cool! Me, too! Guess what? I’m letting Kroger do the shopping for me right now and making due.

You like going to church, not only for the spirituality but also for the fellowship? Cool! Me, too! Easter’s coming up and you’d love to go to church? Cool! Me, too! Guess what? I’m going to be watching it on Youtube at home with my family.

You like visiting friends and neighbors? Getting your hair cut? Going to fun, large gatherings of like minded people like Royals fans? Cool! Me, too! All of those things! Guess what? We can’t do any of that responsibly right now. Why? Because we shouldn’t be acting selfish, especially when there are potentially deadly consequences.

This way, people like my sister don’t have to see nearly as many patients with high viral loads, putting herself, her family, and the rest of the community at risk. Cool?

But for those who claim to support and then do the opposite, please don’t waste your breath or our time. It’s just lip service and we all have enough problems without you adding to them. Wear that badge of ignorance and malice honestly - you’ve earned it.

{/soapbox}

Now back to our regularly scheduled Friday tomfoolery.

Jeff Todd, as part of a series at MLBTR, looks at the Royals timeline to competition:

We all know the tale of the Royals’ recent run of glory … the team reared a group of top prospects, mixed in some bold trades, ramped up its payroll a bit and came home with a crown in 2015. It still took a series of upsets and surprising events to get to the promised land, but there’s no disputing the validity of the title. Overcoming tall odds only makes the achievement more impressive.

Some manner of rebuilding was obviously going to be required at some point. There’s a strong case to be made that the Kansas City organization should’ve pivoted more forcefully rather than overseeing two consecutive middling seasons after the parade — if not in the 2016-17 offseason, then at the 2017 trade deadline. Still, it’s understandable that the club did not wish to squander any chance at competing with its existing core.

Over at UL’s Toothpick, Darin Watson has begun doing a “This Date in Royals history” for 1980. There’s a lot of interesting backstory there to digest:

Off the field, the Royals were undergoing a tumultuous time. Several players had publicly expressed displeasure with their salaries, with Paul Splittorff saying “I don’t think we’re the 19th-best team in baseball,” referring to Kansas City’s rank in payroll in the majors. Frank White and Hal McRae also went on record as being unhappy. Elsewhere, outfielder/first baseman Pete LaCock had not been pleased with the trade for Willie Aikens and said he thought he should be the starting right fielder, while management expected Clint Hurdle to play there. LaCock basically announced he intended to move on after the season. General manager Joe Burke answered the criticisms by saying the Royals would not renegotiate contracts, and especially would not do so in the media.

Eric Sondheimer of the LA Times is doing a series on major high school sports games in SoCal history. This one has a Royals flavor:

“Hello and welcome to beautiful Dodger Stadium as tonight Cleveland and star pitcher Bret Saberhagen face Palisades for the L.A. City Section baseball championship.” Rosenbloom and everyone else had no clue how historic the game would turn out to be.

Saberhagen pitched the first and only no-hitter in the history of the City championship game at Dodger Stadium, leading Cleveland to a 13-0 win over Palisades. He retired 21 of 22 batters, with only an error preventing a perfect game.

Let’s do blogs first than rando MLB stuff, since the Royals blogs are putting in some real effort into creating content during this difficult time.

I’ve been wanting to give Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter his due for a while now. His articles are typically longer than any of the other blog sites and make for good reads. If you haven’t been checking them out, give it a go.

Kings of Kauffman continue to do yeoman’s work over at Fansided

Over at Royals Blue, Conner Miller has a pair of stories, asking a pair of questions.


Here’s today’s “We need a better title than ‘Stuff about today from Wikipedia”:

Today’s birthdays include Commodore Matthey C. Perry (1794), John Madden (1936), and actress Daisy Ridley (1992).

Baseball birthday’s include Ken Griffey Sr. (1950), Corey Kluber (1986), and former Royals Ryan Verdugo (1987) and Chris Dwyer (1988).

Halley’s comet had a close flyby in 837. ” It was recorded by astronomers in China, Japan, Germany, the Byzantine Empire, and the Middle East.” Cool!

Lots of interesting things today, actually. America’s first Arbor Day celebrated in 1872 in Nebraska. The Titanic sets sail in 1912, the PGA is established in 1916, and The Great Gatsby is published in 1925. In 1970. Paul McCartney leaves The Beatles.


Around MLB, there’s some other stories, a couple of which even feature the Royals.

At CBS Sports, R.J. Anderson ranks the 10 rebuilding teams. TEN!

8. Kansas City Royals

We’re putting the Royals ahead of the Tigers because while both teams are reliant upon young pitchers developing as desired, the Royals have more hitting talent in the system, including in the majors. Dayton Moore will probably trade Whit Merrifield, but the Tigers don’t have a position player with the upside of either Bobby Witt Jr. or Adalberto Mondesi. (Whether Witt or Mondesi can tap into their upside frequently enough to become a star is another matter.)

He’s also doing an OOTP season sim. YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHO IS IN FIRST!

2. Royals surge

It’s far, far too early to worry about the standings. Even so, the Kansas City Royals provided their fans with some excitement this week by reeling off five consecutive wins. In the process, the Royals have tied Cleveland for the lead in the American League Central. Whit Merrifield is hitting .370; Hunter Dozier has four home runs and 10 runs batted in; and the K.C. bullpen has been a strength for Mike Matheny, ranking in the top-five in ERA so far. It won’t continue, but some joy is better than none.

Jesse Rogers at ESPN writes about the minors, laying out a best and worst case scenario for the season.


We’ve talked about Final Fantasy VII at length on this site before, most notably here. But also here (some about the Distant Worlds concerts) and a little here. However, with the remake due out today, I think it’s time to revisit it again.

Here’s some of what I wrote about the game in that first entry:

Like last week’s entry, Final Fantasy 7 is a game I’m really conflicted about. Many people have it as their best game of all time. However, I think that makes it akin to an incomplete Oscar winner with an uninteresting and/or poorly paced plot that lets the acting shine (hey, lots of those win awards). Or some older high literature whose reputation is beyond reproach but is just a slog.

We talked a few weeks ago about how Final Fantasy IV “ushered in the cinematic RPG age six years before Final Fantasy VII amped this idea up to 11”. FF7 created the neo-Playstation RPG model that was dominant for at least a decade and is still the foundation of many jRPGs today. Players went from having to imagine they were playing a movie with 16-bit sprites on flat backgrounds to actually being in one with 3-dimensional polygonal renderings. Yes, FF7’s models look crude by today’s standards, but, at the time, they were a huge leap forward. Remember, this is a game that came out just a couple of years after the likes of Toy Story and Reboot.

It’s also historically significant, maybe the single most important game in shifting the balance of power from Nintendo to Sony. A lot of ink, physical and digital has been spilled about the console wars (examples here or here, for instance) and about the development of Final Fantasy VII (another example). And besides being revolutionary, many aspects of the game like the Materia system hold up today.

But what I’ve never been able to get past is that the characters and plot were the worst of the 90s, full of angst and moping, devoid of human emotions or motivations. Cloud is a boring, mopey protagonist set against Sephiroth, anime Boba Fett (aka an underdeveloped empty shell). To me, the epic scope and plot are wasted on unsympathetic and uninteresting characters. I had already watched a friend beat the game so I literally stopped my game at The Northern Cave (I think that’s what it was called). Frankly, I didn’t care if the world lived or died. It’s the exact opposite emotion evoked the SNES Square Big Three.

Yes, it’s not my favorite thing out there. But it’s hard to deny its impact on video game history. The third disk is my favorite of the four disk soundtrack and let’s go with one of my favorite quirky songs on it, the Forested Temple: