The Star came through with a number of stories over the past couple of days. Huzzah! And it’s a group effort with stories from 4 different reporters.
Pete Grathoff picked up on a trippy story about former Royal-turned-Giant Jeremy Affeldt in the 2014 World Series.
In an interview with Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Affeldt revealed the vision issue he was dealing with in the pivotal game of the World Series and the concern expressed by catcher Buster Posey.
“For whatever reason, one eye was picking up stuff that was close and the other eye was picking up far, and I wasn’t getting to where everything was coming together. It was like seeing in 3D, or things were jumping at me,” Affeldt told Schulman. “I felt like I was looking through a glass of water. Colors were different from eye to eye. “I’m picking up two of Buster. I can see him in 3D. I don’t know if I’m seeing the Buster image that’s close to me or the one that’s farther away.”
Sam Mellinger interviewed Mike Jirschele about an infamous call later in game 7 of the 2014 World Series and Lorenzo Cain’s “he can fly” moment in the 2015 playoffs.
Fox Sports Kansas City is running replays of the Royals’ World Series run from 2015. Game 6 of the ALCS — Jirschele’s best moment — will air Friday night.
The play was a symphony of the Royals’ best and most defining traits, spilling out in an aesthetically enthralling moment that literally shook Kauffman Stadium with noise.
The scene: bottom of the eighth, fresh back from a nearly one-hour rain delay, tie score. Cain led off with a walk. The Royals had prepared for this moment. Their advanced scouts noticed that on balls down the line, Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista made a habit of spinning and lobbing the throw to second base (over the cutoff man) to prohibit doubles.
It’s a fine strategy, except Bautista incorporated it even with runners on first base, presenting an athletic and smart opponent with an opportunity.
Meanwhile, Blair Kerkhoff... chatted with (I’m running out of interview synonyms and idioms) Luke Hochevar. What is Aplakia up to these days?
He now lives in Knoxville, Tenn., with his family and stays in touch with his former Royals teammates, especially those with whom he passed the time in the bullpen. Davis, Herrera and Holland remain active in the game, Holland back with the Royals.
Kerkhoff also brought up a great point. Live sports and their carrier fees are about the only thing propping up the current cable model. Anyone with cable is paying a ton of money for almost no live sports.
A website devoted to “cord-cutting,” killthecablebill.com, offered a reminder Tuesday that cable subscribers have spent some $3.5 billion on sports channels in the past two months and haven’t seen much of the biggest attraction those channels offer: live games...
How did killthecablebill.com arrive at that hefty price tag? By multiplying the number of cable households, about 86.5 million, by an estimated $20 per month in sports-programming fees. Over two months, that total approaches $3.5 billion.
Remember that Zoom call from last week that is kindof like a mini press conference where a player is made available for reporters so they can get in a story for the week? I guess that’s a thing now. This week, it’s Salvy on the call.
For the Star, Lynn Worthy drew the assignment. It sounds like Salvy is... wait for it... in the best shape of his life!
“He’s in unbelievable shape, and he’s really, really hungry,” Grifol said. “He’s got that look in his eyes to where I’m really excited to see him play. It’s that look that I haven’t played in a year and a half, two years. It’s that look that I need to get on the field. I’m going to do something special. He’s got that focus and that glare that I’ve seen before. I’m excited to watch him play.”
At MLB.com, Jeffrey Flanagan was also on the call and highlights Savly’s routine.
A typical day now for Perez, who lives in Miami, is that he starts working with Royals special assignment hitting coach Mike Tosar around 8 a.m., then works on catching with bench coach and catching instructor Pedro Grifol. Then, around 2 p.m. he returns home to work out with weights.
He missed the part where Salvy helps all the neighbors move in, climbs trees to save cats, and catches doubleheaders with the neighborhood kids.
For our oddball news source of the day, the Scottsbluff (NE) Star Herald had an interview with Alex Gordon where he “addressed several topics Thursday while taking part in a webinar sponsored by the Team Jack Foundation.”
Gordon talked about his support for Team Jack, a Nebraska-based foundation focused on raising funds for pediatric brain cancer research. He also has been involved with Alex’s Lemonade Stand, another foundation that funds research projects to combat childhood cancer....
Q: Best prank in the dugout?
A: Somebody — I won’t say who — put food dye in the bubble gum and chewing tobacco. I remember Mike Moustakas running out to third base with a green mouth.
Q: Which former teammates do you miss the most?
A: Pretty much everyone from the 2014 and 2015 teams. Moose (Moustakas), (Lorenzo) Cain, (Luke) Hochevar. Also Eric Hosmer, who was probably my favorite teammate.
Speaking of Gordon, at The Athletic, Alec Lewis told some tales of Lo, Danger Ox:
Fifteen years ago, Nebraska made the College World Series. These are the stories of their hard-boiled egg-eating and NCAA Football dynasty-playing third baseman named Alex Gordon:https://t.co/b0rf7fYH3s pic.twitter.com/SpHyMATPYQ— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) May 14, 2020
He was apparently the most popular Royal, per RR’s “Most Beloved Player in Royals History” bracket. Speaking of which, that makes a great segue to...
May 15th is the birthday of one of the biggest names in Royals history!
In a stunning upset, he didn’t come in 1st in the aforementioned tournament. But we all know he is a fan favorite all the same.
Of course, we’re talking about Everett Teaford, pictured here taking up half of Jonathan Broxton’s pants.
Tim Collins and me...in Jonathan Broxton's pants! pic.twitter.com/YlVVy2ho— Everett Teaford (@ETeaparty25) March 15, 2012
LET’S ALL WISH EVERETT TEAFORD A HAPPY BIRTHDAY EVERYONE!
Royals Farm Report has started doing 2020 Draft Profiles!!!!
Three different Fansided sites all have stories about Alex Gordon:
- David Hill at Call to the Pen asks “The Alex Gordon question”
- Leigh Oleszczak states “Alex Gordon wants to keep playing past 2020”
- And, at KOK, David Scharff says “Alex Gordon hopes to see a few more years”
Darin Watson continues his wonderful 1980 “This Date in Royals History” project.
Kevin O’ Brien at Royals Reporter begins a new project: “Royals Hall of Not Forgotten”.
The Royals “Hall of Not Forgotten” is a modest project where I will profile the history of certain players in Royals history which will span from their early beginnings to the current day, as faithful as possible. The Royals “Hall of Not Forgotten” is geared toward players who most likely will be overlooked by casual Royals fans. These are not Alex Gordon’s or Salvador Perez’s, players who are just counting the days before they garner spots in the Royals “Hall of Fame.” These are players who may have had limited tenures in Kansas City, but deserve some kind of recognition or remembrance for who they were and what they did as Royals.
At Bleeding Royal Blue, Sean Thornton muses about the missing baseball season:
Maybe this is what baseball needs. Maybe MLB needs all this chaos to go on to fix the problems that have been piling up. It has felt the last few years that the players and owners were on a collision course and the result would be changes that are needed for everyone involved.
Connor Miller at Royals Blue asks “When will Salvy Become the Everyday 1B?”
Because Max knows it’s my catnip, he passed along a CPBL story to add into Rumblings today. Starting today (the games will be about half over when this posts), the league is allowing 2000 fans per game, doubling the 1000 fans that were allowed last week. Of course, they have some of the most robust testing of anywhere in the world and have had 0 new cases in the last week in a densely populated country of 25 million.
Want some KBO news instead? How about Szymborski (Szymborski! Szymborski!) projecting what Mike Trout could do in the KBO?
So what would Mike Trout’s career look like if he packed up his bat and headed to Seoul? The ZiPS projection system was prepared to tackle this question long before we had ever heard of COVID-19, leading me to be unusually prepared.
Trout would likely dominate KBO given the extent he dominated MLB in the 2010s. There’s simply no more complete player in existence than Trout. If anything, the surprise might be the shape of his KBO projections, which see his batting averages go up more than his raw power numbers.
Speaking of COVID, I’m not sure how they’re going to pull this off, but MLB is proposing that they’ll test all players and staff for coronavirus before playing ball. Is this going to be like the drug tests where they’ll pretend they’re looking for drugs but really making it easy to get out of it. Or will they actually be trying to protect their players and fans?
In partnership with MLB, the Utah lab, The Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory, not only would provide coronavirus testing for the 3,000 or so baseball players and support staff but also for thousands more in the general public. Under that plan, MLB would provide a net gain to public testing rather than drawing from existing resources.
Nashville is pushing hard for an MLB team and a potential ownership group has filed for a logo trademark that resembles that of the Negro League Nashville Stars.
Who is going to be MLB’s highest paid player in 2020? It could be Prince Fielder. Wait? Didn’t he retire? I mean like back in 2016. Yup!
Finally, Barry Zito was unmasked as the, checks notes, rhino on The Masked Singer. From the 2 minutes on my DVR before each episode of Lego Masters, it seemed like a fine enough program: a musical talent shows that was more goofy than mean.
We’ll go back to Advance Wars today. This time, it’s the theme for Nell, the trainer who acts as a tutorial for players, especially in the first game.