So, it’s been quite the week. Quite the month. Quite the year. It’s felt like this year has gone on for an eternity and we’re barely into June. So how’s everyone out there? I know I’ve been a lot better. I probably won’t be around much today so I’ll just share up top here. Work’s been insane but, hey, I have a job. This past week or so has been a big ball of rage, helplessness, sadness, disappointment (in my fellow man), and shame towards how long it took me to figure out some things I probably should have already known. And it’s not like COVID is going away anytime soon.
Unfortunately, the first couple stories aren’t going to help.
We didn’t talk about this on Wednesday, but... damn, only 29 still. Way too young.
Joe Posnanski is also in a dark place with a piece entitled “Baseball Missed Its Moment”:
Oh, sure, they’ll probably figure out a way to get out and play ball eventually. But people are exhausted. There was a moment to lead, a moment for baseball to once again be at the center of American optimism and aspiration. And, they fought over money instead. They talked past each other instead. I’m not both-siding it — I blame the owners, the people who are supposed to be looking out for this game. But, as I have said before, most people don’t care whose fault it is. All they care about is that baseball can’t get its act together. Again.
It’s heartbreaking, really. There was a moment there, I believe, when baseball could have once again showed the way. I know there were people — I heard from many of them — who said: “Hey, if they play baseball, maybe I’ll give it another try. I used to be a big baseball fan before (the strike/steroids/the games got so long). Maybe I’ll check it out.”
And that moment is gone. I don’t know anyone who feels that way anymore. Soon there will be soccer and there will be golf and basketball and football will be on the horizon and baseball? We die hards will be there when baseball finally comes around because we’re always there.
But, yes, the moment is gone. That’s the lesson of baseball, isn’t it? If you hesitate, the fastball is already by you.
Royals prospect Nick Heath, who I believe a certain Wednesday Rumblings writer may have given a grade 80 smile, joined MLB.com’s Sam Dykstra for The Show Before The Show podcast:
We had #Royals OF prospect Nick Heath (@inheathwetrust) on the podcast this week. Nick spoke openly from the heart about the state of society, and we're grateful he spent so much time with us.— Sam Dykstra (@SamDykstraMiLB) June 4, 2020
Hear his words. Take them to heart yourself. https://t.co/e7MVVHnfzp pic.twitter.com/pGxxVXSHVL
Fox Sports KC is showing All-Star games this month:
Fox Sports Kansas City will be airing a pair of All-Star Games each Sunday in the month of June. Many feature heroics by Royals stars like Bo Jackson, George Brett and Salvador Perez. All-Star Games going back to the 1960s will be shown as well.
Lynn Worthy takes stock of the Royals farm system ahead of the draft next week... wait? Next week?!?
Seventeen of the Royals top 30 prospects are pitchers, as ranked by Baseball America. Of that group, starters Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, Daniel Tillo and Foster Griffin pitched at Double-A or Triple-A in 2019.
Good news! It’s June and the Royals are still in 1st place!! Who’d have thunk it?!?
Ben Clemens at Fangraphs has been doing an on-again-off-again series on World Series Tactics. 2014 was a week or so ago.
The leash could have been even a bit shorter on Guthrie — he faced two batters in the sixth, allowing a single and a double, before Herrera came in and got three groundouts to escape the inning with a lead intact, a lead the Royals held the rest of the way. But Yost wasn’t about letting his pitchers work through trouble — he had a bullpen hammer, and every opposing rally rightly looked like a nail...
But the Giants scratched together three runs against Jeremy Guthrie, and the Royals simply couldn’t solve Bumgarner. Yost managed his heart out — it simply wasn’t enough.
Yesterday, he did 2015. Spoiler: Royals win!
Today, we’re getting an abbreviated version of Today in Wikipedia History, which is a shame as it was a pretty busy day.
- Happy birthday, Denmark (1849).
- The first part of Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe was published today in 1851.
- The first run of the Orient Express began in 1883 in Paris.
- Lizzie Borden’s trial begins in 1893.
- Verbatim from wiki because of its humorous description: “1956 – Elvis Presley introduces his new single, ‘Hound Dog’, on The Milton Berle Show, scandalizing the audience with his suggestive hip movements.”
- The Six-Day War begins in 1967
- Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated in 1968.
- The first 5 cases of AIDS were clinically reported in 1981 (it wasn’t AIDS, per se, but a Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia cluster)
- And, June 5th, 1989 was the date of the “Tank Man” in Tiananmen Square.
How about some baseball birthdays? Hall of Famer Jack Chesbro was born on this day in 1874. The only former Royal born on this day? Manny Pina (1987). He had 16 AB for the Royals between 2011-2012. I seem to remember a lot of Pena/Pina jokes from that time as Brayan Pena was also a backup C for the club.
I have a confession to make: I haven’t seen watched any CPBL games this week. Now you know just how bad it’s been. But you know what’s awesome? A couple of hours ago (when this posts, and assuming no rain), the Rakuten Monkeys and Fubon Guardians started a 3 game series with Richard and Wayne on the call.
Starting tomorrow...with @RWang_WBSC and @WayneSMcNeil , the 3-game series between @FubonGuardians and @RakutenMonkeys , be sure to join us and all the fans from the world! #CPBL @CPBL https://t.co/CLVHcOn4FY— ELEVEN SPORTS TAIWAN (@ElevenSportsTW) June 4, 2020
The Monkeys have gone 3-7 in their last 10 and have seen their lead in the standings shrink down to 3 games over the CTBC Brothers. The Guardians are 4 games back.
Japan’s NPB has run into some trouble, unfortunately:
TOKYO — Two players with Japan’s most famous baseball team have tested positive for COVID-19. The Tokyo-based Yomiuri Giants called off a preseason game with the Seibu Lions scheduled for Wednesday because of the positive tests. It also raises questions about the start of the delayed season. Japan hopes to open its postponed baseball season on June 19. The 12-team league will play in stadiums without fans.
Meanwhile, negotiations continue on between MLB owners and the MLBPA.
Here is Tony Clark's full statement after the MLBPA's leadership meeting today. pic.twitter.com/JRYaddbQSU— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 5, 2020
If you can’t see the Tweet or TL;DR, Tony Clark said “We had some cool ideas and made some concessions and the owners said ‘get bent’”.
All MLB announcers( TV and radio) have been told they will be doing all 2020 road games from a local broadcast studio or home ballpark with monitors as their guide.— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) June 4, 2020
Sorry, guys - I’ve got nothing this week. I’ve watched enough bad videos this past week to last me a lifetime so I think we’ll take a break today and get back to it next week.