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Weekend Rumblings - News for July 11, 2020

If a game is played with no one around, does it make a sound?

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Chicago White Sox v Kansas City Royals Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images

Weekend Rumblings - News for July 11, 2020

Lynn Worthy writes about the prospect of playing with no fans.

“It’ll be different. It’ll be weird. It’s not ideal,” Royals utilityman Whit Merrifield said. “We have great fans here in Kansas City. When the place is rocking, it helps, and it helps get you going, helps your adrenaline and when that adrenaline is going to help that focus really lock in. I’m sure there’s still gonna be some but there’s nothing like a big situation hearing the crowd get real loud. There’s just nothing like that.

“So that’s going to be a challenge. It’s going to be different. But hopefully it’s just a quick challenge. Hopefully eventually fans will be back. Obviously not 100% at first, but maybe, you know, 20%, 40%, gradually gets a point where if you want to come to the game, come to the game. That’s my hope.”

Jeffrey Flanagan writes that Danny Duffy may have the inside track to be the Opening Day starter.

“I’ve always taken a lot of pride in what I do,” he said. “I’ve done it before and I can do it again. But I will take it one game at a time.”

He also writes that Alex Gordon is optimistic about this season.

Does Gordon think the Royals can be a sleeper in 2020?

“Maybe it gives some people outside our clubhouse the mindset we can do it,” Gordon said. “But we felt in Spring Training that we could compete. Does a short season help us? Sure. We’re coming off two straight 100-loss seasons, so maybe [a 60-game season] is a little boost, for sure. But like I said, we felt good in Spring Training.”

The time off gave Gordon a taste of what retirement might feel like.

“It did kind of open my eyes to what it might be like when I am done playing. And you know what? I kind of enjoyed it.”

Mike Matheny contacted the Commissioner to lobby for artificial crowd noise for television broadcasts.

“From our perspective in these intrasquad games,” Matheny said, “we can hear every word from pitchers and catchers and everyone. We don’t want to take emotion out of the game because it dilutes the product.

“But once you make everything heard, in terms of broadcasting, it’s not good for the product. And the [seven-second broadcast] delay isn’t going to catch everything.”

Alec Lewis at The Athletic profiles left-handed pitcher Austin Cox.

“We feel like Austin is sort of the under-the-radar guy compared to the guys he was drafted with,” Royals assistant general manager J.J. Picollo said. “But for those of us who have watched him pitch over the last several years, it’s very apparent he’s in our future plans.”

Kansas City’s top public health official gives the thumbs up to baseball returning.

Giants catcher Buster Posey and White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech have opted out of playing this season.

Emma Baccellieri at Sports Illustrated writes about what baseball needs to get right about testing.

Billionaire Steve Cohen is the top bidder on the Mets in the first-round of bidding.

Baseball is trying to get a grip on pitchers using foreign substances.

Jay Jaffe writes about baseball coming to terms with outdated team names and honorifics.

Should teams bunt in extra innings more if the inning begins with a runner at second?

MLB TV will charge $59.99 for the 60-game season.

There’s a multi-part 30 for 30 documentary about the 1986 Mets in the works.

Grant Brisbee at The Athletic looks at how Candlestick Park was a debacle almost immediately.

How owners will look to make up lost revenue from this season.

The NBA is assigning better hotels for teams higher up in the standings.

What to know about the NFL’s return this fall.

Facebook is mulling banning political ads.

The Far Side creator Gary Larson publishes his first new work in 25 years.

The Batman universe will expand with an HBO Max cop show.

Your song of the day is Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker with Bloomdido.