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Royals Rumblings - News for August 14, 2020

I get that 8-11 isn’t great but it’s not awful either and the team is 2 games out of a playoff spot...

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Detroit Tigers v Kansas City Royals
Moose and Salvy
Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The Negro Leagues 100th Anniversary Celebration is Sunday.

The Negro Leagues are getting the kind of recognition they deserve this Sunday. All Major League clubs will celebrate the centennial of the founding of the Negro National League — the first structured Negro League that lasted for an extended period — with all players, managers, coaches and umpires wearing a Negro Leagues 100th anniversary logo patch on their uniforms during Sunday’s games. The logo, a derivative of the official logo created by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, also will be featured on base jewels and lineup cards.

The festivities, originally slated for June 27 but postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will cap what has become a summer-long celebration of the league and its players, 100 years after the league’s founding. Bob Kendrick, who is the president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, believes the big celebration would not have happened without Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association, who made a joint donation of $1 million to the museum in February.

Here’s what the Royals (and every other team) will be doing:

Kansas City Royals –The Royals are celebrating the 100thAnniversary of the Negro Leagues throughout 2020. Royals Charities created a special Buck O’Neil Singing Bobblehead to benefit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. This bobblehead captures O’Neil as the Manager of the 1953 Kansas City Monarchs, the year the team won the American Negro League title. Highlighting his heartfelt passion for baseball, the bobblehead plays Buck’s classic rendition of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.”A limited quantity of the collectible bobbleheads will be available for purchase at and at the Royals Team Store located at Kauffman Stadium. A FanBassador cutout photoof O’Neil is seated in the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat throughout the 2020 season, as community leaders are honored virtually during every home game through the 14thyear of the program. Earlier this summer, all players from the Royals 2020 Draft & Sign Class, as well as several Royals players, including Nick Heath and Bobby Witt Jr., toured the NLBM with museum President Bob Kendrick. On Sunday, an interview with Kendrick, will appear during the Fox Sports Kansas City Royals Live pregame show on Sunday. Additional coverage will occur on Royals social media channels, and television and radio broadcasts throughout the day.

I’m not a bobblehead guy but I’m seriously considering that one.

News from a non-standard source? Check! KSNT in Topeka writes about some of Sluggerrr’s antics during the pandemic.

Speaking of animals, this seems more of a Wednesday Minda thing, but the news just came out yesterday. It involves everyone’s favorite manbun and dogs:

Savly and Moose did a cute thing on Wednesday

Following the Royals’ 5-4 win over the Reds on Wednesday night, Perez sought out Moustakas and the two had a socially-distanced moment.

“Yeah, I looked into the Cincinnati dugout and I saw Moose,” Perez said after the game. “He hollered to me, ‘I love you. Good game.’

“And I told him, ‘Hey, we’ve been in that situation before, OK, so it’s no pressure.’ ... And he just started laughing.”

Alec Lewis’s story for The Athletic (sub required) is about Trevor Rosenthal

Royals blogs?

Want a couple of listicles? We haven’t done those in a while.

Anthony Castrovince lists “Trade Deadline needs for AL Central clubs

Royals: Will the rotation keep them in it?

If the Royals are to become buyers instead of sellers at the Trade Deadline, it may be a decision based on how their rotation holds together. After an early season slump, Kansas City’s offense has picked up the pace. And the Royals’ bullpen — thanks to the resurgence of Trevor Rosenthal and Greg Holland and the emergence of Josh Staumont — suddenly has become the strength of the team with a 3.00 ERA, third-best in the AL.

But the rotation only recently got Brad Keller and Jakob Junis back from the injured list, and Kansas City also is counting on rookies Brady Singer and Kris Bubic to hold their own. If the rotation (5.09 ERA) falters, the Royals may l*ook to add a starter at the Deadline. — Royals beat reporter Jeffrey Flanagan

Meanwhile, MLB Pipleline lists “Each team’s best unranked prospect“:

Royals: Nick Heath, OF

The Royals made Heath their 16th-round pick in the 2016 Draft, after he had totaled 75 steals in three seasons at Northwestern State. He swiped at least 35 bags in three of his first four pro seasons and led the Minors with 60 stolen bases in 2019, batting .255/.345/.387 between Double- and Triple-A. That performance earned the speedy outfielder a spot on Kansas City’s 40-man roster after the season and opened the door for his big league debut on July 30. He appeared in five games with the Royals, going 2-for-6 with a double, two RBIs and two steals, before landing on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain on Aug. 8.

News around the league?

David Schoenfield writes about what could be “the weirdest MLB trade deadline in history”.

Stephen Strasburg got kicked out of a game he wasn’t even pitching in, arguing balls and strikes from the stands.

The Cardinals still have not played a game since July. I suggest, for the good of the sport, MLB kicks them out of the baseball. No, not for 2020, forever.

And, since the election, um, well, how do I write about this without getting into too much trouble... let’s just go with the story: “LeBron James’ voting-rights group has partnered with the Los Angeles Dodgers to make Dodger Stadium a polling place for the November general election”.

Here are some choice nuggets from this day in baseball history, per the AP:

1958 — Vic Power of the Cleveland Indians stole home twice, the 8th and 10th innings, in a 10-9 win over Detroit. He had only three steals all year.

This is just funny.

1969 — On an off-day after a three-game sweep by the Astros in Houston, the New York Mets fell to third place, 9 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs.

This season broke my dad’s heart.

2006 — Matt Diaz went 4-for-5 with a homer, tying an NL record by hitting safely in 10 consecutive at-bats, and Chipper Jones homered in three straight plate appearances to lead Atlanta to a 10-4 victory over Washington.

That would be former Royal Matt Diaz, who hit .281/.323/.404 in 34 games with the Royals the previous season. He was traded to the Braves in the offseason for Ricardo Rodriguez, a 24yo RP in high A ball. The Royals did not win that trade.

2011 — The Chicago Cubs stopped Dan Uggla’s 33-game hitting streak and rallied from a four-run deficit to beat the Atlanta Braves 6-5. Uggla’s streak was the longest in the majors in five years. He was 0 for 3 with an RBI.

I always thought Uggla was the most unlikely guy to have a long hitting streak. I don’t think he even hit .250 for his career and was like a discount Adam Dunn type with power and walks but no average. Useful? Yes. Long hitting streak? No.

Let’s do a quick check on 2020.

So, not really baseball related, but sports-related. I was doing my usual Thursday thing, looking at Twitter, trying to find stories and I ran across this.

I love the Olympics. I’m an Olympics junkie. During a normal Olympic year, I’d be knee deep in the Olympics, digesting as many hours as I could. It hadn’t even dawned on me until this moment that I’m missing the Olympics this year. Now I’m a little sad.

Who had Iowa Hurricane (yes, I know a derecho is not a hurricane but close enough) on their 2020 BINGO card?

But, really, if you’re a true nerd and really want to panic, then have I got something for you. There is both an aluminum can and Dr. Pepper shortage. And what the hell is White Claw hard seltzer? Is that a newer, trendier Mike’s Hard Lemonade?

I was thinking of doing Final Fantasy 9 this week but then I went back through my list and I’ve never done anything for Final Fantasies 8 and 9, which seems like a bit of an oversight. So we’ll get to each of those at some point this year. And this has absolutely nothing to do with my rule of “you may only use on song per year from a given game” and that these both have excellent Nobuo Uematsu soundtracks.

We talked about this games in the comments a while back. And it’s just, well, it’s really uneven.

Coming off of the wild success of Final Fantasy VII, Square seemed determined to make everything in VIII both larger and smaller at the same time. The cast of characters feels more intimate - it’s basically a small group of classmates at a battle school (and that’s before you find out their backstory). But both our hero protagonist um... main character(?), Squall, and his rival carry around gunblades. What’s a gunblade? It’s not just an absurdly large sword, ala Cloud’s weapon in Final Fantasy VII, but it’s also a gun. Compensation, much? Also, as Hokius commented: “Basically their goal was to make the game a love story and everything else was secondary to that and I think they succeeded in that goal. I just can’t understand why that was their goal.” It suffers from the 90’s fascination with brooding, unlikable anti-heroes (and mostly bland heroines) so you’re not even really rooting for them to get together. But you’re rooting for most of the supporting cast.

The core battle mechanics are the solid tried-and-true Final Fantasy formula. Only, the drawing system is cumbersome, especially for completists, and summons take way too long. As houjix mentioned, it has a really cool minigame that you could spend hours and hours on. You could also spend hundreds of dollars buying actual cards for it on eBay.

History hasn’t been nearly as kind to FF8 as it has to FF7. For instance, at the end of the Playstation generation in 2002, IGN named FF8 as it’s 7th best game on the console to FF7’s 18th. It was more polished but, as we’ve gotten further away in time, it’s obvious which was much more influential.

One of the real highlights of the game were the amazing FMVs. As one of the commenters on this video said, this was “back when cutscenes were something like a reward you got every now and then”. In this great hour long sequence that ends the second disc (sadly, there are two more discs and nothing comes close to being as good as the Garden Battle or the scene at the end of the first disc), there are maybe only about 8 minutes of FMV but they’re all well done.