Jeffrey Flanagan dug in with Dayton Moore about how many different ways this trade deadline is murky, because the season is so short. I couldn’t copy and paste the whole thing, but I do recommend reading it all, not just this snippet:
Truthfully, It has become increasingly difficult in recent years to move potential rental players for top-notch prospects. Most teams have veered away from that commitment. It might be almost impossible now.
“Very few teams were interested in recent years to give up too much for rentals,” Moore said, “and that was under a normal environment in the best situation. It’s hard to picture that happening now.”
And that directly affects the Royals. Under a normal season, and if the Royals were out of contention right now, Moore and his staff would be hunting for opportunities to move players with expiring contracts, such as Ian Kennedy, Greg Holland and Trevor Rosenthal.
At The Athletic ($), Alec Lewis makes the case that Brad Keller is great, actually. And there’s this delightful scene of Ned Yost kicking the tires on Keller in his first spring training, trying to figure out how he was available in the Rule 5 draft:
“Then you think, ‘Wow, this kid’s throwing strikes with [his fastball], he must not be able to command a breaking ball,’” Yost said in the spring of 2019.
Keller then threw a sinker that dove toward the ground and a slider that started in the zone but finished outside of it. Yost continued to look for reasons Keller had been a Rule 5 pick.
Yost decided to ask Keller questions about counts and strategy against specific batters. He also provided Keller with advice, thinking Keller would forget. He didn’t. Yost was dumbfounded, wondering if he wasn’t a good guy in the clubhouse.
When teammates such as Merrifield took to Keller, Yost gave in.
“His teammates love him. He does everything you ask him to do. What’s more to evaluate?” Yost said.
The Royals will face a somewhat depleted team tonight, as Twins catcher Mitch Garver and center fielder Byron Buxton are heading to the Injured List. Side note on Garver: I hadn’t realized he was the first catcher in Twins history to hit 30 dingers. I thought surely Mauer would have at his peak, but he topped out at 28 in 2009.
Thom Brennaman has been suspended from his TV broadcasting job with the Reds, and will not be doing FOX NFL football. So long, farewell.
Due to a pair of positive COVID-19 tests, the Mets had last night’s and tonight’s games postponed.
Cleveland first baseman Carlos Santana wore a Chief Wahoo undershirt that was visible under his jersey, then kept it on for a postgame presser. The racist logo has been discontinued by the team, and there is no reason to revive it.
Old friend Jorge Bonifacio is back in the Majors, now with the Tigers.
Will Leitch defends 7-inning double headers.
Pittsburgh Pirates president Travis Williams tested positive for COVID-19.
What would you store in the pockets of this cargo hat?
Two pieces from Sheryl Ring at Beyond the Box Score:
1) She brings a lawyer’s perspective to the folly of “rules” that aren’t written down, and
2) She is ready for the baseball world to be done with guys like Chris Russo at MLB Network.
A food writer praises these 9 convenience foods.
Speaking of cooking, here’s a Reddit discussion of life-changing kitchen hacks. Maybe your next “oh my GOSH, why haven’t I been doing this all along?” is in there.
The animal park at the center of ‘Tiger King’ is closing to visitors.
Thank you for allowing me to be your Friday substitute. I am terrible at playing new video games, and I pretty much only play the same ones I’ve always played. So I will just ask: what was your first video game console/system? How old were you when you got it, and how did it come into your home? Was it a gift, or a pooling of paper route money and allowances?
New album today from The Killers! Who’s ready?!