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Royals Rumblings - News for September 21, 2020

We’re already in the last week.

MLB: SEP 19 Royals at Brewers Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for September 21, 2020

The Royals are looking to finish the season strong, writes Lynn Worthy.

“We’re playing good baseball right now,” Royals outfielder/infielder Hunter Dozier said at the end of their most recent homestand. “We want to finish strong. We had a meeting a couple days ago and that was something (Alex Gordon) mentioned. Let’s finish strong. Let’s get some momentum going towards next year. We’re just trying to focus on that.”

Mike Matheny praises Adalberto Mondesi’s speed to Jeffrey Flanagan.

“There are guys who are fast,” Matheny said, “but there is a whole separate category for guys [like Mondesi]. They know their speed is off the charts and can’t wait to show it.

“No matter how Mondi gets on base, you might as [well] plan that he’ll be on third. I have never had a player like that before. I haven’t seen one like that in a really long time.”

And it looks like Hunter Dozier may be at first base to stay.

“We’re trying to maximize defense on the infield. That’s No. 1,” Matheny said. “That pick he made on that play that [shortstop Adalberto] Mondesi made in Detroit [on Wednesday], that was really a hard pick. A really nice play. And he had another pick late. His hands really work well there.

“Obviously, his bat needs to be in the lineup. And we have some young outfielders we need to figure out, which then forces [Dozier] to the infield. I would imagine we’ll continue to see this.”

Sam Mellinger writes about how the Royals improved this season.

Broad strokes, here is an incomplete list of what went right this season: young pitching developed (Kyle Zimmer deserves mention), Hunter Dozier continues to grind productive plate appearances, Mondesi had a run he can dream on this offseason, Lopez seems to have settled, they stayed relatively healthy (especially the pitchers) and Mike Matheny has handled radical change (within himself and around him) admirably.

Broad strokes, an incomplete list of what went wrong: Mondesi stared down offensive failure for two months, the defense wasn’t close to good enough, the hitters mostly stunk in important spots, no young hitters broke through, and the rest of the division surged.

The Royals are further behind right now than they should be. They mixed too many bad decisions with some bad luck in losing 207 games the last two seasons.

They objectively improved in 2020, but with an imbalanced schedule that amplified a team’s standing within its own division the Royals have been in last place for all but two of the last 49 days.

Dayton Moore opens up on what minor league contraction could mean.

“It’s not a big commitment financially. It’s just not. And it’s so important for the growth of our game. The majority of those those young fans in Burlington will never see a Major League Baseball game. They won’t see one, not in person. Even now, if you go to a major league ballpark there aren’t a lot of poor kids, African American kids, disadvantaged kids. And in Appalachia, in some of these towns… trust me, I’ve spent a lot of time in those places. I know how important baseball is to those communities. It breaks my heart. It really does.”

Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire retires effective immediately to focus on his health and some Royals coaches could be considered as his replacement.

Bobby Witt, Jr. talks about his experience at Summer Camp.

Pete Grathoff has the story of Betty Caywood Bushman, who broke barriers as a broadcaster for the Kansas City Athletics.

The Rockies designate former Royals reliever Wade Davis for assignment.

Astros pitcher Justin Verlander will have Tommy John surgery.

Is this the beginning of the end of the Astros’ window?

The Padres are back in the playoffs.

The biggest surprises of this shortened season.

Clint Frazier’s patience pays off for the Yankees.

Nolan Arenado’s season is in jeopardy after tests on his left shoulder.

Could Theo Epstein be a fit for the Mets?

How the Orioles teach English as a second language to their players.

How players may use expanded playoffs as a bargaining chip.

Historian John Thorn looks at the early practice of selling players.

Dak Prescott makes history in an amazing Cowboys comeback.

Is Giannis Antetokounmpo the greatest Greek athlete of all time?

The search for a COVID-19 vaccine may have produced a cure for the common cold.

Sony apologizes for the PS5 pre-ordering mess.

A full list of winners from last night’s Emmy Awards (spoiler: it’s mostly Schitt’s Creek).

Your song of the day is Queen with Don’t Stop Me Now.