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Royals Rumblings - News for September 24, 2020

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Gordo is the model.

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Alex Gordon following through on a swing Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for September 24, 2020

Ken Rosenthal writes that Dayton Moore is upset that the player’s union won’t allow players to participate in camps when the season is completed.

“That’s the dysfunction in the game,” Moore said on Wednesday. “I’m not a labor attorney. I’m not negotiating the next Basic Agreement. My job is simply to provide opportunities for players to play baseball.

“That’s all we’ve tried to do. No agenda. Very innocent. And for whatever reason, we have labor attorneys, once again, deciding who gets to play baseball and who doesn’t get to play baseball when a kid just simply wants to put the damn uniform on and go play.”

Alec Lewis talks to Assistant GM J.J. Picollo about plans for prospects this fall and who has impressed at the Alternate Site.

Bobby Witt Jr. keeps doing what he did in the summer camp. He continues to impress. There’s not a day that goes by that you don’t see him do something really good. He’s swinging the bat exceptionally well. He’s playing great defense. To my recollection, he’s made one error all summer.

The other guy is first baseman Nick Pratto. His at-bats just keep getting better and better. I think the confidence is growing. You can see it in his demeanor when he gets in the batter’s box. He’s really locked in. I think he’s on about a two-week run where I don’t know if he’s given an at-bat away. Every at-bat he’s taken, there’s been quality to it. The end result might not be a hit or a line drive, but the process has been really impressive.

Rustin Dodd at The Athletic writes about what Alex Gordon has meant for the Royals, in what could be his last weekend with the team.

You can debate where Gordon ranks in the history of the Royals franchise. He is not the best player, of course — that title may forever belong to Brett — and he’s probably not the second best, either. He ranks sixth in Royals history in games played, sixth in hits, sixth in runs, fifth in doubles, third in walks, fourth in homers and fourth in bWAR (35.0), behind only Brett, Amos Otis and Willie Wilson. That puts him just ahead of second baseman Frank White, a hometown kid who has a statue at Kauffman Stadium. Someday Gordon might deserve a statue, too.

But it won’t just be the stats or the three All-Star appearances or the seven Gold Glove Awards that he won at a position he did not start playing until he was 26. It will be that no player better represents the last two decades of Kansas City baseball, from the endless sting of losing to the highs of two World Series runs to an iconic Game 1 homer off Jeurys Familia. For a long time, Gordon was the Kansas City Royals, and not in that larger-than-life, face-of-the-franchise type way. He was a Royal in the most authentic way. He suffered like a Royal; he won like one, too. Then he struggled again.

Gordon was the model.

In his Mellinger Minutes, Sam looks at Dayton Moore’s job security.

I have no indication that he won’t be able to see the current push through. But the fact that John Sherman owns the team now, and not David Glass, matters. Glass and Moore had a deep relationship that Sherman and Moore have not had time to develop.

Moore doesn’t get to be the GM of a losing team forever, but if the centerpieces of the current movement remain promising I’d be surprised if Moore isn’t given at least one more losing record in 2021.

A reasonable expectation: The Royals start relatively strong next season, then fade as a bunch of young players who had no minor-league games this year and only 60 big-league games navigate a 162-game season for the first time. Let’s say they finish 70-92, something like that.

Then in 2022 the training wheels are off, and if the big-league team stinks, or the farm system isn’t supplying a reasonable line of talent, or Moore talks Sherman into some major contract that backfires, well, this is a results business.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter looks at the stories for the final home stand of the season.

Lee Judge evaluates how all the rule changes to baseball this season went.

Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons opts out of the remainder of the season.

The Angels could turn to Dave Dombrowski to run their team.

Awful Announcing suggests some broadcasting tweaks for the playoffs.

MLB makes the Atlantic League its official “partner league.”

The AL MVP vote could come down to philosophy.

How Luke Voit came out of nowhere to become one of the league’s leading sluggers.

The unbridled joy of Fernando Tatis, Jr.

NFL Hall of Famer and former Kansas Jayhawk Gale Sayers dies at age 77.

How do you play college football in a pandemic as a low-level independent program?

Who should get a COVID-19 vaccine first?

The pandemic has caused a bike boom in some pretty unexpected cities.

A guide to the surprising amount of movies scheduled to be released this fall.

Your song of the day is The Heavy with Curse Me Good.