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Royals Rumblings - News for September 28, 2020

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Thank you, Alex Gordon.

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

Royals Rumblings - News for September 28, 2020

Alec Lewis details Alex Gordon’s final day as a big leaguer.

“I told everybody, ‘No matter where the pitch is, I’m swinging to try to add to the leadoff home run record,’” Gordon said.

It didn’t work out. Gordon struck out.

“It’s fitting,” he said. “I entered this league with a strikeout and ended with a strikeout, so we’ll do that instead.”

Lynn Worthy gets Alex Gordon’s reactions to video messages from teammates past and present.

“It’s overwhelming to hear things like that because I just tried to play the game,” Gordon said. “I think having the position change and almost in a way thinking this might be taken away from you, I had that attitude before that but it got taken to another level. When I came back from the position change it was just I’m going to lay everything out on the line every day, prepare the best way I can every day and not have any regrets ever.

“I was trying to be a leader, but at the same time I wasn’t. I was just trying to be myself and at the same time help this team win. I think that kind of rubbed off in a leadership way.”

Jeffrey Flanagan writes about how Alex Gordon looks back on his career.

But pulling off that Royals jersey one last time did make Gordon emotional.

“Yes, anyone that has ever played the game will say that,” he said. “I grew up as a kid just wanting to play this game. And this is all I have known. I have been fortunate to play my whole career with the organization I grew up loving. I was sad today, but also happy that my career went the way it did.”

Craig Edwards at ESPN looks at what’s next for the teams that missed the playoffs.

The 2020 Royals saw debuts from pitchers Brady Singer and Kris Bubic, and Bobby Witt Jr. and recent draftee Asa Lacy are among the top 50 prospects in baseball. The best players on the big league club were the over-30 Salvador Perez and Whit Merrifield, though Brad Keller turned in a solid season. With the emergence of the White Sox, and the Twins and Indians not going anywhere, the Royals probably will spend at least another year rebuilding and need to take more chances on potential diamonds in the rough who could help them compete in another year or two.

Ben Clemens at Fangraphs wrote about what Salvador Perez did to excel this year.

I’d argue that all of these things together — swinging harder, doing more damage when he connects, using his aggression around the borders of the plate to his own benefit, identifying better pitches to swing at — are merely the result of one thing changing: Sal Perez is healthy again.

David Roth at Defector writes that Salvy’s season is just what this crazy MLB season deserves.

Perez is and has been a pretty good player over parts of nine Major League seasons, and as admirable a cornerstone as any franchise could hope to have. He’s just also Salvador Perez—a free-swinging gigantor who plays hard but probably too often, tends to grind himself into dust down the stretch, swings the bat whenever and wherever it’s even faintly justifiable, and tends to ground into double plays more than all but three or four other dumptruck-type sluggers. Like every other person, Perez has become more like himself as he’s gotten older. There’s some integrity in this, but also a lot of outs. Perez hasn’t posted an on-base percentage above .300 since 2013, and as Matthew LaMar wrote at Royals Review back in 2018, Perez’s walk rate is so low as to make it almost impossible for him to be a good hitter on balance; the extra homers just can’t make up for the fact that Perez comes up completely empty at the plate more than seven times out of ten.

But also: That’s stupid boring “real season” bullshit, and as such you can feel free to throw it in the garbage.

Jeffrey Flanagan writes about how Jesse Hahn has thrived in the bullpen.

“No question he fits into the bullpen plans [for 2021],” Matheny said. “It was nice having someone with the stuff we saw. But also, he has been around a little more, in terms of experience, and that will be a big factor next season, too.”

Former teammates around baseball paid tribute to Alex Gordon.

Sean Thornton at Bleeding Royals Blue writes about Gordo.

Bill James ranks the top 198 players in Royals history.

Here are your 2020 MLB playoff brackets and dates.

The Angels fire GM Billy Eppler.

Outfielder Hunter Pence announces his retirement.

Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke will not return next season.

Mike Trout missed the playoffs. Again.

Cardinals pitcher Dakota Hudson will have Tommy John surgery.

Mookie Betts had the top-selling jersey in baseball this year.

The Nationals extend manager Dave Martinez.

The National League Cy Young race may be too close to call.

Did Trevor Bauer doctor the ball this year to increase his spin rate?

Regional sports networks could be facing a lack of sports to broadcast again soon.

179 people were arrested in a massive global dark web takedown.

How some mom-and-pop operations made millions selling masks on Etsy.

Samuel L. Jackson will play Nick Fury in a new series for Disney+.

Your song of the day is Alice in Chains with Over Now.