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Royals Rumblings - News for January 23, 2021

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2015 World Series Game Four: Kansas City Royals v. New York Mets

The world lost another legend yesterday when Hank Aaron passed at the age of 86.

No matter how you slice it, baseball would not be the game we all love today without him. He was (and still is by many) the home run king, he holds the records for most RBIs in a career, he was an All Star for 21 (!!!) straight seasons. The Hall of Famer’s resume speaks for itself.

But Aaron was also an outspoken figure in the civil rights community. To many black athletes, he’s right up there with Jackie and Willie. It’s one thing to play so well despite the social hostility; that in and of itself is absolutely crazy to look at. But it’s a whole other thing to use the platform that your abilities provide as a beacon to the oppressed; to put it all on the line, literally risking life and limb, in order to make a difference.

I’d highly suggest reading the articles that The Athletic is publishing. They’ve got one showing athletes paying their respects, a few insights from writers about his passing, and one discussing the way to fully honor Aaron’s legacy written by Joe Posnanski. Here’s a snippet:

...it wasn’t until he dared challenge the record of an American icon — a White American icon — that Henry Aaron came to see America for what it is. The newspapers constantly reported that the majority of Americans — as many as 87 percent in one poll — wanted him to break the record. But the minority still included tens of millions of people. And they made his life hell. Death threats. Unconscionable attacks. Shameful treatment.

“It was terrible,” he would say. “It was the worst time of my life. I couldn’t leave the ballpark without an escort. I had to eat my of my dinners in the hotel room. My kids had to be escorted to school.

Today is a good day to devour any and all insights on the life of Hammerin’ Hank. His life can be a great example of what we can become and what it looks like when you do it as best as you can.

RIP to Henry Aaron

...

On to the Rumblings

Yesterday marked the 4th anniversary of the tragic death of Yordano Ventura and social media did not disappoint in making me cry.

RIP to Ace...

Alec Lewis wrote about the TBones rebrand to the Kansas City Monarchs that included some great reflection on Buck O’Neil.

“Are Kansas Citians interested in Negro Baseball?” Starks asked rhetorically in that same June 5, 1920, edition of The Sun. “We should say so only ‘interested’ is a mild term, let us rather say they are wild over it. They’ve gone crazy about it, daffy, loco, or some other something, not to exhaust the vocabulary of adjectives.”

That’s what the Monarchs meant. That’s why O’Neil responded the way he did in 1993 when Kendrick, then simply a volunteer for the museum, asked him what motivated him to build the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

“So that we would be remembered,” O’Neil said.

Royals prospect, Khalil Lee, spoke with MLB Pipeline about being ready for the next step in his career after attending this year’s Rookie Program.

“It’s a great honor,” Lee said during the interview with MLB Pipeline. “It feels good to be recognized as one of the players to potentially have some big league time this coming year. Really just shows how much the Royals believe in me and my talents and think that I can be an asset to the team.”

Speaking of prospects, Nick Pratto made MLB Pipeline’s top 10 best 1B prospects coming in at #8. He was also named the organization’s best defensive prospect by MLB Pipeline with his 70 grade fielding tool.

Field: Pratto (70)
The combination of his agility, athleticism and hands makes him a plus-plus defender. Pratto’s arm only makes him an even better defensive player at first.

In the same article, they also named Pratto as having the most to prove.

A first-round pick (No. 14 overall) in 2017, Pratto entered pro ball with a reputation as an excellent pure hitter. While he hit .280/.343/.443 in his first full season, his 27.9 percent strikeout rate concerned some, worries that were exacerbated when he hit .191/.278/.310 with a 34.7 percent strikeout rate in a 2019 move to the Carolina League.

Eno Sarris at The Athletic wrote about the pitchers who benefit the most from “seam-shifted wake” and Royals pitcher, Brad Keller, is one of those pitchers.

These aren’t maybe as tightly tunneled as the Turnbull fastballs, but you can see how he takes advantage of his movement to different quadrants of the zone. He has the same spin axis on his fastballs, and they have different movement. Plus, the seam shifted wake on his slider makes it have a power curve type profile, with four inches more drop than your average slider, but hard curveball velocity at 86 mph.

The Royals missed out on the Jurickson Profar sweepstakes:

If you felt a hot wind in the middle of the afternoon yesterday, it probably has something to do with this

Speaking of hot wind, the Clearing Waivers Podcast intercepted a question from new MLB.com Royals beat reporter, Anne Rogers, regarding what stories Royals fans would like to hear more about (while giving some KC food recommendations as well).

Saturday Night Live announced their next 3 host/musical guest combos (eyeballs emoji)

NBC Sports Network will be shutdown by the end of the year.

Can someone explain to me what is happening with GameStop’s stock being halted. Please break it down to me like you were talking to a 5 year old.

Another Game of Thrones prequel was announced with hints at more to come.

Fantasy Football Player Curse Adrenaline Rush of the Week

Believe it or not, I actually made some money in my fantasy football leagues this year. So I’ve got a little money burning a hole in my pocket and what better way to spend that money than getting some autographed memorabilia? My desire brought me back to internet auctions. Oh how I missed the rush of a closing internet auction. It’s up there on the list of things that get your blood going while sitting in a chair looking at a computer screen.

The rush you get from watching that timer hit 0:00:00 is comparable to waiting for your grades to post in college. Did I do well enough to get that C and not have to retake the class? Will I win that Double Bubble wrapper with real Alex Gordon spit on it? Let me refresh real quick...my plans for cloning Alex Gordon are still on hold.

Sometimes you can see who you’re bidding against, which only adds to the tension. I can sleep well at night knowing that JohnSmith1979 is going to probably get more use out of that game worn Jorge Soler jersey than I will. But if I get into a bidding war with fartface69420, you better strap in folks because I will NOT lose out on a Bobby Witt Jr. sock that’s not even autographed to a degenerate like that. Losing to an admitted fart face is something you don’t recover from, I promise you that.

Song of the Day

“Say Something” - Justin Timberlake ft. Chris Stapleton

The video in itself is damn impressive. Stapleton’s voice is unlike anything I’ve heard. Timberlake in a true renaissance man. But the message is so damn applicable. There’s so much that we don’t (and can’t) understand about other peoples’ struggles, so sometimes it’s right to just say nothing at all and listen. Sometimes saying nothing is not right and CAN make the issue worse. But so many of us have gotten to the point where we’re ready to fire off our take on an issue without understanding it completely. We’ve lost the ability to listen and have civil discussions about topics, especially on the internet. So the next time you’re thinking about spouting off, take a second and ask yourself if you’ve listened to everything you could have before speaking about a topic. I think you’ll find that it can bring benefit to your well-being. Have a Saturday, Royals Review!