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Royals Rumblings - News for October 1, 2021

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Always October!

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AL Wild Card - Oakland Athletics v Kansas City Royals
Throwbac.. er.. Flashback Friday?

Did you want some Salvy? This one from Lynn Worthy at The Star:

“It was amazing, another great night,” Perez said of tying the record. “Thank God. It’s amazing, running these bases all season long and now to see me at home tie Jorge Soler. That’s amazing. I was so happy. We’re going to see. We’ve got four more games. We’re going to see.”

Or how about some more Salvy? This one from Pete Grathoff, collecting Salvy 48th home run videos including one “David Lesky who writes for the blog Royals Review”.

Yeah, I’m kindof cheating but we’ll link to David Lesky’s post from Inside the Crown here:

You can sort of hear the crowd in the video, but it was truly something special that I was lucky enough to be a part of. Of course there was a curtain call requested and obliged by Salvy.

What he means to this organization and to this city is so hard to describe. I think back to the day the contract extension for him was announced this spring, and I thought about my reaction. I thought it was probably a year too long and maybe a few million dollars too much. I was wrong. Maybe when you look back from a baseball perspective, I won’t be wrong, but what he represents is worth every single penny. And it doesn’t really hurt that he’s putting up such an amazing season.

Heck, while I’m at it, Craig, too, and Into the Fountains:

Again, these Perez homer gifs are absolutely mesmerizing. Look at the location of the pitch…belt-high but off the outer edge of the plate. Then look at where the ball ends up. This is Kauffman Stadium, damnit. The baseball isn’t supposed to travel there even when the pitch is a center-cut meatball. For Perez to flip it out there is just another example of his brute strength and malice at the plate.

Even more Salvy? This time from Alec Lewis at The Athletic (sub required):

David Laurila at Fangraphs talked to Kris Bubic about his changeup:

Kris Bubic: “At the end of Little League, around 13 [years old], I had a club coach — his name was Erick Raich — and I tried to throw a changeup. At that point you’re not really developed enough to throw a breaking ball, at least not in my opinion. Your hand speed isn’t there, and the ball is bigger than your hand, so it’s tough to hold it and whatnot. Even a changeup. But the changeup was the first off-speed pitch I learned, and he showed me a standard circle grip. I threw a four-seam fastball, and [the changeup] was just a four-seam circle. It was pretty simple.

“As I developed it, I would play catch with it constantly, at 90 feet, at 120 feet, just to get the feel for it. I’d feel myself releasing it out front to get that good extension. But I think the separator for me… there are two things, actually. One is the velocity difference I’m able to create off my fastball. Two is that it essentially spins the same. There is variability with changeups — some have sidespin, some guys have split grips and whatnot — but mine essentially spins the same as my fastball. The axis is a little tilted toward more sidespin, but not enough that you can really tell from the eye.

First some major league Tweets:

Death. Taxes. Service Time.

Now some minor league Tweets?

Royals minor leagues took home some hardware:

The Royals also announced some individual hardware:

That’s a nice segue into Royals blogs. First some quick hitters:


A group led by White Sox Hall of Famer Frank Thomas has bought the Field of Dreams site in Iowa

“We are excited to lead the future development and expansion of the Field of Dreams in a collaborative spirit with our neighbors and government officials,” Thomas stated in a press release.

Staying with the White Sox, back in 1983, the team used (generated) fly ball and home run data to reconfigure their fences to better suit their team (h/t to RoyalDUF):

Comiskey’s data-altered dimensions might not have lasted, but Evans’ idea aided one of the most special seasons in franchise history. In ’83, the White Sox made the playoffs for the first time in Evans’ lifetime, and La Russa reached October for the first time in what would turn out to be a Hall of Fame career.

Ben Clemens looked at how well Fangraphs’s playoff odds have fared.

It’s the time of year when folks doubt the playoff odds. With the St. Louis Cardinals going from 71-69 long-shots to postseason clinchers, and the rollercoaster that is the American League Wild Card race, you’ve probably heard the skeptics’ refrains. “You had the Jays at 5%, and now you have them at 50%. Why did you hate them so much?”

Speaking of the playoffs... Sorry, guys, not staying up tonight to write about the pennant chase. Friday’s Rumblings just lists them as “LATE” like newspapers of old.

But how about some vintage Posnanski about one of the best nights of baseball ever, Game 162 from 2011: Baseball Night in America. This is one of my favorite articles he’s ever written.

Baseball, like life, revolves around anticlimax. That’s what you get most of the time. You stand in driver’s license lines, and watch Alfredo Aceves shake off signals, and sit through your children’s swim meets, and see bases loaded rallies die, and fill up your car’s tires with air and endure an inning with three pitching changes, a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk.

But then, every now and again, something happens. Something memorable. Something magnificent. Something staggering. Your child wins the race. Your team wins in the ninth. You get pulled over for speeding. And in that moment — awesome or lousy — you are living something you will never forget, something that jumps out of the toneless roar of day-to-day life.

Or, if you want to remember something from a little more recent, say, about midnight on this day 7 years ago, here’s some Rany:

Just before midnight, as September fell into October, I hugged my friends. I hugged complete strangers. I screamed until what was left of my voice was completely hoarse. I spontaneously invented a dance that would embarrass Elaine Benes. I had entered that state of joyous delirium that I’m told only sports can bring, but that I’d never experienced. This was the greatest baseball game I’d ever witnessed live. This was the first major-four-sports playoff victory for a Kansas City team in nearly 21 years, ending the longest citywide drought in North America. This was a feeling only other fans got to enjoy. This was a rumor. This was a decades-long tease. This didn’t actually happen. Maybe Cardinals fans got to see their team win an elimination playoff game after being down in the ninth inning, and again in extra innings. But not Royals fans. Not us.


(ed note: this was written on Tuesday night so it might be slightly out of date by the time you read it)

We’re going to finish up our late summer tour of Asian baseball with Japan and the NPB.

When last we left our rooting interest in early July, the Yakult Swallows, they were hanging around .500 and in the middle of the standings. But they’ve caught fire of late, going 9-0-4 in their last 13 games and have rode this unbeaten streak to the top of the Central standings. Nori Aoki’s numbers have crept up a little to .261/.337/.383 but he’s mostly what he’s been all season long. The real thunder in that lineup has come from 21yo(!) Munetaka Murakami: .284/.409/.607 with 38 HR.

A quick reminder that if you want to see English NPB games, there’s one a day on For The Fans. I’ve checked out a couple this season, but the 4pm Royals time schedule isn’t ideal for me and, IIRC, they’re basically condensed 2-hour replays (which is fine). It’s a fun way to watch baseball from another league in another country. The regular season is slated to end October 26th. It’s a bit later than normal but that has to do with the Olympic hiatus mid-season.

Let’s go back to the Japanese national team in the Olympic games. After the first half wound down with a pair of All-Star games, many NPB stars geared up to go for the gold. Japan qualified for the Olympics by virtue of being the host country but they were also the favorite to win.

However, they got off to a rocky start against the Dominican Republic in their first game. They were down 3-1, going into the bottom of the 9th, but, with one out, they strung together single, single, single, game tying suicide squeeze, single, and single to win the game. The aforementioned Murakami scored the winning run.

Japan handled Mexico 7-4 to end group play and go to the oddly shaped knockout tournament as one of the top seeds, along with the United States. In the first game there, they rallied with 1 in the 9th to tie and 1 in the 10th to beat the United States 7-6. Then they beat South Korea to advance to the final where they would again face the United States. In the gold medal game, Masato Morishita of the Hiroshima Carp, and four relievers combined to shut out Team USA 2-0. Murakami provided half of the offense with a solo home run in the 3rd.


Let’s keep with the Olympic theme. In case you somehow missed them, the 2020 Olympics were in August, delayed by the COVID pandemic. The Opening Ceremony was filled with its usual pomp and circumstance. As we’ve come to expect, there was more than enough avant garde art, drones, and, music. For instance, if you missed it: the segment about the Olympic pictograms was awesome (the pictogram system was originally created for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics).

For the Parade of Nations, the traditional part of the presentation where all the competing athletes enter with their country’s delegation, Tokyo used... video game music. Below is the list of every song included, including a number of games and even a couple of tracks that we’ve featured here before (who’s the uncultured swine now, huh?):

  • Dragon Quest – “Roto’s Theme
  • ”Final Fantasy – “Victory Fanfare”
  • Tales of Zestiria – “Sorey’s Theme – The Shepherd”
  • Monster Hunter – “Proof of a Hero”
  • Kingdom Hearts – “Olympus Coliseum”
  • Chrono Trigger – “Frog’s Theme”
  • Ace Combat – “First Flight”
  • Tales of Graces – “Royal – Capital Majestic Grandeur”
  • Monster Hunter – “Wind of Departure”
  • Chrono Trigger – “Robo’s Theme”
  • Sonic the Hedgehog – “Star Light Zone”
  • Pro Evolution Soccer – “eFootball Walk-on Theme”
  • Final Fantasy – “Main Theme”
  • Phantasy Star Universe – “Guardians”
  • Kingdom Hearts – “Hero’s Fanfare”
  • Gradius – “01 Act I-1”
  • Nier – “Song of the Ancients”
  • SaGa – “The Minstrel’s Refrain: SaGa Series Medley 2016”
  • Soulcalibur – “The Brave New Stage of History”

I suspect NBC has billions of reasons why I can’t find more than tiny snippets of the Opening Ceremony on YouTube to so I went with a video that collected all the songs instead: