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Royals Rumblings - News for October 29, 2021

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Are you a Gold Glove finalist?

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MLB: Kansas City Royals at Seattle Mariners
“I got nominated for a Gold Glove!” “Me, too!”
Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Max covered the big Gold Glove news yesterday:

Salvador Pérez, Whit Merrifield, Andrew Benintendi, and Michael A. Taylor were the four Royals named Gold Glove finalists by the Rawlings Sporting Goods Company today. However, Nicky Lopez was not listed as a finalist despite ranking well in defensive metrics at shortstop.

Lynn Worthy covers this news for The Star:

The winners will be revealed on Sunday, Nov. 7, at 7:30 p.m. during a broadcast of “Baseball Tonight” on ESPN. The voting for the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards comes from the managers of the 30 MLB teams and up to six of each team’s respective coaches. Managers and coaches cannot vote for players from their own team.

Your daily Alec Lewis?

While we’re on Twitter, how about some Joe Posnanski talking Buck O’Neil at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum:

We’re going to slide Royals blog posts into this section, too.

Both David and Craig took the day off, though the latter left a teaser for what he’s writing today:

Kevin O’Brien, the Royals Reporter, looks at which arbitration-eligible players the Royals might walk on:

Part of me is rooting for Junis to stay in Kansas City. After all, he is a former 29th round pick who has appeared in 105 major league games since debuting with the Royals in 2017. Most 29th round picks don’t amount to anything in the Minor Leagues, let alone at the Major League level. Thus, the fact that Junis has generated 4.3 career fWAR, despite being selected so low in the draft is definitely a Royals player development success story. That being said, it’s hard to envision a clear role for Junis in 2022 and 2023, the latter being his last year being under Royals team control.

Reddit user u/SnowPlow has been autograph seeking and shared his success stories with the Royals subreddit:

Over the past year, I’ve sent off for some autographs through the mail. I thought I would share with you the success I have had so far. All of the autographs listed below were received over the past year. If you are interested, these are some Royals (who sign through the mail) that you can send a card and letter to requesting an autograph. Some take a while to return, I am hoping some more will come in over the off-season. It’s a pretty cool hobby, check it out if you are interested. Go Royals!

Finally, the quick link roundup:

I don’t think it’s been mentioned here yet but Ozzie Albies stole a base so you (yes, you, fine reader) can get a free Taco Bell Doritos taco next Thursday, November 4th. That brings back fond memories of 2015 and the free Taco Bell wrap that I ate half asleep one morning because I was home on FMLA with my couple month old son. If you don’t remember, Lorenzo Cain, who is awesome, helped get us all free food and he knew it:

I’m not sure what to make of this, but, apparently, the stolen base will be going to Cooperstown:

“In Cooperstown, we tell the stories of the game on the field and baseball’s impact on fans,” said Josh Rawitch, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “This program has grown in popularity, and as it enters its tenth year we are thrilled that the hundreds of thousands of fans who will visit the Museum over the next year will be able to relive the exciting World Series moment this base represents.”

I mean, I guess. I’m spending a couple of paragraphs writing about it so that’s not nothing. But I also spend a lot of paragraphs writing about things that rate just above nothing and this feels like it fits into that category. “Well, we could have included the glove from the starting pitcher of the winning game but we went with the Taco stolen base instead because Taco Bell dropped some cash on us”.

Anyways, back to where I was originally going with this. Looking at the current website, it looks like there’s an Ozzie Albies baseball card, only it’s fake and virtual looking. However, in my Googling, I found out that back in 2018, Topps had a Topps Now cross-promotion with Taco Bell and they released a 7-card set (including LoCain!). Unfortunately, they are nearly impossible to find:

The trading card set that will be handed out at restaurants will include the six “Taco Heroes” who’ve triggered the free food by stealing the first base in the series. Here’s the catch: The six Topps cards will be available only in local restaurants around the ballparks hosting the World Series beginning with Game One on October 23, and the only way to get them is to buy a special baseball cap that’s also part of the promotion. The pack will include six Taco Hero cards each with their own exclusive imagery and stats.

There are 0 copies on eBay and 0 on COMC. I could pay $30 for the complete set but that seems a bit steep.

Lots of other news around the MLB

The Padres have hired manager Bob Melvin away from the Oakland A’s:

The team has not yet announced the signing, but the move is expected to be finalized in the next day or two. The A’s had picked up Melvin’s contract option for the 2022 season, but they agreed to let him interview with the Padres, who will not send Oakland any compensation in return. Melvin, a three-time Manager of the Year Award winner, spent 11 seasons with Oakland, after prior stints with the D-backs and Mariners. He owns a .514 career winning percentage. He has helmed Oakland to four consecutive winning seasons.

The MLBPA’s Players Choice award winners were announced yesterday. Salvy was nominated for AL Outstanding Player but did not win the award.

[Shohei] Ohtani and [Robbie] Ray were named Outstanding Player and Outstanding Pitcher, respectively, for the American League, while [Bryce] Harper and [Max] Scherzer claimed Outstanding Player and Outstanding Pitcher for the National League, honors similar to the MVP and Cy Young awards that are voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Ohtani was also named Player of the Year, given to the player who “exhibits the best on-field performance” in either league, according to the MLBPA.

Other awards: Trey Mancini (AL) and Buster Posey (NL) picked up Comeback Players of the year; Ryan Mountcastle (AL) and Jonathan India (NL) won Outstanding Rookies, Marcus Simien won Marvin Miller Man of the Year; and Mark Belanger won the Curt Flood Award.

There was some talk yesterday about the Astros. Well, MLB quietly reinstated Brandon Taubman “nearly a year ago”. If you don’t remember the name, you probably remember what this asshat guy did:

In the celebratory Astros clubhouse, Taubman, then 34, six times yelled toward a group of female reporters, “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so [expletive] glad we got Osuna.” Among the reporters was the one who had been tweeting the hotline number and was wearing a purple domestic violence awareness bracelet (October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month). That was the reporter who Taubman would tell MLB officials he was directing his rant toward.

The NAACP wrote to five professional sports players’ associations, warning them of signing free agent contracts with Texas sports teams:

“If you are considering signing in Texas, I ask you to ensure that owners are upholding their responsibility of protecting you, the athlete, and your family,” the letter states. “I ask you to use your influence to help protect the constitutional rights of each individual at risk.”

“Over the past few months, legislators in Texas have passed archaic policies, disguised as laws, that directly violate privacy rights and a woman’s freedom to choose, restrict access to free and fair elections for Black and brown voters, and increase the risk of contracting coronavirus,” the letter says.

As a native and current Texan, I... do not detect any inaccuracy in these words.

Finally, like local news, let’s end our MLB section on a popular segment: stupid criminals.

Federal authorities said Streit hacked into the computer systems of MLB, the NBA, the NFL and the NHL to stream copyrighted live games before trying to extort $150,000 from MLB with threats to publicize alleged vulnerabilities in MLB’s internet infrastructure.

Like you think the guys who make broadcasters say “Any rebroadcast, retransmission, or account of this game, without the express written consent of Major League Baseball, is prohibited” during every. single. game. are going to pay extortion money. Hah!

This reminds me of the time Jon Bois linked to Phil Vilarreal at The Consumerist writing to MLB about the disclaimer so he can “describe the game to my friend Tyler, who was too busy to watch it”.

The next morning I shot off an e-mail to MLB with my request and heard back within hours from Valerie Vieira, from the business development department in MLB Advanced Media. She asked me to call her. I explained my situation to her and asked how to go about getting express written consent. She wanted to know if I was going to blog about the game or do a podcast, and I said no, I just wanted to describe the game to someone while sitting on my living room couch. “How could anyone stop you from talking about the game in your own living room?” she said, taking my request as a joke.

Falling further down this fun little internet rabbit hole, that article linked to a Will Leitch article at Deadspin (RIP) that linked to a Seattle Post-Intelligencer story (dead link now, unfortunately). Are you still with me? This is the last hop, I swear. Anyways, Merritt Bettineski wrote to MLB asking if he could use his VHS tape of the Mariners 1995 playoff game with The Double* at a house party. MLB wrote back and “gladly” granted him permission.

*If you don’t know what that is, go do some baseball homework. It’s not like you were doing work on a Friday anyway. You can start here: “The Double was a double hit by the Seattle Mariners’ Edgar Martínez in Game 5 of Major League Baseball’s 1995 American League Division Series on October 8, 1995. Trailing by one run in the bottom half of the 11th inning, with Joey Cora on third base and Ken Griffey Jr. on first, Martinez’s hit drove in Cora and Griffey, giving the Mariners a 6–5 victory over the New York Yankees to clinch the series, 3–2. The play is held to be the ‘biggest hit in franchise history’... The hit is regarded as the defining moment of Martinez’s 18-year Hall of Fame career. Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus’ call of the play—which is equally memorable to Seattle fans as the play itself—is also regarded as the highlight of his career. The play is also credited with keeping a Major League Baseball team in the city of Seattle, as it helped garner support for a new taxpayer-funded stadium for the Mariners.”

I’ve never been much for horror movies. Most of the time, when I watch movies, I’m wanting escapism. If a movie is “hard” to watch, it takes away from my enjoyment. To that end, I’ve never been much for horror movies. I don’t really /want/ to be at the end of my seat for my home entertainment. I have roller coasters for that (we’ll talk about those later in the winter at some point - I’ve already started writing up the notes around that OT day)

Heck, I haven’t seen a number of the classics from what seemed to be a “Golden era” of horror movies back in the 70s and 80s when I was growing up. So sell me on your favorite horror movie or series.

I think the closest I could offer up is that I appreciate Scream. I re-watched the first two a couple of years ago and it was still quite enjoyable, particularly since we had forgotten the exact details of the whodunit part. It’s a well-crafted plot without major holes when accounting for the biases the genre has. It has good casting with a decent number of names. In a weird way, watching the 1996 movie is like watching a period piece with home phones, giant tube TVs, old cell phones, and a Blockbuster-esque movie rental store in stereotypical California. And, ultimately, it deconstructed the horror movie genre while putting together a strong movie all its own with its own unique voice. In short - it was better and smarter than it had any business being so it was still enjoyable a couple of decades later.

I guess a new one is coming out next year. I believe that makes 5 total. The first is a classic. The second was a decent sequel. I may or may not have seen the third many years ago and, if so, it obviously didn’t make much of an impression. I’m not sure I ever saw the fourth.

I was trying to come up with a Halloween-themed game and the best I could do was a top 40 selling NES game. Today’s game is the unforgivingly hard side-scroller Ghosts ‘n Goblins?

It was a huge arcade hit and then made its way to home consoles where the NES version sold 1.6 million copies. However, it’s most notorious for its difficulty. From wiki:

The game is often cited as an example of one of the most difficult games of all time, due to its extremely hard level design and the fact that the player dies within two hits while the enemies can spawn unexpectedly all over the map. Moreover, the player must play through all of the levels again at a higher difficulty setting unlocked after completing the levels regularly in order to beat the game, without any way to save. Gamerant named it the 5th hardest video game of all time.

And, of course, IGN’s Lucas Thomas reminds us:

If you someone manage to magically survive the entire onslaught of the game’s seven stages, the fiends of Capcom ‘85 have one last trick for you — a false ending. You’re actually forced to play through the entire game twice to achieve the true ending sequence, and the second time through is even harder than the first.

Yup. Nope. After you beat the game the first time, you get the following message (not my typos - it’s what the game says):


The entire game can be done in just over 30 minutes (both playthroughs!). But I don’t think I ever made it past the second level. Then again, this same YouTuber beat the impossible NES Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in just over 40 minutes. The music is catchy, well, maybe not after a half hour but, really, no one ever made it that far.