Royals Rumblings - News for October 4, 2021
Salvador Perez is your AL home run co-champ, and led all of MLB in RBI.
Perez joined a group of six players in the last 30 years who’ve led the majors in homers and RBIs in the same season: Giancarlo Stanton (2017), Chris Davis (2013), Miguel Cabrera (2012), Ryan Howard (2002, 2008) and Álex Rodríguez (2002, 2007).
“I’m happy with the way I finished,” Perez said. “The way that I ended today was good. It’s a lot of hard work, handling injuries with my hip, my knee, my lower body. Seeing today that I played 161 games, that’s enough. That’s good. I thank God for that. If I would have hit 49, maybe it’s even better but I’m still blessed for this season. I’m so happy to end the season that way.”
Nicky Lopez became the first Royals shortstop to hit .300.
“Hitting .300 is a big deal, especially as you look at the fact that hasn’t happened for a shortstop here in a long time,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “We celebrate guys doing special things. What Nicky has done this season is something we’ll be talking about for a long time. Not just hitting .300, his whole story. How it started and then how he finished and everything he did in between to continue to impress us every single night.”
Bobby Witt, Jr. was in town to accept an award for Royals Minor League Player of the Year.
“It has been incredible,” Witt said of the season. “I learned a lot just about myself, not only about myself on the field but also off the field like how to get myself into good routines and just get my body right to play each and every day, because it truly was my first time to have to be able to play 100-plus games in a year.”
Witt, 21, said the biggest thing he took away from this season was the reminder that he’s still playing the same game that he has grown up loving and that he didn’t have to try to do too much. He tried to keep things as simple as possible.
Kris Bubic reflects on the progress he made this season.
“He should be very proud of a lot of the adjustments and the improvements he has made this season,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said of Bubic.
Bubic said the two main things that Bubic has done differently in his late-season outings have been “slowing the game down” and “knowing what my strengths are.
“Being able to pitch to my strengths, regardless of who’s in the box, kind of allowed me to pitch a little more freely, made me not try to do too much out there,” Bubic said.
Anne Rogers writes that the Royals may be finally seeing the Hunter Dozier they were waiting for.
“It just shows me everything I’ve been working on all year has shown up this month pretty consistently, which is good to see,” Dozier said. “It gives me that confidence going into the offseason that the things that I have been working on are the right things.”
Alec Lewis got insight from Rusty Kuntz on why the Royals re-signed Michael A. Taylor.
“He knows exactly where he needs to stand,” Kuntz said. “This is Outfield Coach 101: What you see is what I need you to move on. I’m always like, ‘I’m going to put you in a spot where analytics and my charts say.’ (Taylor) has enough savvy to say, ‘I don’t see that; I see this.’ You’ll see him in counts and situations where all of the sudden he’ll move, and lo and behold, there the ball is.”
When Taylor returns to the dugout, Kuntz will ask him why he moved to that certain spot. Taylor will respond with a reference to Salvador Perez’s glove location, or a pitcher’s command issue, or the way the hitter was swinging. Often, Taylor’s response sounds like this: The only place that guy could swing and put the ball in play was there, so I moved there.
“His brain is always going click, click, click, click, click, click, click,” Kuntz said. “You’re going, ‘Boom, that’s what we’re looking for.’”
The Royals honored retiring VP of Communications Mike Swanson before Saturday’s game.
Brett said he loved Swanson like a brother, and Matheny said he’d created a legacy. Merrifield described Swanson as a “legend.”
“We’re going to miss you a great deal,” Moore said in the video. “I’m just thankful that you’re still going to be living in the community. We understand that it’s time to be with Renee. It’s time to be with Rachel. You’ve earned it.”
Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter reflects on the last game of the season.
We won’t get chaos, it will be the Red Sox vs. Yankees in the American League Wild Card game.
Here is the complete playoff bracket and start dates.
MLB’s 2021 postseason health-and-safety protocols allow players to return during a playoff series, if medically cleared.
Clayton Kershaw exits a game with forearm discomfort, which likely ends his season.
The Dodgers will also likely be without Max Muncy for the National League Wild Card game against the Cardinals.
Nick Castellanos says he is undecided about opting out of his contract with the Reds.
Derek Jeter is preparing for an “active” off-season to get the Marlins to contention.
The Mets will contact Theo Epstein about their open GM position.
The Athletic takes a deep look at the disappointing season in Padres.
The Rockies name interim GM Bill Schmidt as their permanent GM.
Former Royals minor leaguer Zach Day is now into analytics data.
Tom Brady sets the NFL passing yardage record.
Georgia and Alabama are separating from the rest of the college football contenders.
The time the world came together to solve an environmental crisis - and it worked!
A “missing” drunk man spent hours in a search party looking for...himself.
Can Matt Amodio catch Ken Jennings for the longest win streak on Jeopardy?
Your song of the day is Electric Light Orchestra with It’s Over.