Get to know new Royals assistant hitting coach Keoni DeRenne through the story of his father Coop, via Alec Lewis at The Athletic:
Keoni DeRenne, whom the Kansas City Royals recently elevated from assistant hitting coordinator to assistant big-league hitting coach, has loved the game from a young age. He would arrive early at middle school to lift weights alongside teammates. Coop, a kinesiology professor at the University of Hawaii, directed the workouts. Keoni would complete his high school homework and beg his father to go hit. So Coop, also an assistant baseball coach at the University of Hawaii, would drive his son to the local high school field, where Keoni would climb a light tower, spin the nozzle and direct light into the batting cage. The fatherly tutelage during those moments — always backed by science — helped pave Keoni’s path from a high school career at Iolani in Honolulu to an 11-year pro career that reached Triple A. His experience led to a coaching career in the minor leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs and now in the big leagues with Kansas City.
In 2022, Keoni, 42, will coach MLB hitters on a regular basis for the first time. The Royals hope his presence will ease the transition for the organization’s top prospects. They also believe his knowledge of swing mechanics, and the technologies to assess them, will benefit the entire lineup.
At Inside the Crown, David Lesky looked around the league for comps to help decide if the Royals should sign Bobby Witt, Jr. to an extension now:
The Braves have a superstar they locked up quickly. After Ronald Acuña Jr. burst onto the scene in 2018 to get MVP votes and win Rookie of the Year, they acted quickly and agreed to a deal between the fourth and fifth games of the next season. It’s a deal for eight years and $100 million and features two team options that could make the deal worth $124 million over 10 years. Even with his injury that cost him about half the year in 2021, it’s a steal.
There are some obvious differences between this deal and one Witt would sign. One is that Acuña had already produced at an exceptionally high level at the big league level and at a year younger than Witt played 2021 in the minors. He also is a bit more patient than Witt and has some more power, though Witt has plenty of power. So it’s not a perfect comparison, but you can probably extrapolate some of the Acuña contract to work for a pre-debut deal for Witt if you squint enough.
Craig Brown hit on a number of topics at Into the Fountains, including looming mess on the broadcasting side of things:
To put it succinctly, it’s a disaster.
“Without a successful shift in Sinclair’s business strategy for its Diamond unit, S&P Global Ratings forecasts a potential default and bankruptcy in the second half of 2022.
If Sinclair fails to deploy a game-changing streaming service, or if one is rolled out and it’s a disaster, S&P Ratings predicts “a worst case scenario” for the company’s RSN business.”
It would appear that Sinclair Broadcasting Corp. is way out over its skis in acquiring these RSNs. Not only does it impact MLB, but they have rights to NBA, MLS and NHL teams as well. While Sinclair is deep in debt and teetering toward bankruptcy, that doesn’t mean they would cease broadcasting. But it is a situation worth monitoring going forward. According to the article linked above, the NBA is currently trying to help Sinclair “fix things.” MLB’s position is a bit more laissez-faire, given that they’re ticked that Sinclair is attempting to establish their own streaming platform with rights they may not possess.
The Royals signed their current broadcast agreement in August of 2020.
The Blue Jays signed José Berríos to a 7-year extension.
Over on the west coast, the Angels are willing to bet Noah Syndergaard will come back strong from his 2019 Tommy John, signing him to a 1-year deal worth $21 million.
The Rockies extended shortstop Trevor Story a Qualifying Offer, and he rejected it and will become a free agent.
Speaking of middle infielders, where will Javier Báez end up?
Kevin Cash and Gabe Kapler are named AL and NL managers of the year, respectively.
The Cleveland Guardians of baseball and the Cleveland Guardians of roller derby reached a settlement regarding the use of the name, Cleveland Guardians.
Are you eligible for a piece of the settlement in the TikTok privacy class action suit?
I haven’t watched Squid Game yet, but even I know well enough to cringe at Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s party with that as the theme.
Speaking of wealth disparity, a Tweet and lots of replies of moments when ultra-rich people are just, so out of touch with how the other
half 99% lives.
A baffling letter from Ask a Manager: my VP of HR says my service dog is too small. To that HR VP I say, yikes!
Today’s question from Reddit: What’s a discontinued food or beverage item you wish with all your heart would return?
SOTD: Taytay on SNL. Had to be.