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Weekend Rumblings - News for December 4, 2021

Put Buck O’Neil in the Hall of Fame.

In troubled times, hope renews that Buck ONeil could at long last join Hall of Fame Mike Ransdell/Kansas City Star/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Weekend Rumblings - News for December 4, 2021

Geoff Pontes at Baseball America writes about hitting prospects with interesting analytical characteristics.

Every year without fail, a position player or two rises from obscurity to notoriety based on strong performance. Pasquantino may prove to be one of those players, with several markers that point to a strong long-term outcome. The combination of plus contact ability and strength-driven raw power are rare. Pasquantino, however, possesses great bat-to-ball skills and hand eye coordination. It’s a true plus hit tool as he adjusts to pitch height, velocity and spin with relative ease. His batted-ball profile is strong as well, showing the ability to hit the ball in the air with consistency, generating flyballs at a rate of nearly 40% and line drives at a rate greater than 24%. This is an easy way to spot a few things: first a more level bat plane, because hard hit drives are turning into liners, but also a high amount of squared-up contact.

The Kansas City Star editorial board questions a taxpayer-financed downtown stadium in light of the lockout.

But owners who write big checks to players, or the players who cash them, should not cry poverty when the time comes to refurbish a ballpark, or build a new one. And they should not ask taxpayers to subsidize those salaries by committing to hundreds of millions of dollars for stadium construction.

Clint Scoles at Royals Academy reacts to the Taylor Clarke signing.

Clarke’s slider is his bread and butter pitch, limiting hitters to a .156 average against it with a 44% whiff rate. Unfortunately, his fastball is average at best if not a tick below, registering up to 97 mph but regularly working with a below-average spin rate. In April, his spin rate dipped below 2200 rpm before picking up in May to over 2300 rpm when he started to get into a groove. It dropped down with the shoulder issues in June before picking back up again in September. His fastball is going to need to improve for him to be effective.

Vahe Gregorian writes the watch parties for Sunday’s announcement on whether Buck O’Neil will be selected for the Baseball Hall of Fame, including one with Negro League Baseball Museum President Bob Kendrick.

“I’ll either have a whole bunch of people to hug or a whole bunch of shoulders to cry on,” he said, laughing.

More seriously, though, the point is to share in the moment … whatever the moment brings.

“Because this is history,” he said. “Whether it’s good or bad remains to be seen. But it is still history, and it’s still a moment in time in this organization’s history. We need to capture that …

“(And) we’ll all be part of it together.”

Shakeia Taylor of Fangraphs looks at Buck’s candidacy.

The Royals announced they currently have no plans to have a 2022 FanFest, due to the pandemic.

Jordan Foote at Royals Insider wonders if the JaCoby Jones signing will create an outfield logjam.

Advocates for Minor Leaguers forms a steering committee to push for better conditions.

A brief history of baseball work stoppages.

MLB teams spend a record $2.16 billion in the month before the lockout.

The Marlins are interested in Diamondbacks outfielder Ketel Marte.

The Blue Jays are ready to spend after the lockout.

Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka elects to stay with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles.

The Athletics look at a site on the Las Vegas strip for a potential new ballpark.

Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson gets engaged to U.S. Women’s soccer player Mallory Pugh.

Maryland basketball coach Mark Turgeon steps down and is replaced by Danny Manning.

Maybe computers weren’t the problem with the college football playoff selection process.

NASA gave Jeff Bezos money to build his office park in space.

Sony is planning a new gaming subscription service to compete with Xbox Game Pass.

Why your favorite comedians disappeared from Spotify.

Your song of the day is Warren Zevon with Lawyers, Guns and Money.