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Royals Rumblings - News for February 10, 2021

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Terez Paylor, who covered the Chiefs for the Kansas City Star from 2013-2018, died unexpectedly at just 37 years old.

Paylor broke numerous high-profile Chiefs stories, including the trade of quarterback Alex Smith to Washington in 2018, and his ability to analyze game film became must-read material for The Star’s audience.

One of sports journalism’s best-sourced and most credible NFL reporters, Paylor left The Star in 2018 to become the senior NFL writer for Yahoo Sports, where he continued to break NFL news, including the Chiefs’ acquisition of defensive end Frank Clark from the Seattle Seahawks in 2019.

“While we are shocked and saddened by Terez Paylor’s sudden passing,” longtime girlfriend and fiancee Ebony Reed wrote in a statement to Yahoo Sports, “we also celebrate his extraordinary life that touched so many. Terez was an exceptional journalist whose passion for football made him a respect voice. His legacy will leave an enduring impact on sports journalism, the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs and their fans.

“More important, Terez was a devoted son, grandson, brother, an adoring fiancee and a wonderful friend to so many. To know him was to love him. He will be dearly missed.”

As Spring Training approaches, Alec Lewis takes an updated look at the Royals depth chart, including this on the rotation:

The Royals’ most interesting position group might be their starting rotation. The options are plenty, featuring youngsters Singer and Bubic and veterans Minor, Duffy and Santana. Then there’s the horse, Keller. One could make an argument for Jakob Junis, but while Santana is entering spring training on a minor-league deal, Junis makes the most sense in the bullpen. Still, with Santana in the fold and Duffy starting, that leaves the Royals with a six-man rotation.

It would be a bold move, but why not be bold after a 2020 season that featured pitchers operating in ways they never had previously? There were ramp-ups and ramp-downs as pitchers stopped and started more than a monorail at Walt Disney World. There were also doubleheaders and cancellations, both of which affect pitchers’ health, which is arguably the most important element of a professional baseball team.

Craig Brown takes a guess at the Opening Day 26-man roster.

At FanGraphs, Kevin Goldstein digs into the problems with the salary arbitration system (including a question of whether having a literal clown introduce the figures would be better than the actual process):

By far, the biggest frustration with the process from both sides is the lack of transparency. When the ruling comes down, teams and agents are informed via email whether they won or lost. There is no reason given, no briefing. No supporting or dissenting opinions. Both sides are simply left in the dark as to what they did right or wrong.

“I’ve sat through a lot of these and I still have no idea what matters,” said one frustrated American League executive. “It’s this group of non-experts I’m appealing to and I have no idea what I’m supposed to put in front of them to improve my chances of winning.” An NL official agreed. “I don’t know what’s driving their decisions, and I don’t think anyone really does,” he said.

“It’s ridiculous,” added another NL exec. “Ignoring the clown aspect for now, I like the idea of just throwing the number down on both sides and letting the panel do, well, whatever it is they do. The case prep and arguments seem to have little bearing on the decision at the end of the day.”

I put this up with the Royals section, because I think the whole piece gives some insight into why the Royals seem to go to lengths to avoid arbitration. It sounds like an ugly process.

These are the COVID-19 protocols that MLB teams and players will have to follow for the 2021 season.

At Beyond the Box Score, Kenny Kelly highlighted five of the best hitters and pitchers from the Negro Leagues.

MLB is updating its policies on sexual harassment; setting up an anonymous hotline; and requiring anti-harassment training for team executives during Spring Training, reports Lindsey Adler at The Athletic.

What will happen to the millions of bobbleheads that would have been given away if the 2020 MLB season had gone as planned? Many of the featured players are on different teams now from the teams that enshrined them in bobble form.

A quirky quote from Randy Johnson, in a darker story about athletes and guns from 1995.

Bad blood between teams and Minor League Baseball.

Important food update from J.T. Realmuto and Christian Yelich. That’s a lot of Chipotle.

At GQ, a profile of sports super-couple Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird.

Depending on what time you read this, Patrick Mahomes either will have, or has already had, surgery to repair the turf toe that he played through during the Chiefs postseason run.

The FBI is investigating a hacking in which someone tried to poison Tampa’s water supply with dangerous levels of lye, two days before the Super Bowl.

If putting cheese on the inside of your grilled cheese isn’t enough cheese for you, you can also put different cheese on the outside of your grilled cheese. Cheese!

Spotify is finally testing a lyrics feature in the US, years after removing the previous lyrics function in favor of an unhelpful “behind the lyrics” thing no one asked for.

A hilarious cautionary tale from the “check your settings BEFORE your Zoom call” files:

Today’s dog is Cherry (Pie), a papillon whose adoption page I cannot find for the life of me, but who was a delightful friend during her time at the shelter. And those EARS!

SOTD: The Avett Brothers - February Seven (but to be clear, today’s date is actually February TEN; please do not be confused. Time doesn’t mean anything anymore but I don’t want you to miss any appointments or whatnot!).