Opening Day dominated the baseball news and that was pretty much covered in the game threads and recap, but let’s see what else I can scrape up.
How about a collection of fun/goofy Opening Day tweets from yesterday’s wacky game?
The 2021 Royals have been booed 15 minutes into the season opener, narrowly breaking the previous club record of 16 minutes, set in 2012.— Sam Mellinger (@mellinger) April 1, 2021
Um, I'm pretty sure the unbreakable record was set in 2002 when they began booing right from the start as Jacque Jones hit a leadoff homer. https://t.co/5nhSRA4dOg— Joe Posnanski (@JPosnanski) April 1, 2021
First 3 innings today took 1 hour, 54 minutes.— Dave Holtzman (@DHoltzy) April 1, 2021
Royals dispatched of the Yankees on Opening Day 1984 in 2 hours even.
KC's Michael Taylor has thrown out two runners at home, singled and now homered. It's the third inning.— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) April 1, 2021
Jorge Soler's first home run of 2021 was 113.4 mph off the bat.— Anne Rogers (@anne__rogers) April 1, 2021
That's harder than any #Royals home run in 2020.
The Royals now have 10 homers hit 113+ mph since Statcast began in 2015 -- Soler has six of them.
Vahe Gregorian at The Star waxed poetic about the return of baseball and some semblance of normalcy:
Nobody had heard of COVID-19, Alex Gordon was in left field, Ned Yost still was the manager and Patrick Mahomes was, you know, just the Chiefs’ superstar quarterback and not a part-owner of the team. If that seems like ancient history, well, it was Sept. 29, 2019 … the last time the Royals had played before fans at Kauffman Stadium, some 550 days back, in Kansas City.
So this opening day, even if still restrained in the context of The Before Times, was something more than just another moment of revival and fresh hope befitting a national holiday in many ways. On Thursday at The K, the Royals played host to the Texas Rangers and it was something resembling … normal?
If you missed the transactions yesterday:
The Royals announced Thursday that they’ve designated catcher Meibrys Viloria and right-hander Scott Blewett for assignment. Their spots on the 40-man roster will go to outfielder Kyle Isbel and lefty Jake Brentz, whose contracts have been formally selected from Triple-A Omaha... The Royals will have a week to trade both players or attempt to pass them through outright waivers.
Lots of Royals blogs with various season preview type articles:
Craig Brown with a ton of news and notes at Into the Fountains. This is my favorite little note:
The last time the Royals and Rangers matched up for a trade was when Texas sent Jason Frasor to Kansas City on 7/16/2014. Since then, the Rangers have made at least one trade with every other major league team.
David Lesky with his last minute thoughts at Inside the Crown:
What Marks Success?
I mentioned this on an answer that’ll appear on a Royals Review Roundtable today, but I think this is the last season where success isn’t marked by wins and losses. Obviously, if they can somehow put together a season where they win 89 games and make the playoffs it would be a success, but they don’t have to do that for 2021 to go down in the win column. Mondesi getting hurt isn’t a great start, but the key for this year is players who figure to be a part of the next good team having good seasons and progressing the way the team hopes they should.
It doesn’t have to be Brady Singer, Daniel Lynch and Kris Bubic in the rotation or really any particular players, but if the Royals get improvement from enough of their young talent to know that they can take the next step in 2022 and 2023, that’s a success. But after this year, the kid gloves are off and the record matters. Let’s say they go my predicted 76-86 in 2021 and do so with great things happening from their young players. If they don’t win in 2022, that’s a failure. So they should enjoy this while they can.
Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report makes his predictions:
If you listened to either our podcast or caught me on 810 with Jason Anderson yesterday, I’ve already made a few predictions for the Royals season so I’ll list them here:
1) Adalberto Mondesi will be the first player since 2017 to steal 60 bases. That’s off to a roaring start.
2) The Royals will win between 76 games and finish 3rd in the AL Central.
3) We are definitely, 100% going to see the Major League debuts of both Daniel Lynch and Jackson Kowar sometime this year as long as they’re both healthy.
At Bleeding Royal Blue, Sean Thornton writes about the Sinclair rights mess:
So as we sit here on the day before the MLB season kicks off the only way to watch a Royals game if you live in the vicinity of Kansas City is cable, Direct TV, or AT&T’s streaming service, which will cost you over $80 a month. Even the new Bally Sports app (Fox Sports is being changed to Bally Sports, FYI) that many of us thought might be an option as a standalone service, isn’t an option. Sinclair announced this past month that you can only access it if you already have a cable or satellite account that carries Bally Sports. They also announced it wouldn’t be available for cord cutters until the 2022 season.
- Mike Gillespie: KC Royals Opening Day: Not the lineup we expected
- Leigh Oleszczak: Kansas City Royals have to get off to a hot start in 2021
- Travis Neely: 5 bold predictions for the 2021 Season
How about some news around baseball for Opening Day? Let’s hit something from every game. Well, except the late ones. Sorry, White Sox/Angels, Astros/Athletics, and Giants/Mariners. This is going to be like the newspaper where it’s just listed as LATE.
Sadly, the pandemic is still going on. Nationals and Mets cancelled yesterday after 3 Nats players tested positive for COVID.
Rizzo said one of the players testing positive had a fever, while the others were not displaying COVID-19 symptoms. On Wednesday, Rizzo announced an initial positive test for the illness caused by the coronavirus. He said it resulted from testing done Monday, while the Nationals were still in Florida for spring training.
At the time, he said four other players were considered to have been in close contact and were quarantining. Now, two of those players have had positive tests after being tested Wednesday and another had an inconclusive sample that is being treated as a likely positive.
On the more normal cancellation front: Orioles @ Red Sox was postponed due to rain and will be made up tomorrow where it will be sunny and 44. Brr..
Speaking of brrr... Miggy hits the first home run of the MLB season. In a snowstorm. Tigers beat the Indians 3-2.
It’s cold and snowing outside.— Michigan Sports Guy (@MIsportsguy) April 1, 2021
Miguel Cabrera: I DON’T EVEN CARE. pic.twitter.com/kafrARWiim
Cody Bellinger hit the first home run of the Dodgers-Rockies game. Only it wasn’t. It looked like it might have been caught at the wall so Justin Turner ran past him going back to 1st. Of course, in baseball, you can’t cross the streams so Bellinger was out (and credited with an RBI single). Rockies win 8-5. The hero of the day was, of course... Chris Owings? The former Royal went 3 for 3 with a triple, 3 runs, and an RBI (h/t RoyalDUF).
Rays-Marlins was a pitchers duel with both Tyler Glasnow and Sandy Alcantara throwing 6 scoreless frames. The game started the same time as the Royals game and ended around the 6th inning. Rays won 1-0. I love Jazz Chisholm Jr’s awesome blue hair:
The Brewers rallied for 3 in the 9th to tie the Twins, who allowed 5(!) unearned runs on the day. Enter crazy extra inning softball rules. Josh Hader struck out the side in the top of the 10th. Old friend Lorenzo Cain beats the throw home and the review to walk off in the bottom of the frame.
In another extra inning game, the Blue Jays beat the Yankees 3-2 with Julian Merryweather (who?) striking out a side of Yankees in the 10th to end the game.
Phillies beat the Braves 3-2 in 10 innings, too. I... um... was struggling to find something really cool about this game but loyal2sdad mentioned this nugget. Braves starter Max Fried was a high school teammate of two other 2021 Opening Day starters: Lucas Giolito (White Sox) and Jack Flaherty (Cards). I mean, it is a high end prep school, but still, that’s crazy.
Former Royal Eric Hosmer and former Royal farmhand Wil Myers hit home runs off of one-time Royals nemesis Madison Bumgarner. The Padres won 8-7. This crazy Fernando Tatis Jr. slide was on the front of MLB.com for much of the afternoon:
NL ROY candidate Ke’Bryan Hayes hits his first HR of 2021 as the Pirates beat the Cubs 5-3.
Cards-Reds had some similarities to the Royals opener. For a while there were more runs in that game. Cards had a 6 run 1st and went on to win 11-6. It’s a Cardinals win so they go last. Boo.
Let’s go revisit the bizarre and awesome Elite Beat Agents. Today’s song: Let’s Dance!