There’s not a lot of Royals news today. With day games, especially, every outlet seems to hold back feature stories because they know the game story is going to be the lead story.
Yesterday’s story from Alec Lewis (sub required) is about Michael A. Taylor:
NEW — He’s 6-foot-4. He runs as fast as NFL kick returners. He works out with Travis Kelce’s trainer.— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) April 7, 2021
And in 2020, his barrel percentage ranked above Mike Trout’s.
The story behind Michael A. Taylor’s scorching start:https://t.co/pixPYcOHXD
Both Craig Brown and David Lesky... hey, didn’t those guys used to have a site together? And haven’t they also written for one of the most awesome sites in the history of the universe? Yesterday, each of them wrote about Wednesday’s game but both hit on different angles.
David wrote about Nicky Lopez.
He’s never going to be a guy who will drive the ball with any kind of real authority, so for him to be prepared to make contact with anything is important. He actually ends up in a similar position to where he was last season to start the pitch, but he’s already gotten going with his swing. Without talking to him, I can’t know for sure, but I think just getting the mechanics of his swing going, it allows him to consistently make more contact and make things happen.
And Craig wrote about Jakob Junis:
Armed with that nifty new cutter and a boatload of confidence, Junis held Cleveland in check for his entire outing. Appearing as an “Opener” who hasn’t pitched multiple innings in a game since a Cactus League outing on March 24, a reasonable best-case scenario for his start would’ve been three innings. Maybe once through the order. But Junis was so damn efficient, his innings so low stress, that he went back out for the fourth inning. And then the fifth.
Speaking of Junis, he’s a hot topic at Fansided, too:
- At KC Kingdom, Leigh Oleszczak states “Jakob Junis continues to keep himself in rotation discussions”
- At Kings of Kaufman, David Scharff argues “Jakob Junis earned another shot in the rotation”
- And also at KOK, Mike Gillespie implores us to “Ignore any whispers about Greg Holland”
That’s all the Royals news, but lots of little bits around baseball.
I’ve always wanted to go to a doubleheader. Like a legit marathon one. Not some lame day-night one where there’s 3 hours between baseball so they can sell more tickets. Apparently, to make up for their lost COVID series, the Mets and Nats have scheduled two doubleheaders of the lame variety. Anyone done a full doubleheader before?
Speaking of the Mets, yesterday they won on a walk-off HBP where Michael Conforto leaned into a strike but got awarded the bases loaded free pass.
Royals dodged a bit of a bullet with Trevor Rosenthal. As mentioned in yesterday’s Rumblings, he had the dreaded thoracic outlet surgery yesterday:
A's announce Trevor Rosenthal underwent thoracic outlet surgery today in Dallas. He'll remain in Dallas until Sunday and will return for a check up in approximately eight weeks.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) April 8, 2021
Rosenthal's diagnosis was severe neurovascular compression. Surgery involved removal of his first ri, a pec minor release and scalene release, per A's.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) April 8, 2021
Sure this is from Wednesday, but it’s LoCain setting more records.
Indeed, Cain became the first player in Brewers history to hit two go-ahead home runs in the eighth inning or later of the same game, according to the research wizards at STATS. Cain’s first home run gave the Brewers a 1-0 lead in the eighth inning (Joc Pederson then answered back with a solo shot of his own in the bottom half of the frame), while his second — a three-run shot in the 10th — put them ahead for good.
And it ties into another story. After the home run, Joc Pederson’s teammates gave him a waffle iron. Apparently, this is an Ian Happ thing:
The gift was not as random at is may seen, “waffling” a pitch means to make good contact with the ball. Happ has a tradition since 2018 of bringing waffle makers to the dugout to use as a celebration, and this time Pederson was the lucky recipient.
Food and baseball? MLB.com had a story about a minor league catcher and a potato prank. Let’s just start at the top and you can read the rest in the link.
Former Minor League catcher Dave Bresnahan didn’t talk much about it on the phone, but the man known as the “Potato Caper” comes from baseball royalty.
His great uncle, Roger, was the first MLB catcher to wear shin guards. He also developed the first batting helmet after getting hit in the head by a pitch. He’d later win a 1905 World Series with the Giants and be elected to the Hall of Fame following a long playing and managerial career.
So, back in 1987, when Dave had to call his dad, nephew of Roger, and tell him he’d been kicked off Cleveland’s Double-A team for trying to use a potato to pick off a baserunner, he was terrified.
More baseball from more than 20 years ago? Apparently the Dodgers almost switched to purple in the 90s.
The Los Angeles Lakers, of course, had long worn purple by that point, the Los Angeles Kings were in the process of re-adding purple to their look after dropping it a decade earlier, and the brand new Los Angeles Sparks were also very purple. Los Angeles could’ve been a (mostly) purple sports city had the plan happened.
More 90s stuff? MLB did a listicle with one iconic baseball card for each team. The Royals got the 1990 Score Bo Jackson where he was shirtless in shoulder pads with the bat on his shoulders. That’s a legit choice.
Sure, this was a week ago, but I’m going with it. When last we left him in the CPBL, former Royals BFSITHOW farmhand Tim Melville helped pitch the Uni-Lions to the 2020 title. Last Friday, he was making more history, throwing a 143 (!!) pitch no-hitter in a 13-0 game.
He most recently made headlines for the Colorado Rockies in 2019 when, while also serving as a part-time employee at a barbecue restaurant in Phoenix, Melville earned the first win of his career against the Diamondbacks in a 7-2 victory.
A few years ago, we talked about today’s game, SimCity, in the context of the recently released SNES Classic. But we really didn’t talk much about it so let’s revisit it today.
Over the past month or two, I’ve been jonesing to play it again so, this past weekend, I fired up my old SNES and started building a city again. I started remembering some of the nuance of strategy and also the simplicity of the original.
There’s some basics like how the budget is difficult to balance at first and get enough to build major amenities, especially when you start getting ridiculous requests like a 30K person town demanding a stadium. But, eventually, you get into a flow where you’re earning enough every year or two to do some major projects.
There’s also some cute little tricks like no one should ever build roads in the original SimCity. They make pollution and they give no benefit over mass transit rails other than being cheaper. If you’re in it for the long haul, you just make rails.
But then I saw there are some more advanced hacks for the game. For instance, I knew that each zone only needs to have 1 railway touching it. However, what I didn’t realize is that it just then needed to touch an adjacent zone to fully populate. So, rather than building full sets of rails, you’d just build literally 1 tile of rail to the one next to it and fill in the rest with parks (reduce pollution, reduce crime, and raise property values).
Later iterations of SimCity (2K, 3K, etc.) would include things like sewers, sanitation, and more enhanced traffic modeling*. Your Sims need to get from home to work and to the store so the three zones (red residential, blue commercial, and yellow industrial) all need to be near each other. They also need to be connected by roads - not just connecting to a single adjacent zone. And, also, in SimCity 2K, a mix of roads and mass transit were required to get to high density cities. If you just tried to build with mass transit, you would be stuck with a low population as many Sim citizens want to be able to drive. As an aside: I’m still amazed at SimCity 2000; we’ll cover it another time but it’s amazing how much detail fit onto a pair of 1.44MB floppies.
* It’s not like SimCity’s algorithms were simplistic by any means (example) - it’s just that there were some ways to take advantage of earlier ones that didn’t exist in the later games
One of the other things I was reading about were some more advanced SimCity strategies. I had always used donuts - that was the conventional wisdom. Since roads had to touch a zone for it to be active, you would build a block of 3x3 zones but leave the middle one blank for things like police, fire, and presents. But apparently rows are even more dense (that page also has some information about the minimal number of rails). And then there’s stacking. That page also describes how you can stack zones on top of zones for maximum density.
Finally, there were a handful of fairly infamous “glitches” in the SNES version of the game. First, whenever you start from a saved game, your power goes out for your whole city for a few seconds and then comes back on (mentioned here). This looks like it was supposed to happen. It was not. It causes crime to skyrocket in your city for a month or two and damage your town. Secondly, there was a debug menu so you could play with some settings turned off to allow you more freedom to just play and create. Thirdly, and probably the one people remember the most, there was a glitch that allowed for 999,999 money. You had to do some shenanigans with your budget for a year, but this unlocked near limitless money so you could design your town as you see fit without any financial restraints.
As for the song of the day, I’m pretty sure I never made it all the way to Megalopolis level (500K population) as this music is not familiar at all to me. Maybe I’ll make it this time (probably not).
Hey, we haven’t done a poll in a while. The Royals are now 3-3. Pulse check.
What is the Royals relationship with .500 this year?
This poll is closed
Back above .500 tonight and will be above the rest of the season!
Will be above .500 most of the season
Flirt with .500 all year
May claw back above .500 here in April but will be below it most of the season
Won’t see .500 again until 2022 or beyond