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Royals Rumblings - News for May 14, 2021

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16-9 is the new 18-11. But, hey, let’s play two today!

Kansas City Royals v Detroit Tigers
Even the camera is having a hard time with the Royals these days
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

We’re leading off with something different today. Don’t forget, there’s a poll question at the end.

After the last Royals double digit losing steak in, checks notes, 2019... Wait? Just 2 years ago? Sigh... Anyway, as I was saying: Max wrote the following article: “A look back at the 10 double-digit losing streaks in franchise history”.

Here’s the capsule from the last streak:

March 31 - ?????, 2019 - 10 losses in a row and counting

The Royals were hoping to capitalize off a strong finish last year relying on speed and defense. But after winning the first two games, a myriad of bullpen blowups have left the team reeling.

Outscored: 65-41

Soul-crushing loss: Loss #10. There have been so many bullpen blowups, but Thursday’s loss against the Mariners was the most crushing. The Royals were one out away from victory when a flyball hit by Mitch Haniger carried and was dropped by centerfielder Billy Hamilton as he crashed into the wall, allowing the game-tying run to score. A Dan Vogelbach home run would give the Mariners the lead, and not even Whit Merrifield could carry the Royals back to victory, as he ended his 31-game hitting streak.

How it ended: Stay tuned.

Quote: “That’s just kind of (the) bizarre season we’ve had so far, stuff like that…So it’s got to turn, it’s got to. Hopefully sooner than later.” - Whit Merrifield

Let’s try to add to it for this one

May 2 - ?????, 2021 - 11 losses in a row and counting

The Royals started off the season hot, even having the best record in baseball for a couple of days in late April. To quote Max: “Then the Royals met up with their longstanding rival - the month of May. “ After a win on the first day of the month got them to 16-9, the team hasn’t won since.

Outscored: 74-33

Soul-crushing loss: Loss #9. The Royals had a chance to end the streak before it reached double digits. A win would have put them back to .500 and start a rebound streak against the lowly Detroit Tigers. Brady Singer got roughed up and only lasted 3.1 IP as the Tigers built a 7-0 lead. It looked insurmountable to a Royals offense that had scored 4 runs in the past 4 games. But then Jorge Soler happened. In the 8th, he crushed a 3-run homer that looked like an afterthought. With a run scored already in the 9th, he came up again with the bases loaded and cleared them with a double, tying the game. Unfortunately, the Royals could not plate him and they lost on a 2-out walkoff single in the 9th.

How it ended: Stay tuned.

Quote: “Did you think it was going to be peaches and roses all year?” - Whit Merrifield


This is all Rany’s fault, right?

Vahe Gregorian profiles Bobby Witt Jr for The Star:

Along those lines, pitcher Jon Heasley calls Witt “a clubhouse favorite, for sure,” and says he “always brings good energy, no matter what.” And teammate Rudy Martin has appreciated Witt’s buoyant presence regardless of how his at-bats have gone.

“He’s really, like, a really genuine dude, a funny, goofy dude,” said Martin, a 25th-round draft pick in 2014 who noted how Witt “clicks pretty good with the whole team” and added, “He’s one of those guys who’s going to dance around the clubhouse … He’s always dancing to my music.”

Pete Grathoff collects Tweets about the Royals 11 game losing streak.

That’s about it, officially - I think we talked about this last week or maybe a week or two before: Thursday day games make for not a lot of Royals stories.

On the blog front, Craig Brown, who has seen his share of Royals double digit losing streaks, opines about the latest.

Meanwhile, David Lesky spams adorable puppy gifs. That may be the most productive thing you can do when talking about the Royals right now.

If you haven’t been checking out Royals Farm Report, they do a daily Minor League Minutes, talking about what’s going on down on the farm.

Finally, at KOK, Mike Gillespie slideshows “3 moves Kansas City must not make yet


The impending labor battle is likely to dominate this offseason’s news. Late last season, we were still hearing about the MLBPA’s grievance against MLB. These rumors lingered into last fall. April saw some hope, with negotiations beginning. But yesterday, per sources, the MLBPA “officially filed a grievance against MLB seeking about $500 million in damages” because “MLB did not act in good faith negotiating the pandemic-shortened 2020 season”. This is the type of thing that could lead to expansion or, generally, widespread upheaval across the sport. Speaking of which...

Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodwin said yesterday let it be known that they’re part of the leverage against the A’s stadium situation as they’ve been negotiating with MLB for at least the last couple of years: “For over 20 years these talks have included dialogue with league commissioners, and for the Oakland A’s these have been occurring since 2019”

Taking care of other business, MLB re-upped with ESPN for 7 more years. ESPN will carry 30 MLB regular-season games and the wild-card games. There’s also these couple of interesting nuggets:

ESPN currently shows one of two wild-card games. In 2022, if MLB expands to eight series, as it did in 2020, ESPN would carry the entire schedule of games. If the wild-card playoffs don’t expand, ESPN would get eight more regular-season games exclusively per year. In addition, ESPN will be able to create new MLB content for ESPN+, including highlight-driven programming. There will continue to be a game nearly every day on ESPN+, subject to local blackout restrictions, and all games on ESPN or ABC can be simulcast on ESPN+.

The Yankees COVID outbreak is no longer limited to just coaches. SS Gleyber Torres has tested positive now as well. All 8 positive tests have come from people who are fully vaccinated so the CDC is looking into it.

The high rate of breakthrough positives — the official term for positive tests after being vaccinated — has led to the Centers or Disease Control and Prevention looking into the Yankees’ situation... The Yankees received the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccination last month. Because they met the 85 percent threshold, vaccinated individuals were no longer required to have to quarantine if they are identified as a close contact to someone who tests positive, unless they have symptoms. Those protocols are being reviewed amid the outbreak, however.

How about some potentially Royals-centric MLB news?

Albert Pujols is now officially a free agent after he was not claimed on waivers. Any team wanting to sign him would just have to pay him the league minimum.

Corbin Burnes is slated to start against the Royals next time out on May 19th. Yesterday, he set an MLB record with the most strikeouts without a walk to start the season. His streak ended in the 5th inning at 58, topping the previous mark of 51 (2017 Kenley Jansen) and previous starting pitcher mark of 35 (2013 Adam Wainwright). “He faced 126 batters and went to 16 three-ball counts before issuing his first walk of the season”.

R.J. Anderson at CBS Sports looks at what has been a failed rebuild so far with the Tigers. Here’s to hoping that’s not the ghost of baseball seasons’ future for the Royals.

Meanwhile, not really Royals related but the Mariners are calling up top prospects Jarred Kelenic and Logan Gilbert, launching their rebuild.


I’ve been listening to the PSX-era Final Fantasy soundtracks all week so today we’re going to revisit Final Fantasy VIII. As I mentioned when we looked at the game last year: “One of the real highlights of the game were the amazing FMVs”. This time, we’ll do the dance scene with the song “Waltz for the Moon”. I’m pretty sure this is the original FMV without any remastering. Sure, it’s a little polygonal by today’s standards but the was made 20 years ago on CDs (not even DVDs).

Poll

How many losses when the losing streak ends?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    11... Royals win the next one, baby!
    (46 votes)
  • 20%
    12... Royals win the doubleheader nightcap tomorrow to end it!
    (40 votes)
  • 14%
    13/14... Royals sneak one of the other games against the White Sox!
    (28 votes)
  • 16%
    15/16... Royals take one from the Brewers
    (32 votes)
  • 15%
    17-19... A home series against Detroit should end the streak
    (30 votes)
  • 11%
    20+... Gunning for the club record!
    (23 votes)
199 votes total Vote Now