Song of the Day
“Walking on the Moon” - The Infamous Stringdusters
On to the Rumblings...
Lynn Worthy writes about Josh Staumont being the “Chairman of the Committee” for the Royals’ closer role.
“I think Josh feels like he has worked really hard and he has, while still figuring out a way to get it done,” Matheny said. “That’s a sign. That’s that next step. He’s never really been there. We’re exposing him to different things all the time. Now, it’s that consistent being ready in those leverage situations. Getting it done when you don’t have your best stuff is a huge step.”
Let’s stick with The Star, Pete Grathoff highlights Sunday being the annual “Salute to the Negro Leagues” game for the Royals.
Alec Lewis with The Athletic wrote about how rare the starting pitcher prospect depth is for the Royals, namely the pitchers that were part of that 2018 draft class.
There’s a reason the inquiry was asked, though, and it’s because of what’s happening in Kansas City. The Royals selected five college pitchers with their first five picks in 2018 and eight college pitchers with their first 13 picks. Three of them — Brady Singer, Kris Bubic and Daniel Lynch — have started games for the big-league club this year. As FiveThirtyEight pointed out, only 77 team seasons have featured three or more starting pitchers who pitched in the same season for the club that drafted them. The Royals could join that list because other 2018 picks, such as Jackson Kowar, Jonathan Bowlan and Jonathan Heasley, appear poised for opportunities soon.
The Royals losing streak was a weird one even for the Royals, wrote Jayson Stark in his “Weird and Wild, the Weird No-Hitter Facts Edition” also at The Athletic.
But here’s where this gets Stranger But Truer: Right after ending that losing streak, they were forced by the proper AL authorities to also play the second game of their doubleheader. Which ended in a 3-1 loss. Which meant that they couldn’t even break their losing streak and end the day high-fiving.
So how rare is that? According to STATS, the last team to stop a losing streak that long (or longer) in the first game of a doubleheader but then go out and lose the second game was none other than Casey Stengel’s 1963 Mets. Beat the Houston Colt .45s in Game 1 to pull the plug on a 15-game streak, but got wiped out, 8-0, in Game 2. … And that got them so inspired, they then lurched into another 11-game losing streak three days later!
Before we leave The Athletic, I’ve got to throw this general baseball article in here because it’s great. Ken Rosenthal and Brittany Ghiroli write about the growing frustration around baseball about how out of hand the use of foreign substance by pitchers has gotten.
“I’ve seen three or four cases this year where I’m like, ‘Are you s——- me?’” said Menechino, the hitting coach for the second-highest scoring team in the majors. “If MLB is watching this, how are they missing this one?”
Benjamin Hoffman with The New York Times writes about why there are so many no-hitters being thrown this year.
Eli Grober with McSweeney’s Internet Tendecy writes the “completely normal, totally reasonable unwritten rules of baseball” down and it’s a great read. It reminded me of a piece I wrote last season (there’s a great John Wayne gif at the end)
If you hit a home run, don’t you dare look at it. Look straight ahead while you jog around the bases at a not-too-fast and not-too-slow pace. Suppress all joy. You should be ashamed of being good at the sport you’re playing. Fans hate home runs.
The Rays made a trade (and some theoretical roster room..) yesterday...
Shortstop Willy Adames has been traded from Tampa Bay to Milwaukee, source tells ESPN. Rays will be getting pitching back.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 21, 2021
Door is open for Wander Franco. Or Taylor Walls. Or Vidal Brujan. Rays are loaded at shortstop at the Triple-A level.
A doctor in Florida died of Covid-19 complications and left his collection of sports cards to his family. It’s potentially worth $20 million.
Adrenaline Rush of the Week
Beating a writing deadline by minutes...