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Royals Rumblings - News for June 11, 2021

I’m back - the team can start winning again

Kansas City Royals v Oakland Athletics
Late night win!
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Per Lynn Worthy at the Star, Salvy is trying to play every game this season:

Sixty games into this season, Perez hasn’t caught every game. The wear and tear of catching makes it unrealistic and unreasonable to expect any player to hold up in that position on a daily basis, particularly when you factor in doubleheaders and day games after night games.

But Perez, 31, has started every game this season. Wednesday night’s 6-1 road loss to the Angels marked his 46th start at catcher, and he has also started 14 games as the designated hitter. When asked recently about that trend of playing in every game, Perez didn’t shy away from his intention to maintain that pace throughout this season.

“One hundred percent that’s one of my goals,” Perez said. “I never did it in my life, in my career before. I’m going to keep that in mind as one of my things I want to do this year.

Alec Lewis wrote about Salvy, too:

Back at The Star, Pete Grathoff relays Mike Matheny’s (dang it - I always want to add a second “e” to his last name) story about a home run goof of his:

Matheny was asked Wednesday if Witt would be reminded about the need to touch the plate or if it was a subject that wouldn’t have to be mentioned. “I don’t think he’s going to have to be told. I think the watching world has told him plenty,” Matheny said...

That reminded Matheny of a game that took place on July 21, 1994 at County Stadium in Milwaukee. The Twins were in town to face the Brewers, and Matheny was behind the plate in just his 28th big-league game. In the second inning, Matheny crushed a home run off Jim Deshaies, giving the Brewers a 2-1 lead.

“First home run in my career, I was watching it because it was in right field, and I was so shocked it went over,” Matheny said Wednesday. “I tripped and almost missed first base and I was too embarrassed to go back to make sure the umpire saw it. It does happen. You try to limit the times. Usually once is enough.”

Lots of good blog stuff today

Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report projects the 2023 Royals:

Projected 2023 Opening Day Lineup:

LF Kyle Isbel

3B Bobby Witt Jr.

SS Adalberto Mondesi

C Salvador Perez

1B Nick Pratto

DH Hunter Dozier

RF Edward Olivares

CF Brewer Hicklen

2B Nick Loftin

Colby Wilson guest stars on Craig Brown’s Into the Fountains blog and tackled a number of topics. There’s some especially good stuff about Hunter Dozier’s spray chart and Brad Keller’s slider struggles.

David Lesky also talked about Keller’s slider ineffectiveness and a horrible strike zone from a couple of nights ago at Inside the Crown.

At U.L.’s Toothpick, Darin Watson returns to his “Year of the Card” series, this time profiling Roger Nelson.

As has been mentioned in this space plenty of times, the expansion-era Royals, led by general manager Cedric Tallis, had a knack for acquiring overlooked players, letting them put up good performances, and then correctly deciding which ones to keep and which to trade for long-term pieces. A fine example of this is Roger Nelson, who gave Kansas City two solid seasons before being dealt for a future member of the franchise’s Hall of Fame.

At SI’s new Inside the Royals, Mark Van Sickle pleads “Patience is a Virtue: Give the Royals Rookie Pitchers Some Time

Finally, at Fansided:

How about some former Royals in the news?

I just like that I get 2 for the price of one in this MLBTR story. Ian Kennedy is placed on the DL: “Kennedy, 36, has proven to be one of the best minor league signings in all of baseball this season”. Taking his place is Spencer Patton:

As for Patton, today’s promotion will mark the culmination of a nearly five-year journey back to the big leagues. A 24th-round pick of the Royals back in 2011, Patton made his MLB debut as a Ranger in 2014 and spent parts of the next three seasons as an up-and-down member of the bullpen for both the Rangers and Cubs.

From there, Patton went on to spend four seasons pitching with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. The righty was one of NPB’s best relievers in 2017-18 before struggling, in part due to injury, in 2019-20. Even with the downturn in his final two years in Japan, however, Patton’s overall NPB track record was strong: 205 2/3 innings of 3.68 ERA ball with a 27.4 percent strikeout rate against a 9.5 percent walk rate.

Throwback Thursday at CBS Sports was about Bo Jackson.

It’s been 35 years since Jackson began his pro baseball career following a decorated run at Auburn, both on the diamond as well as on the gridiron. After one season with the Royals, Jackson was approached by then-Raiders owner Al Davis, who offered Jackson an opportunity to star in his backfield once his baseball season was over in the fall. Jackson accepted, and three years later became the first professional athlete to be named an All-Star in two different sports. As Jackson enjoyed success with both the Raiders and Royals, his immense popularity made Nike’s “Bo Knows” campaign one of the most successful ads in pro sports history. Jackson’s brilliance was immortalized in the video game “Tecmo Bowl,” as gamers had an unfair advantage if they chose the Raiders as their team.

Wait? 35 years? No, that can’t be right.

Rounding things out, Jeremy Guthrie got a mention... in a Fangraphs article about allowing 10 runs plus in under an inning.

I spent way too much time down this Twitterhole last night so it eventually got its own section. I am not a lawyer but this struck me as hilarious. So, um, where do I start...

You know what? We’ll just let this headline and excerpt work our way into the rest of the story:

‘For God’s Sake’: Frustrated Judge Dresses Down Ex-‘Kraken’ Lawyer Suing MLB Over All-Star Game, as Case Swings and Misses in Court

...Those were just examples of the many dressing-downs that Judge Caproni delivered to the lawyer for the conservative Job Creators Network (JCN), which filed a federal lawsuit in New York seeking to reverse MLB’s decision to move the All-Star Game from Atlanta, Georgia to Denver, Colorado in the wake of Georgia’s new voting law. The law’s opponents have called SB 202 a “voter suppression bill” meant to appease “conspiracy theorists” upset about the 2020 election outcome.

JCN is represented by one of the key figures behind the conspiratorial legal offensive to overturn the 2020 election results: Kleinhendler, who was part of the so-called “Kraken” legal team that unsuccessfully tried to topple elections in Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona.

Over the course of more than an hour-and-a-half-long arguments session on Thursday, Kleinhendler claimed that the league’s opposition to SB 202 damaged his client because—if the MLB succeeded in rescinding the legislation—democracy in Georgia would be harmed by the dilution of valid votes.

That’s, um, a mouthful.

Prefer live blogging of the proceedings? Try these two on for size with your favorite Twitter thread unroller:

Some of my favorite excerpts:

Then we’ll finish it off with this back and forth:

Now for a sidebar (Get it? it’s a legal joke!)...

I went over to Fangraphs to see what Sheryl Ring had to say about this as she was one of my favorite authors to link to. I guess there’s a reason I hadn’t in a while as she left mid 2019. Her last article for them was about a month after the Cubs went after her for reporting that a media member told her they were told to bury negative Addison Russell stories ahead of his return from his domestic abuse suspension. (She also blogged about the horrible retaliation she got for this - it’s awful even when you’re expecting awful). I also completely missed that she’s been with Beyond the Box Score for a while now. Heck, Minda even linked to an article of hers in Wednesday’s Rumblings.

Since I’ve been gone for a couple of weeks - here’s some thoughts from my vacation to give us some off topic writing prompts for the comments section.

We went to New Mexico. There were a number of great national parks there we were able to visit safely in outdoor and/or socially distanced fashion: Carlsbad, White Sands, Bandelier, Petroglyph, and Capulin. Most people know about the first two and maybe the third. Capulin is completely underrated. It’s a “young” (60K years) extinct volcano that stands about 2000 feet above everything else around it and you can hike down into the cone and hike around the rim, seeing 4 states (5 on a clear day).

Did you know that Santa Fe has “the Labyrinth Resource Group, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, was founded in Santa Fe in 1998 by a diverse group of individuals who became united in their commitment to the power of the labyrinth in the community and in individual lives”. Wait, what? Say that again? A group that goes around, placing mazes in public spaces? That’s either really cool or really Illuminati. Maybe both. They’ve helped build over 40 around the New Mexico capital including this one we saw at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.

A lot of the time while we were driving (we put something like 2700 miles on our car), we listened to an old radio program that my dad originally taped on reel-to-reel then transferred to cassette tape and, recently, to digital format. It was called The History of Rock and Roll and the version we were listening to, he recorded off the radio in 1978. I know what you might be thinking because my wife was skeptical when I proposed this for our trip (“that’s been done before”, “how good could it be”, “I don’t want to listen to a lot of chatter”). But it’s actually a really neat program that won a number of awards back when it came out.

It’s 52 hours long and meant to be played non-stop over an entire weekend. It starts in the early 50s and works it way through to the “present day” of 1978. Each hour covers a genre like, say, “Elvis Presley Part I”, “Four Seasons vs Beach Boys”, “Soul in the 60s”, “San Francisco Sound”, or “The Hits of ‘66 and ‘67”. Someone on wikipedia even put together the entire song list for the program. There are interview clips or brief introductions for most songs, but it’s much more music and just listening to the songs than anything else.

Sadly, there’s not a way to download the whole thing (part of my dad’s recording is distorted from cassette wear and other parts he missed because of sleep) or share it as I’m sure there are all sorts of rights issues around something like this, keeping a modern copy from being available to listen to. You can find LPs from the show on eBay but it’s typically only for a couple of hours of the show and can cost in the triple digits. Historian/DJ and original show writer Gary Theroux used to host little chopped up bits of the show, but it appears those were discontinued in 2019. And, man, what I wouldn’t give for a modern version of it that started in the 50s and covered through, say, 2000.

Other random musings:

  • Angel Fire is small enough that (I think) every senior in high school gets a banner hung from the light posts on the main street
  • Twice, we ran into this rain, hail, snow slushy mix that I’d never seen before. With hail I think of solid hailstones or sleet being ice or snow being fluffy flakes but this was like slush falling out of the sky. It was some of the weirdest precipitation I’ve ever seen and I’m guessing something that can only form at higher elevations.
  • New Mexico has a strong case for the best overall license plate if you consider old school (yellow with red Zia), intermediate (turquoise plates), and the current gorgeous plates (black with chili peppers). They’re all very unique and recognizable.

Since we’re already over 2000 words for the day, it’s time to revisit an old game. This time, we’ll go back to one of the best RPGs of all time, Chrono Trigger. Today’s scene/song is from the Ocean Palace. I’ve always loved the music for this scene - it’s perfect for the mood.

I love the science fiction trope of there having been a more advanced civilization before us that we just don’t know about it. There’s a number of works of fiction that use this from Stargate to A Canticle for Leibowitz. I think it’s arrogant to “know” that we’re the most “advanced” peoples that have ever lived. Is it possible? Of course. Certain? Less so. Sure, we have decent records from written history but even those are filled with blank and blind spots. And much beyond that, it’s a lot of guesswork. What little remains from, say, a million years ago is there purely from the whims of nature.

I’m no scholar or philosopher or even particularly well read, but I’ve read enough to believe that humans have mostly been the same throughout history. The average person across most eras has wanted the same things: food, shelter, security, prosperity for their family, etc. It’s just that circumstances have varied wildly and we are very much a product of our environments. So it’s not as if there’s a straight line from monkeys to “primitive savages” to our “civilized society” now.

But the music is also sorrowful. Our heroes are from 1000 AD and, in their journey, have seen the post-apocalyptic wasteland of 2300 AD. They now see this great civilization from 12,000 BC, powered by magic and technology beyond anything they have millennia ahead in the future. Our protagonists are the “primitives” here. And, yet, there is no trace of this great civilization, a sobering reminder of how time wipes away all things. Then, they find out these ancestors, blinded by hubris in their pursuit to become even greater, unleash the cataclysm that destroys their civilization and threatens all periods of time.