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Royals Rumblings - News for March 9, 2022

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Handsome tan dog with ears pointed up stares directly at the camera. The backdrop is the berm behind an outfield wall.
This dog is a repeat, but they’re just so perfect I couldn’t help it.
Minda Haas Kuhlmann

Justin Choi at FanGraphs points to Whit Merrifield to illustrate the case for bat speed’s importance among other attributes of hitters:

Here’s a fun example: On the first pitch, Whit Merrifield took almost as many balls (284) as did Juan Soto (285) last season, which is no trivial task. He also ended up letting plenty of strikes pass by, but that’s another trait he had in common with Soto. In the realm of swing decisions, it’s merely the cost of business. My spreadsheets aren’t perfect, but they tell me Merrifield and Soto took 205 and 198 first-pitch strikes, respectively. Even with a mental margin of error, it isn’t a stretch to claim the two behaved similarly, discipline-wise.

And yet, Soto is one of the best hitters in the league, drawing comparisons to Ted Williams at a remarkably young age. Merrifield is a decent hitter at a somewhat valuable position. It’s true that Soto is adept at exhibiting patience across all counts, an attribute Merrifield lacks, but the source of the disparity is located elsewhere. You can see where I’m going with this: Soto hits the ball very hard, and Merrifeld does not hit the ball very hard.

Alec Zumwalt, the Royals’ Senior Director of Player Development/Hitting Performance, was Jake Eisenberg’s latest guest on the StormCast.

How do you feel about Kansas City’s corner outfield situation after reading Alex Duvall’s rundown of the depth chart there?

Former Royal Jonny Gomes did a live chat with MLB Trade Rumors readers. In it, he listed Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer as hitters who taught him a lot, and said he still gets chills thinking about the “1.2 million” people in attendance at the World Series parade.

A couple of further-back former Royals will be part of the Phillies broadcast team:

Dan Szymborski writes the the competitive balance tax is anything but.

MLB and Apple TV+ will bring us Friday Night Baseball, with a doubleheader each Friday on that streaming platform.

At FiveThirtyEight, the effect of losing all these games to shortened seasons will be huge for some players.

New announcers will call your games on MLB The Show 22.

What did you do to celebrate the anniversary of the legendary Yankees Wife Swap? The Dollop, naturally, did an episode on this a few years back. It is the most Dollop-able story in baseball history, next to perhaps Rube Waddell.

Good news from Dick Vitale:

Is it sappy of me to think it’s really lovely that this happened in March?

Aaron Rodgers signed a 4-year, $200 million deal to remain with the Packers.

A silly scene from the NBA, as Will Ferrell showed up as his ‘Semi-Pro’ character Jackie Moon for Warriors warmups:

A big trade is sending Russell Wilson from Seattle to the Denver Broncos.

Antonio Brown and Kanye West say they are “extremely serious” about buying the Broncos. I’m sure that wouldn’t be a nightmare workplace at all.

Is anyone going to rescue WNBA legend Brittney Griner? Why isn’t her being detained in Russia for an unknown amount of time the biggest story in sports?

Here’s a hotline that offers pep talks from kindergartners. I haven’t called it yet but it sounds adorable.

Alec Baldwin hoping that repeating “I’m innocent, you guys” enough times will clear him of the time he held and fired a gun that killed one person and injured another.

A double dose of garden-related Lifehacker listicles: 9 vegetables you should plant right now to be ready for spring, and 20 weeds in your garden that you should not kill.

An new documentary tells the story of the Attica Prison Uprising.

Instead of Reddit, today’s fun question comes courtesy of Ask a Manager: What’s the smallest amount of power you’ve ever seen someone abuse?

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