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Weekend Rumblings - News for July 23, 2022

Buck O’Neil will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend!

Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Weekend Rumblings - News for July 23, 2022

Lynn Worthy writes that the Royals will be focused on helping the youngsters in the second half.

Royals infielder Nicky Lopez, barely outside of that group himself, recently described having such a young team as “special,” and “a glimpse of the future.”

“You try to help these guys out as much as possible,” Lopez said.

“But it’s good that they’re getting their bruises right now and riding that roller coaster, so to speak, early because it’s only going to set them up for future success.

“Why not get it over with when you’re 21, 22 years old as opposed to when you’re 25, 26, 27 years old.”

Whit Merrifield was prepared for any backlash to his comments last week about being willing to be vaccinated for a contending team.

“Whatever reaction it is, it’s something I’ll have to deal with,” Merrifield said. “These guys in here, they know me. They know what I’m about, how much I care for them. Every time I’ve taken the field and got between the lines, I’ve given it everything I’ve had every day I’ve been out there. If people feel a need to express their feelings toward me, that’s perfectly fine, and it is what it is.”

Vahe Gregorian writes about Buck O’Neil’s induction into the Hall of Fame this weekend.

“He was just a gift, some angel that for all his (94) years still wasn’t enough,” Ken Burns, the renowned filmmaker whose “Baseball” documentary made Buck a national sensation, said last week in an interview with The Star.

“Buck had deserved this honor in his lifetime and didn’t get it, but we’re all tested in different ways. And Buck passed that test magnificently. Without a murmur of complaint. And he bore it like the extraordinary sort of baseball god that he was, and is, and gave us all a lesson in humility. And avarice and ambition. “And then now he’s in. And just by the very virtue that he’s there, the place suddenly got a little bit more distinguished.”

The Royals signed first-round pick Gavin Cross.

Teams still have interest in Andrew Benintendi.

Kiley McDaniel at ESPN reviews each team’s draft class.

Cross was long mocked somewhere within a few picks of this Royals selection, for almost a year in advance. He gives some J.J. Bleday vibes as a productive big conference college outfielder who likely settles in as an above-average right fielder with a sweet swing that offers an above-average hit/power combination. Wallace was a second-third-round talent two years ago out of high school and largely held serve with steady improvements in the SEC. There’s some Austin Riley if you squint, but with merely 60 raw power instead of 70-plus. I still wonder if Wallace’s pitch selection will allow for the in-game hit and power to play average or better. Dunhurst has at least a 70-grade arm and steady glove along with the tools to hit, but his actual results and setup at the plate have been a little frustrating to watch.

MLB.com lists their favorite picks from each draft class.

Cross is a solid pick, but Wallace might be an even better value for where he was taken. The 20-year-old slugger has good power and speed tools, and his plus-plus arm makes him well-suited to third base (or even right field should a roster move require it). The Royals have a strong recent history of developing infielders like Bobby Witt Jr., Vinnie Pasquantino, Nick Pratto and Michael Massey, and Wallace could plug himself well into that group.

Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report lists things to watch for in the second half.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter has bold predictions for the second half.

The Blue Jays score a club-record 28 runs against the Red Sox after a misplay turns into an inside-the-park grand slam.

The Mets acquire first baseman Dan Vogelbach from the Pirates.

The Giants sign former Royals reliever Trevor Rosenthal.

What it’s like to be a reliever running in from the bullpen during a brawl.

MLB could be playing regular season games in South Korea in 2024.

Why a Juan Soto trade could include Patrick Corbin.

Why aren’t MLB owners paying minor leaguers more?

Former Cubs outfielder Dwight Smith dies at age 58.

People are questioning how Vanderbilt got a first-place vote in the SEC preseason poll.

Vince McMahon announces his retirement from WWE.

Fish poop may help coral reef bleaching.

Software developers aspire to forecast who will win a battle.

What to expect from the Game of Thrones spin-off House of Dragons.

Your song of the day is Booker T. & the M.G.’s with Green Onions.