This week’s Royals Beat newsletter from Anne Rogers is about J.J. Picollo’s relationships with the organization and the players:
Within that revamp [of the hitting development], Picollo adopted field coordinator duties as part of his job. He was in uniform and on the field with players, breaking down a barrier often seen in the game between those in the front office and those with the jerseys on.
“My role there was fun,” Picollo said. “I enjoyed it. The conversations were a little bit more real. It did allow me to get to know the players personally better than I would have if I were not in uniform. But again, part of being a good leader, you delegate. And that delegation all went to Alec Zumwalt and Paul Gibson and their efforts and staff. They did an unbelievable job during that time. So it was helpful. It allows me to go to players and have more open conversations now a couple years later.”
Picollo actually threw batting practice to some of the Royals’ 2019 draftees that fall. They called him “Sticks,” because he wore No. 11, or at least that’s what Vinnie Pasquantino and Michael Massey said.
“We would joke around with him and Zumie, and some of the older guys who had been in the organization for a little bit, like [Logan] Porter and [Will] Hancock were like, ‘Do you guys realize how high up they are?’” Massey said. “And we’re like, ‘What are you talking about, it’s just J.J.’ So it was interesting, once you learn how high up they are, I thought it was actually pretty cool that we got to interact with them in that way.
Through a nitpicky lens, Witt did fall short of expectations this year and does have things he needs to improve on as he closes out year one and prepares for year two. He’s a great candidate to “rebound” in the sense that his progression arc should lead to him naturally improving some as a defender, possibly hitting for a better average and also making better swing decisions. Heck, he may even raise his walk rate as well. Calling this a “down” year right now doesn’t seem logical now but looking back on it later on, it should age relatively well.
Elsewhere in New York baseball, the Mets got a run when the Marlins pitcher was called for three balks in one at bat:
Richard Bleier has never had a balk called on him in his career. In the 8th inning he had not one, not two but THREE balks called on him— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) September 28, 2022
The third was enough for Don Mattingly as he got tossed @shea_station pic.twitter.com/n6GmE96HZA
The Durham Bulls made it into the Triple-A playoffs, which completed the second year in a row that ALL Rays affiliates made the playoffs.
Sister Jean, who is 103, threw a first pitch at the Cubs game.
Ben Verlander went to Japan to try and, I guess, make himself the voice of that nation with regards to how much they love Shoehei Ohtani? Please walk through today with this much belief in yourself. It will be better-placed than Ben’s is in this.
Please update your WhatsApp if you haven’t lately. The company found some security vulnerabilities in older versions.
Speaking of apps and security: is BeReal safe?
If you need a mood boost, try this kiddo and baby making each other laugh in an adorable infinite loop:
This is the best sound in the world pic.twitter.com/ODzKwHQYvE— Kelly Canuck (@KellyCanuckTO) September 27, 2022
What would you recommend for this 15-year-old who wrote into Ask a Manager seeking advice on whether to quit a newer job because of the toll it’s taking on other parts of life? What was your favorite job as a teenager, if you had one?
Also at AAM is another roundup of terrible corporate gifts. The fire blankets are my favorite.
This minister fell into a pond just before he was to officiate a wedding on a little dock. He’s fine, so it’s really the best kind of wedding “disaster” story.
A PSA from Twitter: wild animals really like to eat pumpkins. If you have ever left a cute pumpkin on a loved one’s headstone at the cemetery and thought it got vandalized, it was probably just animals.
SOTD: Shania Twain - I’m Gonna Getcha Good