Yesterday’s Wild Card results:
Though there is a former Royal on every team, Kansas City alums only got playing time on the losing sides yesterday. For Toronto, Whit Merrifield pinch hit in the 7th inning and popped out, but drew a walk his next time up. Carlos Santana went 1-for-5 for the Brewers with an RBI, and RHP Joel Payamps gave Milwaukee 1.2 scoreless innings. Jorge Soler went 0-4 with three strikeouts for Miami.
Anne Rogers reported on J.J. Picollo’s end-of-season press conference:
In 2023, the Royals saw Bobby Witt Jr. emerge as their everyday shortstop. It appears that Maikel Garcia can be the leadoff hitter and everyday third baseman, although his ability to play second base offers Kansas City flexibility when looking for offense this winter. First baseman Vinnie Pasquantino’s return gives more optimism for the offense.
But everywhere else on the field and the pitching staff seems open to competition. Brady Singer, Cole Ragans and Jordan Lyles are the only sure returners to the rotation.
“The level of patience we’ve shown, the opportunity we’ve given guys, is adequate,” Picollo said. “But we need to start thinking more about what we need to do to enhance this roster and not be as cognizant of who’s on the roster right now. If we can get better, we’re going to get better, and that’s ultimately the goal of our front office.”
I just want to pause here and give a nod to Anne Rogers for her coverage this season. Baseball is a difficult beat even in good times, and covering a 106-loss team is nobody’s idea of a good time. But Rogers gave us great coverage from lots of angles.
The Texas Rangers saw the biggest increase in local TV viewership in the league, while the Royals were down 30%. Did you watch more, fewer, or the same number of games as usual in 2023?
A George Brett hologram stood in the Royals Hall of Fame and told the story of the Pine Tar Incident during the Yankees series last weekend:
“Innovation is essential to what we do, we’re always exploring ways to showcase our team and our city to new fans in new and interesting ways,” said Tony Snethen, the Kansas City Royals Vice President of Brand Innovation and agency lead of Pine Tar Collective. “Working with Transcend Holographic Media and Proto provides valuable new tools for engaging and providing a stadium experience that’s second to none.”
“I remember watching the pine tar game as a child who was one of the biggest Royals fans in the world. It was a moment - like it was for many others - that is now blazed in baseball history,” said Andrew Loos, Co-Founder of Transcend Holographic Media. “So, to be able to tell the story in such an innovative and dynamic way all these years later has been an incredible experience — an experience any Royals fan, or fan of baseball in general, will love.”
The Angels parted ways with manager Phil Nevin. That will certainly fix everything.
Terry Francona’s retirement as field manager is official, but he will reportedly remain in the Guardians organization.
Mariners president Jerry Dipoto indicated Seattle won’t be making big splashes for free agents and feels the organization took a step forward this season.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania started out as mentor and mentee in the NBA news scoops arena, but they have apparently grown chilly.
Now, multiple NBA reporters and officials describe their relationship as something akin to Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, the tension between them spilling across their respective galaxies. One editor said the Athletic doesn’t want Woj tweets dropped into company Slack channels because Shams doesn’t like to see them; ESPN reporters, in turn, are discouraged from tweeting Athletic stories or inviting Athletic guests onto their podcasts.
A tour bus crashed off the side of an overpass in Venice, killing at least 20 passengers.
The two hikers killed by a bear in Banff National Park had bear spray on them and had properly tied up their food, but were still attacked.
Camera samples are out for the Google Pixel 8, if you’re contemplating a new phone.
This Ask a Manager letter writer has a friend who keeps demanding a job, for which is not at all qualified. Sounds like a bad friend!
Wordle advice straight from puzzle editor Tracy Bennett (although controversially, I disagree with a vowel-heavy starter! Is it not easier to fill in vowels once you have a framework of consonants?!).
SOTD: Restless Heart - We Got the Love