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Royals Rumblings - News for July 12, 2023

We have achieved Wednesday!

Rockies catcher Elias Díaz hit a late-game homer to give the National League their first All-Star Game win since 2012, when it was in Kansas City.

Rob Manfred talked to reporters about a variety of topics (more in ESPN links below), including bringing the ABS challenge system from the minors to the majors someday:

Manfred also addressed a few other big-picture items. Regarding the potential implementation of an automatic strike zone, the commissioner reiterated his preference for the challenge system over a full move to computer ball/strike calls (link via Associated Press). MLB has experimented with both potential avenues in the minor leagues.

The challenge setup primarily relies upon the home plate umpire to call balls and strikes. Pitchers, hitters and catchers are given a finite number of times they can contest a call. Manfred has previously suggested that setup better strikes a balance of preserving the receiving component of catcher defense while decreasing the odds of a very meaningful missed call at important stages of the game. As the AP notes, the challenge system was in place for last weekend’s Futures Game. Four calls were challenged; three were confirmed.

The latest guest on Chasers Chat is reliever Jonah Dipoto!

Two things about Immaculate Grid: 1) the game is hugely popular in MLB clubhouses, and 2) Sports-Reference just bought it.

White Sox All-Star Luis Robert, Jr. did not play in last night’s game due to calf tightness resulting from the Home Run Derby.

Niko Goodrum will no longer be outpacing Royals prospect Carter Jensen in the minor league walks leaderboard, as Goodrum signed with the Lotte Giants of the KBO.

Two pieces from ESPN: 1) the MLB Players Association hopes the league will ease up a bit on the pitch clock and related rules for the postseason. And 2) MLB is still working with Dow Chemical on a “pearl” white baseball that is tacky enough to play with, and as uniform as possible.

Shohei Ohtani: future Seattle Mariner? (Oh that’s also a tie-in to featuring a member of the Dipoto family in the video above!)

Tom Tango says swing speed data can finally identify the talent gap in switch hitters between their two sides, in a way that’s not just looking at past results.

National treasure Mookie Betts learned the hard way that he really cannot hit batting practice pitches for home runs.

Not sure if this is a baseball item, a world news item, or a pop culture item, but Nick Castellanos makes the case that Scooby Doo is a superhero.

A proposal that every sport do a home run derby and a dunk contest.

Two things from Lifehacker: 1) why you may not want to join the social network Threads, and 2) they have a golf simulator on a really good sale for the next couple of days. [Note: that’s not an affiliate link, it just looks cool.]

A mortifying list of 25 “rookie mistakes” by restaurant employees.

At Ask a Manager, this letter writer has an employee who has been bumming rides from coworkers for almost a decade, and some people have quit their jobs over it.

Today’s fun question: do you have a favorite National Park? Are there any that you keep visiting over and over?

SOTD: Taylor Swift feat. Fall Out Boy - Electric Touch