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Royals Rumblings - News for September 8, 2023

This was finished before the Chiefs game result so pretend there’s something witty here about that

Chicago White Sox v Kansas City Royals
Be happy: it’s Friday!
Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

With all eyes on the gridiron, not a lot of baseball news today.

The Royals moved Daniel Lynch to the 60-day IL. You can see the rest of the Royals IL update here:

In what was classified as an administrative move to open a roster spot in the future, Lynch was transferred to the 60-day IL on Wednesday, but he is still recovering well from the shoulder strain that has had him on the IL since July 19. Lynch isn’t going to make it back before 60 days have passed since his injury, so the Royals can use his roster spot to add someone to the 40-man roster if needed. But Lynch went to Arizona on Wednesday to progress from bullpen sessions to live batting practice.

Jaylon Thompson used this opportunity to profile Royals infield coach José Alguacil:

Alguacil has utilized different metrics to help his infielders. Players participate in pre-game drills with (cleat) spikes to generate better footwork. The idea is to simulate game situations and create more explosive steps.

Every infielder also has an individualized plan. Alguacil outlines specific drills based on different aspects of a player’s training. The drills might include live or short fungo, funneling, throwing, back-hand glove-work and range exercises.

This season, the Royals have focused on footwork technique and perfecting angles. Alguacil likens his approach to a GPS (global positioning system) — one tailored toward receiving the baseball.

“It’s like knowing your route,” Alguacil said. “If you don’t know your route and you have to drive, what’s the first thing you are going to do? You are going to go on Maps or Google Maps. That’s the angles in the infield.”

Ready for more (sigh) stadium gossip?

Stadium issues bring out a lot of different constituencies so local government reporter Mike Hendricks tried to track down who was behind the North Kansas City stadium poll and ad campaign:

A mysterious poll leaked to the news media late last month prompted the launch of an equally mysterious ad campaign in support of building a new Royals stadium in North Kansas City.

“To think that there wouldn’t be some sort of response, I think, would have been naive,” said Clay County Commissioner Scott Wagner, who says the poll was clearly the main motivation for the “Let’s Go Royals … to North Kansas City!” campaign.

Neither the pollster nor the political operative behind the ad campaign will say who’s paying the bills, and Wagner doesn’t know, either.

I started reading another Mike Hendricks story with the headline “Nominee to Truman Sports Complex board has conflict over Royals stadium, legislators say” . I got down to the picture and was like “wait, didn’t I link to a story with this same picture”? It turns out that I did a couple of weeks ago. The story a couple of weeks ago was about some low income apartments that could be demolished as part of the East Village stadium plan.

Apparently some Jackson County legislators thought this was a problem for Emmet Pierson Jr:

But when county legislator Sean Smith asked him at a June hearing whether he had any conflicts of interest with either the Chiefs or Royals, he denied having any. “Being untruthful in a job interview like that should disqualify you,” Smith told The Star. “The governor has two better nominees he can choose from.”

...“If there’s ever conflict, I will handle that conflict appropriately,” Pierson said. “Right now, I have the honor of being on the panel that’s gone to the governor; the governor makes that decision. He hasn’t made that decision.”

Pierson said he has talked with the Royals about affordable housing as part of a community benefits agreement, the team’s promise to do certain things in exchange for taxpayer support of a new stadium. “So yes, I have had those conversations with them,” he said.

Royals blog time.

Yesterday, Greg linked to David Lesky’s story about Tuesday’s balk off. But he missed Craig Brown’s story. So here’s some 3-day old news!

As the Sox are staring directly into the white light, losing these games to the Royals can’t even rate as the most embarrassing thing that has happened to them in the last few weeks.

With only the Royals keeping them out of last place in the Central, White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf finally remembered he owned a ballclub just in time to threaten relocation around the same moment he administered the mercy firing of his long-time vice president of baseball operations, Kenny Williams, and general manager, Rick Hahn. That he replaced the duo with internal hire Chris Getz (without interviewing anyone else) along with rumors of Dayton Moore joining him in the front office only ups my personal enjoyment factor... Getz, by the way, completely bombed his introductory press conference. He will probably be in his position for the next 15 years.

It was with this backdrop of front office shuffling of nameplates that a couple of fans attending a game caught some bullets. The White Sox insisted the shots came from outside the stadium; the investigation seemed to uncover that one of those wounded smuggled the gun into the stadium.

Blog Roundup:

I’m going to try to keep this set of movie reviews in fewer words than my usual movie reviews (I say that now - we’ll see if that sticks). They’re all kindof recent films and I watched all of them kindof recently. And they’re all mostly lighter fare.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023) - I really wanted to like this movie. It really wanted me to like it. Between the wonderful use of music, good graphics, comedy, and Easter eggs, there are so many well done moments that feel more homage than just shameless nostalgia mining. Mario and Toad’s friendship was well done as was Peach as Mario’s mentor. But most everything else about the movie is half done: Mario and Donkey Kong’s father issues could have been a good emotional core but it doesn’t get nearly enough screen time. Same with Mario and Luigi’s “nothing can hurt us as long as we’re together” - they don’t built it up enough and then separate them for most of the movie. They should never have gone into the real world for the climax - it goes overlong and, more importantly, they had enough in the Mushroom Kingdom but failed to develop the pieces on the table. There’s an early scene that really shows how the writing for the movie went: they try to save Brooklyn, build up dramatic tension inching across a pipe, and.. nothing happens. There’s no payoff: they fall through a wall but they don’t save Brooklyn or fail to save Brooklyn, it’s just a vehicle to kick them to another world.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (2023) – This was a fun popcorn flick. It feels like an old 80s adventure movie – black hats and white hats, fun ragtag group of characters, and a noble cause - but with modern moviemaking – decent enough effects, formulaic plotting, and a little too fast pacing with a joke cracked every minute. It tells you from the start that it’s going to be predictable but fun and it generally is. The casting was good and they looked like they enjoyed being there, like friends playing a game of AD&D around a table. There’s enough lore tossed in (Themberchaud steals his scene) that most of the hardcore fans seemed to enjoy it or, at the very least, not review bomb it. I thought this review was fairly spot on: “[Ask ChatGPT to] write a Marvel movie except with Dungeons & Dragons characters.” And you know what? I’m ok with that.

Everything, Everywhere All at Once (2022) – I’m not sure what else I can say about it that hasn’t already been said. It’s deserves (almost) all of its accolades. I like that it took chances with the multiverse scifi concept that’s been done (speaking of Marvel, the Russos produced it) and grafts an uplifting family drama and search for meaning onto it. The five leads: Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, James Hong, and Jamie Lee Curtis are all good to great. The emotional punch is really good with a positive anti-nihilist message that’s hard to get right in the current zeitgeist. I don’t quite get the Best Editing Oscar as the editing was my only real issue with the movie. It gets drug down by some well-worn plots (every Asian mother-daughter drama ever), some plots that didn’t land (Raccoon-y was just a long way to pay off a bad joke from earlier in the movie), and some really off the wall or distracting humor (when you have to pixelate your own sex jokes, maybe you’ve gone too far). The other thing that got me is that it had a little of “The Good Place” problem - where if they came up against a really vexing moral quandary, they just hand waived it away (Evelyn breaking the multiverse) or made it so absurd as to suck some of the gravity out of it (everything/nothing bagel). That said, it’s an excellent movie and these things only keep it from being perfect. This movie’s far above everything else we’re talking about today.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022) – It has Nick Cage and the chainsaw from Mandy so it’s already in OMD’s top 5. Does it like itself a bit too much? Yes. Is it completely absurd? Definitely. Is the plot littered with a bunch of cliches and shortcuts? No doubt. But it covers this with actors all but winking at the camera and a script that pretends to not know when it’s satire and when it’s “serious”. Nic Cage and Pedro Pascal were amazing in this. I could watch them do 10 of these movies if they keep having this much fun. I am really bummed this lost money as I’d love to see a sequel.

Paddington (2014) and Paddington 2 (2017) – I think most of you know I have a kid and if you’ve seen Unbearable Weight, you know why I had to watch these movies. They’re better than I expected, though I’m not sure either are one of the three best movies of all time or that they make me “want to be a better man”. They’re very British and matter-of-fact. I love how they play it straight with how no one in London is bothered by a bear that can talk. I don’t quite get the overwhelmingly positive reviews. Both movies are both perfectly fine but don’t really stand out. I can’t tell you much about them a few months later.

(if you don’t get the Unbearable Weight/Paddington 2 joke, here’s the NSFW clip to explain it, but, really, if you have to explain a joke with an out of context video, it’s not going to be that funny)

I was thinking something Mario-y with our movie review above, specifically Mario Kart. I remember that one offseason, more than 5 years ago, Matt looked at all the Rainbow Roads. I took that and ran with it on the following day’s Rumblings:

Matt had a fun OT writeup on Mario Kart Rainbow Roads yesterday and commented “The Mario Kart 8 soundtrack is one of the marvels of the modern age”. I started poking around with that soundtrack and came across this gem.

A couple of thoughts:

  • See how I had to do that mostly redundant quote above that since Coral ate all comments
  • Wait? I’ve been doing this more than five years?
  • Is that Esky riding a hippo at the top of that page? Awesome!
  • I don’t miss the grind of finding a “Best of Royals Review” article every week, but I do miss the gems like the one linked on that day: Nick Van Stratten and the Fact of Failure

Anyhoo, I started exploring the Mario Kart 8 soundtrack since Matt’s pretty good at the whole music thing, being a professional at it. When I saw (and heard) the game’s rendition of Big Blue with electric guitar and sax, well, here’s your song of the day: