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Royals Rumblings - News for August 24, 2023

Which is more exciting: Cole Ragans or stadium renditions?

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MLB: Kansas City Royals at Oakland Athletics Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Zack Greinke made his first bullpen appearance for Kansas City since 2007 on Tuesday:

So it really was vintage Greinke who showed up Tuesday night.

Back from the 15-day injured list to pitch against the A’s, Greinke entered in the fourth inning and turned in four scoreless frames with five strikeouts in the Royals’ 5-4 loss at the Oakland Coliseum. The A’s scored five early runs against starter Angel Zerpa (four earned) in three innings, but were held to just two hits after that.

“It’s the same,” Greinke said about relieving versus starting. “Only difference, I guess, is that you’ve got a less exact time the game is going to start for you. So it’s a little bit trickier timing it to get ready.”

Cole Ragans was special in Oakland on Wednesday afternoon:

In fact, 12 of the 20 fastest pitches in Ragans’ career came against Oakland. He averaged 98 mph with his fastball, a 1.8 mph jump from his season average. The A’s had no answer for it; they whiffed nine times on 14 swings against his heater (64%).

Ragans kept them off balance with his changeup, which registered a 41% whiff rate, and kept them honest with his cutter, slider and curveball.

“That was probably one of the best performances we’ve seen all season on the mound,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “We’ve seen Ragans before, and the velo has definitely spiked. He was 98-100 today. The changeup was electric. I don’t think we got a good swing off it. And the angle of the slider.

The big news in Royalsland right now is the unveiling of new ballpark concepts. Let’s run through that. If you want all the details, check out the snazzy new ballpark website.

From Vahe Gregorian at the Kansas City Star ($):

Especially if you consider what John Sherman told my colleague Sam McDowell and me in an interview last week, when Sam asked if the infrastructure costs are factored into the stadium total of $1 billion … or, now, perhaps $1 billion-plus.

“That’s probably additional to…” he said. “Some of it’s in there, but then there’s some of it on top of that depending on the egress and ingress, freeway, highway, interchange modifications, things like that. You know, there could be other things too — street, sidewalks, utilities. There’s lots of stuff in all those categories.”

So months of presentations and interviews and, now, renderings later, the matter of hundreds of millions of dollars remains ambiguous.

From Craig Brown at Into the Fountains:

In addition to shiny new renders, the Royals provided some newish numbers on economic impact. I write “newish” because I can’t keep up with the fantasies that churn around this project. Naturally, they didn’t say how they arrived at these numbers, that their new ballpark district would bring in “X” millions in “net new regional economic input” along with “Y” number of new jobs generated from “increased hotel stays and associated spending.” You are simply supposed to trust them.

I don’t trust them.

I will not quote the numbers the Royals provided because the organization will not say how they arrived at these figures. The “increased hotel stays” phrase actually made me laugh out loud. If you want to see the fantasy economic impact with no basis in reality, check some local media twitter accounts that dutifully pushed the team agenda.

That’s it? No other takes? Oh, here’s The Architects Newspaper:

When Populous (née Sports Facilities Group and HOK Sport Venue Event) was founded in 1983, the firm had eight architects all based in Kansas City, Missouri. The studio has since grown with offices worldwide and stadium projects on just about every continent for athletic...

Ok nevermind.

Jacob Milham at Kings of Kauffman says the Royals will face a test in fixing Dylan Coleman.

Minor league outfielder Brewer Hicklen is headed to Philadelphia.

Remembering The Sandlot, 30 years later ($). Nobody tell OMD.

Miami’s success in one-run games does not appear sustainable. No surprises there.

Going all-in at the deadline may have been a grave error for the Los Angeles Anaheim Angels of Anaheim California.

No love lost between Alex Cora and Justin Verlander:

After firing Rick Hahn and Kenny Williams, Jerry Reinsdorf and the White Sox have their work cut out for them.

Paul Skenes and Dylan Crews, stars of the National Championship 2023 LSU Tigers, are both headed to Double-A.

Pittsburgh shortstop Oneil Cruz might not return this year.

Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson tied a WNBA record with a 53-point game.

Chiefs DT Chris Jones is willing to hold out for almost the first half of the season.

Gambling is becoming an on-course distraction for PGA Tour players.

College football starts this weekend.

India has become the fourth nation to land on the moon with the successful touchdown of Chandrayaan-3.

Check out this confrontation between a grizzly bear and black bear at Yellowstone.

Your song of the day is Becoming one of “The People” Becoming one with Neytiri by James Horner.