Remember last month when I (regrettably) linked that fan version of the Lorde song “Royals,” only with lyrics talking about how awesome being a St. Louis Cardinals fan was? Man, that was the worst thing ever.
But not only was it awful, it wasn’t even the most valid baseball connection to that song from the state of Missouri! From Lisa Gutierrez of the Kansas City Star, who did some archive diving to find out what really did inspire the biggest hit of the year:
When the teen singer-songwriter sat down with VH1 a few weeks back to explain the song that mocks the luxe lifestyle of famous musicians, she revealed her inspiration: A photo of a Kansas City Royals baseball player . . . In that interview, Lorde explained how she “had this image from the National Geographic of this dude just signing baseballs. He was a baseball player and his shirt said, ‘Royals.’
“It was just that word. It’s really cool.”
UPDATE! Reader @LBtross has found what appears to be the pic. It’s from National Geographic and, sadly, it’s not Billy Butler. It’s George Brett, surrounded by kids, signing autographs.
That’s OK, Country Breakfast. You will always be my queen bee:
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.