The Royals need a translator to communicate with outfielder Nori Aoki, who was acquired from Milwaukee in the offseason and who is the teams first Japanese-born position player and just their fourth overall from Japan, but it looks like a snug and happy fit so far.
In the first seven full seasons of general manager Dayton Moore’s tenure, 19 men have started games at second base for the Royals. Only two did it for more than 100 games in a season in that span. But former Detroit Tiger Omar Infante should shore up that position, as long as he stays healthy.
Left-hander Danny Duffy, who is vying for the final spot in the Royals' starting rotation, has battled back from adversity time and again. Thats worth remembering after an unsettling performance Tuesday against the Cincinnati Reds. Yes, its only spring training, but every impression counts for Duffy, 25.
After being nurtured on a diet of low-stress situations, one-time struggling starting pitcher Luke Hochevar came to thrive as a setup man in the Royals best season in 25 years. This was an identity-changing transformation, really. Hochevar found a nice niche and rehabilitated his career. But its at a different sort of crossroads now as the Royals consider him a contender to rejoin the rotation.
With its 68-45 victory Saturday over Missouri State, Wichita State became the first college basketball team in a decade to finish the regular season unblemished. It was special in its own right, regardless of what it all may or may not say about the Shockers chances of a second straight Final Four or becoming the first team since Indiana in 1976 to win the title without so much as a smudge.
By now, teams have formed their identity and personality, and this Missouri basketball teams is what, exactly? Guards Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson are about as good as anyone in the SEC. But there is no evident, or effective, leadership on the floor. There is no apparent chemistry. Its frustrating to watch, because the Tigers look as frustrated as they play.
KU uncorked a 43-10 rampage to end the first half on the way to an 85-54 victory over Texas on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse. There were so many things you could point to in that span, but nothing reverberated like Andrew Wiggins, who turns 19 today and steadily has been coming of age and beginning to fulfill his immense promise.
To Howard Bragman, the word distraction is right up there with Richard Sherman and the word thug. Its just code for low-level homophobia, frankly, and its a way for people to express their discomfort.
With quiet resolve, approximately 2,000 people on Saturday lined Stadium Boulevard in Columbia to form a peaceful human wall to trump a hate group masquerading as a religious entity and support Michael Sam, the former Missouri Tiger who last week announced he was gay and soon could become the first openly gay player in NFL history.
Jewell coach’s life hasn’t been defined by what happens on the basketball court.
The Shockers are ranked second in the coaches poll and fourth by The Associated Press. They meet the eye test, and they stand up to cold analysis at fourth in the most recent NCAA RPI. And now theyre five games away from being the first major-college team in a decade to enter the postseason unscathed. Yet for all that, through no fault of its own, Wichita State is in a strange perception vacuum right now even amid a world of instant and constant analysis.
Missouri defensive end Michael Sams announcing publicly he is gay was a harder-earned victory than anyone wants to focus on right now, and thats understandable, but it neglects a more meaningful truth: Having a player come out to teammates for the first known time in major-college football history wasnt simple for anyone, and the struggle only validated the success.
Aside from the fifth rotation spot, the Royals lineup heading into the start of spring training Friday is all but set. And while general manager Dayton Moore rattled off five names he suggested are contending for the fifth starting spot, but it sure seemed like there was a certain extra resonance in his assessment of one: Yordano Ventura.
Its well-known that U.S. figure skating champion Gracie Gold was born in Newton, Mass., and thus its widely assumed she started the sport on some convenient neighborhood pond. But the truth is Gracie learned to skate while growing up in Missouri. As a girl, Gracie was star-struck watching skaters spin at a rink in Springfield. And she told me thats what she wanted to do, said her mother, Denise.
Brown and Clarksons influence on a game in which MUs forwards were faint factors represents, in fact, a double-edged reflection on a confounding team: They are special. But they can only carry Mizzou so far. After a rare Southeastern Conference road victory Tuesday at Arkansas, the Tigers fell 84-79 to the 11th-ranked Wildcats after a rally from a 16-point deficit fizzled.
In his first public statement on the piercing, tangled case of former University of Missouri swimmer Sasha Menu Courey, MU athletic director Mike Alden late Thursday night offered conciliatory and sensitive remarks on the matter. This represented a stark change of tone from what had been a defensive posture by his department.
For all the trauma theyve absorbed and haunting questions unanswered about the suicide of their daughter, former Missouri swimmer Sasha Menu Courey, her parents quest now is simple: To ensure that the disturbing, complicated circumstances that preceded her death, as outlined Sunday on ESPNs Outside The Lines, dont mean she died in vain.
The Royals have outlived the narrative that theyre a young team with potential to someday compete. That time is now for the club, and no one knows that better than general manager Dayton Moore.
Whether the notion was to provoke or merely suffocate Kansas freshman Joel Embiid, it took only seconds Monday night at Allen Fieldhouse for Baylor to reveal its priority: Swarm, stifle, pester and otherwise harass Embiid. He was fouled hard three times in the first 2:02, but Embiid responded without a squawk. The tactic failed, and the Jayhawks beat the Bears 78-68.
Who says Kansas City doesnt have a Winter Olympian? Meet Henrik Ødegaard, who plays minor-league hockey for the Missouri Mavericks and will represent his native Norway in next months Sochi Games.
The only thing imperative for Gregg Marshall and his fifth-ranked and undefeated Wichita State Shockers is and has been the next game. That tunnel vision helps explain their encore from the 2013 Final Four: becoming one of the three remaining undefeated teams in major-college basketball with what appears to be a reasonable chance to run the regular-season table.
As easy as it might be to dismiss what happened Saturday as just another birthright thumping of the Wildcats, it was more than that against a team that remains intriguing itself even if cant solve KU. For the Jayhawks, this was a meaningful strand in the DNA of a still-forming force just six days after they had fallen for the fourth time in their first 13 games, including in Allen Fieldhouse, no less, against San Diego State.
At times during the early days of what he now calls his three-year “coaching sabbatical” in Florida, former Kansas football coach Mark Mangino felt more like he had been exiled. But his recent hiring as offensive coordinator at Iowa State was a substantial step toward having a chance to redeem his reputation and revive his career.
Yes, Alex Smith had a few plays he’ll have to rethink, particularly his overthrow to a wide-open Cyrus Gray for what would have been a pivotal touchdown. But the Chiefs’ playoff loss to the Colts ultimately was on a defense that through the first nine games of the season generally made mayhem. That asset eventually became a liability that saved its worst for last as the Chiefs gave up a season-high 45 points when it mattered most.
MU entered the Cotton Bowl toting an 11-2 record and a SEC East title. But the Tigers also were lugging the 59-42 SEC title game loss to Auburn and the preposterous 545 rushing yards they allowed in a game that would have propelled them into the national-title game. So beating Oklahoma State on Friday to match a school-record 12 victories wasn’t just a luxury if Mizzou wanted this season to be remembered.