Short work-week and Im trying to catch up on some long-term projects I think youll like what weve got coming so this may be the only time you hear from me this week.
By SAM MELLINGER
The Kansas City Star
If youre over your hangover from the Jeff Francoeur-got-DFAd party, I hope you read Sundays column on Aaron Hernandez, if you havent. Theres an important element to this that not enough people are talking about.
Anyway, you guys covered most everything we need to get to this week in the questions so lets cut with the throat-clearing. This weeks reading recommendation is my friend Jeff Passan on Yasiel Puigs time aboard a U.S. Coast Guard ship. The eating recommendation is the chocolate flake fromage at Murrarys.
As always, thanks for your help and for reading.
I used to be able to answer these types of questions with some smart-aleck remark about it being a free blog for all. But then they put up this paywall, and, well, I need to find a new joke.
@ kent_swanson O/U was set at 14.5 for # TT tweets saying something along the lines of "The Royals are 1-0 since Jeff Francoeur was released."
This was, to nobodys surprise, the biggest topic this week. Francoeur's DFA and (almost certainly) pending release fired off celebrations in many corners of the Royals fan base. This was a long time coming, especially after they went to five outfielders. Francoeur became dead weight, David Lough is playing terrifically^, and the Royals are desperate for someone who can both play second base and hit big league pitching.
^ Fun fact: David Lough had as many hits, more doubles, the same number of home runs, AND more RBIs on Sunday than Francoeur had in the entire month of June. Also: Lough made 23 fewer outs.
Im not making any predictions. I want to make that clear. But I will say this: if IF the Royals take off and make a run toward the top of the division, were going to look at the last few weeks as the catalyst.
My guess is Frenchy is in the midst of a glorious 10-day stretch of sleeping in, eating bacon, sitting on his couch in boxers watching Judge Judy, and playing golf.
I dont know you. But my guess is no.
@ froggiemlm now that Getz and frenchy are gone what do we complain about now?
I promise you
@ Gromacki16 With Francouer and Getz gone now, who are Royals fans supposed to hate?
Im only including a fraction of these types of questions, but as long as were here
have I been unknowingly quoting Pit Bull and you guys havent told me until now? Not cool, you guys. I thought we were all friends.
But to answer those previous questions: Wade Davis. You will now transfer your hate to Wade Davis.
@ JHirst941 Ideas to replace Frenchy Quarter: The Country Breakfast Club, The LorenZone, The EscoBar, Friends in Lough Places
I really like Friends in Lough Places. Or, at least, I did until I saw this:
@ KALCanDoIt since the French Quarters has been shut down, I suggest a replacement name...how about "The Lough Rents"
Kals the big winner this week.
You know, we talk a lot about how the baseball season is such a grind, day after day after road trip after hotel room of grind. Early work, then the cage, then stretch, then BP, then taking ground balls, then studying video, then a game, then weights and then the whole thing again the next day. It really can be a brutal grind.
But its also a wild roller coaster. Already this season, the Royals have been a national curiosity in first place, then left for dead after that 4-19, and now a rejuvenation that leaves them somewhere in the middle, nobody quite sure what weve got here.
Theyre 4 ½ back of the first-place Indians, with whom they begin a three-game series tonight. This is the start of what looks like an especially important stretch: 20 straight against teams that are above .500, including nine against the two teams ahead of them in the division.
^ The Smokeshow and I are headed out, say Hi.
Theres been a lot of talk about whether the Royals are a buyer or a seller this year, and, well, I think well have our answer in 20 games. So much of it depends on
@ troyboy6_11 is this the Eric hosmer we should expect for the rest of the year?
and that depends on what you mean, exactly. Since June 1, Hosmer has been a star: .303 with a .347 on-base and .541 slugging percentage, six doubles, a triple, six homers and 17 RBIs in 27 games. If youre into such things, his batting average on balls in play suggests this isnt a stretch of particularly good luck.
But to expect that the rest of the season? I dont know, maybe. I think the more relevant question is here:
And in this context, Im probably more optimistic than I should be based on his career numbers. Its just that Hosmer has always had loads of talent you dont need to be a scout to see that. And if youve watched him over the last month, you can see a change: hes getting the barrel ahead, his arms extended, driving the ball much more to right field.
So I definitely dont think its a mirage. Wouldnt be the first or last time Im wrong, of course, but Im cautiously optimistic here.
Which, of course, brings up another point:
@ ojohnson1 When can we just crown George Brett as king of KC? I'm asking for a friend.
1985, my man. 1985.
My pleasure. And I have to pause for some self-congratulatory blasphemy: this weekend, with the help of My Favorite Reader Evan, I smoked some pulled pork that Id put right up there with Oklahoma Joes.
But to answer your question: 9-3. They should win all three of their non-conference games, and the Big 12 to me, anyway is wide open. I know Texas is getting a lot of hype, but its just impossible for me to not think of that as Texas Hype. Their quarterback is still David Ash, right?
I dont know. K-State, more even than most schools, is quarterback-centric. If Bill Snyder has a quarterback he trusts, this could be a 10-2 or 11-1 type of situation. If not, it could be 6-6.
But like with most things, I trust Bill.
And speaking of over-unders
@ Fritolayman Chiefs training camp is around the corner! Over or under 10 wins for the season?
Let me pause for a second to say it feels weird that training camp will start this month. Seems like last week that we were screaming about Pioli and Romeo. Anyway under. And decidedly so.
The Vegas over-under at least the last one I saw is seven. Thats a fair number, I think. I tend to think of this as a seven- or eight-win team. Theyd need a lot of things to go right to get above that.
They had WAY too much talent to go 2-14 last year. I think we all agree on that. But I think when some people harp on that point, it gets exaggerated, like this was somehow a 12-win team that just got sabotaged by the GMs amazing insecurity and the head coachs incompetence. Theyve replaced an awful head coach and quarterback with competence, and thats a big part of the fix here. But lets not get carried away. Theres a lot of distance between 2-14 and the playoffs.
@ lostblend isn't it time to give Sixth Glass some Twitter Tuesday love?
I gotta tell you: I dont love it. Its fine, dont get me wrong. But theres too much great beer out there to drink a specialty beer that isnt AWESOME. You know whats great, and a similar style to the Sixth Glass?
St. Bernardus Abt 12. Had it for the first time in the Phoenix airport, of all places, and its amazing.
I love all my children.
@ TheGuilfoiLucas if your aunt had balls would she be your uncle? AND best place Sam likes to eat on plaza?
Depends on the type of balls, I guess, and: Gram and Dun, Classic Cup, Blanc, Coal Vines say hi to Zach if you go in! and Granfalloon (pulled pork nachos mmm).
I must pause a minute to acknowledge the existence of Potbelly. I love Potbelly. Have for years. When the prices and times are the same, Ive actually chosen layovers in Chicago so I can have the Wreck. But Im conflicted about Potbelly moving in. I like Planet Sub better. And the one on Main is so close. Im on Team Mega Roast Beef, but this is a battle Ill have to keep fighting.
@ ADrovetta One time I got really baked and thought my phone screen was changing. What's your favorite lake?
I think youre still baked.
Since youre asking about where Reid fits, I assume were taking into account the coaches entire careers not just the parts in Kansas City.
In that case, he has to be behind Hank Stram, Marv Levy and Dick Vermeil. Cant be much debate about that. Stram is a Hall of Famer who won two AFL titles and a Super Bowl. Vermeil won a Super Bowl with the Greatest Show on Turf Rams, and coached in another one with the Eagles. Levy is also a Hall of Famer who coached in four Super Bowls.
And then you have some bad coaches or, at least, coaches with bad records. Romeo Crennel really might be one of the worst 10 head coaches in the modern NFL. Hes a little like Gunther Cunningham in that as a head coach, he made for a good defensive coordinator. Todd Haley won a division title, but cmon. Herm Edwards is, well, animated. Frank Gansz, John Mackovic and Paul Wiggin have now been mentioned more than they need to here.
So, really, were talking about Reid vs. Marty. Reid is 130-93-1 in 14 years, with one NFC title and three runner-up finishes. Marty is 200-126-1 in 26 years with eight division titles but no conference championships. You can make a good case either way here, I suppose, but Im sliding Reid in behind Marty because Im biased toward guys whove done it in different places. Marty won at least two division titles in three of the four cities he coached or, if you prefer: in every city where he wasnt working for Dan Snyder.
Reid can change the arithmetic here in Kansas City, obviously.
@ cdotharrison Can I still get a Twitter Tuesday question in? Are you a fireworks guy?
Eh. Not really. I mean, Im not anti-fireworks. Theres a show down the street from us tomorrow night that we might walk over to, but its just as likely well catch up on Boardwalk Empire. One thing I keep thinking about is how nervous fireworks will make me when I have a kid old enough to light a match
@ KaloPhoenix Zusi helps lead the USMNT to 4 straight wins, signs a new contract with SKC, and is nominated for an ESPY. Birth of a KC legend?
Honest question: is Preki a Kansas City legend?
I dont know the answer to that. Sporting has a much higher profile than the Wizards (or Wiz) ever dreamed, and Zusi may very well accomplish more than Preki did in his career.
I mean, right now Zusi is on his way to stardom. And as he becomes better known well have something here on the blog soon people will see hes an easy guy to root for. This could be the beginning, absolutely, but lets let it play out.
Want. Need. Must have.
@ midwestmidfield remember this: http://www.pitch.com/FastPitch/archives/2012/07/31/sporting-kansas-city-fan-gets-ridiculed-by-columbus-crew-players-on-twitter now 1 yr later: http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2013/06/30/columbus-crew-expected-sporting-kansas-city-kick-ball-out-injured-anor-winni . # karma # twittertuesday
I love all of this, especially the fans reaction to getting heckled back.
@ BobbyCave NBA finals were awesome, Lord Stanley's Cup was great; is it okay to hate AEG now more than ever?
Its always OK to hate AEG. Thats a rule.
@ Heine57 what's going to happen when Duffy gets called up or will they wait till September?
My read is theyre going to be cautious with Duffy. There is some concern about putting him immediately into a big league rotation, that the hypercompetitive young pitcher will overexert himself and create another setback. Theres also the fact that the Royals like the rotation the way it is at the moment theyre committed to Wade Davis, at least through a few more craptastic outings so theres even less rush.
@ jjgelski Seitzer had 6 hits in one game his rookie year. Two were homers -- http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=266&dat=19870803&id=xe0wAAAAIBAJ&sjid=U-AFAAAAIBAJ&pg=992,4065804
I remember this game, actually. I was a kid, and we were in Kansas City for the weekend. If I remember right, we went to the Saturday game and then Sunday went to Worlds of Fun. I remember hearing the sixth hit on the radio in my familys wood-paneled station wagon. Man, its so weird what sticks in the memory.
Yes. Bob is the absolute best.
Oh, he still calls. At least once a week. Hes just getting repetitive and un-funny. I only post the good stuff.
Where are we going?