Don't Kill The Mellinger

Twitter Tuesday: Chiefs' hope, Royals' surge, parades and meltdowns

Updated: 2013-08-28T20:28:12Z

By SAM MELLINGER

The Kansas City Star

Last year, the Orioles and Rangers won the American League wild card spots with 93 wins each. Right now, as I type this through the haze of unbelievability^ that is the Royals since the All-Star break, the Rays hold the second wild card with a win percentage that calculates to 92 wins.

The Royals, winners of all but three of their last 20 games, would need to finish 30-16 to win 92 and 31-15 to win 93.

The last time the Royals won 30 of 46 games was 1993^.

^ Originally, I had it as 1977. So a 16-year mistake. Still, ‘93 was a long time ago. Michael Jordan hadn’t yet retired, even the first time.

Somehow, though, that doesn’t seem impossible. The last three weeks, this Royals team has done everything but put Jarrod Dyson in a commercial, sliding across home plate with an American Express card.

This week’s eating recommendation is the kitchen sink at Succotash. The reading recommendation is Charles Pierce on Tiger Woods (again), because there’s no chance it wasn’t going to be awesome.

Very busy week, including the completely bizarre feeling of heading to Detroit for the Royals games Thursday and Friday instead of the Chiefs game here (Teicher, Covitz and Vahe will have you covered). As always, thanks for your help and for reading.

So, well, yeah. There’s a lot of this going on. I think I mentioned this on Twitter, but I was cleaning out my voicemails the other day and there were three straight legitimate meltdowns after the 7-0 loss to the Twins last week. I mean, you should’ve heard these things. Shields is a bum, the Royals have no heart, they pee down their leg, on and on these things go. That was one of three losses – THREE! – in the last 20 games.

Which leaves 17 games for …

… see? This is fun.

This Royals team is the first non-sucky one since 2003, but the difference is that this team is legitimately good. Especially if a few hitters can get hot at the same time. That team in 2003 was smoke and mirrors and Jose Lima signed sight unseen from an independent league.

Sounds reasonable.

A blowout. Chiefs got a 22.7 rating and 39 share; Royals got an 8.9 and 15. More than twice the audience.

Guys, the NFL wins. Always. There’s more interest in the Royals right now than at any point in the last decade, and in some ways maybe there’s more interest in the Royals than the Chiefs.

But when it comes to TV numbers, it’s always a mismatch when anything goes against the NFL.

There’s a stat, and I might be off by a bit here but the bigger point is true: if you just took the 30-some minutes where the lights went out and the Super Bowl was delayed, it was the year’s most-watched show other than the Super Bowl.

Yes. Like I wrote in the column the other day, if he’s not then something went terribly wrong. Of course, Bray seemed, at times, willing to test that theory against New Orleans.

But the Chiefs really want Bray to win the job. Part of that is his talent, and what I wrote about in the column – the Chiefs think they have the right environment for him. Also, part of that is Ricky Stanzi.

Sure seems like the Saints’ gameplan was to throw the ball to whoever Brown was covering, unless the guy Vince Agnew was covering was more open. It’s just one preseason game, so whatever, and the Saints are the Saints but I do think there’s going to be a lot of that as long as both those guys are on the field.

Actually, who am I kidding? I think there’s going to be a lot of that as long as either guy is on the field.

I hate the "talk about" question with a fiery and self-righteous passion.

What I hate more is when I’m listening to my tape and hear myself ask it.

/hangs head in shame, cusses at self./

Let’s have Bob himself answer this one:

“I think Angelina Jolie should play me in the movie. Can change the character into a woman. No problem there. (Or have her play the general manager. Either one for the same reason.) I mean, if I’m sitting in the audience, that’s who I want to look at.”

Hard to argue.

Honest to goodness, it’s a really good clubhouse. Wasn’t always like this, particularly during Jose Guillen’s reign, but it’s a group that legitimately gets along, stays positive, and for the most part doesn’t carry around a big league ego.

There are four that come immediately to mind: Sal Perez, Lorenzo Cain, Billy Butler and James Shields.

If you’re going to give me just one, I’ll take Billy. He thinks about the game in a way I think many fans miss, and he’s good at walking you through his thoughts.

Whoa. I assume you love this woman, so I’d urge you not to do or say anything rash. Just explain to her what she did. Give her a sip, so she knows. Turn this into a positive.

Also, how was the marinade?

Something to keep an eye on, for sure. I like Smith, a lot, and think he’ll be really good here as long as he’s healthy. But, yeah. He didn’t throw to a wide receiver in New Orleans, and his tendency in training camp has been for short passes.

This is a combination of design and playing to Smith’s strengths (quick decisions, accuracy), trying to get playmakers like Charles (if he’s healthy) and McCluster space to operate, and the fact that the Chiefs have as many as three good tight ends and as few as one good receiver.

I’m expecting Smith to go downfield more as the preseason moves on, and into the regular season. If nothing else, you have to in order for the shorter passes (and Charles in the running game) to be effective.

And Smith can do this. He doesn’t have Tom Brady’s arm, but he also doesn’t have Chad Pennington’s.

This is such a weird time here in Kansas City. July and August have been mostly cool, and the Royals’ relevancy is stretching into football season.

If someone catches Alex Gordon eating a brownie, I’m stocking up on canned goods.

It’s weird enough already, that I’m going to be in Detroit watching the Royals Friday night instead of at Arrowhead watching the Chiefs. Maybe I need those canned goods already.

Noted.

I had a joke for this, but…

…I can’t improve on that. Nicely done.

I say true story, but I might also be "Get off my lawn" guy. When I run, it tends to be with the Biggie Pandora station or a bunch of songs from Spotify that came out in the 1990s. There are some exceptions, of course, particularly "Red Nation," but I have no idea if I’d like that song if it wasn’t what the Seal Team Six guy was listening to on his way to kill Bin Laden.

Because you root for a Kansas City team.

Again: Kansas City fans expect a monster around every corner because, for a generation, there’s been a monster around every corner.

I mean, we could …

… do this all day.

The answer here is Smith being Cassel, by the way. Sporting has other good players, the Royals have other good pitchers.

One of my favorite lines from Dutton: if you see me running, you better run, too. Because it means somebody’s coming. With a gun.

I think I mentioned this on here before, but ever since I started fantasy football in high school, my team was named after the now-defunct Sam’s Town casino. Then a few years ago, I had a loaded team and totally screwed it up and changed the name to Badly Coached Chokers. I have vowed not to change it back until we win a ring.

Also: one of the guys in my league named his team "Don’t Kill The (expletive)."

Well, they have lost seven of their last 11. You know, not that anyone’s scoreboard watching^.

^ Did you notice the quote from Butler in Dutton’s game story from last night ? "You can’t help but watch Detroit is doing. I noticed Cleveland lost tonight. We jumped in front of them, and it’s a great feeling."

I mean, honestly, I just sort of pick one and pretend I know what I’m doing.

Those are the exact lines I would’ve set for each team, so keep that in mind, but I’d go under on KU and over on the others.

Totally agree with your thought about his importance. Particularly among the Latin guys, he’s the most respected man in the clubhouse, someone the others really look up to. And I said this last week, but Lorenzo Cain would’ve had my vote as the team MVP before he went down.

That’s why I see these last two wins, in particular, as so encouraging.

/pretends he didn’t hear the question/

/checks phone awkwardly, walks away in silence/

Bill Self is the easiest, and it’s not close. Hardest … nobody’s REALLY hard. Or, at least, nobody’s so hard that if it’s a bad interview I don’t blame it on my own stupid questions. Bill Snyder can be difficult, but he can also be incredible – depending on his mood, I suppose, but also the topic and questions.

I always thought Haley was putting up a front when the cameras were on, because if you got him one-on-one he was terrific.

The hardest interview in the last few years was Scott Pioli. I was always frustrated, because I think he’s a smart guy with a lot to offer (he could be terrific on TV, depending on what direction he goes) but couldn’t get out of his own way in conversation.

Both, actually. They had to do SOMEthing to fill a hole at second base that amplifies the (note: hindsight alert) mistake they made drafting Christian Colon instead of Chris Sale three years ago.

I don’t know what the Angels are going to do with Howie Kendrick, who’s owed about $19 for the next two seasons and has a limited no-trade clause that included the Royals for this season but may not in the future (his list shrinks as the years go by).

But do Kelly Johnson or Ryan Raburn do anything for you?

Different metrics. Here’s an explanation of Defensive Runs Saved, and here’s one for Defensive Efficiency. DRS is considered by many the better metric, in part because it combines film and computer studies.

You shut your mouth.

I don’t know, but I’m showing up at the game tonight with a compliment just to be safe.

I have no idea what this means, and, just a guess, I’m happy about that.

Us floppy-hairs need to stick together, be united. Divided we are weak, but together we are strong and, besides, how can I not be happy for a guy with a ridiculous haircut who’s doing what he loves and, let’s be honest, WAY overachieved where it counts.

This blog is a forgiving place, my man.

Just don’t let it happen again.

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