Didnt realize this until reading Blairs post at Ball Star: this was the 10th most wins for any team in Royals history, and the most for any team without George Brett or Frank White on it.
By SAM MELLINGER
The Kansas City Star
And to hear some of you tell it, theyd have won like 117 without Ned Yost. This is nonsense of course. Click here if you want a more reasoned look.
You also mightve heard that the Chiefs won again, still undefeated, and a lot of this week has been and will be about people trying to figure out how good they really are. For whatever its worth, the Chiefs are
- 10th in points scored, 16th in yards gained; second in points allowed, ninth in yards given up.
- eighth in Pro Football References Simple Rating System.
- 11th in Football Outsiders DAVE calculations.
- 21st in offense, first in defense, and second in special teams according to Pro Football Focus numbers^.
- 4th in Peter Kings rankings.
- Presumably No. 32 in the hearts of these gentlemen.
^ For what its worth, these are the numbers that most seem to match what I see on the field.
This weeks eating recommendation are the tacos at Bichelmeyer Meats (only on Saturdays), and the reading recommendation is this piece on whether emotional intelligence can be taught. I know, its not sports. Sue me.
Lets get to it. As always, thanks for your help and for reading.
@mellinger When does the parade planning committee meet?— Bradley Hope (@Brad_Hope) September 30, 2013
Im waiting to hear back, but their general policy is to hold off until the team beats someone good.
Considering that its on the road, and the Titans are 3-1 their best win is at home against the Chargers; their loss was at the Texans in overtime this is a much tougher game than any of us expected before the season. Jake Locker was really playing well (62.2 percent passing, six touchdowns, no interceptions) so his hip injury changes them, and I know Fitzpatrick has carved the Chiefs the last two years, but, cmon. This is a break for the Chiefs.
So the parade committee is going to watch this weekends game carefully, with the idea of a conference call after the Texans game in three weeks and a possible weekend retreat after the game in Denver on Nov. 17.
But, seriously. Nobodys looking that far ahead
After the last few years, Id have figured you guys would want to savor every bit of this 4-0, and would be petitioning to play the Jaguars every week just because.
But, if you believe in these things at all: the Chiefs beat the Giants by 24 (at home) and the Broncos beat the Giants by 18 (on the road); the Chiefs beat the Eagles by 10 (on the road) and the Broncos beat the Eagles by 32 (at home).
And keep in mind, the Broncos are doing this without Champ Bailey and Von Miller.
I dont know if thats true, but I think this is: as fans we spend so much time watching an analyzing our team that its easy to forget sometimes that the other team is flawed, too.
I wont use his name here, because its always been in casual conversation, but theres someone I respect whos been around the NFL for years and he often says, "Never underestimate how (crappy) the other team is."
The Chiefs have flaws. The offensive line isnt getting as much of a push for the running game. Dwayne Bowe hasnt had a great game yet. The offense hasnt put together a lot of long touchdown drives. Their opponents are a combined 3-13.
But you know what?
Theyre 4-0 because the defense has been terrific, the special teams mostly good^, and the offense hasnt needed to do a whole lot besides protect a lead.
^ Punt blocking needs to be cleaned up.
No doubt about it.
@mellinger I'm being completely sarcastic, by the way.— Kyle Brynsvold (@kbrynsvold) September 30, 2013
Yeah, I know. But Im not as sure as this next guy
like I say, a fair number of Kansas City sports fans expect a monster around every corner because, for a generation, theres been a monster around every corner, like, well
@mellinger does wil myers throw the game winning touchdown to tony gonzalez in the super bowl to beat the chiefs?— Ben snider (@BentheDoctor) September 30, 2013
But to answer the earlier question, that would shock me. Not surprise me; shock me.
That Cardinals team last year was smoke and mirrors, like the 2003 Royals. It was just a matter of time.
@mellinger: It sounds backhanded, but isn't the most refreshing thing about the Chiefs their competence? No baffling screw-ups or idiocy?— Andrew Bare (@HalfwayToHobo) September 30, 2013
Yeah. Pretty much. And I guess this is part of what I was talking about a few questions ago, in remembering that the other team has flaws, too. A lot of success in the NFL is about avoiding those bouts of incompetency. Dont blow timeouts. Dont make stupid turnovers. Dont down the punt after running out of bounds. Dont hold unless its necessary. Dont forget which route to run. Dont fumble.
I make fun of the line, because he said it all the time, but this is why a loss always meant Todd Haley would start his press conference off by saying, "we did too many of the things that get you beat."
You dont always have to be great to win a game. Sometimes you just have to not be crappy.
Its the old philosophy Marty Schottenheimer always had against the Raiders, but it works against other teams, too.
@mellinger Ron Parker strip sack, Beardy catching TD's, Cooper Island. Waiver wire improvements. Well done, Dorsey.— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) September 30, 2013
Everythings working. Honestly, the Chiefs probably arent as good as theyve shown. I mean, chances are theyre not going 19-0. But your point here is valid. Theyre doing a good job with hidden yards during games, and the personnel has been upgraded to get that extra two percent.
Brings up a really good question, when you think about it
@mellinger How many games would the 2012 Chiefs have won if you did nothing but swapped coaching staffs with 2013 Chiefs? Swapped QBs?— Grant In KC (@RoyalsOptimist1) September 30, 2013
and all I can do is guess.
Coaching staffs: 6-10.
@mellinger Chiefs have had better offense in the past. Have had better defense in the past. But this seems to be the best TEAM I've seen.— The Goose (@GooseKC) September 30, 2013
Slow your roll. I guess I dont know how far back "Ive seen" goes (though your picture there is obviously awesome), and Im not trying to squash anybodys optimism.
But cant we wait until they beat a legitimate playoff-type team to crown em?
Or do I need to break out this video clip?
Glad its spreading. The rules are simple, if vague: 1. if your guy does something awesome, in a way that decides or seriously changes a game, you are free to give him an F, or, 2. if your guy just does something you can use as an explanation of why you love sports. Like, for instance, Bo Jackson running on the outfield wall in Baltimore had nothing to do with the games outcome, but cmon:
I cant think of anything Succop did on Sunday unless it was the long field goal that came off the board because the Giants committed a first-down penalty.
And even that wouldve been a stretch.
Theres a fan group theyre on Twitter and Facebook that got the Guinness folks to come out to the Raiders game in a few weeks with the idea of breaking the record recently set by Seattle as the worlds loudest stadium. Officially, the record is called " loudest crowd roar at a stadium."
There are separate records for indoor and outdoor and, interestingly, the outdoor record (136.6 decibels for the Seahawks-49ers Monday night game a few weeks ago) is louder than the indoor record (106.6 decibels for, believe or not, a Bucks-Clippers game, which just means this is a phony record that should either be beaten soon or vacated).
I mean, seriously. How has some enterprising fan group with KU or, really, the Missouri Mavericks not made a run at that indoor record.
They mustve given all 100 fans who showed up air horns.
@mellinger Shall we make a trade for Tony G. from the Falcons?! And Chiefs. Enough said.— Jordan Atchison (@J_MA23) September 30, 2013
I have nothing to add here. Hard to imagine it happening, for salary cap reasons if nothing else. But I got enough Tony Gonzalez questions that I figured I should include one.
I put the over-under at 3 ½ before the season, which would require beating Vandy this weekend, Tennessee and Kentucky next month, and then one of the five (currently) ranked teams the Tigers face.
Right now, they won all their non-conference games, including one on the road against a possible bowl team in Indiana, so lets give them benefit of the doubt.
But I am particularly interested to see them in person this weekend at Vandy.
@mellinger rumor is you are organizing some type of gathering in Tennessee. Any truth to this?— Zach Crutchfield (@ZCRUTCH) October 1, 2013
@mellinger NHL season opens tomorrow. When will AEG make good on their promise?— Scott Patterson (@laxrefkc) September 30, 2013
AEG is working diligently on this^.
^ "Working diligently on this" is code for "counting its money and trading stories about how they duped Kansas City into making them more money."
@mellinger now that the playoffs are set, who is your World Series favorite? What are the Indians' chances?— Brian McCandless (@ksubmac) September 30, 2013
I feel like people arent talking about them as much, but I really like the Red Sox. The Tigers will be tough to beat, with all that pitching, but theyll need more than theyve gotten from Cabrera the last month and its impossible to trust that bullpen. Also: remember when people were basically giving the Dodgers the World Series?
And I dont like the Indians much. Theyre very hot, obviously, but I just dont think they have enough.
@mellinger So you're stuck in a crummy bar where they only serve Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Highlife, or Pabst. Whats your choice?— Kyle (@Eichelburgler) October 1, 2013
High Life. And that bar sounds just fine to me.
@mellinger would you trade Alex Smith for Jim Harbaugh straight up right now?— David Embers (@davidembers) September 30, 2013
Thats a really good question. I would not, and I hope this makes sense:
I believe that Jim Harbaugh is a better coach than Alex Smith is a quarterback, but I also believe that Andy Reid is a MUCH better coach than the Chiefs alternative is at quarterback.
I also recognize that Ive been higher on Smith than most, from the beginning. I just love his decision-making, and the way his teammates respond to him. If its possible for a former No. 1 overall pick to be underrated, I think hes underrated.
@mellinger Walmart goes bankrupt and we have to empty our team. You can keep either Dayton, Ned, Billy, or Slugerrrrr? Who do you keep?— David K (@DavidK100490) September 30, 2013
I have a feeling this question is a slam at all four, but I think Dayton has done a good job, Billys one of the games better hitters, and Ned has some important strengths as a manager. I also admire Sluggerrrs, um, carpe diem spirit.
But, to answer the question, Ill take Billy. Ill always take the player.
Hey @mellinger if Ron Washington is fired would you consider him a big enough upgrade to replace Ned?— The Great Bassby (@MeatMaster_Bass) October 1, 2013
Classic example of why local manager criticism often misses the point: there are people in Texas who would laugh at this and, I presume, people in Seattle whod love for Ned to be their manager.
@mellinger How long before Andy Reid breaks out the moonwalk like Jim Leyland?— Eric Luft (@edluft) September 30, 2013
Well, this is fantastic, 50-second mark:
Leylands the best.
And, as a reminder: there are a lot of Tigers fans who cant stand him. This is part of why I dont take fan criticism of Yost as seriously as others. Besides their duties to their teams, managers, basically, exist to be ridiculed by fans.
Thanks for the confidence, I wont let you down.
1. Get Mike Moustakas fixed. Its just too much of a setback if a guy that important has another bad year. Alcides Escobar, too, while were at it.
2. Explore options for right field. The home run swing is to trade for Giancarlo Stanton, though the price is going to be steep.
3. Find a replacement for Ervin Santana, because Im pretty sure someones going to pay more than hes worth.
This is weird, because most years by this time, people are asking "WHY DO I ROOT FOR THIS TEAM WHY WHY WHY!?!?!?!?!?"
But Id recommend playoff baseball for the next month, and then chicken wings.
@mellinger Will Mike Moustakas be the starter at 3rd next year?— Kit M. (@KitMannRocks) September 30, 2013
Yes. And even as the list of players whove been around Moustakas 85 OPS+ through three seasons isnt great^, the Royals are doing the right thing by sticking with him.
^ There are a lot of scrubs on the list , but it includes Jose Reyes, Miguel Tejada, and Johnny Damon among Kevin Orie, Warren Morries, Geoff Blum, Jermaine Allensworth, Scott Spiezio and Mike Lansing.
Moose is still young enough, talented enough, and cheap enough to maintain patience. He hit 20 home runs last year, as a 23-year-old, and even with a .296 OBP taking the shine off theres too much talent to walk away.
One part of Mooses struggles that people dont talk much about of all the position players, he probably has the personality best-suited to be that "clubhouse leader" baseball people always want. Hes intense, loves the game, loves his teammates, wants to win, all the right things.
But you cant lead with a .651 OPS.
September 30, 2013
Welp, Kansas City.