His place to relax is a beach house in California. He goes there every year after the football season, though the family didnt make it this past year after Reid was fired in Philadelphia and he was taking calls about a new job.
He is talking about the freshness of the air, the soothing sounds of the waves crashing. Football is never far from his mind, though, so he keeps a notebook nearby for when plays come to mind. There is one exception, and its when he takes a paddleboard out into the ocean.
"This is what I really understand when Im on that paddleboard," he says. "I am a sharks and a killer whales buffet. If I fall in, theyd be the happiest things on earth. I try to keep that in perspective. That trumps all my thoughts. So Im not hurrying anywhere."
Just a reminder: most of these guys you see in front of TV cameras with the logo backdrops are a lot funnier than they usually let on.
Anyway, this weeks eating recommendation is the meatball grinder atCupinis. The reading recommendation is Chris Ballard on The Wizard of Kabul
As always, thanks for your help and for reading. Lets get to it:
@ Trevor_Pyle Chiefs training camp and Royals playing meaningful games. Is the air a little sweeter today?
Well, tastes a bit like St. Joe here so yeah?
Whats crazy is just how quickly things can happen. You know? Seriously. Three weeks, a lot of you guys wanted Dayton Moore fired^.I was close
^ Some of you still do. I understand this.
Now, the Royals are winners of 14 of 17 and within legitimate range of a playoff spot. And, so, about that I understand thatBaseball Prospectus gives the Royals
a 4.3 percent chance to make the playoffs but, generally, baseball folk consider teams in contention if theyre within five games this time of year. So, you know. A fan base can hope, right?
About the Chiefs please correct me if Im wrong, but I sense a general "thank GAWD its not last year anymore" sort of sentiment from Chiefs fans. Is that about accurate?
Well get into this more during the week and the fall, especially with the Chiefs first preseason game on Friday, but what are you guys expecting?Im at 7-9
and, two points about that:
1. If you pushed me off that number, Id go down to 6-10 before up to 8-8.
2. I still think of this as optimistic, and think the Chiefs can improve fairly quickly.
We can talk more about what all this means in the coming days and weeks.
@ PowercatRyan With all of the MLB suspensions coming out on Monday, which ones help the Royals chances to make the play-offs the most?
Getting a lot of this, and obviously its Jhonny Peralta and Nelson Cruz. Cruz is probably the bigger loss of the two, simply because the Tigers at least made the trade for Jose Iglesias (sort of the antithesis of Peralta, in that hes a terrific defender and horrendous hitter).
But Ill say this: it wouldve been better for the Royals if Miguel Cabrera or Carlos Santana were suspended.
@ Typical_Chazz Thompson had that great piece on Manziel last week. Who's one athlete you got to see a different side of doing an in-depth? # tt
I think you always learn something. I learned a lot aboutGeorge Brett, about Andy Reid, about Mariano Rivera, about Greg Holland
, about a certain Kansas City athlete for a story that will run later this month and this is all just in the very recent past. But I think its important to remember that there are ALWAYS barriers put up, especially when youre only around people for limited periods of time before you write about them.
Wright a friend and former co-worker is better at breaking down those barriers than anyone I know or have read. His stuff, when he works out the access, gets close to that authenticity that we all strive for.
But were still seeing glimpses, and in most cases, the glimpses that others want us to see. This is the part where I always remember Eugene Robinson. Kids, Google him and "Super Bowl" and "Man of the Year."
@ tompl81 who amongst the @ KCStar staff would most likely be acquainted with biogenesis and be suspended for PED usage? # TT
Id keep an eye on Terez Paylor and Tod Palmer. Both seem to be averaging, roughly, 17 bylines per day. Thats not natural.
@ RealJEllis how has your late summer coverage of this year's # Royals differed from the past?
Well,Im covering them
. Thats different. Last year, its not that I stopped paying attention or watching or making phone calls or whatever, but the interest in the Royals sure seemed to nosedive as soon as the Chiefs arrived in St. Joe.
Now, its sort of split. Which is confusing for a lot of you
@ MIZ_Judy Hey @ mellinger how do you recommend keeping track of the Royals and Chiefs at the same time? This is new to me, please help. # TwitterTuesday
See? This is all new
@ KCSaraK I'm sure you're gonna get this one a lot this week, but can you explain how the Wild Card thing works? 1st time caring.
a bit of a learning experience, you might say. Last night, a man Tweeted me that a problem with the K is that theres no place where the standings are shown. The man added that this is the first time he ever looked.
My advice is simple, and obviously you can take this or leave it or make fun of it: but just enjoy it. Have fun watching games where the outcome matters, where youre not trying to dissect Eric Hosmers swing and figure out what hell be two years from now or whatever.
And I know we have fun talking about parades and champagne and Jeff Francoeur getting a World Series ring^ and as long as we all know its joking I hope we all know that each loss isnt the end of the world.
^ This is a bit of pandering, but did you know the Royals are 20-11 since dumping him?
By the way, about those losses Im not trying to be a wet blanket here, but the Royals last 10 games (and their next two) have been against bad teams playing badly. Now, you cant penalize the Royals. Theyve beaten up on those teams, and good teams beat up bad teams. But a bigger test (and, eventually, the better chance of making up ground) comes against better teams. Boston this weekend, Detroit next weekend.
@ mdwagner2 # TT Need advice. # Chiefs and # Royals both play Friday night. Not sure how to handle this situation.
This ones easy, actually. Watch the Chiefs game until the scrubs come in. Then watch the rest of the Royals game. DVR the Chiefs if youre hardcore.
Also: dont believe any great catch that Jon Baldwin may make.
@ PhilGarver Coming to KC soon for a few games. I need a nice place for a few after game cocktails. Suggestions?
If you want food, the Peanut. Live music, the Phoenix. A beer on a patio, McCoys. Old-school Pop-a-Shot, Kellys or the Quaff. Crash a bachelorette party and possibly see someone puke, the P district.
@ gophergrubes I made fun of GMDM when he said this team can win 15 out of 20 after the all star game. # Regret or # coincidence # TT
You know whats crazy?The Royals would actually have to slow down to win only 15 of 20
. Theyd have to lose of their next three.
@ Paul_Parks Royals win total prediction?
I said 83 before the season, and Im sticking with 83 now. They just seem like a slightly-above-.500 team to me. Great defense, good pitching ... and an offense.
@ Speck60 It's really hard for me to not think about what could have been if the Royals didn't poop themselves in May. # TT
Heres another thought: as good as the Royals have been for 17 games, if you put this stretch together with their lowest point that 4-19 diarrhea in May it comes out to four games under .500.
@ dyoungjr81 so Myers is raking now, but what happens to him next year when pitchers figure him out. Will he be Hos all over again?
I dont know, neither does anyone else, but heres the more relevant question for THIS year
@ morelandj Would KC be in the same position with Myers in RF as they are with Shields every 5th day? No storylines or sugarcoating allowed.
and the answer is no.
David Lough is hitting .300/.316/.442 this season in 62 games. Myers is at .329/.379/.533 in 39 games. Using Baseball-References numbers, Lough is at 2.5 WAR and Myers is at 1.6. Obviously, a chunk of that is in Lough having 23 more games and you assume that Myers would have those extra games (maybe more) if he was still with the Royals.
But, either way, the difference between Myers and Lough this year is smaller than the difference between James Shields and whoever the Royals wouldve given those 23 starts (24 tonight) to.
@ m_dunn what features of current ballparks would you borrow to build your ultimate MLB stadium (i.e. K fountains, Wrigley ivy etc.)? # TT
San Franciscos view, Yankee Stadiums monuments, Kansas Citys fountains, Wrigleys bleachers, and San Diegos San Diego-ness.
@ pappystuckey was looking forward to your writing this season...but can't get behind the $* Star paywall! Will u be posting anywhere esle?
Not unless I get fired.
@ bobwearing What are the chances that this will be Gary Pinkel's last season in Columbia?
Its possible, but not likely. The math changed when Mizzou went to the SEC. First year in a brutal conference, plus a ridiculous string of injuries, and I think you have to give Pinkel the benefit of the doubt after their first bowl-less season since 2004 (!).
But with everything else that Pinkel has been through, well, itd be a good idea to win some more games this year.
@ ClintT13 With Sporting KC nearing 30-straight sellouts, I've often wondered how big of a stadium they could consistently fill. Thoughts?
Ive thought about this, too. I think the Sporting braintrust built that place the perfect size. Theres no question they could fill a bigger place, but maybe not regularly, and I do think theres some value in making your tickets hard to get. The fact that they have a season ticket waiting list is a boilerplate point in the "Sportings really coming up!" talk^.
^ Talk that we need to cool, by the way
So I think that if the goal is to maximize the "brand" and "experience" of Sporting homegames, capacity of just below 20,000 is probably perfect. But if the goal is to sell the most tickets possible, I think they could get to 24,000 or so fairly regularly.
And remember, when they built that place, plans included possible future expansion.
@ hscottmiller Prediction: KC earns the 2nd wild card, but loses the playoff 2-1 when Wil Myers hits a walk-off HR off Shields.
Sorry to repeat myself, but: Kansas City fans expect monsters around every corner because, as far as most can remember, theres been monsters around every corner.
@ Brad_Hope Does 90 wins make the playoffs in the AL?
I think 92 is the number. The Rangers currently hold the second wild card spot, and their .558 win percentage calculates out to about 90 wins. But you have to figure that with so many teams in contention four, including the Royals, are within five games someones going to catch a bit of a hot streak.
Besides, last year it took 92.
@ TbobSmith Is Shark Week overrated? # tt
Answering this question is the extent of my lifetime acknowledgement of Shark Week.
You all realize youre more likely to die from a toaster than a shark, right?
@ EvanFahrbach In the cliched movie "Rally Sauce" about the 2013 WS Champion Royals. Who plays the columnist who wrote off their playoff chances
Brad Pitts the only one with the abs to pull it off.
@ RoyalsFreeOut Follow up question: Who plays crazy Smellinger voicemail guy? # TT
Christopher Walken, I think.
@ BobbyCave When was the last time a Royals broadcast got a bigger rating than a Chiefs game? Will it happen in the next month?
Slow down. Absolutely no chance. Zero. None. Like, zip. Not even close, really.
Football is king, especially with TV ratings.
@ popestr I bought a bottle of Tank 7 in Norway for $50. Totally worth it, right?
Thats a steal.
@ JDec89 # Royals twitter has been talking about all the crazy things they'll do if the # Royals reach the postseason. What will you do?
Ill be working on some carpel tunnel, I think. What I wont do
@ chuckart9 coworker @ DustinLewis30 has to poop his pants at work if playoffs. If not he shaves my head. Bet made before season.
probably just best we leave that one alone.
@ auctioneerMic how much longer before @ DannyDuffy805 gets called up for a spot in the rotation?
Theres a chance it happens tomorrow, actually. I dont think the Royals expect Wade Davis back, so the leading candidates would be Luis Mendoza (who last pitched out of the bullpen on Friday) and Duffy (who is scheduled to start for Omaha).
Id rather see Duffy. Assume most of you would, too.
@ canglem If the # Royals keep this up into September it should provide a great barometer for # SKC on whether soccer is here to stay, right?
No. Maybe I dont understand this question. But, guys,soccer IS here to stay
. Its not going away, no matter how many of you have an irrational hate for it. And its not getting bigger than the NFL, no matter how many of you have an irrational hate for people who dont care about soccer.
Besides, Im not sure the Royals and Sporting are fishing the same waters. Its hard for me to imagine Sporting playing in front of empty seats just because the Royals are in a pennant race. Both teams can survive. Thrive, even. Lets stop with the tests about whether its a legitimate thing.
@ BAP_KC who's the player of the year for the royals? # twittertuesday
This might sound weird, but I think Id vote for Lorenzo Cain right now. He needs to get better offensively, both in getting on base AND hitting for power, but his defense has been so over-the-top spectacular at a premium position that it pushes him up. Hes been the best defensive player for a defense thats propping a pretty good pitching staff up as an outstanding pitching staff. Cain is leading the Royals in WAR, if thats your thing and, besides, nobody is hitting enough to demand it.
And Shields would be my pitcher of the year, narrowly over Santana.
@ burban77 if the # Royals put a peel-a-cardboard cutout in the clubhouse to reward wins down the stretch a la Major League, who would it be?
David Glass, and hear me out: in the movie it was the owner, so it makes sense, but in recognizing the, um, aesthetic difference between Glass andRachel Phelps
, you change the rules. Peel off a piece of clothing for losses, not wins.
@ TravisBarbarick Andy Reid didn't run the ball in Philly with McCoy...Why do people think he will run the ball in KC? # twittertuesday
Reid used McCoy plenty. In the last three years, LeSean McCoys 680 carries are 11th in the NFL. If you factor in pass catches, McCoy got the ball more than all but eight running backs in the NFL over that time Arian Foster, Marshawn Lynch, Adrian Peterson, Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson, Michael Turner, Maurice Jones-Drew and Ray Rice.
Thats pretty good.
@ patronaut0709 # TwitterTuesday I'm a 39 year old man, Sam. How the hell did I get a zit on my nose?
Thats between you and your god, but if youre not eating, can I ask if anyone else got a weird sort of pleasure in popping really big zits back when you were 15?
@ PhilGarver I heard rumors you were seen walking out of the Biogenesis Clinic. True?