Don't Kill The Mellinger
Columnist Sam Mellinger's thoughts on sports and other important stuff
Twitter Tuesday: Royals playoff scenarios, Chiefs dreams, Justin Houston, Billy Butler, and the greatest husband note ever left
09/24/2013 10:19 AM
09/24/2013 1:03 PM
Kaepernick was about as good as a quarterback can be in the 49ers’ opener. He completed 27 of 39 passes for 412 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He was the best quarterback in a game that included Aaron Rodgers, and, perhaps most impressively, did his work while hardly using his legs — still, I’d say, his greatest strength. And in the two games since, he’s been Palko-bad: 26 of 55 for 277 yards, no touchdowns and four interceptions. I assume there are fans in San Francisco raising the question about whether they kept the right quarterback, but I’d also bet you that if it was possible to go back before the season and present it as a legitimate choice the Chiefs would’ve preferred to trade for Kaepernick instead of Alex Smith^. ^ Who has been very good, and who I’ve always been very high on. than before everything started. The two best teams of those next six opponents are the Giants and Texans, and neither looks as good now as three weeks ago. Of course, it’s also prudent to remember the Chiefs only beat the Cowboys by a point, at home, and any number of 50-50-type plays going the other way could’ve meant the Chiefs lost. Last Thursday is the Chiefs’ most impressive win, for a lot of reasons, but it’s also true that the Eagles coughed it up five times — at least two of which were unforced. The Chiefs are opening as a 4 ½ point favorite, which seems about right. I just wonder how long they can keep winning without moving the ball more, scoring more points.
@mellinger I'm not saying what you think I'm saying, but Alex Smith has kind of outplayed Colin Kaepernick...— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) September 23, 2013
Ridiculous, absurd, no way anyone is thinking about this not releasing Dwayne Bowe.") ^ Andrew writes in to clarify he was being sarcastic here. Bowe has an enormous contract. NFL deals are hard to compare, but it is basically the contract Vincent Jackson got and behind only Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald among receivers. Bowe is not the third-best receiver in the NFL, so by definition he is overpaid. But I liked the contract when signed and I still do because the Chiefs just invested a bunch of their franchise in Alex Smith and who the heck, exactly, is he supposed to be throwing the ball to? Maybe if Jon Baldwin was actually a first-round receiver, you don’t have to make the deal. Bowe is a talented receiver. Probably one of the best 10 in the NFL. Assuming the money — $26 million guaranteed and $36 million in the first three years — doesn’t rob him of his drive, he should be fine. And there’s no reason to believe he won’t still work hard. Drive has never been Bowe’s problem; it’s been focus and the occasional dumb (and harmless) decision. Bowe has had enough of those decisions to worry, and to continue to monitor, but there are no perfect players and — especially in today’s NFL, and especially with the investment in Smith — the Chiefs need talented players to catch passes. The one year he’s played with a quarterback who didn’t suck, he led the NFL in touchdowns. You can judge for yourself, but I wasn’t skeptical that they would be better. It was just strange that everyone assumed a team that ranked 20th in yards given up and 25th in points would turn into the 1985 Bears. The biggest change, obviously, has been in creating turnovers. I obviously think a lot of this defense through three games, but I also want to see them continue to do it. The Eagles are electric and will gash most defenses they see, but a shutdown defense shouldn’t give up 264 yards rushing on 27 carries. a schedule and predict every game before the season starts, but I did it anyway, and the Chiefs have so far won only one game I expected them to lose. So, at least for now, I’m sticking at 7-9. But obviously things are looking much better now than before.
@mellinger how long until we start talking about Bowe’s massive contract to be a decoy?— Zach Brown (@Prozaakk) September 23, 2013
No, but the Royals should the next time the opportunity arises. ^ Sort of. I mean, Favre totally took a dive for on the last one: Houston has said this is his goal, you know, though you when you talk to him about it it sounds more like a "shouldn’t that be everyone’s goal?" sort of thing. Anyway, I’ve said since the offseason that I expect Houston to get into the 14+ range, but there’s still a lot of space between Houston and the all-time record — Jared Allen (2011) and Mark Gastineau (1984) share the all-time record of 22 for guys who didn’t get the other team’s quarterback to take a dive. Think of it like this. To break the record, Houston needs 15 ½ MORE sacks, a total that would’ve ranked fourth in the NFL last year.
@mellinger after the Chiefs win the Super Bowl, should they build a downtown stadium?— brentkassing (@brentkassing) September 23, 2013
In theory, I agree he waited to long. But in practice, I can’t criticize anyone for taking their son to Joe’s.
@mellinger My friend Ross took his 16-day old son to Oklahoma Joe's for the first time Monday. Thoughts? I say he waited too long.— Clinton Thomas (@ClintT13) September 23, 2013
I don’t know that anyone is ever really "favored" for the wild card. Is that a thing? I mean, people predict the playoffs all the time, but I guess I can’t really remember a team going into a season carrying that "wild card favorite" tag. But, to answer your question, I think they’ll be expected to be better. And if they’re better, they’ll have a very good shot at it. ^ The AL top 10 includes Dustin Pedroia, Victor Martinez, David Ortiz, and Prince Fielder. GIDPs mark guys who hit with runners on first fairly often and who hit the ball hard fairly often. And it helps if he’s slow. The Royals are, finally, good. And with the offense needing a boost, it’d be nice if the 27-year-old DH was giving it more of a boost. Butler is second on the team in OPS and OPS+ (15 points behind Hosmer’s .807, and two behind Hosmer’s 120) but it’s hard to remember a two-week stretch where he carried them offensively.
@mellinger should the royals be favored for the division or Wild card next year?— Eric Hendricks (@EricHe1091) September 23, 2013
Yeah. I mean, it’s something. But I say this without intentional trolling, and most of you will understand how I mean it: you can’t put "weren’t mathematically eliminated until the last week of 2013" on a flag. This can’t be the climax.
@mellinger Two Royals Flags on garages in the neighborhood. First time in a decade. Anything?— Jim Fischer (@withasee) September 23, 2013
@mellinger Soria grooved that pitch, right?— Kenamo Fints (@MattNuge) September 23, 2013
Like we talked about at the top, I believe your high currently has a tragic number of four. Sure beats what Kansas City’s been used to.
@mellinger I'm still on a Royals high after being at the Royals game Sunday. Will I have to come down sometime? Or can I stay here forever?— T.J. Huettenmueller (@Thuettenmueller) September 23, 2013
Good question. At the top here, I’ll point out that Dayton Inc. has taken a lot of heat around Kansas City, including from me. But he should also get credit, then, for not just the macro stuff about building a farm system and changing expectations and convincing ownership to spend and signing guys to long-term contracts and all of that. But this year he’s also been really good with the micro, picking up two important pieces for, basically, bupkis. Maxwell’s Moment on Sunday earns him a lot of deserved capital in this argument, but I’m going with Bonifacio. The alternatives to Maxwell in the outfield are more digestible than the alternatives to Bonifacio at second base. His speed and bat have also filled a hole with the No. 2 spot in the order.
@mellinger Bigger impact: Bonifacio or Maxwell?— Eric Gromacki (@Gromacki16) September 23, 2013
Clinton’s not lying, actually. Here’s the month-by-month breakdown: Month, W-L, win percentage, 162-game pace. April, 14-10, .583, 95 May, 8-20, .286, 46 June, 16-11, .593, 96 July, 15-10, .600, 97 August, 16-15, .516, 84 September, 14-7, .667, 108 Oof.
@mellinger Wouldn't it be great if the Royals didn't play like a bunch of amateurs in May? Played like a 95-win team every other month.— Clinton Thomas (@ClintT13) September 23, 2013
Kenamo here is a valued part of Twitter Tuesday, and I’m not sure if this is what he means, so I’m making this point generally and not to any specific person: If you put all the blame on Chris Getz (or Ned Yost, for that matter) for the Royals not making the playoffs, that’s fine, we’re all entitled to our opinions. I’d just ask that you stay out of it when the adults are talking.
@mellinger longest Royals losing streak since Getz became a part timer on 8/24: 2. Longest win streak: 5. Streaky to steady in 1st easy step— Kenamo Fints (@MattNuge) September 23, 2013
I may be dead wrong about this, but I think the Yost criticism is a vocal minority and the Hudler criticism is a vocal majority.
@mellinger If Royals fans could choose to get rid of Yost or Hudler, whom would the majority choose to boot?— Eric Clarkson (@Eric_Clarkson) September 23, 2013
The most famous celebration injury has to be this one: But you’ve also got Gus Frerotte head-butting a cement wall after a touchdown, Chris Coghlan tore his knee carrying a shaving cream pie, Ted Ginn hurt his foot after returning the opening kickoff of a BCS championship game for a touchdown, and Kendry Morales broke his leg celebrating a walk-off homer. It’s a scary world out there, guys. Be careful.
@mellinger Two-parter: 1) What are some notable injuries to come from victory celebrations? 2) How does shaving cream/gatorade combo taste?— Jake's Journal (@JakesJournal) September 23, 2013
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