Don't Kill The Mellinger
Columnist Sam Mellinger's thoughts on sports and other important stuff
Twitter Tuesday: Chiefs rankings (and flaws), Royals priorities, playoff predictions
10/01/2013 8:15 AM
05/16/2014 3:59 PM
I’m waiting to hear back, but their general policy is to hold off until the team beats someone good. Considering that it’s 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, c’mon. This is a break for the Chiefs. So the parade committee is going to watch this weekend’s 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. Nobody’s looking that far ahead our team that it’s easy to forget sometimes that the other team is flawed, too. I won’t use his name here, because it’s always been in casual conversation, but there’s someone I respect who’s 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 isn’t getting as much of a push for the running game. Dwayne Bowe hasn’t had a great game yet. The offense hasn’t put together a lot of long touchdown drives. Their opponents are a combined 3-13. But you know what? They’re 4-0 because the defense has been terrific, the special teams mostly good^, and the offense hasn’t needed to do a whole lot besides protect a lead. ^ Punt blocking needs to be cleaned up.
@mellinger When does the parade planning committee meet?— Bradley Hope (@Brad_Hope) September 30, 2013
Yeah, I know. But I’m not as sure as this next guy
@mellinger I'm being completely sarcastic, by the way.— Kyle Brynsvold (@kbrynsvold) September 30, 2013
Yup. 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 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
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. Don’t blow timeouts. Don’t make stupid turnovers. Don’t down the punt after running out of bounds. Don’t hold unless it’s necessary. Don’t forget which route to run. Don’t 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 don’t always have to be great to win a game. Sometimes you just have to not be crappy. It’s the old philosophy Marty Schottenheimer always had against the Raiders, but it works against other teams, too.
@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
Everything’s working. Honestly, the Chiefs probably aren’t as good as they’ve shown. I mean, chances are they’re not going 19-0. But your point here is valid. They’re 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 Ron Parker strip sack, Beardy catching TD's, Cooper Island. Waiver wire improvements. Well done, Dorsey.— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) September 30, 2013
and all I can do is guess. Coaching staffs: 6-10. Quarterbacks: 5-11.
@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
Slow your roll. I guess I don’t know how far back "I’ve seen" goes (though your picture there is obviously awesome), and I’m not trying to squash anybody’s optimism. But can’t we wait until they beat a legitimate playoff-type team to crown ‘em? Or do I need to break out this video clip? a fan group — they’re 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 world’s 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. The Bucks? They must’ve given all 100 fans who showed up air horns.
@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
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 let’s give them benefit of the doubt. But I am particularly interested to see them in person this weekend at Vandy.
@mellinger Shall we make a trade for Tony G. from the Falcons?! And Chiefs. Enough said.— Jordan Atchison (@J_MA23) September 30, 2013
Organizing is a strong word. I don’t know much about Nashville, either, but click here or here if you’d like to meet up with some like-minded fans.
@mellinger rumor is you are organizing some type of gathering in Tennessee. Any truth to this?— Zach Crutchfield (@ZCRUTCH) October 1, 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 NHL season opens tomorrow. When will AEG make good on their promise?— Scott Patterson (@laxrefkc) September 30, 2013
I feel like people aren’t talking about them as much, but I really like the Red Sox. The Tigers will be tough to beat, with all that pitching, but they’ll need more than they’ve gotten from Cabrera the last month and it’s impossible to trust that bullpen. Also: remember when people were basically giving the Dodgers the World Series? And I don’t like the Indians much. They’re very hot, obviously, but I just don’t think they have enough.
@mellinger now that the playoffs are set, who is your World Series favorite? What are the Indians' chances?— Brian McCandless (@ksubmac) September 30, 2013
High Life. And that bar sounds just fine to me.
@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
That’s 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 I’ve been higher on Smith than most, from the beginning. I just love his decision-making, and the way his teammates respond to him. If it’s possible for a former No. 1 overall pick to be underrated, I think he’s underrated.
@mellinger would you trade Alex Smith for Jim Harbaugh straight up right now?— David Embers (@davidembers) September 30, 2013
I have a feeling this question is a slam at all four, but I think Dayton has done a good job, Billy’s one of the game’s better hitters, and Ned has some important strengths as a manager. I also admire Sluggerrr’s, um, carpe diem spirit. But, to answer the question, I’ll take Billy. I’ll always take the player.
@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
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 who’d love for Ned to be their manager.
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
Well, this is fantastic, 50-second mark: Leyland’s the best. And, as a reminder: there are a lot of Tigers fans who can’t stand him. This is part of why I don’t take fan criticism of Yost as seriously as others. Besides their duties to their teams, managers, basically, exist to be ridiculed by fans.
@mellinger How long before Andy Reid breaks out the moonwalk like Jim Leyland?— Eric Luft (@edluft) September 30, 2013
Yes. And even as the list of players who’ve been around Moustakas’ 85 OPS+ through three seasons isn’t 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 there’s too much talent to walk away. One part of Moose’s struggles that people don’t talk much about of all the position players, he probably has the personality best-suited to be that "clubhouse leader" baseball people always want. He’s intense, loves the game, loves his teammates, wants to win, all the right things. But you can’t lead with a .651 OPS. Welp, Kansas City.
@mellinger Will Mike Moustakas be the starter at 3rd next year?— Kit M. (@KitMannRocks) September 30, 2013
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