Reasonable people can disagree here, but among the Royals’ position players, there’s a good case to be made that only Lorenzo Cain and perhaps Eric Hosmer have been more valuable to the team than Mike Moustakas.
In his first start since Tommy John surgery two years ago — his second such surgery, making him a rarity — Kris Medlen was dazzling and rusty but mostly promising Monday night as the Royals beat the Baltimore Orioles. It was a stimulating audition to join Kansas City’s playoff rotation.
These are strange times for the Royals and their fans. For a generation, you didn’t have to look for reasons to worry as much as reasons to worry attached themselves to you, like a jellyfish. Royals fans have dreamed for years about having these types of problems. It’d be a shame if they missed on some of the fun worrying about nothing.
The moment of certainty that the Chiefs’ second preseason game would be a giant waste of time for the first-string offense came on their second drive against the Seahawks on Friday. The Chiefs played against one of the NFL’s best pass rushing defenses with two players on their offensive line who probably won’t play this season.
Frank White, the eight-time Gold Glover with the Kansas City Royals, thinks that the bad feelings between the Royals and Oakland’s Brett Lawrie may have stemmed from Alcides Escobar’s footwork at second base.
Royals season-ticket holders received information about purchasing postseason tickets this week, and, well, much of the reaction regarding locations has been frustration. You can understand it, obviously. But it’s unavoidable when you consider that if you have a 20-game plan, up to three other people could be sharing your seat.
So it’s been a while since the Royals’ 2015 playoff chances went from possibility to certainty. They have a 12 1/2-game lead in the division, and a six-game lead over the Yankees for the best record in the league. These are strange times, indeed.
Where the reunion will lead is unclear, but Royals Hall of Famer Frank White will return to a hero’s welcome on the Kauffman Stadium field during Major League Baseball’s “Franchise Four” celebration on Sept. 1.
Will Shields was inducted Saturday to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, part of an eight-man class headlined in very dominant and different ways by Junior Seau and Jerome Bettis. Shields is different. He’s the introvert who worked himself into a football star, and the football star who worked himself into a real-life hero.
The former offensive lineman, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, is best known as a 12-time Pro Bowler who started in 231 consecutive games for the Chiefs. But his generosity outside football, forged by his experiences growing up in Lawton, Okla., is also well known.
Eric Berry’s journey from a cancer diagnosis last fall to back with his Chiefs teammates on Wednesday wasn’t easy, and his return to the NFL is far from over, but that’s part of what makes his story such an inspiration to others.
I imagine we’ll get more Chiefs questions here in this silly weekly exercise as we go through August and especially get into September. It’s just that the Royals are 60-38, which is a 99-win pace, and they just traded for Johnny Cueto.
Adding another key piece via trade in the do-everything Ben Zobrist, the Kansas City Royals again show themselves to be a club that is very clearly chasing the highest goals. A year after the players had the front office’s back, in other words, the favor has been returned.
The Royals are very clearly in the mode of playoff preparation. They did not need Johnny Cueto to be in the playoffs, but they might need him to win in the playoffs. The next two months are about maximizing those chances.
The Royals are the American League’s defending champions and current owners of the circuit’s best record, but they also are a bit like a fraternity that always throws the loudest parties no matter what the university administration says. This is all by design, too, cultivated by a strongly held belief from club executives that athletes who laugh together, win together.
Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura was dominant, then awful against the Pirates. He was a big-league starter, then being shipped to the minors. Now, after an injury to Jason Vargas, he’s coming back to the Royals dugout. His mental toughness appeared to be the primary issue spurring his demotion, and it is a question going forward after the psychological roller coaster Ventura has ridden the last few days.