Pull up a chair. KC Royals manager Ned Yost is going to tell you all about his offseason, facing criticism and nearly winning the World Series. This is the new Ned — same as the old Ned, just more with even less filter. More confidence. More comfort. Success looks good on him. This will be fun.
Mike Jirschele’s place in baseball and with the Royals is so much more interesting than the dramatic, one-dimensional depiction of a third-base coach given a split-second decision that would’ve made him infamous. Even the chance for him to make the decision to hold Alex Gordon in game seven of the World Series was both a miracle and a lifetime in the making; he didn’t reach the majors until he was 54.
The Kansas City Royals have been in spring training in a lot of seasons where any hope was over-the-top. They’ve never been here as league champions with gold nameplates above their lockers, such real success in their minds. Their optimism has never seemed so much like realism.
The best part of 12-year-old Claire Tietgen’s story, the one her parents want you to hear, is better than the nine gold medals she’s won in mixed-martial-arts competitions. It’s what her newfound talent has done for her self-esteem. For the way she sees herself now and responds to bullies who once made her contemplate taking her own life. “It’s like seeing her breaking out of her shell and then dancing on the broken shells,” says her MMA trainer.
MLS is headed toward a work stoppage, one more American relationship strained over money. But don’t bank on the players missing many games — if any. Because the men and women in charge of MLS are running the same playbook the men and women in charge of the NFL, NBA and NHL have found so enriching whenever it’s time to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with their players.
Things can change quickly, and it’s unlikely that Kansas makes it through the final six Big 12 Conference games without at least one loss. But taken in both the micro and macro sense, this is a rarity: a Jayhawks basketball team that’s actually better than many people think.
Want instant access to Royals news, feature stories, blogs, photos, videos and more, including season schedules, player information, stats and weather? Get TRUE BLUE, our new FREE mobile app for iOS and Android devices.
This was always going to be a bad year for Mizzou men’s basketball. So it’s not that the last seven regular-season games are irrelevant, but it is entirely true that what Kim Anderson and the rest of his coaches are doing in high school gyms and the living rooms of top recruits is more important than what happens during their own games. And on that point, the indications are pretty good, actually.
James Shields will be remembered by Royals fans for being the face and voice of the franchise’s push from loser to winner and popularizing a regular postgame celebration with a neon deer butt and smoke machine. But, really, as much as anything other than the World Series, Shields should be remembered as the ultimate example of the Royals beating the system that remains rigged against them.
It’s not so hard to imagine a world in which the Royals had not pulled off a comeback for the ages against the A’s in the AL Wild Card Game. Life for those players and executives, not to mention fans, would be so different today.
Nobody has this thing figured out, which is so much of the fun, because it means we get incredible moments like one of the greatest Super Bowls ever played — a wild, rough, brutally and beautifully played celebration in which a go-ahead touchdown pass with 2 minutes left by one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time is, what, the third most exciting moment?
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is about football first and football only. The men that Will Shields is to join with induction are the best players our country’s most popular sport has seen, and by that demanding standard the former Chiefs lineman is now certified. But — and we mean no offense to the Pro Football Hall of Fame here — football is not even close to the best thing about Shields.
New England’s Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of his time, a decade and a half into the grind of the NFL, still making every throw, every read, performing at or near optimum levels. He’s been around so long that he has become like background music to American mainstream sports.
Clark Hunt, if we’re being honest, has had a disappointing run as the Chiefs’ owner. He has now been in charge for eight years and is on his third GM and fourth head coach. But credit Hunt for admitting his shortcomings.
Will Shields is a 12-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro. But he is also a guard, which makes him part of an overlooked and underappreciated subset of, well, overlooked and underappreciated offensive linemen.
The mayor of Glendale, Ariz., says his town may lose $3 million by playing host to Super Bowl XLIX, and this is one of the stories the NFL would rather you not hear about this week. The Super Bowl is supposed to be a bonanza of both dollars and exposure for everyone involved, and it is in many ways, but that windfall is buried by the reality of how these things are put on and how the money is counted.
The picture you get talking to people inside college basketball about their sport is they love the game, but hope it gets help. There are several simple shifts that could make the sport cleaner, faster, and better to watch (and play, for that matter).
People, please, let’s get ahold of ourselves. Put down the outrage, even for a second. We are turning the amount of air in footballs into the biggest scandal in sports and nation’s most-talked-about news item.
This Super Bowl will have everything. Russell Wilson going for his second Super Bowl championship in three seasons. Marshawn Lynch at media day. Richard Sherman at media day. Rob Gronkowski in the party bus afterward, win or lose.
The Chiefs are spectators again, still looking for their first playoff win in more than two decades. But their nucleus is strong and they have enough draft picks to shift that narrative in a big way this offseason.
This is the start of the second act for a young man who should be Kansas State’s best basketball player since Jacob Pullen. Marcus Foster has to know this is the part of his career he will be remembered for. This is the one he’ll be judged on. For better, or for worse.