This is the Royals right now. Banged up, probably tired, and can’t wait to play again. Oh, and winning. Steady winning. The Royals completed a three-game sweep of the previously hot A’s in Oakland with their center fielder, shortstop and first baseman hurt. Also, closer Greg Holland was unavailable after saves the last two days.
Kansas City relief pitcher Wade Davis struggled a bit during the Royals’ 3-2 win at Oakland on Saturday, but he still managed to avoid giving up a run. After securing the final out of the inning, Davis showed some emotion.
Kendrys Morales made hitting an solo home run look easy to start the Royals’ scoring during Friday’s 5-2 series-opening win at Oakland. Easy, but deceptive because it’s been a while since the Royals have had a designated hitter who can do this.
The most significant basketball tournament of the summer is a world away from here in South Sudan. They played it against a backdrop of gory violence and human rights violations and in the name of something — actually someone — so much more important than a trophy: Manute Bol. Bol died five years ago this month, at age 47, while helping promote peace and progress in his native country.
Jim Weber of Stilwell is fighting multiple myeloma, and he’s using his fandom of the Chiefs to deal with the diagnosis. He wears the jersey of his favorite Chief to every treatment and is approaching the schedule like a football season. The Chiefs’ home opener is his Super Bowl. “I can only control what I can control,” he says. “Everything else is out of my hands.”
If not for Joe Blanton, the highlight of Monday night’s Royals broadcast may have been Rex Hudler explaining to the folks at home what a koozie is — you put your drink in it, but it’s not a cooler, Rex said.
Kansas City’s bats have cooled considerably, but the team that overcame struggles multiple times last season and advanced to the World Series deserves the benefit of the doubt. That’s especially true because the Royals still are in first place in the American League Central.
The Kansas City A’s picked Rick Monday with the first pick of the first baseball draft, and Royals Hall of Fame scout Art Stewart is part of the reason baseball decided to hold a draft in the first place.
FIFA could make a simple yet significant step toward addressing its outdated and sexist views of women’s soccer by promising that this will be the end of giving the women’s game a second-class treatment by having all of the games in Canada played on artificial turf.
No single call can be completely blamed for a loss, but at least in the Royals’ 2-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night, there was enough to pick apart. Like the mechanics of baseball’s replay system, which upheld a call that Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez was safe at first base on a potential double play in the eighth inning.
Major League Baseball released its second update of All-Star voting on Monday and the results remain, well, jaw-dropping. The Royals have picked up a lot of fans from their playoff run and hot start to this season, but there are members of players’ families who wouldn’t be this overwhelming in their support.
One of MU athletic director Mack Rhoades’ talking points has been an open desire to play Kansas again, and his mention of having discussions with Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger has let fans and media fill in the blanks. This makes it a good time to mention that there is no indication from Lawrence that renewal is more likely now than before.
Pitcher Yordano Ventura’s starts this season have been defined by drama — cramps, taunts, ejections, and too often lots of runs. But in pitching seven scoreless innings Tuesday night in Kansas City’s 3-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds, Ventura showed everyone why the Royals made him their opening-day starter and gave him a contract that guarantees at least $23 million.
Danny Duffy knows they are watching as he walks off the mound. Fans. Coaches. Television cameras. He has come to understand he will be judged not just by his pitches, but his emotions. That part has been hard, particularly lately.
The coolest, most ingenious, realest reason to believe in the future of an irreplaceable and often endangered crown of Kansas City is a pressed suit, sharp tie and matching pocket square. Dressed to the Nines is an idea that started a short time ago with a guy and his roommate, and already is an official Royals promotion with thousands of fans wearing suits and ties and even some red dresses for fun and to pay respect to the Negro Leagues and the baseball museum at 18th and Vine.
A not-so-independent investigation took way too much time to come to a non-conclusion about the air inside footballs, but that was enough for the NFL to come in like a panting dog with an historic penalty for what became Deflategate: The Patriots are fined $1 million, lose two draft picks, including one in the first round, and — here’s the kicker — Tom Brady is suspended for four games.
Eric Hosmer is wildly talented, a combination of quick hands, smooth athleticism and natural power for which the Royals paid him $6 million after he graduated high school in Florida. He is now 25 years old, in his fifth big-league season. He is still young but no longer a young player. A few years ago his age was often referenced to explain his growing pains. Now it is a sign of strength.