<![CDATA[Sam Mellinger: Sports Columns & Blogs | The Kansas City Star & KansasCity.com]]> http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/ en-us Wed, 21 May 2014 09:36:58 CDT http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss McClatchy Interactive's Escenic Wed, 21 May 2014 09:36:58 CDT Sam Mellinger 60 It’s a different feeling for the Royals this season http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article22120005.html#storylink=rss For so many years, expecting the Royals to be dogs this time of year was not pessimism. It was realism. Look at those Royals now. Memorial Day is Monday, and the Royals are the best team in baseball.

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Sat, 23 May 2015 22:37:56 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article22120005.html
Around KU, a strong distaste about resuming Border War with Mizzou http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article21489522.html#storylink=rss 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.

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Wed, 20 May 2015 14:18:58 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article21489522.html
Yordano Ventura pitches through the drama, becomes a scene-stealer for the Royals http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article21449031.html#storylink=rss 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.

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Wed, 20 May 2015 00:12:52 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article21449031.html
Royals starter Danny Duffy is a complicated case http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article21216528.html#storylink=rss 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.

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Sat, 16 May 2015 23:12:40 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article21216528.html
Dressed to the Nines event another sign of Negro Leagues museum’s staying power http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article21016860.html#storylink=rss 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.

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Thu, 14 May 2015 15:20:19 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article21016860.html
NFL can’t seem to make punishments fit the crimes http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article20720259.html#storylink=rss 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.

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Mon, 11 May 2015 21:12:11 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article20720259.html
Big 12 needs to overcome its wishy-washy image http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article20593209.html#storylink=rss Near-death experiences often motivate major change, but the Big 12 is stuck in the same bad habits that helped contribute to its last crisis.

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Sat, 09 May 2015 16:23:51 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article20593209.html
How Chris Conley fares, especially because of trade, is key to success of Chiefs’ draft http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article20379438.html#storylink=rss If the biggest Chiefs draft in years — the one with nine picks, just as the roster seems to be maturing into a contender — is going to be great, it’s going to be with Chris Conley, the third-round receiver from Georgia, being at least very good. This is especially true because of the trade the Chiefs made to get him.

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Wed, 06 May 2015 17:52:12 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article20379438.html
Eric Hosmer was already very good, and now he’s getting even better http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article20470737.html#storylink=rss 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.

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Thu, 07 May 2015 21:09:29 CDT By SAM MELLINGER

smellinger@kcstar.com

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article20470737.html
Royals fans are showing their passion for team http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article20319129.html#storylink=rss Attendance at Kauffman Stadium is up 51 percent from this time last year, and the Royals are on pace to break the franchise attendance record of 2,477,700 set in 1989. “I'm not surprised, just because I know the passion of our fans,” general manager Dayton Moore says. “I notice it every day.”

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Tue, 05 May 2015 22:39:01 CDT http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article20319129.html
Productive offseason puts Chiefs in good position http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article20104236.html#storylink=rss The Chiefs are in a really good place right now. With natural progression and a productive offseason that is now mostly complete, they are in position to get back in the playoffs with 10 or 11 wins. With a little luck, maybe more.

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Sat, 02 May 2015 17:54:43 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article20104236.html
Royals got April started with gusto http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article20084493.html#storylink=rss The Royals collected nine ejections and five suspensions in the first three weeks. National media began calling them the Bad Boy Royals. A Cleveland pitcher watched the first game of the series against the Royals wearing boxing gloves. Entrepreneurial fans printed up “Straight Outta Kauffman” T-shirts. And, son of a gun, the Royals are wearing it well. They entered May with the best record in the American League.

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Sun, 03 May 2015 01:00:00 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article20084493.html
Royals are way beyond being just a ‘pretty good’ team http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article20074476.html#storylink=rss The Royals, including Eric Hosmer, certainly have reason to smile this season. They have consistently awed opponents and fans alike with their stellar offense and defense.

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Fri, 01 May 2015 23:18:12 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article20074476.html
Danny Duffy turns in Royals’ best pitching performance of the season http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article19999017.html#storylink=rss The crowd stood and cheered, first from behind the home dugout and quickly around the rest of this old stadium. Nights like this used to happen all the time. Danny Duffy, whom the Royals have long believed could thrive in nights like this, walked from the mound to his cheering friends and teammates having pitched the Royals into first place.

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Fri, 01 May 2015 00:29:37 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article19999017.html
Here’s why the Chiefs should steer clear of Dorial Green-Beckham on NFL draft day http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article19872033.html#storylink=rss Kansas City could be a terrific place for extremely talented former Mizzou wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham. But for a couple of key reasons, it’s more likely that the Chiefs would be an awful fit.

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Wed, 29 Apr 2015 11:59:37 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article19872033.html
Times are changing, and so should major-league baseball http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article18887139.html#storylink=rss If the Royals are being targeted for over-celebrating or showing too much emotion — and there are people around the game who believe this to be true — that says more about baseball than it does about the Royals. Respect for the game is important, but so is being free to show natural emotion.

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Sat, 18 Apr 2015 19:20:30 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article18887139.html
Royals fortunate Alcides Escobar escapes serious injury after Brett Lawrie’s reckless slide http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article18840111.html#storylink=rss It was reckless, how the A’s Brett Lawrie slid into Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar in the seventh inning Friday. There is no need for Lawrie to come in with his spike high and off the base — directly into Escobar’s leg. But there is no reason to believe it was malicious, and there is an important distinction here.

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Fri, 17 Apr 2015 23:28:16 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article18840111.html
Billy Butler returns to Kansas City for a fitting reunion http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article18686061.html#storylink=rss Billy Butler is back in Kansas City for a three-game series at his old baseball home this weekend. Through some combination of happenstance and serendipity, the schedule gives him the perfect reunion. Including the 2014 playoffs, in which the Royals beat Butler’s new team, the A’s, and the 2012 All-Star game, Butler has played 595 games at Kauffman Stadium. But, always in a blue and white uniform. Always from the first-base dugout.

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Thu, 16 Apr 2015 15:14:48 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article18686061.html
Mike Alden made mistakes at Mizzou, but was right about football and the SEC http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article18526652.html#storylink=rss For all of the mistakes or personality quirks that kept Mike Alden from being a more thorough success as Missouri’s athletic director the past 17 years, he will forever be remembered for getting the two most important parts of his professional life absolutely right. He hired and kept a terrific football coach. And he led the school from a bickering and unstable conference to the most powerful and richest league in the country.

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Tue, 14 Apr 2015 16:41:24 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article18526652.html
Royals need to be different than last season to return to playoffs, and we’re seeing a glimpse http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article18277103.html#storylink=rss The path back to the playoffs this year is different than the one to the playoffs a year ago, and the Royals’ understanding of and approach to that fact will determine so much. Conversations with people inside and outside of the club show that the best version of the 2015 Royals will be only tangentially related to the best version of the 2014 Royals. The challenge for this group is to succeed again among these moving parts.

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Sat, 11 Apr 2015 16:15:32 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article18277103.html
Royals come out slugging to start the 2015 season http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article17923688.html#storylink=rss contains illegal HTML markup:

The Kansas City Royals’ strength remains in their athleticism in the field, speed on the base paths, and remarkable collection of power arms in the back of the bullpen. But if they can hit for just a little more power — as they have in the first two games of this season — they will shine an even more flattering light on those considerable strengths.

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Thu, 09 Apr 2015 00:57:24 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article17923688.html
Yordano Ventura’s thumb is OK, and his pitching was even better on opening day http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article17584550.html#storylink=rss We can joke now, because, man, for a minute there it looked like the New Royals relapsed into the Old Royals as Yordano Ventura — the 23-year-old with the 100 mph fastball and new long-term contract — finished the 81st pitch of a shutdown opening day performance by throwing his glove to the ground and writhing in pain. Ventura will make his next start. And, all together now, exhale.

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Mon, 06 Apr 2015 20:38:13 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article17584550.html
Under Dayton Moore, the Royals now have reputation for keeping their best young players http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article17411201.html#storylink=rss It used to be that the only thing surer than the Royals losing games was Kansas City losing its best players in or even before free agency. But with the news of Yordano Ventura’s new contract, the Royals maintained a remarkable track record in keeping their best young players long-term.

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Sat, 04 Apr 2015 18:15:11 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article17411201.html
Sam Mellinger: Royals’ fortunes turned when team focused on defense http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article17398334.html#storylink=rss After becoming general manager of the Royals, Dayton Moore put a laser focus on the most fundamental and obvious way the Royals were not a big-league operation. Moore and the rest of the Royals front office would make sure that, if nothing else, their team would no longer be the one to let a routine fly ball drop between two outfielders who each assumed the other one would catch it.

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Sat, 04 Apr 2015 17:00:00 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article17398334.html
Six-hundred-pound man resolves to get moving, take part in 5K per month http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article17352260.html#storylink=rss The last time Derek Mitchell weighed himself, the scale said 576 pounds. That was about a month ago, and about 50 pounds less than the number in November that convinced him to change how he was living and take back his health.

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Fri, 03 Apr 2015 18:50:43 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article17352260.html
Kelly Oubre’s turning pro, so let’s look at how KU has fared with one-and-done players http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article17118470.html#storylink=rss Kelly Oubre will enter the NBA Draft and this was always the plan — high school to one year at Kansas to the NBA — never much of a doubt. But Oubre’s official decision, along with Kentucky’s run at 40-0, is a chance to talk about how Bill Self and Kansas have fared with one-and-done players.

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Wed, 01 Apr 2015 14:14:50 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article17118470.html
Even after early exit, Bill Self, Kansas remain on par with likes of Duke, North Carolina http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article16580627.html#storylink=rss The Kansas basketball flame burns hot. White hot. So hot that when Bill Self was hired as coach 12 years ago next month, he touched his chair at his introductory news conference and joked that his hands burned.

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Sat, 28 Mar 2015 10:18:24 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article16580627.html
Culture change at K-State? Bruce Weber must try in wake of Marcus Foster’s silly photo http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article16479803.html#storylink=rss Bruce Weber’s decision to kick star guard Marcus Foster off the Kansas State men's basketball team is a gamble that will define the rest of the coach’s time in Manhattan.

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Fri, 27 Mar 2015 12:19:15 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article16479803.html
Jayhawks got beat by a tougher team, and that will haunt Bill Self http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article16057400.html#storylink=rss There is no question KU coach Bill Self wanted this one with a particular passion. The Jayhawks led Wichita State by eight with five minutes left in the first half. Which had to make watching his team fall apart over the last 25 minutes hurt even more.

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Sun, 22 Mar 2015 22:07:51 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article16057400.html
One phrase sums up KU’s plan to beat Wichita State http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article15671339.html#storylink=rss The phrase is simple and to the point, somehow both specific and vague. It is strong enough to be the basis of how Bill Self maintains one of college basketball’s powers, but flexible enough for him to bend into the moment.

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Sat, 21 Mar 2015 17:36:02 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article15671339.html