<![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 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
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
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
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
Think KU and Wichita State players see this as a rivalry? Think again http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article15535613.html#storylink=rss Rivalry between Kansas and Wichita State? Not as far as the players are concerned. Any added intensity comes from geography, and fans, and a recent push from Wichita and media in the state for these programs to play each other. The Jayhawks and Shockers play for a slot in the Sweet 16 at 4:15 p.m. Sunday.

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Fri, 20 Mar 2015 19:56:36 CDT

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Jayhawks wrestling with expectations created by their own past success http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article15397922.html#storylink=rss Click to Continue »]]> Thu, 19 Mar 2015 17:47:44 CDT

City Star

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With contract talks nonexistent, this could be Alex Gordon’s last spring with Royals http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article15295946.html#storylink=rss Click to Continue »]]> Wed, 18 Mar 2015 17:46:39 CDT

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Finally healthy, Alex Rios believes he’ll see a surge in his power numbers with Royals http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article15198683.html#storylink=rss Click to Continue »]]> Tue, 17 Mar 2015 19:21:15 CDT

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If Lorenzo Cain duplicates his success at plate, Royals can duplicate their success in standings http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article14721548.html#storylink=rss Other than pitchers Wade Davis and Yordano Ventura, no Kansas City Royals player made as much of an individual jump as Lorenzo Cain did last year. He is such a spectacular outfielder that he always will be a valuable big-leaguer, but how well last year’s breakout is followed up depends largely on Cain’s hitting.

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Mon, 16 Mar 2015 19:28:45 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article14721548.html
Ned Yost trusts the always-dependable Alcides Escobar to deliver in leadoff spot http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article14527220.html#storylink=rss Everyone asks Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar if he’s going to take more pitches in the leadoff spot, but manager Ned Yost wants him hitting with a clear mind. Yost’s management style has always been to trust his guys, and as much as anyone else on the roster, Escobar is one of Yost’s guys. Escobar is one of the most durable and dependable players in a sport that worships durability and dependability.

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Sun, 15 Mar 2015 19:53:21 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article14527220.html
For the Kansas Jayhawks, it all seems to come down to matchups http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article14470979.html#storylink=rss It’s been apparent for some time now that this particular team is as matchup-dependent as any coach Bill Self has had in 12 seasons at KU. We knew that before this week, of course, so seeing it packed into three days at the Big 12 Tournament was a more reinforcement than revelation.

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Sat, 14 Mar 2015 22:23:52 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article14470979.html
Missed layup by Oklahoma’s Ryan Spangler brings a wave of undeserved pain http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article14173520.html#storylink=rss Sports give us some amazing moments. Needed escapes. Bonds we keep for life, and memories we hold onto. But sometimes they’re the wrong memories. Sometimes, they’re closer to nightmares, which is why Oklahoma’s Ryan Spangler is hunched over in a folding chair with a towel covering his face and shutting out the world.

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Sat, 14 Mar 2015 01:26:34 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article14173520.html
KU’s three-point shooting remains in a slump, a trend that can’t continue http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article13920278.html#storylink=rss In five games over the last three weeks, the Kansas Jayhawks have made just eight of 56 three-pointers. That’s 14 percent. It is a bizarre and concerning turn for a flawed team whose strengths, in theory, include three-point shooting.

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Thu, 12 Mar 2015 19:30:40 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article13920278.html
New Chief Jeremy Maclin has shared some of Eric Berry’s fears http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article13596455.html#storylink=rss The Kansas City Chiefs’ new star wide receiver has never met Eric Berry, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma last year. But after Maclin’s 2010 season with the Eagles, he went through a terrifying period of sickness when many signs pointed to him having cancer. It turns out it was just a scare, but there probably isn’t anyone on the team who can better understand what Berry is going through.

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Wed, 11 Mar 2015 18:17:41 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article13596455.html
Bruce Weber has the most interesting team in the Big 12, and that’s not a great thing http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article13272695.html#storylink=rss In many ways, Kansas State has the most interesting team here as the Big 12 men’s basketball tournament begins Wednesday at the Sprint Center. The Wildcats are 5-3 against the tournament’s top four seeds, and 3-7 against everyone else. Their best player has been benched and suspended. Their top newcomer has been mostly underwhelming. And much of the rest of the team has been hurt, at one time or another.

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Tue, 10 Mar 2015 19:42:33 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article13272695.html
Cliff Alexander case shows how NCAA rules need to evolve http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article13154753.html#storylink=rss The rule exists, and if that rule was broken, it’s probably best to acknowledge that penalties are justified. But in a time of massive change for college sports, this is one of those rules that should and likely will be changed by the NCAA to closer mirror common sense — but that might only happen after the rule could effectively end Cliff Alexander’s basketball career at KU.

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Mon, 09 Mar 2015 20:48:49 CDT

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article13154753.html
Big 12 basketball needs to validate praise with strong showing in March http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article12965339.html#storylink=rss As Big 12 men’s teams head toward Kansas City for this week’s conference tournament, they know that they have to get this right: The No. 1 RPI league in the country has to validate itself now that college basketball is in its most important part of the season.

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Sat, 07 Mar 2015 19:33:06 CST

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article12965339.html
Jayhawks’ comeback is a story that will be told for years http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article12379106.html#storylink=rss Kansas had some kind of moments Tuesday at Allen Fieldhouse with decibels and tension filling the air — moments when a 76-69 overtime win felt impossible before slowly materializing in front of another sellout crowd and national television audience.

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Tue, 03 Mar 2015 23:41:24 CST

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http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article12379106.html
Failure to lock up Justin Houston last year is John Dorsey’s biggest misstep with Chiefs http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article11944526.html#storylink=rss A year ago, the Chiefs could have saved themselves a lot of time, trouble and money by signing linebacker Justin Houston to a long-term contract. Had they done so, they’d today have more cap space, longer control over a premier pass rusher and more flexibility to fill other needs on their roster.

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Mon, 02 Mar 2015 16:05:46 CST

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