Don't Kill The Mellinger

Twitter Tuesday: Royals, Chiefs, Border War, barbecue sauce, walking, and Wil Myers

This debate is silly. OF COURSE you trade Jamaal Charles for Jim Harbaugh. Check Pro Football Reference (the pages of Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson would be good places to start) and see how long running backs last.

Also, check the impact on the win-loss record that Charles’ studliness has had in Kansas City vs. Harbaugh’s in San Francisco.

Of course, we could use our time just as wisely talking about whether we’d trade the Kansas City summer humidity for actual traffic problems^.

^ And not the kind of “Kansas City traffic jams” we tend to complain about around here, the kind that last like 20 minutes, twice a day, at maybe four different parts of the metro area.

This week’s reading recommendation is Dan LeBatard on the role of luck in sports. He was talking about the NBA Finals – fantastic series, just like the NHL Finals – but, really, he could’ve been talking about a lot of things. The eating recommendation is the fried catfish at Lutfi’s.

Busy week, so let’s get to it. As always, thanks for your help and for reading.

@gking_gnikg numbers aside, do you think George Brett is having a positive impact on the organization? #twittertuesdays

I do, actually, and thinking this way means going against a strong belief that numbers can tell us when our eyes are lying to us because, well, look:

Before Brett: .261 with a .314 on-base and .375 slugging percentage, averaging four runs a game.

With Brett: .247 with a .304 on-base and .354 slugging percentage, averaging 3.7 runs a game.

The Royals are 14-9 since Brett came on, vs. 21-29 before and I’ve pointed this out before but let’s do it again here quickly: if the hitting had improved as much as the pitching has with Brett, we would be tripping over ourselves to give Brett an obscene amount of credit.

All that said, from the beginning, I saw Brett’s charge as fixing Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer. And toward that end, there are positive results.

Hosmer is hitting .301/.347/.462 with Brett, vs. .262/.323/.331 before. Moustakas is slower, but: .254/.288/.286 with Brett, vs. .187/.257/.313 before. Moose also has two hits in each of his last four games.

Now, I’m very much of the belief that the players deserve the credit and blame in big league baseball. That’s a big part of why I never hopped on the “Ned Yost needs to be fired” train^. However their careers end up, Hosmer and Moustakas will be the ones getting paid or not for it, and that’s the way it should be.

^ Which is a very different thing than saying he’s doing a good job.

But I do think Brett (and Pedro Grifol, let’s not forget) have worked particularly close with those guys and we’re seeing SOME results. I also think that if you can get one of the, roughly, 50 greatest players of all-time in the dugout and caring and leading, well, it’s hard to see how that could hurt.

@kchoya what would be the Chiefs equivalent of the Royals rally sauce phenomenon?

Barbecue sauce is the obvious go-to inanimate object for a Kansas City team, but don’t overlook the importance of Billy Butler’s name being on it. So I’ll go a different route and say it would have to be budding rapper Tamba Hali dropping verses on a song that plays after every big play^.

^ Speaking of Chiefs celebrations, did anyone else notice that during Justin Houston’s segment on the NFL Network’s Top 100 players they showed a clip of the group dance in Pittsburgh? You know, the one that drew a penalty for celebrating a touchdown that didn’t actually count?

Those 2012 Chiefs are just going to get more ridiculous as time passes.

@ChrisRElliott #TT In light of Billy’s BBQ sauce, rank your top 5 KC BBQ sauces and let us know if you’ve tried Billy’s yet.

I haven’t tried it, and no offense, but I won’t. And call me mainstream if you want, but the only three brands of sauce that get play in the Mellinger Compound are Oklahoma Joe’s, Gates and Arthur Bryant’s^.

^ Technically, that’s not true. Right now, there’s a bottle of Rendezvous sauce because for Father’s Day we got our dad a few slabs shipped in. Good stuff.

So, top five, in order: Gates original, Joe’s original, Joe’s spicy sauce, Bryant’s, and Gates sweet and mild.

@nickrichie24 Where do you stand on Mizzou and ku playing again? What needs to be done to get this rivalry going again?

I stand with my guy Vahe. They should play. It’s silly and petty and pandering that they don’t. Sports are supposed to be fun, and the games would be fun (profitable, too).

I guess I understand why KU is refusing, but as time goes on, it makes less and less sense. Both programs are, by all appearances, happy with their new setup so why hold a grudge? These schools played before they were in the same conference, and there’s no reason beyond the silly for them not to play after they were in the same conference.

I’ve always had this thought that KU and Mizzou will face each other in the basketball tournament and we’ll all see that the world didn’t end, and maybe that will get things going.

I am also, it should be pointed out, helplessly biased on this. Being a sports writer in Kansas City when that rivalry gets going again will be a blast.

@DaneCallstrom If you could name your child after a cardinal direction, which would it be and why? #tt

OK, that’s not bad.

@ArrowheadPride Grade my meal at Beer Kitchen: short ribs (+ wife’s mac n cheese leftovers), truffle fries, 2 Goose Islands, 1 Saison Brett.

I have to assume the short ribs are outstanding (I opted for a burger), and being able to bogart some of your wife’s mac and cheese is a strong veteran move. Truffle fries are always a good decision. Really, my only beef here is with the Goose Islands. I always think their beer is good, then I drink one and am disappointed. The fact that you went back for a second Goose Island is the only flaw in your night, but balancing with a Saison Brett is a good save.


@DBLesky More impressive: Nik Wallenda making it across the Grand Canyon or Jarrod Dyson walking AND homering in one game at Kauffman?

Surprising number of tightroping-across-the-Grand-Canyon-Royals jokes this week

@poteetj52 shouldn’t the tightrope walker that walked across the Grand Canyon next feat be walking across the K

See? I don’t know, maybe

@buddytbrown Nik Wallenda walked over the Grand Canyon to inspire people By “people” he was obviously referring to Royals bats right? #TT

I should’ve expected it

@fightwookies4 #TT Don’t worry if your column sucks this week. You can always #BlametheK

because this was all put on a tee after Dayton Moore’s bizarre and head-shaking comments that Royals hitters don’t walk much because Kauffman Stadium is so big.

Now, I should say here that I don’t believe Moore really believes that. I think Moore bumbled his words, which he tends to do when he’s hiding something, which I think he was doing here because here’s the truth:

The Royals don’t walk a lot because they have a lot of crappy hitters, and, anyway, have never really prioritized walks.

Cause-and-effect is somewhat difficult and fluid here, and I understand that plate discipline is a skill and that walks aren’t simply a result of a pitcher not being able to throw strikes. But it’s also true that if you’re a pitcher and you walk, oh, say, Jeff Francoeur or Alcides Escobar or Mike Moustakas or Elliot Johnson then you probably want to bang your head against the nearest hard surface.

I also think the comments hint at a frustrating world view by Moore. Or, at least, frustrating for those of us who think the Royals could get a lot better simply by taking more walks^.

^ The ol’ “Royals haven’t finished in the TOP HALF of the league in walks since 1989” is just an absurd fact.

Royals officials do seem to talk a lot about wanting more walks without actually scouting, signing and keeping players who get more walks.

You know, George Kottaras aside.

@pfunk270 any old gritty useless veterans the royals are targeting?

No lie. When I was going through the invaluable Baseball Reference for names to include as possible trade targets in Sunday’s column I was looking specifically for right fielders and second basemen, preferably from the right side.

And, well, did you guys know Willie Bloomquist is OBP-ing .342 this year?

@KALCanDoIt lets go after cuddyerI would be in with a solid OF like him, beat us up a lot, lets get him back in the division

He’d be my preference of the names I put in the column, but I’ve also heard the Rockies are asking a high price. Also, Cuddyer’s making $10.5 million this year and next.

@flexyrexy Is there any talk within or around the Royals about making a play for a guy like Stanton? If not, shouldn’t there be?

Oh, jeez, they’d LOVE to trade for Giancarlo Stanton. But the price holy cow. Think about this:

The Marlins would likely need MORE THAN Yordano Ventura, Danny Duffy, Kyle Zimmer AND Bubba Starling.

So would you throw Adalberto Mondesi in there, too? More?

@thejessz it’s ill advised to trade young pitching for a bat now, right? none of current guys will be here in 1-2 yrs & 1 bat is not enough

I don’t think so. Way I see it, the Royals are two bats away from being a real contender. I’ve said from the beginning that I wouldn’t have made the Myers-Shields trade (more on that in a minute) but once you do, if the right deal materializes for you to make the next step, take it.

@kent_swanson Smokeshow Fiance and I are Staycationing in KC for our Honeymoon. Two cents on things to add to my list of things to do?

Love the staycation. Nicely done. Find a pool during the day — some friends get a room at the Intercontinental for an annual staycation, and love it — and then a nice dinner and music at night. Like, eat at Osteria Il Centro and then cab it to the Phoenix.

@zrod10 why aren’t you on 610 anymore? Or am I just missing your spots lately?

I threw a bobblehead through an office window there.

Wait, no, that wasn’t me.

They got a new boss who has cut way back on regular guest spots, which means I’m a radio free agent with my days entirely to myself and the column and this blog again.

@BobbyCave Proof my life is sad: I get way too excited about an 18 yr. old camp dunk and a worthless homer in a 9-1 loss


@JQuasar2010 What do the hand signals the Royals Flash mean? I know everyone has a different one and I assume that have a personal meaning.

Well, everyone has a different one and they all have a personal meaning.

I’ve asked a few times, informally, and the players are generally mum about it. They’ll tell you the meanings off the record, and these are not the kinds of secrets I’m going to spend a lot of time getting on the record.

@TommyRoseville^ The #Royals are now 13 homers ahead of Chris Davis. Safe distance? #TT

At this point, the Royals are a Davis pulled hamstring away from being comfortable.

It really is ridiculous that these numbers are so close. Since June 14, Davis has actually outhomered the Royals 6-5. He’s had 41 plate appearances in that time. The Royals have had 340.

^ This was Tommy’s first ever Tweet. I’m honored.

@edaniellegapske was Wil Myers’ first hr/grand slam the most KC thing that could have happened with his trade? #tt

The MOST Kansas City thing that could’ve happened is the grand slam comes against the Royals. With James Shields or Wade Davis on the mound. And Jake Odorizzi pitching a no-hitter.

@froggiemlm So after 1 week of Wil Myers in the Majors should the royals regret the trade? Small sample size but still a nice week.

Well, yeah. Myers has played eight games, and is hitting .294 with two homers, a double, and seven RBIs. He’s slugging .500. You’re right about the sample size, but what we’ve seen so far is, roughly, the consensus on the scouting report: great natural athlete with big power and a propensity to strike out a lot (nine in 34 plate appearances).

Also, he hasn’t walked, so maybe there’s still some Royals in him.

@jsublette I’d rather have myers. Just became mad about the trade again

Shields has been so good, and Davis may be coming along, that it’s hard to get too worked up about the trade. But I’m with you in the thought that the trade was a mistake.

I said this from the beginning: I don’t like the trade, but I do respect the thought and gumption behind it.

The Royals are gambling that Shields can push them into the playoffs this year or next, that Davis – under club control through 2017 – will be valuable long-term and that a young nucleus will benefit from the experience. Again, I understand where they’re coming from but the whole thing is coated with too much optimism.

Shields is the stud No. 1 pitcher the Royals have lacked, pretty much, for a generation other than Zack Grienke comet. But they could’ve had Myers at a much cheaper price the next few years, and for a much longer time.

@TeamACW Through 73 games the Royals match up statistically and record wise with last year’s A’s. How possible is it that trend continues?

Speaking of optimism!

@Thurmonator8 have you heard anything new about the Chiefs chances of getting Desmond Bishop? #TT

Just that whatever happens with Bishop, the Chiefs will be right in the middle of it. Bishop was in town last week for a workout, which the Chiefs were basically using to see where the hamstring stood.

Bishop would make for a great fit in Kansas City, but the Chiefs would have to make the money work. That means moving some cap space around and cutting someone they’d otherwise keep. But, if the hamstring is good to go, it also makes them a better team.

What we’ve seen of GM John Dorsey so far is that if he thinks a move will make the team better, he makes it first and worries about how to make the money fit later.

@NiceguyEric who has been your fave KC QB and which was most personable when meeting?

I’m taking the first part of the question to mean favorite to watch, and the second part to mean favorite to talk to. Keep in mind that while I’ve watched the Chiefs my whole life, I’ve only covered them for three years or so.

So with that in mind, the first part of your question is just depressing. I always thought of Trent Green as a system guy, and couldn’t fall in love with Joe Montana just because of the circumstance, so – and, wow, I’m really about to type this – my answer is Steve DeBerg because of his play-action passes.


I just remember being a kid and playing the backyard. When you weren’t pretending to be Christian Okoye – knocking your neighbor senseless – you were pretending to be DeBerg, faking the handoff and then going deep to J.J. Birden or whoever.

My goodness, that seems depressing in hindsight.

Second part of the question: honestly, Matt Cassel is great when you get him away from cameras. He’s quick, funny, relaxed, self-deprecating.

@midwestmidfield 600+ Sporting Fans went to Dallas, 300+ and counting heading up to Chicago. What’s the farthest you have traveled for something

London, last year for the Olympics. If you’re talking about for something personal, we went to Kauai for our honeymoon. A friend lives in Thailand, I’m trying to make that work in the next few years.

@Lemmones what’s your dream job?

Boring answer, but also the truth: I’ve always tried not to think in those terms. In high school and college, it was a dream to start at the Star. Once I got here, covering high schools, I actually always pictured myself covering college sports. Once I started on baseball, I would’ve looked at what I’m doing now as my dream job. And now that I have it, I’m not too concerned with anything else.

I just want to do as well as I can with it, and whatever happens, happens.

One thing I’ve come to think: you’ll drive yourself crazy chasing certain jobs. If you do the job you have as well as you can, jobs will come chase you.

@CreepyRoyalsFan hi sam