Don't Kill The Mellinger

Twitter Tuesday: Ryan Braun is slime, the Royals are (not) making the playoffs, athletes taunting fans, the Royal baby, the Chiefs are in good shape, Kung Pow, furnishing your first bachelor pad, and Bill Snyder is picked sixth?

Ryan Braun is a liar, a cheat, an untrustworthy slime who is getting off relatively light even with a 65-game suspension and the loss of some $3 million in salary. That penalty not to mention the knock on his reputation, impossible to earn back fully is a reminder that the biggest crime isnt what youre caught doing, its what you do to cover up what youre caught doing.

Theres an old line, I remember hearing it from a teacher: if you confess what youve done it becomes part of your past; if you lie it becomes part of your future.

We all know that SOME athletes in ALL sports use performing-enhancing drugs. That will always be the case, so long as the incentives of money and fame and power are there. For the most part, I think we can all understand why it happens, and move on. Look at Andy Pettitte. But if you lie and go into full-on self-righteousness, exploiting an otherwise anonymous mans innocent mistake along the way, then screw you.

This weeks reading recommendation is about

a 99-year-old Florida man who wakes up at 3:30 in the morning to go to work three times a week

. The eating recommendation is the burnt ends at

Smokin Guns

. Good, not great.

As always, thanks for your help and for reading. Lets get to it:

@ Kauffert

What would have to be the

# Royals

record in the second half to make the playoffs?

The Tigers are 54-44, and if you look at their run differential and a few other indicators they should be better than that. I would guess theyre headed for about 92 wins, maybe more. The moments second wild card leader (Baltimore) projects around that same spot.

So if we decide that 92 wins (at least) will be needed to make the playoffs, that means the Royals will need to finish the season 47-19.

Also: the Royals arent finishing 47-19.

@ KansasCityJSal

If GMDM were Dorothy, how pissed off would the munchkins be when they saw he didnt take their advice

# FollowTheYellowBrickRd # Oz

Someone took my call for nonsense quite seriously.

@ truechief10

what is the food of choice when going to

# Chiefs

training camp?

A Clif Bar that I stuff in my backpack, and try to remember to eat before it melts.

@ Thuettenmueller

Ketchup, mustard, or relish?

@ JWalker_26

Ketchup, mustard or relish?

# TwitterTuesday

What a weird question for two people to ask.

Weird because the obvious answer is relish.

@ brentbeats

When was the last time you told someone they were dead meat?

# TT

Ballpark guess, 1987. Other popular phrases from 1987 Sam:

Your ass is grass and Im a lawn mower. I know you are but what am I? Yeah? Well, I TRIPLE dog dare you! Hey, you wanna play Super Mario Bros? @ Connor_Schultz

is Greg Holland the best closer in the game?

# TwitterTuesday

You can make a case. Hes now struck out 61 of the 140 batters hes faced, an absurd 44 percent. Hes saved 24 of 26 chances, and big league hitters men who generally make a lot of money because theyre good at hitting are at .169/.232/.262 against him.

This is cheating the numbers, but ever since the team left Philadelphia he has struck out 58 and allowed 25 baserunners in 35 innings.

So you can make that case. But Joe Nathan has saved 30 of 31 chances and is allowing an OPS even lower (.435) than Holland (.494).

But, really, this kind of argument is a bit silly when

Mariano Rivera is still out there pitching. @ TbobSmith

If you were to start a restaurant/bar, what kind of food/beverages would be served, and whats the atmosphere like?

# tt

Itd be a comfortable dive bar. Wed have good beer, but wouldnt be a boutique kind of beer bar. Wed have some sort of snack at the bar ideally whatever it is they give you at Harrys Country Club and games on the TVs but without sound. Wed play classic rock and blues and stuff you get when you put the Black Keys or Patrick Sweany in Pandora, but Id look into having an old-school hip-hop night. Wed have a signature food item, something basic like wings or pizza or nachos, and an old Pop-A-Shot machine. Wed sell cigars, and have a good outdoor area.

Basically, it would be a mash-up of my favorite things about my favorite bars. If it bombed financially, at least Id like it.

@ PhilGarver

Which is dumber: Not picking KU to win the Big12 in bball or picking a Bill Snyder coached team to finish sixth?

# TT

There is an argument for K-State being sixth in the conference. It basically hinges on the Big 12 having six teams good enough for a first-place vote in the preseason poll, and Bill Snyders rather ordinary record when he doesnt return his starting quarterback.

In 2010, the last time Collin Klein wasnt Collin F. Klein, the Wildcats had Carson Coffman at quarterback and went 7-6, tied for, um, sixth in the Big 12. The year before that, Coffman and Grant Gregory split time at quarterback and the Wildcats went 6-6. So theres an argument.

K-State had one of the most successful seasons in school history,

but this is a rebuild

. They only have eight starters back. Three of them are studs John Hubert, Tyler Lockett, Ty Zimmerman but thats a lot to replace.

All that can be refuted with this: cmon, man. Its Bill Snyder. NOBODY has a stud quarterback. The league is wide open. Hell be better than sixth.

@ MrBenMcGuire

A ridiculous work ethic, unwavering humility, and unprecedented success: Seriously, how can anyone not love Bill Snyder?

I dont know of anyone who doesnt at least respect the man. Hes everything youd want in a coach, save some entertaining sound bites or whatever. Hell always be beloved by K-State fans for a million reasons, of course, most notably that

he saved a town and a football team twice

. But Ive always thought that if I were a K-State fan, the thing that would connect me so strongly with Snyder is the way he talks about the people at K-State and the larger university.

I wish the link on our website to that column was still active, because the last section encapsulates it pretty well. Ill copy and paste from the Word file:

Catch him in the right mood, and Bill Snyder will tell the story of why he decided to coach the worst football program in America. This was during his interview, December of 1988 and its bitterly cold. Snyder asks to be left in the middle of campus, outside, for an hour or so. He guesses he stopped 40 or 50 people. He didnt know any of them, and he didnt tell anybody why he was there. He just wanted to talk. Random stuff. Small talk. Sometimes he asked for directions, sometimes he just asked how they liked it here. Every single person Snyder approached stopped in the freezing cold to talk to a complete stranger, so when the hour was up he said hed do it. Random, unwitting and kind K-Staters convinced Snyder to come try to make magic. He wanted to be part of that, and neither coach nor community has been the same since. Together they grow, in beautiful symphony.

The only people I could see not liking Snyder are fans of K-States rival. Then again

@ davidembers

is KU/KSU even a rivalry? One nearly always wins football, the other, basketball.... Is it a rivalry if you know the outcome?

this is an excellent point.

@ TommyRoseville

Why is it so damn hot out? Mother Nature is rubbing salt in the wounds of Royals fans

# TT

Im a prolific and at times embarrassing sweater. Its a problem for me. I mean, lets keep problem in proper perspective, but its awkward this time of year interviewing someone while sweating and knowing they probably think youre nervous or maybe its the Kung Pow

when in reality you just sweat like a pig. So this is the time of year where I sort of resign myself that I will sweat while doing nothing more than sitting in the shade. I guess it makes the winter that much better.

@ msmittty12

who are your biggest twitter hecklers/critics?

# twittertuesday

Ive only blocked one person. Or, at least, I should say Ive only blocked one person on purpose. Once, I noticed I had my man Rustin Dodd blocked somehow. So, I should say that Ive only blocked one person on purpose. I wont mention his name here, because from what I can tell he honestly seems like a despicable human being.

@ swedd24

if you had to pick one Black Keys song to play for someone who had never heard of them before, what would it be?

# TwitterTuesday

Ive always thought that


isnt my favorite Keys song, but everything I love about the Keys is in that song.

@ pchpaman

What is your take on GMJD? VGs piece made him seem hyper zealous. You know who else was enthusiastic and energetic? Trey Hillman

Trey actually made me rethink a theory I always had, that if you find someone who is smart and obsessively passionate about what theyre doing, you can ignore a lot of other faults and expect them to succeed.

Trey just had so many other damn faults, faults that were prohibitive for a real big league manager.

And Im not sure I see the similarities with Dorsey. I dont know if Dorsey will be a great general manager or not. Dorsey was a well-respected No. 2 in a successful organization, so on the surface it makes perfect sense, but the Chiefs just fired a guy like that and

the Royals are behind schedule with a guy like that

. So you never know.

But what I like about Dorsey is hes smart, hard-working, dedicated, all the good things you want but he also doesnt think he has all the answers. He wants help. Asks for help. Wants to involve the people who work for him, which Ive always thought is something that makes those people better, helps create a better environment.

I dont know Dorsey incredibly well yet, and were still in the embryonic stages of his time here. Who knows. What were talking about above, and any other descriptions I could give you of him are all peripheral things, indicators rather than root causes. What matters more than anything are the personnel decisions he and Andy Reid make.

Scott Pioli couldve been a raging jerk to everyone he met, told the janitor to give him 20 pushups for every missed candy wrapper, but if he had been as good in the draft as he was bad, and instead of Matt Cassel brought in a good quarterback well, hed probably be starting year five right now.

@ easz88 # TT

Do you think Bob Dutton is trying to squeeze in on your act?

Dutton can do what he likes. He always gives me crap when I say this, but I have as much respect for him as anyone I know in this business. If he wanted to start giving restaurant recommendations at the top of his deal, grow his hair out until he looked ridiculous, and then slap me across the face I would say thank you.

@ Typical_Chazz

Just got my first place of my own in KC, in West Plaza. What are some must-haves for the bachelor pad?

# tt

See this? Now this is nice

@ Typical_Chazz

Which ability would get you the most chicks: being a good singer, dancer, or guitar player?

# tt

Chazz here has the right idea. Got a place in a good part of town, and is basically asking how to get the most chicks with it. Now, we can all get caught up in the (opposite of) wisdom he is showing by asking me here, or we can all get together and help this young man out.

Chazz. Heres what you need. A comfortable couch, wifi, one good frying pan, some candles, a bottle of wine, some microwave dinners, and comfort making at least one good dinner and one good breakfast.

And it depends on the situation, but overall, being a good dancer never hurt anybody^.

^ Or so Ive heard. @ canglem

You seem like youre a fairly chill guy. Is there anyone or anything that just makes you irrationally angry?

The Smokeshow isnt around. Shed be the better one to answer this, but heres what comes to mind: intentional jerkdom, guys at the gym who draw out their three sets of arm curls like theyre Mr. Universe, cruelty to animals, and people who think their opinion is the ONLY opinion.

@ RoyalsFreeOut

What would your intro/outro music be on your hypothetical podcast?


@ Rethmeyer

You open a

@ Boulevard_Beer

sampler pack, which bottle is the last to go/pawned off to your friends?

# OperationRemoveBully

See, Im not a big sampler pack guy. I want to like every beer in my house, and with Boulevard, I like, say, Pale Ale WAY more than the others. You bring up a point with the Bully. I like it, but if its sitting next to a Tank 7 or Mirror Pond or Widmer Black IPA just to name three then I dont even notice the Bully.

Drink well, not often.

@ easz88

So Sam, its been a week now. I know you said you werent a Twinkies man, but you went and had one anyway, right?

# FriedTwinkies

Im impervious to peer pressure, you guys^.

^ Not really. @ d_nadler

Had my first Tank 7 today. Thank you for that. Whats next?

# tt

Ah, you have done well, grasshopper. If you can find a Saisson-Brett, go there. If not, find a St. Bernardus Abt 12.

@ Aye_Bay_Bayless

whats your view on athletes taunting fans who heckle? Ive read Kei Kamara did excess celebrating on Sat. I think its great!

Lots of factors involved here, but heres a strict personal policy: I always forgive funny.

If an athlete taunts opposing fans in a way that makes me laugh a personal favorite is an outfielder holding his glove on his ass, opening and closing it, like,


then it gets my full endorsement. Fans heckle athletes all the time, and the whole I-bought-a-ticket-and-that-guys-making-a-million-dollars thing only goes so far.

Also, in general, I think sports could use more celebrations and genuine, un-choreographed emotion. Especially the NFL and major league baseball.

@ CliffJudy

Peanut waitress recommended oven wing reheating @ 425. Has led to intentional over-ordering to ensure leftovers. Tried this?

# TT

No. Im rather speechless. Im not sure Ive ever left a wing. Maybe I have and Ive just blocked the experience to save my self-esteem. But really? Ive never thought of taking them home. Have you tried this? Please report back with details.

@ Rheff7

Another thing. When is Cain gonna get recognized for being a fantastic center fielder? Hes top 5 in almost all def. metrics

# TT

Oh, I think people recognize him as being a very good defensive player. You dont? That catch last night was absurd, even if he didnt cover anything close to 75 yards. When the Royals go left to right, Gordon-Dyson-Cain, thats as good as any outfield in baseball, I would think.

The problem, of course, is that Wade Davis gives up enough missiles those guys cant catch and that the Royals still stink offensively.

@ bvaughnMO

Im still here:

...please just give us a team that doesnt make me feel shame and anger.


@ torejackson

The wave - now sponsored at The K. Your thoughts?

# TT

I prefer to pretend that didnt happen, thank you.

@ Fawkesquez

If the Gonzalez twins turn out to be the Anna Kournikova of womens bball, would that be good/bad/indifferent for KU program?

# TT

Shhh! (Waiting to see how KU handles this, and the message it sends)

@ Royal_Heritage

Had any response from the front office to your Dayton Moore column?

Yeah. Whenever

youre critical

, if you care about being fair, you want to give the other side a chance to respond. Sometimes thats directly, with a call or text, sometimes you have to leave a message with a spokesman. No different than when Ive been critical of KU or MU or Scott Pioli or anyone else.

Went out to the ballpark on Sunday to see if anyone wanted to yell at me. Nothing doing. But, later in the day, had a couple conversations that Ill keep private except that all agreed what was in the paper was accurate.

In other places, reaction essentially fell into two camps. One was that its premature, that if were following the Terry Ryan Twins model and for all the talk about Atlanta, this has always been the one held up internally by Royals executives this is the year Minnesota won 85 games (not the division) so shouldnt you let the season play out before getting all pissy?

The second camp was, basically, why didnt you call for the whole lot of these losers to be fired?

Like this:

@ gavinesq # TT

How is it that you can lay out such a clear case for Moores termination and then not call for his, yknow, TERMINATION?

I just dont think its quite time yet. I expected the Royals to win about 83 or so games this year. Above .500, but not a playoff team. I think thats, generally, what most expected. Some were higher, into the mid or even upper 80s. I know some were lower, into the mid or upper 70s.

But to maintain pace with what the Twins did, the Royals would need to be above .500 and show genuine progress. If you fire Dayton Inc. right now, youre basically firing a guy for the sin of not winning enough in the first 95 games of a season you didnt expect to end in the playoffs anyway.

You can make that case, and if David Glass woke up tomorrow and decided to fire Dayton he could base it on logic and reason. I just want to see how the rest of this season plays out, at least. I get the feeling that at least some of that second camp of reaction is people who want Dayton fired and were disappointed thats not how the column ended.

Which is fine.

If you want to read opinions that Dayton Inc. should be fired yesterday,

there is plenty of that out there

. My column was a bit of a warning shot at Dayton Inc. Theyve been spouting this 8-10 years thing way too much, and hanging onto this remember how crappy the organization was when we took over thing way too long. They needed to be told to quit that, that it makes them look silly and the rest of us cuss, which isnt good for anyone, so its time to either win more games or go somewhere else.

I think they understand that.

@ DanielSWesley

Please tell us youre going to keep the

# Royals

front office on their toes. Time to start demanding results.

# TwitterTuesday

No doubt.

@ Rheff7

am I wrong to think that the Yost is the problem theory is way more exaggerated than it should be?

# TwitterTuesday

If you are, Im wrong with you. I believe that fans and media grossly overestimate the importance of big league managers. If you read this blog with any regularity, youre probably sick of reading that. Specifically, I think that fans and media tend to grossly overestimate the importance and impact of strategic decisions that, more or less, even out over the course of 162 games.

I also think that when you follow one team, its easy to forget that EVERYBODY hates their manager at one time or another. Heck, even when the Twins were annually overachieving their way to division titles, a substantial chunk of fans in Minnesota couldnt stand Ron Gardenhire.

The most important part of a managers job isnt pinch hitting or pulling the starting pitcher. Its the environment they help create and maintain in the clubhouse. Thats why, after everything, I waited until hearing that players were making fun of Trey Hillman and seeing that they had effectively quit on him to say he should be fired.

Because if Ned is fired, the Royals may or may not bring in someone better. But that new someone isnt going to magically make Escobar and Moose hit, or Wade Davis become an effective starting pitcher.

@ tijuana_gringo

favorite athlete named john?

# TT

Starks, Thompson, Elway and Buck he was always funny.

@ tijuana_gringo

best wings in kc not from the peanut?

# tt

Let me say first that eating wings in Kansas City that arent from the Peanut is a bit like going to Maine during lobster season and getting a chicken sandwich.

But Johnnys are good. Macs, too, if they still have the good stuff.

@ easz88

If you could name the

# RoyalBaby

, what would you name it and why?

# AskingForTrouble # TwitterTuesday # TakingItBack

Well, at least he took it back

@ m_dunn

why do we (Americans) care about

# royalbaby

and whats your vote on the name?

# TT

I have no answer for this. Caring about the Royal baby is so stupid, so irrelevant, I have no idea what to tell these people. Or what, if I came into contact with one, we might otherwise have in common^.

^ The preceding message was written by someone who has wasted a shameful amount of time thinking, writing, and talking about chicken wings, Trey Hillmans unicycle, and beer. @ ClintT13

Remember when you and a hack St. Joe reporter (me) had to ask prep football coaches about stealing ice cream? That was nonsense.

This is a true story. Eight years ago, in Lawson, two of the local high school football teams stars were suspended for a playoff game because they stole an ice cream sandwich from the school cafeteria. Someone turned them in, which apparently triggered an automatic suspension for the upcoming game even though one of the players moms dropped off the $1.25. The town was up in metaphorical arms. The team lost that playoff game something like 50-0.

This is a weird job, is what Clint and I are trying to tell you.

@ YOLO_Muelleman

Whats the best Sunday brunch in town?

So, to me, brunch is a different thing than breakfast. When you say brunch, Im thinking omelet station, Belgian waffles, a buffet. And the answer is the Bristol. A bit pricy, though, so save it for an occasion.

@ kent_swanson

Looking forward to finding out whos in the best shape of their life from the Star this week at training camp.

Bet you Jon Baldwin says this. For sure.