Comments Off on BK’s Daily Grind: An oral history of the Royals vs. A’s, top MLB trade targets & a fish with human teeth?
KANSAS CITY ROYALS:
This is a great read on how the Royals-A’s plunkfest took place back in May. It reads as a sort of oral history, and Scott Miller of Bleacher Report did a great job on the story. The Royals travel to Oakland this weekend to take on the A’s for the first time since that ugly series.
The guys over at PowerMizzou ranked the top 15 offensive and defensive players in the Gary Pinkel era. They came up with a top 3 offensive players of Chase Daniels, Brad Smith and Jeremy Maclin. The top 3 defensive players were Sean Weatherspoon, Shane Ray and Sheldon Richardson.
ESPN has released its nominees for the ESPY’s. Of local importance: The Royals winning the AL Pennant is nominated for the “biggest sports upset”, and the Royals’ Wild Card Game is nominated for “best game”.
I don’t love these. I also don’t love the fact that the NBA is changing so many uniforms. I know they have to with the switch to Adidas, but they will switch again in three years when the NBA goes back to Nike.
Comments Off on MU Board of Curators to review Mizzou Softball Stadium plan
The University of Missouri has released new renderings and details about its $16 million softball stadium project. According to details documented in the agenda for Thursday’s MU Board of Curators meeting, the softball stadium will be funded from $13.5 million in private gifts and $2.5 million in debt financing.
The university states that the new facilities will provide fans with a “full-view” concourse and outfield plaza, a 1,600 to 1,700 seat venue and an outfield lawn area offering space for an additional 500 to 1,000 fans. The new stadium will include an elevated press box with radio and television broadcast booths, a writing press suite and a game management booth. A ticket booth will be located near the south entrance main gates (pictured below).
The improvements are also expected to include heated dugouts, batting cages and bullpens for each teams. The dimensions of the field will also be slightly different. Missouri will push the fences back in accordance with upcoming NCAA regulations. The field dimensions will be 190 feet down the lines and 230 feet to center field. The home run will will be six feet in height. The field will be a natural turf outfield, dirt infield with apron inserts of synthetic turf, and a crushed brick 10 foot warning track.
The project will also include the redevelopment of the MU student and commuter parking lot. The construction of the project will displace 503 parking spaces, and a new parking lot will be constructed south of Champions Drive at the intersection with Providence Point Drive. The new lot will replace 251 parking spaces.
The plans also include a new band practice “field” that will be constructed south of the new parking lot. A new storage building and parking area for the band’s semi-trailer will also be located next to the practice area. The total bid construction cost is $11.6 million, according to the MU Board of Curators agenda documents. The new parking lot is expected to be completed in November. The new softball stadium is expected to be complete by December, 2016.
“You saw that Major League Baseball trashed more than 60 million votes, right? This is comedy. I love the fact that KC overwhelmed the voting process. Give them what they want to see. If another fan base has an issue with it then do better mobilizing your voters. It’s a popularity contest, and it should be. Fans should see who they want to see at the All-Star Game.
And the real thing that has to change is the “it counts” nonsense. Baseball cannot have the showcase and ceremony that should be at the All-Star Game and then suddenly switch gears and demand it be a competition. Let it be an event. Baseball and the All-Star Game are strong enough to let something else decide home-field advantage in the World Series, something real like … oh, hey, the best record.”
Speaking of beat writers and weekly chats – Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star had his weekly chat today. He was asked who the next Royal will be to have his jersey retired. His response? “Ned Yost.” And… I couldn’t disagree with him. What world do I live in? Talk about a welcome to 2015 moment.
Rob Rang of CBS Sports has a great piece on former Missouri offensive lineman and current Chiefs center Mitch Morse. He believes Mitch Morse is a perfect fit at center for the Kansas City Chiefs. I find it interesting that Morse was the pick that most media types seemed to take the biggest issue with, but the draft experts and NFL analysts see it as a great fit. Time will tell, but I’ll side with guys like Rang and ESPN’s Louis Riddick.
Mizzou softball will be getting a new stadium in 2017! But this much you already knew. The new information includes newly released renderings such as the one posted above. The stadium is expected to be completed in December of 2016, according to a document released on the University of Missouri system website. The document, which outlines the stadium plans that will be presented at a Board of Curators meeting on Thursday, states that the stadium be a 1,500 to 1,700 seat venue with an outfield bermed lawn area offering increased capacity for an additional 500 to 1,000 fans. Click here for the full stadium plans.
This is so funny to me. The whole rookie class is struggling through the lesson of learning how to tie a tie. And then the camera pans to Laken Tomlinson, a Duke grad that has aspirations of becoming a doctor after his football career, and he’s sitting comfortably with a perfect knot already formed in his tie.
Comments Off on What will the Chiefs look like three years from now?
Turnover is something that is expected in the NFL. The average player’s NFL career lasts three years. The bottom of the roster is in constant change. Older players become slower and more expensive. Younger players move on to new teams that can afford to pay their second contracts. The business of the NFL can, at times, hinder the on-field product. There may be no greater example of this than the Kansas City Chiefs.
Three years ago the Chiefs were going into the 2012 season with Matt Cassel as their quarterback, Dwayne Bowe as their number one wide receiver, Branden Albert as their starting left tackle, Glenn Dorsey as their starting defensive end and Brandon Flowers as their number one cornerback. Three years later, none of those players can be found on the Chiefs’ roster.
It’s the reason it’s become difficult for me to buy a Chiefs jersey. If I bought a Chiefs jersey heading into that 2012 season, there would be an 80 percent chance that said player is no longer on the team just three years later. The only Chiefs players on the opening day 2012 roster that remain on the roster today are Donald Stephenson, Jeff Allen, Jamaal Charles, Cyrus Gray, Dontari Poe, Justin Houston, Allen Bailey, Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali and Eric Berry. Of the 53 players on the 2012 team, only 10 are on the team in 2015. And it will be even fewer after this season – Stephenson, Allen, Houston, Johnson, Hali and Berry are all entering a contract year.
This got me to thinking – if I were to predict three years into the future, who would be the 10 players I believe will continue to be on the roster? This takes into account age, performance, projection, contract status and overall value to the roster. This may sound like an easy exercise. I promise you, it is not. Think back to 2012 for a moment. Would you have expected Donald Stephenson, Jeff Allen, Cyrus Gray or Allen Bailey to be on the roster three years later? Maybe, but there were certainly arguments against it.
So, without further adieu, here are my projections on which players I believe will be on the Chiefs roster entering the 2018 season, ranked from most likely to least likely.
1) Travis Kelce, TE:
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Travis Kelce is 25 years old, and he’s coming off a breakout season. He caught 67 passes for 862 yards and five touchdowns. Lets put that in perspective, shall we? In the history of the Chiefs franchise, only one other tight end has ever had those numbers (Tony Gonzalez). In fact, only five wide receivers have ever put up a 67-860-5 season in a Chiefs uniform. The list includes Derrick Alexander, Dwayne Bowe, Carlos Carson, Eddie Kennison and Andre Rison. The number of players that have put up a 67-860-5 season twice in a Chiefs uniform? Dwayne Bowe and Tony Gonzalez. That’s it. I expect Travis Kelce to be added to that list after the 2015 season, and it wouldn’t surprise me if we see John Dorsey reward Kelce with a big-time contract after the year, keeping him in Kansas City for 2018 and beyond.
2) Marcus Peters, CB:
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
This may be a bit of a cop-out, but it’s a safe bet. Marcus Peters was the Chiefs’ first round draft pick in 2015, and unless he’s a massive bust, he’s almost guaranteed to be on the roster in 2018 due to his positional value and his relatively cheap contract. It also helps his case that Sean Smith is in a contract year and will most likely move on from the Chiefs after the season, opening up a spot for Peters alongside Phillip Gaines as the starting cornerback duo for this year and beyond. More on Gaines in a moment.
3) Mitch Morse, OL:
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Morse was the Chiefs’ 2nd round pick in this year’s NFL Draft. He has position versatility, he has great football character, and he projects as a multiple-year starter at center or guard in the NFL. Guys like Morse have huge value in the NFL. He’s under contract through the 2018 season, and his cap hit never goes above $1.5 million. I think it’s a very safe bet that Morse is on the roster heading into the 2018 season, and if he plays at or above the we expect, he could be in line for a contract extension following the 2018 season.
4) Jeremy Maclin, WR:
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
This one may be a bit of a stretch, but I’m a believer in Jeremy Maclin. In his three years playing under Andy Reid for the Eagles, Maclin averaged 65 receptions for 850 yards and 7 touchdowns. Derrick Alexander, Dwayne Bowe and Tony Gonzalez are the only players to put up those kinds of numbers in the history of the Chiefs’ franchise. Maclin signed a five-year, $55 million contract this offseason, but the contract is set up to really guarantee Maclin is on the Chiefs roster through the 2017 season. Kansas City can get out from under the contract with only $2 million in dead money if they were to cut Maclin prior to the 2018 season. Based on Maclin’s past performance and projecting his future performance, I believe he will be worth the money, and will be on the Chiefs’ roster come 2018.
5) Dontari Poe, NT:
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
These next two players are tough. They could be way higher on the list, or they could be completely off the list depending on what you expect to happen with their contract situations over the next few months. Poe is one of the best nose tackles in the NFL, and he’s only 24 years old. He has the potential to be a franchise nose tackle the way Vince Wilfork was for the Patriots for the better part of a decade. The problem is that Poe’s rookie deal only goes through the 2016 season, and he’s going to want to get paid what he’s worth. It’s difficult to project what Poe would command on the open market, because franchise nose tackles are so rare in today’s game. The best comparison may be Haloti Ngata, who signed a four-year, $48 million contract with the Ravens back in 2011. I would expect Poe to get somewhere in that range, maybe a bit more. It will be up to the Chiefs to decide what he is worth, but if I were in charge, this is a no-brainer. Poe should be in a Chiefs uniform until he no longer wants to play football.
6) Justin Houston, OLB:
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
As I said, this is very difficult to project. If a contract gets done sometime within the next year, it’s hard to think of any way that Houston isn’t on the Chiefs’ roster in 2018. However, there is always the possibility that Houston plays this year on the franchise tag, and leaves after the season. My guess, based on what all of the beat writers have said and based on coach Reid’s comments this offseason, is that Houston and the Chiefs get a deal done sometime before or after the season. And if/when that happens, there is zero chance that Houston isn’t on the roster come 2018.
7) Phillip Gaines, CB:
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
This may be a surprise to some, but I’m buying all the Phillip Gaines stock I can get right about now. Reports out of OTA’s and Mini Camp suggest Gaines has been dominant. He’s long, fast and aggressive. He has all the ability, and it sounds like he’s putting it together mentally this year. The reason he’s this low on the list is simple – his contract is up after the 2017 season. Now, I suspect the Chiefs would be interested in re-signing him if his play takes as big of a jump as many are projecting, but Kansas City also drafted two cornerbacks this year, and John Dorsey has shown a willingness to let players go after their rookie deals if they’re not worth the massive deal. When push comes to shove, I suspect Gaines will be one of the players that Dorsey wants to keep in a Chiefs uniform, but I’m less sure on him than I am on guys like Marcus Peters or Mitch Morse.
8) Chris Conley, WR:
Talk about the hype machine. If Phillip Gaines has been receiving praise, I’m not sure what you call the compliments Conley has been getting. He’s fast, he’s big, he’s physical, and he can go up and get the football. He’s really everything you want in an NFL wide receiver. And, maybe most important, he’s cheap for the next four years. His deal runs through 2018, and if he simply lives up to expectations as a 25-50 reception per year type of player, he’ll be worth every bit of his rookie deal.
9) Allen Bailey, DE:
Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports
This is where the list becomes more difficult. The top eight, in some order or another, are pretty simple. The bottom two are tough. I could go any number of different routes from Alex Smith to another one of the rookies to Jamaal Charles. But there is so much uncertainty with all of those players. Smith’s deal is easy to get out of in 2018. Charles is a 29-year-old running back, and while I think he has a few good years left in him, you never know how a player at that position will age. And the rookies are all question marks until proven otherwise – especially after the third round. But Allen Bailey has already signed a contract through 2018. He’s proven to be a reliable veteran that will do what the coaches ask of him. And he’s a pretty damn good player, too.
10) Dee Ford, OLB:
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
I have no clue what to make of Dee Ford. The ability is there. His first step is as quick as any that I’ve seen around the league. But he’s got to get on the field at some point. This is very likely Tamba Hali’s last year with the Chiefs. I expect Ford to get plenty of playing time in order to prepare for life without Hali. Will he make the most of it? That’s what I’m hoping for/expecting. But, again, these things can be difficult to project. My belief is that Dee Ford will put it together, and he will be a productive enough player to at least keep on the roster through the 2018 season.
So, there you have it. That’s my list of the ten Chiefs players on today’s roster that are most likely to remain on the roster in 2015. Agree with the list? Disagree with it? Let me know what you think on Facebook or on Twitter.
Terez Paylor joined BK this week on The Sports Wire to discuss the expectations for the Kansas City Chiefs after the conclusion of OTA’s & mandatory mini-camp. BK asked Terez about how the offensive line will shake out, who the #1 receiver will be (Travis Kelce or Jeremy Maclin), what the best position group is heading into 2015 & which players stood out during OTA’s. All of that and much more in this week’s episode of The Inside Slant.
Comments Off on BK’s Daily Grind: Ned Yost winningest manager in Royals history, LSU football arrests & what not to order at fast food restaurants
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
The Cardinals have scored four or fewer runs in 12 straight games, the second-longest streak by any team this season and their longest streak since 1992. Matt Holliday is expected to be out for at least another month with the quad strain, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS:
The Royals have now won four in a row, and eight of their last 10. Every Royals position player got a hit and starter Jeremy Guthrie won for the first time since May 20th. Ned Yost won his 411th game as Royals manager, passing Whitey Herzog to become the winningest manager in team history.
Mizzou now has a kickoff time and a TV home for five of their 2015 football games.
September 5 vs. Southeast Missouri State: 3 pm kickoff on SEC Network +
September 12 vs. Arkansas State: 6 pm kickoff on ESPN 3
September 19 vs. UCONN: 11 am kickoff on ESPNU
November 5 vs. Mississippi State: 8 pm kickoff on ESPN
Interesting question in this article – who is the Chiefs’ most underrated player? The article suggests Anthony Sherman. I would give a nod to defensive end Allen Bailey. Bailey was very, very good in his new role as a starter in 2014, and I think he’s primed for another solid season in 2015.
Sanders Commings was the cousin to one of the gentlemen shot and killed in the Charleston shooting. Hope your thoughts and prayers – if you’re the prayerful type – will be with Commings and his family, among the others impacted by this tragic shooting.
Comments Off on BK’s Daily Grind: Cardinals stop drawing walks, Chiefs fans are excited & a KFC fried rat?
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS:
The St. Louis Cardinals got another great start out of Carlos Martinez yesterday; 6 2/3 innings of 2 run baseball. Unfortunately, the offense was stagnant. One of the Cardinals issues right now – especially since Matt Holliday went down – is the lack of walks. Randall Grichuk hasn’t drawn a walk in his past 17 games. Kolten Wong has two walks in his past 19 games, Yadier Molina has two in his past 10 and Jason Heyward has drawn one walk in his past 16 games. That list includes the Cardinals no. 1, 5, 6 and 7 hitters.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS:
The Kansas City Royals have won three in a row. The fans are showing up in record numbers — last night the Royals went over 1 million fans for the season. It’s the fastest the Royals have made it to 1 million fans at Kauffman in franchise history. And, hey, Omar Infante is hitting again! The starting 2nd baseman in the AL All Star Game – based on the latest results – has seven hits in his past three games. The Royals will go for the sweep tonight against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Its starting to get silly just how equal all the teams in the AL are. Compare the two leagues graphs and it's obvious pic.twitter.com/i041RV4Bec
Phil Steele does great work, and his Mizzou breakdown is always a must-read. It’s free today on PhilSteele.com.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS & ST. LOUIS RAMS:
Chiefs fans are really excited about this season. And, to be honest, I can’t blame them. This team is hugely talented. But is it the best since 1997? I’m not so sure. Those early 2000s teams were insanely talented on the offensive side of the football. Defense was optional, though.
Two high school basketball players named JJ Smith and Malik Johnson with some absolutely ridiculous handles.
Everyone seems to live this Jurassic World movie. I haven’t seen it yet. I might have to check it out this weekend. My guess is you’ve already been to the theaters based on all the records it’s breaking.
Friend of the show Mark Simon hopped on The Big Show with Matt and BK on Wednesday to discuss Chris Young’s excellence, Carlos Martinez’s dominance and the role of analytics in baseball in light of the FBI investigating the St. Louis Cardinals. Hear it all in the podcast.