OTC: Do MLB Spring Training Numbers Matter? / Selden Tweets He’s Coming Back To KU

“(Bruce) Chen final line – 4 IP, 11 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HR, 1 WP, 92 pitches, 57 strikes and panicking #Royals fans throughout KC.”
Josh Vernier, @JoshVernier, radio host of Royals pre- and postgame show on 610, after the Royals pitcher was lit up Tuesday night by Seattle, Twitter
GH: Buster Olney was on The Border Patrol today and told us not to be concerned about Chen’s outing or any disastrous pitching stats coming out of the flight-friendly desert air. But then he also said not to be concerned about Billy Butler’s homerless spring because he likely was just using spring training to “look at pitches.” We can all agree on one thing, spring training doesn’t count. Let’s get the real games started so we can stop with all the professional excuses. Monday in Detroit at noon. Play ball.

“Of course, Hosmer was kicked out.”
Jack Harry, in the middle of his game report Tuesday night on the Royals spring-training game against Seattle, KSHB TV 41
GH: Of course? Mad Jack dropped this little nugget into his sportscast like it is known that Hosmer is the new Ty Cobb. Or did Jack think everyone who was watching his sportscast already knew how and why Hosmer had been ejected from the spring-training game? It was sloppy work from a veteran who should know better.

“Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer was ejected by plate umpire Brian Hertzog in the third inning after being called out on strikes for the second time. ‘The first at-bat there were a couple of pitches that I wasn’t happy about,’ Hosmer said. ‘The second at-bat the last pitch I wasn’t happy about it. We had a discussion after the first one. On the second one, I stood in the box and the umpire said I stared him down. So he decided to tell me where the pitch was again, that it was on the plate. I got a little upset because I didn’t say anything and he said something to me. Then he asked me kindly to leave the park and that’s what I did.’”
GH: Now you know.

“ ‘(Mike Jirschele) is the man,’ (Jarrod) Dyson says. ‘It’s not just about baseball. It’s more than that. Our conversations went deep. He’d share his experiences with his family and we got close. I straight up love the guy. That we’re gonna see him up here every day, it’s about to bring tears to my eyes …’ Dyson trails off, shaking his head. ‘I don’t know if I can continue this story,’ he says, and he walks away before anyone can see.”
Chris Jones, writer, ESPN The Magazine
GH: Jones has written a beautiful feature story on the struggles and simple life of Mike Jirschele, the Royals newest coach and the former Omaha Stormchasers manager. You can read the entire story here.  This is a quality guy who it is going to be very easy to root for here in Kansas City.

“JARROD DYSON RETURNS to pick up the story (about Jirschele), but again he has to stop, passing it off to Billy Butler, who starts and then shakes his head too. George Brett, as usual, has less trouble finding the words. He and Mike met years ago, in Wilmington, Del., when they discussed how best to handle a prospect named Mike Sweeney. They became unlikely friends, the major and minor league lifers. In 2002, Brett even chartered a flight to Clintonville to attend a charity banquet that Doug Jirschele had established. People in town still talk about that night. ‘I wouldn’t do that for just anybody,’ Brett says. ‘They gave me cheese and crackers everywhere I went. I didn’t s— for a week.’ ”
Chris Jones, writer, ESPN The Magazine
GH: George has a tendency to either shit too much in his stories or not enough. Either way, he can be a very entertaining storyteller.

“Dodgers end Yankees’ 15-year streak as baseball’s biggest spenders w/ a projected payroll of $235 million.”
@SportsCenter, Twitter
GH: The Royals payroll is expected to be at about $92 million this season, ranking about 19th in MLB.

“(Zack) Greinke would have become the highest-paid player, even if (Alex) Rodriguez was getting all his cash. The pitcher has a $24 million salary in the second season of his $147 million, six-year contract, and because he can opt out of the deal after the 2015 season, baseball’s accounting rules call for his $12 million signing bonus to be prorated over the first three seasons.”
Associated Press
GH: Well. It does not look good for us Royals fans who are hoping the Glass family will retain Hosmer, Gordon, Moustakas and any other homegrown talents who make good. And Greinke almost gave up baseball back in 2005-06. I am guessing he’s glad he puts up with the hassles.

“92 wins.”
Buster Olney, on his predicted win total for the Royals this season, 810 AM
GH: 92 wins would justify the trading of Wil Myers for the services of James Shields for two seasons. I think. Check back with me in October.

“(Wayne Selden) is coming back to Kansas to get back to where he was (in the NBA’s eyes) in high school. You know what the fans all think – ‘This is great! This is the right decision!’ No. He’s just now trying to get back to where he was. He’s going to stay at Kansas for one more year to try to be where he was last year. It’s a good thing for Kansas but is it a good thing for Selden? Well, it’s the only thing for Selden.”
Kevin Kietzman, after the KU freshman guard announced he will return to school for his sophomore season, 810 AM
GH: Selden was a projected first-round NBA pick coming out of high school. After a fitful and sporadic freshman season at KU he is no longer on many mock draft projections. So now he’ll have to earn his millions rather than being given them because somebody made a mistake in the draft room. Selden might be upset about that but he won’t have many others who will lend him a shoulder.

“Wayne contacted me this morning and said he was getting annoyed with all the speculation on whether or not he was going to return to school next year or not. He said, ‘What do I do?,’ and I said, ‘If you feel comfortable with everything, tweet it out.’ I told him to make sure you are sure. Of course, he is sure.”
Bill Self, KUSports.com
GH: This might be a first – a college coach advising one of his players to, “tweet it out.” Twitter is not the Darth Vader of social media some would like you to believe. I like that Self appears to understand that.

“It does, in fact, feel like it’s time for somebody else to take his turn sweating under the interrogation lamp (that shines on KU’s point guard position). Naadir Tharpe had his moments, but never consistently brought the type of production at either end of the floor that established him as the guy to lead the team. His confidence took a serious hit and the best way for it to come back just might be using him as a sixth man, a combination guard capable of getting hot from the outside.”
Tom Keegan, columnist, KUSports.com
GH: Calling for the replacement of a senior-to-be point guard at Kansas is not done lightly. When Tharpe was throwing the ball away against Eastern Kentucky, both Bob Davis and Gregg Gurley expressed how glad they were to see Self start Tharpe for the second half. “He’s such a good kid,” gushed Davis. This is a bold move by Keegan. One that KU fans will applaud but Bill Self and his players might not. I just hope this column was not “suggested” by Self to ease the transition for Tharpe’s successor.

“If how brilliantly Conner Frankamp performed in the most pressure-packed games of his life with so little college experience doesn’t put him in position to gain serious consideration for the job, why recruit him in the first place? He played with remarkable poise in St. Louis. Sure, he was exposed at the defensive end, failing to communicate well and getting overpowered and beaten by quicker players, but more playing time and work on his body can camouflage those issues to an extent.”
Tom Keegan, columnist, KUSports.com
GH: I love Frankamp and I think he is going to be a KU legend before he’s through. But I’m not so sure more PT will “camouflage” his whiteness on defense.

“Mizzou w/ Math Mauk and DBG could run the SECE next yr. Key games: @ SCAR, @ A&M, UGA. Likely a 1 or 2 loss campaign.”
@insidethefilm, CFB analyst and NFL draft talent evaluator in Pennsylvania, Twitter
GH: Mizzou could use back-to-back showings in the SEC title game. Mauk and DGB might be just the two to get them back there.

[email protected] and Twitter @greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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37 Responses to OTC: Do MLB Spring Training Numbers Matter? / Selden Tweets He’s Coming Back To KU

  1. Kyle says:

    So Greg, you have to be black to play defense? Frankamp improved greatly on the defensive end throughout the year.

    • Greg Hall says:

      I didn’t say you had to be black to play D, just not as white as Conner moves his feet.

    • Sirr Parker says:

      Greg’s not saying it. But I am. Who is the last white NBA guard known for his defense? Bobby Jones? And don’t tell me that Aaron Craft was known for his defense on the collegiate level. He is the Tommy Morrison of college basketball. The Great White Hype.

      • The Independent Rage says:

        Tommy Morrison couldn’t play defense either. Big punch, no chin, and never met a broad he wouldn’t let in.

      • Kyle R says:

        Kirk Hinrich would qualify.

        • Sirr Parker says:

          Hinrich is not known for his defense. He’s known for his ears. In his 12-year career, he has been named all-defensive second team one time (2007). So congrats guys, one all-defensive second team honor in a 12-year career. So I stand corrected, you win. White guys can definitely guard the perimeter as well as black dudes.

          • Kansas Marine says:

            Kirk Hinrich & Jason Kidd have both been on multiple NBA All-Defensive teams. Greg calls Harry’s comments on Hosmer “lazy.” Referencing Frankamp’s “whiteness” is about as stereotypical as you get.

      • Notme says:

        Kirk Hinrich, despite injuries and not being the quickest athlete, is still quite good (and pesky) defensively

      • Lou Brown says:

        John Stockton was a pretty good defensive player, maybe not known for his defense but great at steals. Jerrod Haase was a fine defensive guard at KU. And Bobby Jones was a forward.

        • Sirr Parker says:

          I know Bobby Jones was a forward. Kind of my point. There just aren’t any good white NBA guards (or people that could check guards like Jones could) that were known for their defense (at least since the 70s. Larry Bird and John Stockton made some all-defensive teams, but those, to me, were kind of like Jeter winning the Gold Glove every year. They gave it to them for their all-around game (and because sportswriters are sentimental), not strictly for their defense.

      • Kansas Marine says:

        Kirk Hinrich, Jason Kidd & John Stockton have all been on multiple NBA All-Defensive teams.

        • Sirr Parker says:

          Jason Kidd is black (African-American father, Irish-American mother). And Kirk Hinrich has not been on multiple NBA All-Defensive teams. He’s been on one. 2007 second team. In fact, he is the last white guard to appear on either the first or second team. And only Andrei Kirilenko was the only white guard on the team between Hinrich and Stockton, who was second-team in 1997. Again, the point is, white guards aren’t as good at defense as black guards. There could be a bunch of reasons for this. But those are the facts. Short, slow white guards like Connor Frankamp are especially not as good at defense. Connor can shoot the shit out of the ball and looks to be a pretty good passer, but he’s not at Kansas for his defense or even the projectability of his defense.

          • nick says:

            I think saying “White guards aren’t as good at defense as black guards” is unfair. Yes, stereotypically speaking, a black guard is likely to be a little quicker, which is a great asset for playing defense. But what if the black player seems to be out of position and unaware of what’s going on in a game much of the time (ahem…Tharpe)? In college basketball, players like Craft and Morningstar (or even Jason Sutherland, Mark Turgeon, Jerod Haase and Steve Henson) are extremely valuable. The “scrappy white guy”, stereotypically, makes up for his lack of athleticism by being consistently pesky and attentive. Yeah, I’d take the ‘A’ version of Tharpe over the ‘A’ version of Frankamp all day long. But I only see Tharpe’s ‘A’ game in glimpses. Playing defense is more than having the physical tools to move fast.

          • Kyle says:

            So that makes him as much white as he is black, right? Same as our “black” president.

  2. Mike says:

    Yeah, I’m sick of gleaning meaning from spring box scores/stats as well, that tend to be void of any significance. Time to start the season already.

  3. Phaedrus says:

    So now I got a “Jesus Christ is Lord” ad on this site. Can’t Google (or Jesus) take a joke!

  4. JP says:

    Buster Olney watches baseball and has seen all of the teams. I take his predictions with more credibility than KK or others. While being cynical since we always expect the worst here in KC, maybe this year is finally OUR TIME!!!

    As to Chen, he already shook off the bad outing, and he was working on pitches. While I like Josh Vernier, and enjoy his post-game work, I think he is a little off in terms of panic. If Spring Training really translated into the Regular Season, the Royals would not have a post-season drought. Call me when the real games start.

  5. Jim says:

    It’s the time of year when the “one and done” rule in college basketball is discussed and debated by every talking head in the nation. It’s typical lazy talk-show fodder. There’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,800 or 4,900 D1 college basketball players. Annually, there are 10 or 12 players that even fall into the “one and done” category. Is it really necessary to change a rule that doesn’t have any impact on 99.995% of college basketball players? Everyone bemoans the system and how it’s bad for college basketball. Really?

    • Smith says:

      It’s bad for basketball period. Bad for the NBA especially, which hardly anyone in KC can even relate to, much less care about.

      • Tigerpiper says:

        But its good for those players who don’t get a year or more of milliion dollar salaries stolen from them and redistributed to the colleges and the college head coaches.

        • Jim says:

          Then don’t go to college. Go overseas and start making your money. Colleges aren’t taking anything from the kids. It’s the NBA’s rule, not the NCAA. NFL has their own eligibility rules, too. This isn’t a tragedy.

          • Kyle R says:

            Exactly. Nobody is forcing them to go to college; it just happens to be the most common option. And for once, you can’t blame the NCAA one bit because they’d love to have all those guys in college for four years.

    • Lou Brown says:

      I have no problem with high schoolers going pro – if you’re good enough to play for money, go for it. The NBA should adopt MLB’s draft rules – go pro right out of high school or be ineligible for the draft until after your junior year of college. It would also improve the quality of play in the NBA. They could use the D league as a true minor league system.

  6. Kyle says:

    Selden is projected as a first round pick by the majority of mocks that I have seen. A few have him as a 2nd and I saw one that had him going undrafted. For a kid that is being told by many that he will likely go at the bottom of the 1st round and get guaranteed $, it’s not the easiest decision in the world. Kudos to Wayne for making what appears to be a smart decision. I think his stock will increase greatly and he gets to enjoy another year of college life.

    I wish I could enjoy another year of college life.

  7. nick says:

    “GH: I love Frankamp and I think he is going to be a KU legend before he’s through. But I’m not so sure more PT will “camouflage” his whiteness on defense.”

    If KU had a perimeter defender like Brady Morningstar this year, KU might have had 5 less losses and might still be playing right now. Or what if KU had an inside defender like Jeff Withey or Sasha Kahn this year?

    I don’t get the “whiteness” comment.

    • Fred Flintstone says:

      I do, it’s Greg’s way to start some controversy, like Keitzman and Mad Grandpa Jack do. Only a white man can say what he said, just like only African American’s can use the “N” word, and get away with it. To do otherwise is racist. Anything to get people talking, typing or arguing over a controversial statement is the point. People won’t read, “Dog bites man,” but they will read “Man bites dog.”

  8. Smith says:

    I find it amusing how Greg hangs on every word he hears come out of Jack Harry’s mouth and jots down fuel for his blog, then greases the other palm by going on KSHB in the same week to contribute to a story and get a little publicity for his Boston marathon “runners from the past” dinner.

    • Java Man says:

      I was getting a little uncomfortable with all the “we love you, Greg” comments from yesterday. Got to keep our boy humble.

      I’ve purposely ignored all the spring training stats. After 10 -15 times of falling for that trap, I learned. I’m slow, but I eventually get there.

      Any serious basketball program needs a white boy that can come off the bench and hit the three.

      • mike t says:

        ku needs one of those in any color… maybe frankamp is the guy, maybe he will be starting at point next season too.

  9. The Independent Rage says:

    I’ve never been so impressed with Hosmer as when I’d heard that he actually got tossed out of a damn exhibition game. That takes some bad attitude! Of course, I wouldn’t have heard about it unless I’d read it in this space. I think that fool Harry believes everyone in his audience just sits around monitoring sports talk or Twitter all day and already knows everything he’s going to say in his sportscast. If that’s really your preposterous belief, Harry, then what’s the point of your sportscast? You might as well do us all a favor and head out to pasture with your old Channel 5 running mate Don Fortune. And take Fesco and KK with you while you’re at it.

    • Tim says:

      Mad Jack likes to let people know he’s been in KC over 40 years, but when the highlight of your career was being the color guy with Fortune on KC Comets games………..

      • The Independent Rage says:

        I recall the old man turning the audio down on those 2 clowns and tuning in Kevin Wall’s radio call. Big improvement.

        • JP says:

          At long last, a Kevin Wall reference. Will Superfan Ed Bieler, John Doolittle or Conrad Dobler be next?

  10. artemmis says:

    we need a Lewis Diuguid column blaming “Black Privilege” for keeping down the number of white defensive basketball players

    • rkcal says:

      Wow, the butt hurt on the white guards comment is strong. Hey, we’ll always have hockey.

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