“If the Royals beat the Tigers (Tuesday), they will be in first place at the 70-game mark for the first time since…1980.”
Rany Jazayerli, @jazayerli
GH: The same year a gapped-tooth George Brett flirted with the magical number .400. Number 5 ended up hitting .390. Read that sentence again and then genuflect.
“The 2 through 5 hitters for the Royals tonight: 9-for-19, 7 RBI.”
Buster Olney, @Buster_ESPN, on the Royals night against Detroit’s Justin Verlander, Twitter
GH: The Royals are starting to capture the attention of baseball’s talking heads around the country. Winning eight in a row will do that – especially when this recent hot streak includes the Cardninals, Yankees and Justin Verlander.
“In his last six games, Billy Butler is hitting .456 (10 for 22) with 10 RBIs. Small sample size, but still pretty good.”
Pete Grathoff, @pgrathoff, Twitter
GH: Butler has been so bad this season that many of us were concerned he might have forgotten how to hit. It looks like he is remembering just in time.
“When I looked at it (on TV), that was probably one of my better catches. Making a play and then going and actually seeing it — wow. I kind of impressed myself a little bit.” Lorenzo Cain, on his spectacular diving catch in right center Monday night off a drive by J.D. Martinez in the sixth inning, MLB.com
GH: Cain might be the quietest budding superstar Royals fans have had the pleasure to root for in a decade. Cain, Alex Gordon and that big ballpark are three very good reasons for free-agent pitchers to want to sign with the Royals.
“The five-year, $140M extension Justin Verlander signed doesn’t start until 2015. His 4.98 ERA this year is 91st of 99 qualifying pitchers.”
Jeff Passan, @JeffPassan, Twitter GH: All those high pitch count innings that Verlander absorbed over the years might be coming back for payment in 2014. A broken Verlander could make the Tigers payroll a heavy burden over the next five years.
“Everyone was saying even as he gets older and loses velocity, he’s got the pitches to get people out. Right now, he’s scuffling and everyone’s saying he’s done. I don’t think he’s done. I think Justin Verlander will be just fine.”
Brad Ausmus, Tigers manager, MLB.com
“If I was up in the stands, I’d boo myself too. I will get better. They’ll cheer again.”
Justin Verlander, on the hometown fans booing him Monday night, MLB.com
“Still wouldn’t want to face Detroit pitching in a postseason series.”
Jeff Rosen, @jeff_rosen88, Twitter GH: Playoffs? Playoffs? The Royals in the playoffs? Line up the Tigers, Bears and the Wicked Witch of the North. If the Royals are in the playoffs who cares if the opponent is chucking fireballs from their broom?
Andy McCullough, Royals beat writer for The Star, when asked by Nate Bukaty what his favorite thing about Detroit is, 810 AM
“Incredible. I don’t even know what to say. That was…that was beautiful! That was American. Whether it was the set pieces or defending like banshees, or even when things happened and being able to adjust. This guy right here, Jürgen Klinsmann, has done something that Bob Bradley and Bruce Arenas couldn’t do – that’s beat Ghana in the World Cup. And it happened today in the most American of ways. This was a wonderful game.”
Alexi Lalas, former USA soccer superstar, soccer analyst, ESPN
GH: The written words of Lalas’ comments do not do them justice. He spoke from the heart with passion built up from a lifetime of playing and representing his country on the pitch.
“I told some teammates that I had a dream like two days before that I score in the 80th minute. Now it’s the 86th minute. I’m happy about that.”
John Brooks, on his game-winning header against Ghana, ESPN
“Amazing night in Natal !! Our fans were all over the stadium !! FANTASTIC !! 3 points and now looking forward to Manaus !!!”
Jürgen Klinsmann, head coach of the USA World Cup squad, @J_Klinsmann, Twitter
“We’re calling it. This is the best celebration of tonight’s amazing John Brooks winner–WATCH: slate.me/1sk9tTy pic.twitter.com/yVjQtfPm8d”
GH: Kansas City might not be the nation’s best soccer town but they might be as well. This city has morphed into one of the sport’s most avid advocates. Thank you Cerner.
“I think a lot of people like yourself are looking in with some apprehension. That’s alright, I understand that. There are folks out there that probably wanted a bigger name. And there are ones who are glad to have a piece of the past back. We’ll just go forth and hopefully build a good basketball team.”
Kim Anderson, in an interview with Carrington Harrison, after Harrison admitted to him that he was not initially fond of the hire, 610 AM
GH: This was a brave move by the young Harrison. He flat told Anderson that he was not in favor of Mike Alden hiring the DII coach and that he still has some misgivings. You don’t get that kind of honestly in a lot of face-to-face interviews. I was impressed.
“When they had the press conference and introduced you, I thought, ‘Man, this guy loves Missouri like I do!’ So maybe I’m not 100% behind the hire, but because of that I will certainly give it a lot of time to see if it will work.”
Carrington Harrison, openly addressing his initial concerns with MU hiring him Anderson out of DII, 610 AM
“I understand the young (MU fans’ reluctance to accept him). My son’s about your age. He was for me…. But that’s part of the job. No matter who they would have hired there would have been people who would have been for it and people who would have been disappointed. I don’t let that bother me. I just go out and try to do my job and prove yto everybody this was the right hire.”
Kim Anderson, in his interview with Anderson, 610 AM
GH: Anderson has been almost perfect since he owned that initial press conference. If he can coach half as well as he can communicate, MU just might have stumbled upon their missing piece to their past.
“I think Kansas says yes (to playing Missouri) the day Mike Alden leaves Mizzou.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Is Alden that much of a Boogey Man to the Jayhawks? Isn’t he the guy Lew Perkins out-danced to the Orange Bowl? I would think KU would be quite fond of Alden staying at Mizzou.
and Twitter @greghall24