OTC: Royals’ Ventura Wows Orioles / Mellinger On Rex Hudler / Is Kim Anderson Too Old School For DI?

“That (Yordano Ventura) kid’s special, to say the least. He’s got a 95-100 mph (fastball). His change-up I think is the pitch that keeps people off his fastball. His curveball was filthy. I don’t like to tip my cap but the guy’s got some good stuff and he went out there and showed it.”
Adam Jones, Orioles center fielder, after facing Yordano Ventura last week in Baltimore where he shut out the O’s in eight innings of work, Baltimore Sun
GH: Have the Royals found their next Zack Greinke? Ace Ventura will be on the hill at The K tonight against Toronto in 50-degree weather. I cannot imagine the Jays are looking forward to their introduction to the Royals rookie.

“I think KC is one of the better teams in the AL. I think top to bottom they have the top pure arm strength pitching staff in baseball.”
Buck Showalter, Orioles manager, via tweet from Orioles beat reporter @masRoch, after KC took two of three games in Baltimore over the weekend, Twitter
GH: The Royals led the AL in ERA last season and finished third in the ALC. The Royals’ arms will need some help from the Royals’ bats to make this summer more than last summer.

“But we do know that the Royals signed a ridiculously talented player (in Ventura) for $28K. He’s being paid $500K this season, and has already out-performed the cost of this year’s salary by generating .8 WAR – and it’s still April. He has a fastball that occasionally clocks in at 102 MPH. At 22 years old, he displays great presence and maturity on the mound, smooth mechanics which should help to mitigate injury risk, and routinely makes talented big league hitters seem over-matched. They’re batting .204 against him so far in 2014.”
Tom Barkwell, writer, KingsofKauffman.com
GH: Sounds like we all should dig out our stocking caps and head to The K tonight to see the AL ROTY. There will be plenty of seats available.

“If anything, boos are louder for Cano’s second at-bat. … Was at both (KC All-Star Game and last night’s Mariners/Yankees game). Louder at Kauffman, which is saying something.”
Bob Dutton, @TNT_Mariners, as the former Yankee second baseman was booed in his first game back to New York, Twitter
GH: Jimmy Fallon pranked Yankees fans Monday night with a great “Boo Cano” scam. Watch it here. Fallon is absolutely destroying my sleep pattern since he took over for Leno. He is reinventing late-night talk show television and it is quickly becoming can’t-miss TV.

“Joy of Yankees fans – YANKEES FANS – booing a player who left for more money is something for us little market folks to treasure.”
Joe Posnanski, @JPosnanski, Twitter

“I have a different look at Rex (Hudler), because I see him. I talk to him. The most important thing to me is that he is who he is, on the broadcast and off. This is not an act, a character he plays only when he sees the red light come on. This is who he is. He’s genuine, he’s vulnerable, he’s above all else enthusiastic. I also think it helps to not take him too seriously. I don’t mean that in a way, like, “just don’t listen to him.” I mean that he wants to have fun on the broadcasts. He knows this is a game, not the bar exam. I like that about him, too.”
Sam Mellinger, responding to a Twitter Tuesday reader who asked why Hudler remains a part of the Royals TV broadcasts,  kansascity.com
GH: I don’t understand why seeing and talking to Hudler should influence Mellinger’s opinion of his work on the Royals broadcasts. Sam also sees and talks to the Royals and Chiefs players, coaches and front office personnel – does that make him want to be a bit easier on his critique of their performances? Knowing the people you critique can be difficult. But a columnist’s ultimate goal should be to serve his/her audience, not those he covers and happens to know.

“NBCSN’s (NHL) Flyers-Rangers Game 5 (Tuesday) night averaged a 0.5 rating from 7:30-10:15pm.”
John Ourand, @Ourand_SBJ, Twitter
GH: The NHL has a passionate but insignificant fan base when it comes to TV ratings. Not unlike the MLS.

“TNT’s Warriors-Clippers posted biggest NBA playoff overnight (3.7). ‘Inside the NBA’ pulled a 1.7 last night from 1:30-2:30amET.”
John Ourand, @Ourand_SBJ, Twitter
GH: The NBA’s postgame show drew three times the ratings the NHL game did – and it was on well after midnight in most markets.

“Bill and Nancy Laurie should buy the Clippers and move them to Kansas City! Sprint Center awaits!”
Kim English, former Mizzou basketball player, @Emglishscope24, Twitter
GH: Are the Clippers in any danger of moving from LA? Almost assuredly no.

“Guys, stop. Just stop. Donald Sterling has a better chance of being elected mayor of Atlanta than Kansas City does of landing the Clippers.”
Sam Mellinger, @mellinger, Twitter

“Donald Sterling banned from anything NBA. A punishment also currently levied on Kansas City.”
Mick Shaffer, @mickshaffer, Twitter

“This is the worst part of sports talk radio – when you’ve booked a guest and he’s canceled before…do we say his name or not? Anthony Peeler.”
Steven St. John, after the former Mizzou basketball star was a now show for their Monday show, 810 AM
GH: Does the listener really care about who no-showed The Border patrol or any sports talk radio show? I don’t. SSJ going public with this kind of “news” sounds petty to me. A pro just rolls on with his/her show and takes it out on Peeler in private.

“I texted back and forth yesterday, I believe it was Anthony Peeler but I could be getting catfished right now. We have had him booked three different times and he’s canceled every time.”
Aaron Swarts, who books guests for The Border Patrol, 810 AM

“I’m not going to go with massive transfers. If something fits, we might do that. But we’re going to try and build this brand from as many four-year players as we can. That’s kind of the official plan we’re looking at.”
Kim Anderson, in an interview with Kevin Kietzman explaining how he wants to build his basketball program at Mizzou, 810 AM
GH: Anderson is spouting some very conservative and old-school basics to build his program at Mizzou. The reality of it may prove to be quite different than he envisions.

“I’m not interested in graduating (basketball) players. I don’t think anybody should be. Bill Self’s got a whole bunch of guys down there (not graduating).”
Jay Binkley, after Anderson stated his staff would be concentrating on winning and graduating players, 610 AM
GH: Four-year grads are not all that necessary for building a winning DI basketball program. Sure, it sounds good but this is no longer 1999. Anderson will need to adapt to a very different DI environment than the one he knew under Norm. It will be interesting to see what his program looks like in three years and how closely he will be able to follow his early vision.

“Food for thought this morning: With Haith’s departure, Mizzou doesn’t have a single head coach in its athletic department that isn’t white.”
Ashley Zavala, @ZavalaA, reporter for Comcast, Twitter
GH: Mike Alden’s last two head basketball hires were black and I thought he might go that route again to avoid this all-white label for MU’s head coaches.

“With what Missouri has done with their last three hires, give this thing a chance. … What are we talking about here? The bar isn’t that high!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Mizzou’s last three head basketball coaches have all taken the Tigers to the Elite Eight or won a conference tournament. Mizzou basketball hasn’t slipped to become Nebraska under Snyder, Anderson and Haith. The height of the bar for Kim is still going to take some stretching to clear.

“Coming up next – ten mind-numbing sports narratives that everybody uses. Next on Sports Radio 610.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: I did not stick around to find out if formula-driven sports talk radio segments like this was on Fescoe’s list.

[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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23 Responses to OTC: Royals’ Ventura Wows Orioles / Mellinger On Rex Hudler / Is Kim Anderson Too Old School For DI?

  1. JP says:

    The Clippers aren’t going anywhere, and KC will not land an NBA or NHL team unless an Owner with deep pockets comes on and brings that team hear. I think KC is big enough to support another team, but no Owner combined with likely mimimal TV revenue will make it difficult.

    I feel better about the Royals, despite their record. This team hit like excrement in April, yet are 1 game above .500 as of April 30. If this is indeed their low water mark, I expect this team to heat up with the warmer months. That win last night was like the glory years, with the Royals getting hot and scoring in bunches in the late innings. It was beautiful to watch. The Royals bullpen is getting rested, while a lot of teams are wasting their relief pitchers. That catches up to teams in July and August. Just look at past Royals teams. I think they will be fine and Ventura is the real deal.

  2. Joe Blow says:

    The thing that a lot of people don’t seem to get about Hudler is that he drops a lot of insight about how the game is actually played from being an ex-player. People just focus on his delivery without listening to what he is saying..

    • Steve says:

      There is some truth to this. I was watching the game with my brother the other night and Rex started breaking down a play that happened. It was informative, I liked it, and then once he was done he immediately broke into his cartoony over-the-top voice and sayings. And I said, “you know, when he’s being informative, he’s not that bad”, but it’s just so hard to look past the antics sometimes because it does seem fake and he just does it too much. You’re right, it’s all in the delivery.

      As for Mellinger, Greg, he might just like Rex and is able to tolerate him more than most people.

  3. FJH says:

    A team full of 4-year players is a bad NCAA team. You have to have NBA prospects (one and done, two and done) to compete at the highest levels – sad truth.

    • Kyle R says:

      Wisconsin’s Final Four team that almost made the nat’l championship game, along with Wichita State’s #1 seed team that made the Final Four last year, beg to differ. Neither were flukes. And UConn’s team was certainly not a bunch of early entry guys either.

    • Joe Blow says:

      It’s worked so well for Kansas.

      • Jim says:

        The formula isn’t to have one-and-done’s. It’s to have multiple Pro’s, not simply one and done’s.

      • FJH says:

        25 wins with the most difficult schedule in the country qualifies as “competing at the highest levels”.

  4. Mike says:

    I think it’s a bit misleading to craft an NHL-centric argument about ratings (Ratings!!) on a night when the PHI-NYR was fairly noncompetitive.
    It’s being way too selective to use just one night’s data set to make a reach of a conclusion like that, Greg. The NHL game had a lot going against it last night. The Rangers-Flyers game was A) a snoozer, B) the NBA playoffs were being played against the backdrop of one of the top three (if not the biggest) sports stories of the year, in a year where C) the NBA playoffs have been over-the-top competitive, even by their standards, and D) though a tiny factor, the NYR-PHI game wasn’t a Game 7.
    The NHL’s ratings won’t ever overtake the NBA, and the confluence of events yesterday (and the last four days) meant that they, and other games elsewhere, would get topped by the NBA.
    But if you look back over the last few years, instead of just one night’s ratings, on a night that was meaningfully abnormal, the NHL has actually done quite well in the TV world. Enough to ever overtake the NBA? No. The 90’s-era thought delusion is over. But the NHL is quietly building a solid, if ‘ratings unspectacular’ presence in the landscape.

  5. The Independent Rage says:

    Vintage Fesco: Always delivering “5 seconds and click” moments to people who stumble across his show from time to time. I always appreciate it when the host warns me promptly that I need not listen any longer.

    • JHawkScott says:

      I flip over to 610 when 810 is on commercial while I’m driving into work. I used to stay and listen but anymore it’s just so bad I can’t do it. I thought Fescoe was bad before but he’s just horrible, horrible radio. I find myself listening to 710 more than 610 in the morning.

  6. b12 says:

    I was hoping Greg might have a dissection of the complete awfulness that was TJ Carpenter in the 4:00 hour on BTL yesterday.

    He has been here two years, and is so hopelessly out of touch with Kansas City sports talk you would think he was on 610.

    Arrogance mixed with assumptions are a bad combo, TJ. I’m not a Mizzou fan. Far from it…but I know Mizzou and their fans enough to know everything he opined about the presser, etc…was wrong. He made Old Man Kissel seem sane.

    • Jimbo says:

      I haven’t listened to BTL for several years now, what did TJ say(he is an idiot every time I have heard him on the radio, so not surprised at all)?

      • Kyle says:

        No idea what he said, but he is God awful. Just terrible at his job.

      • b12 says:

        @jimbo. Basically that Mizzou fans were downtrodden and he was surprised Mizzou didn’t just spend what it took to get Gregg Marshall hired…then give Pinkel a raise, etc..

        Basically still comparing Mizzou to Arkansas, Mizzou operates differently than other SEC schools, just in an irritating, condescending tone.

        I’m paraphrasing, and probably got some of it wrong, but ol’ KK heard the trainwreck happening and tried to steer him out of it.

        • Greg says:

          Yeah…Tennessee went big. Don’t they have the ability to pay Marshall or even go for Howland at $2 mill +? I didn’t listen either, but I do know in his heart he thinks Arkansas athletics are on a much higher level than Mizzou.

          He forgets Mizzou played in the SEC title game in December and will be one of the favorites to get back there this coming December.

  7. Java Man says:

    Greg, glad to see you toss out the race card on the Kim Anderson hiring. I was going to give my thoughts on the hiring of a white coach, but didn’t want to risk a lifetime ban from your blog.

  8. Phaedrus says:

    It seems to me that Anderson is making a smart move by going after 4 year players. MU can’t compete in the same recruiting circles as Kentucky, Kansas, UNC, etc, so it makes no sense to go after those kinds of players. He’s better off recruiting kids that fit his system and then coaching them up over their 4 years (call it the Wisconsin/Butler/Wichita State/etc way). It’s not sexy, but it’ll work better in the long run than trying to get a bunch of one & dones.

  9. Cletus Frade says:

    Wouldn’t it be racist to hire a black coach just so you can say you have a black coach in your athletic department? I imagine any school that has all black coaches or all white coaches in their athletic department believe they have the best coaches available. One might suspect the Comcast reporter is herself a racist for even bringing up the subject. Missouri has had many more black coaches than most other schools in the Big 12/SEC.

    I never watch the NBA on TV but, when I do see game highlights on the news, I always wonder who are all those people in the stands? I can’t imagine anyone actually spending their hard-earned money on pro-basketball tickets.

    • Steve says:

      Try watching some NBA games and you’ll realize why. It’s incredible basketball, especially the playoffs.

  10. Jayhawk '97 says:

    Try 1510… granted, Mike and Mike are very vanilla… but vanilla ice cream is better then crap ice cream

    • Mike says:

      Ugh. The issues with Mike&Mike…
      1) They’re so non-threatening as to be deferential. See: the Emmert interview.
      2) The inability to move a conversation forward. I think they’ve fallen victim to their own formulaic sense.
      3) by design, or sheer incompetence by management, the inability to integrate their production team into small on-air personas within the show, a la Dan Patrick.
      4) What they perceive to be funny on-air is just dreadful.
      5) They can be a little preachy, especially when lacking substance.
      6) Golic can appear quite limited at times, like he seems out of place within certain sports/topics.

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