OTC: Should The Royals Start Over? / Realignment Strengthened The B12 / NBA Time Is Now

“This year feels like the first year we have a chance to compete from the first day to the last day… The starting rotation certainly gives us hope and a lot more consistency.”
Dayton Moore, prior to the start of spring training, Royalsreview.com
GH: As the Royals open an important home stand against the Twins, Astros and Tigers, it again appears that the Royals’ season is in the balance – and that is being kind. Many have already written off the Royals after an 8-20 month of May. It is panic time for the Royals. They need to win six of the nine home games to even feel good about themselves. A poor homestand should result in major changes. Read on.

“Many thought that Kansas City was ready to compete in the American League Central. Thus far, that has not been the case, as the team has gone 8-22 since a 14-10 first month. Ranked ninth in the ESPN Power Rankings in early May, the team has declined steadily, and this week finds itself ranked a lowly 24th. General Manager Dayton Moore has stressed patience before, but if the team can’t pull out of its tailspin in the next month or so, it will be time to pull the plug on the Moore era in K.C. … Kansas City should look to clean house with an eye toward the future.”
Paul Swydan, MLB writer, ESPN.com
GH: You want sobering? The thought of the Royals cleaning house – a very real possibility – and looking “toward the future,” should get the attention of even the all-too-quiet Glass family.

“After being No. 2 in each of the past two weeks, the St. Louis Cardinals grabbed the top spot for Week 10.”
ESPN.com
GH: Maybe the Royals mid-season slogan should be, “So close and yet so far,” considering the franchise’s proximity to St. Louis but the vast distance between the two teams’ histories.

“Most young players, especially when they’re put all in the lineup together, they have their times they’re going to struggle. And this is one of those times.”
Danny Knobler, MLB writer for CBSsports.com, on the Royals, John Feinstein Show
GH: George Brett was brought in to help the Royals’ young players cope with their lack of success. Or is he there for more?

“It’s less likely that he wants to than they want him to.”
Danny Knobler, when asked if Brett would be the next Royals manager, John Feinstein Show
GH: I am still surprised that Brett took the job as the team’s batting coach. Maybe he is interested in being the manager now that he’s older and his kids are about grown. Ned sure seems to be handling it well if his replacement is in the dugout.

“(Alex) Gordon is eighth among outfielders (for the AL All-Star balloting) with 522,483 votes, which puts him nearly 240,000 behind Detroit’s Torii Hunter for the final starting spot in the AL outfield. … The Royals have not had a player voted to a starting position since outfielder Jermaine Dye in 2000.”
Bob Dutton, Kansas City Star
GH: Is it any wonder why Damon, Beltran and Dye wanted out of Kansas City? Gordon would be one of MLB’s biggest starts on a winning team. The club hasn’t had a player voted in since 2000??!! This franchise just finds new ways to embarrass itself.

“Right-hander Kyle Zimmer, the club’s No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft, continues to struggle at Hi-A Wilmington. Zimmer is 0-5 with a 5.54 ERA after yielding five runs in six innings Sunday in a 5-3 loss to Frederick. Picollo admits the Royals find Zimmer’s ongoing struggles to be ‘a bit baffling at times’ because he continues to exhibit plus stuff and plus command.”
Bob Dutton, on the Royals top draft pick from the 2012 MLB draft, Kansas City Star
GH: What’s baffling about a Royals top draft pick floundering? Read on.

“From a delivery standpoint and a stuff standpoint, it’s everything and then some. Right now, we have to be a little more patient than we anticipated. But that’s OK. I think in the end it will speed up (his development).”
J.J. Picollo, Royals assistant GM, on Zimmer, Kansas City Star
GH: With the MLB draft set to start Thursday, it is sobering to note that the Royals are once again preaching patience about yet another top pick. Maybe the team should change the name from the Royals to Job.

“Opinion: Roger Twibell peddles popular putters”
Headline online for Tom Keegan’s column in the Lawrence Journal-World
GH: I know the summer months can be a slow time for a college town columnist but did Keegan have to resort to pimping putters for Twibell? Read on.

“A collection of decorative putters leaning against the wall in the corner of his office inspired longtime broadcaster Roger Twibell to come up with a product that merges the loyalty aspect of those impractical door prizes with a golfer’s desire to trim strokes. Twibell pulled it off. He markets logo putters from the website logoputter.com. A number of universities, including Kansas, Kansas State and Wichita State, licensed him to sell putters with their logos.”
Tom Keegan, columnist, KUSports.com
GH: This “column” was akin to a Kevin Kietzman grilling segment. Just an awful use of space in a newspaper’s sports section reserved for their columnist.

“You know, with all our breaking news (about George Brett’s hiring), we didn’t get to do our grilling segment with Jim Cotty.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: George Brett to the rescue yet again…

“We’re infinitely stronger and infinitely in a better place than we were four years ago. We’re in a better position to move forward”
John Currie, K-State AD, when asked by Kevin Kietzman if all the conference realignment was just a waste, 810 AM
GH: While Kietzman and others are still upset with the severed limbs and new transplants realignment caused to every BCS conference, Currie makes a great point – realignment strengthened the Big 12 – especially for Kansas State, Kansas and Iowa State. The Big 12 was a festering mess of paranoia and deceit before Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri and Texas A&M moved on. Adapting to your environment makes businesses stronger and keeps species from becoming extinct. Were there some mistakes made in realignment? Yes. I believe West Virginia erred in joining the Big 12 and the Big 10 whiffed in inviting Rutgers. But I like the choices almost every other school has made. It sure makes the KC market a more diverse and interesting place to be to follow college athletics.

“Fred’s (Hoiberg) position at Iowa State opened up, and he wasted no time in coming after Doc Sadler). Doc will be a huge asset for their team not only from a recruiting standpoint, but also as an on-the-floor coach. He’s a terrific coach that loved what he did last year but missed getting a chance to work with the guys in practice. I think this is a win-win for everybody.”
Bill Self, on Sadler leaving his position as KU’s head of basketball operations, KUSports.com
GH: The former Nebraska basketball coach appears restless but not so restless he wants to leave the old Big 12 North. Doc will have spent stints at Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa State over the past three seasons. I like Doc but I think he peaked at Nebraska as far as head-coaching opportunities. Self had a spot open on his staff when Joe Dooley took the Florida Gulf Coast job but it doesn’t appear Doc was seriously considered for it.

“’Michael (Dixon) arrived at Memphis this morning for an official visit but has not committed,’ source close to Dixon told ESPNcom.”
Jason King, @JasonKingESPN, Twitter
GH: Dixon was rumored to be close to signing with Baylor last month. It appears he remains a wanted man.

“The top ten other things Jose Canseco predicted.”
Bob Fescoe, urging callers to contribute to the show’s daily top ten list, 610 AM
GH: There was a time I thought Fescoe’s top ten segment was a good idea. That time was long ago. It is an automatic channel changer for me now. And listening to Josh Klingler promote it for three hours every morning makes it all the more grating.

“Jason (Kidd’s) value to the Knicks and the National Basketball Association cannot be quantified by statistics alone. Everyone here in New York saw firsthand what a tremendous competitor he is and why Jason is considered to be one of the best point guards, and leaders, the game has ever seen.”
Glen Grunwald, Knicks general manager, on Kidd retiring after 19 years in the NBA, USA Today
GH: I saw Jason Kidd play inside Allen Fieldhouse his freshman year at Cal in 1993. His hype at the time was legendary. I walked down onto the court during the pregame drills to stand next to Kidd and see what all the fuss was about. He didn’t strike me as all that special. Nice handles and a great passing touch but he couldn’t shoot at all. Let’s just say he improved quite a bit. 19 years in the NBA? Legendary is right.

“I’m not going to watch any basketball. … I think you’ve got to cleanse yourself a little bit.”
Kevin Harlan, who said he has it in his contract that he is done working the NBA after the second round of the playoffs, 810 AM
GH: Kind of ironic that when Harlan stops watching the NBA is when I and many others start.

“I haven’t read a book since the end of July last year. I’ve got a couple of books I want to read.”
Kevin Harlan, 810 AM
GH: I have three books on my bedside stand that I have yet to crack – Gone Girl (which everyone tells me is an absolute page turner), Unbroken (which my wife read and loved) and Again to Carthage (John Parker’s sequel to Once a Runner). What’s on your reading list this summer?

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.

34 Responses to OTC: Should The Royals Start Over? / Realignment Strengthened The B12 / NBA Time Is Now

  1. sporty says:

    Unbroken is one of the best books I’ve read. Definite page-turner.

  2. John Giardino says:

    I didn’t like Gone Girl. I have been reading a lot of non-fiction recently, though. I just read a biography of Kit Carson and I am also reading a book on Statistics.

  3. charlie says:

    Unbroken is a definite read?

  4. John Giardino says:

    Also for Royals fans that need more practice with patience: I would recommend reading Finnigans Wake. If you have the patience, focus, and discipline for that book, you will can wait another 25 years for the Royals to make the playoffs.

  5. JP says:

    “You know, with all our breaking news (about George Brett’s hiring), we didn’t get to do our grilling segment with Jim Cotty.”
    Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM

    Who says there was nothing positive with the George Brett hiring.

  6. J Rok says:

    It’s about that time of year again. You know the one. It’s when the “real” Royals fans start claiming smart fans are “bandwagon” because they refuse to waste their money and time on such a shit product.

  7. PV_Pathfinder says:

    “page turner” is an excellent description for Gone Girl. I thought the ending fell just a little flat, but the lead up is one hell of a roller coaster ride!

  8. tiad says:

    Idea for a new Royals mid-season promotion: Lose the bobbleheads, since they are overdone and overrated. Instead, offer the “Come to Suck” sock puppets for Dayton, Ned, Moose, Hos and, last but not least, the Glass-holes.

  9. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    The new Big12 sucks. As one of my KU friends stated, “It feels like all my long term next door neighbors up and moved away in the middle of the night, and new people from another country moved in.” Organizationally, they are in a mildly better position. But look at the trauma and loss this conference had to UNNECESSARILY go through in order to get to a better spot. I just wish the B12 and it’s member schools had been more proactive.

    • b12 says:

      This. 2010 and prior…the Big 12 neighborhood was one where everyone let their dog crap in their neighbor’s yards and didn’t bother to clean it up.
      Now…maybe not so much dog crap, but one of the new neighbors burn couches all the time.

      • Twy's Gibman says:

        well done b12. I really like the conference now, though WV is a huge outlier geographically, the round robin in football provides a true pecking order. It was apparently necessary to have bloodletting before the powers that be realized how divisive previous policies were. It’s too bad.

        • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

          Let’s just admit it. The B12 would’ve been better off had CU, NU, MU, and aTm stuck around, and all revenues divided equally, especially 1st and 2nd tier tv rights. I’m sorry, but no one can sit there and tell me that losing those 4 schools, then adding the two they did makes the conference just as good or better. Sorry, it doesn’t. The new tv deal is a good one, but can you imagine how much better it would be with the original 4 schools still in the fold?

          • Twy's Gibman says:

            I agree – maybe trading CU for WV or TCU would have upgraded, but otherwise, you’re right. The geographic rivalries and being able to see half of road games within a 5-6 hour drive is something you can’t replace. Of course, A&M rarely accomplished much in this conference. They actually seem better suited for the SEC. Maybe the SEC is weaker after all.

  10. dman says:

    No one with plus stuff AND plus command is 0-5 with a 5+ ERA. I don’t doubt he has good stuff, but if he could put it where he wanted it, the hitters wouldn’t be able to hit it.

    I was hoping Zimmer would move up quickly. At this point I just hope he has his TJ surgery while he is in the minors rather than making it to the majors and then getting injured.

  11. Kyle says:

    Not adding Louisville to the B12 looks dumber all the time.

  12. Gavin says:

    Greg, I’m curious as t o why you think the B1G adding Rutgers was a bad idea and why West Virginia made a mistake coming to the Big XII. Rutgers only looks stupid because of the mess they’re in with their hothead former basketball coach and one moron after another in the athletic department as well as the administration of the university on general. But No one at the conference could have known any of that at the time. If the name of the game is TV sets, and that’s what we keep hearing during every new realignment phase, Rutgers seems to make quite a bit of sense for the rapacious Big Ten.

    Similarly, West Virginia is making a crap-ton more money than they ever were in the constantly imperiled Big East. More money in a suddenly, albeit admittedly recently, stable Big XII? How does that not make sense? I admit, the travel is tougher for them and the geography is questionable, but it seems that millions of dollars and having an actual conference to call home would more than offset that. Although Kyle is right, they should have added Louisville instead. That would have made much more sense.

    As for the books, I can also vouch for “Unbroken.” Fantastic book. Amazing story made all the better by the fact that it’s true. I can’t say anything about “Gone Girl” except that my wife despised it. She couldn’t put it down and refused to stop reading it, but she said that it absolutely pissed her off and she hated everyone in the whole damn book. But it was, apparently, a great read.

    • Greg Hall says:

      I think Rutgers diminishes the stature of the B1G. Syracuse was the school to get if the B1G wanted the NY/NE market.

      WVU is like CU in the old Big 12 times two. It’s just too far away for both team travel and their fans. I just don’t see them ever becoming part of the B12 landscape in titles or rivalries.

      • Gavin says:

        Well, I can’t argue with the issue of stature but I’m not sure very many of the schools who have moved have done much to bring anything in the way of stature to their new conferences. Colorado didn’t exactly bring a host of titles with it to the Pac-12. Nebraska football was on a slide when it went to the BiG and it hasn’t pulled out of it. Syracuse brings basketball to the ACC, but no one can say that it is suddenly making people forget its top basketball schools. What does Utah take to the Pac-12 again?

        I will leave it to others to make the comments about Mizzou.

        No, it’s been drummed into our skulls that “stature” wasn’t the issue here. It was TV sets, pure and simple. These conferences want to expand their footprints so they can make more money. And if those are the measuring sticks, then these moves have been successes all around. Even West Virginia (insert joke here) can read a map. They knew how far they were from the nearest (and most distant) Big XII schools and they made the conscious decision to take more money in exchange for that. They seem happy enough with their deal with the devil.

  13. geoknows says:

    There are several books titled Unbroken – which one are you talking about?

    • Gavin says:

      I assume we’re all talking about the one by Laura Hillenbrand? That’s the one I mean.

      • sporty says:

        Yes, that’s the one. It’s a true story about would-be Olympic distance runner Louie Zamperini. WW2 got in the way. Great read.

        • Gavin says:

          He actually *was* an Olympic distance runner.

          • sporty says:

            True, just, maybe could have been more!

          • Gavin says:

            No kidding. It sucks what was taken from him and I’m amazed that the bitterness didn’t eat him alive. I’m absolutely convinced he could have been a gold medalist.

  14. Ultimate Dude says:

    Feel bad for Kietz. I’m sure Cotty still sent over that free food for the 810 buzzards to devour.

    Agree that everyone who left big 12 is in a better position. Colorado and MU weren’t challenging for titles anyways, but are in better conferences overall. Big 10 already has Ohio State, Penn St scandals, adding the Rutgers shenanigans doesn’t help their image. ACC becomes best bball conference with Pitt, Louisville and ‘Cuse added. ku wouldn’t allow a decent challenger in for hoops, and Louisville easily would have been just that for big 12. Texas doesn’t want to sink any lower in football standings so don’t see any real football program (FSU) going big 12.

    Have put off last 100 pages or so of April, 1865 for over a yr now. Coaching Confidential: Inside the Fraternity of NFL Coaches by Gary Myers is a solid sports/NFL read.

    Need to get started on the manuscript for why ku is the most overrated, underachieving hoops program in basketball history. Every built in advantage with not much title success. Can easily get 1,000 pages out of this. No coach at ku has ever won more than one title. Those damned coaching trees!! Thinking of a book titled Glorious Tradition: The Fallacy of ku Hoops

    • Gavin says:

      Oh, thank god. Three paragraphs in and there were almost zero no yummy, delicious Ultimate Dude hater tears. I mean that reference to KU not allowing in Louisville was nice, but not nearly what I’ve come to expect. I was worried you wouldn’t give me any of those sweet, salty delicious hater tears but you came through! Thanks so much for that cupful at the end UD. God your tears are so tasty!

    • JP says:

      “Need to get started on the manuscript for why ku is the most overrated, underachieving hoops program in basketball history.” Gee, who is having trouble getting over conference realignment and moving on? Hint: it’s not KU fans. Must be fun living in a world of hatred and jealousy, right Dude!!!

  15. KCMonarch says:

    Just cracked open Grapes of Wrath. I read it in high school as required reading
    The first experience was completely ruined by English Lit teacher’s over analysis.

  16. Phaedrus says:

    Unbroken was a great read. Zamperini wrote and published an autobiography, Devil at My Heels, before Hillenbrand wrote her book.

    Again to Carthage was also a good book. I assume that you’ve read Born to Run?

  17. The Smartman says:

    I still believe in Karma and that the Royals demise has more to do with the bad mojo David Glass reaped upon himself during his stint at WalMart not to mention the operational style in his DNA. This team is still not ready for prime time on a consistent basis. I’m sure he wants to win and that if you could guarantee him a World Series for a $120/MM payroll he’d do it. Unfortunately, life don’t roll like that and Ol Royals fans will continue their trek through the baseball desert.

    Can’t see George Brett wanting to be manager unless he became the defacto GM too. The hours, the grind of 162 games, the pressers, at a point in his life where his most difficult decision on any day should be full 8 iron or easy 7………if you could get the full fire in the belly it’d be great. Just don’t think he’s that guy any more.

  18. ironhorseblues says:

    I most definitely agree with OTC concerning the boring, annoying daily “top ten list” on 610. The only thing worse is the “stump the chump” segment on 810 on Friday’s (and I change the station during the airing of both).

    • JP says:

      I think the Top Ten list on Fescoe in the Morning has definitely reached it’s end point. Every day it’s the same thing. How many times can we attempt to laugh at…”Ahh Cooter”.

  19. Java Man says:

    I’ll recommend a movie, but never a book. Cool, if you want to blame me for wasting a couple hours of your life, but I don’t want to be on the hook for a whole weekend.