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Greg HallOff the Couch

by Greg Hall
Landmark columnist


Chiefs lose to a shit show

Written 11/21/14

Headline, following Oakland’s 24-20 upset of the Chiefs, in the Kansas City Star’s Sports Daily
GH: I am proud of the Kansas City Star for running this banner headline in the Friday newspaper. The local newspaper should report the news, offer opinions on the news and entertain its readers. This headline went three-for-three.

“It reminded me of Missouri’s loss to Indiana.”
Steven St. John, comparing Mizzou’s loss to the worst team in the Big Ten (0-6 in the B1G) to the Chiefs loss to the previously winless Raiders, 810 AM

“The final code work is ‘garbage.’”
Henry Lake, 610 AM
GH: Even 610 Sports’ listener’s games got in the act of dissing the Chiefs effort in Oakland.

“Told you America. Chiefs have now lost 4 times to a team 0-10 or worse...no other team has more than two such losses.”
Trey Wingo, @wingoz,  ESPN SportsCenter anchor, Twitter
GH: Great. Thanks for that stat, Wingo.

“I can't believe the Chiefs lost to that shit-show.”
Mick Shaffer, @mickshaffer, Twitter

“I think the Raiders are terrible. I still think they’re terrible. That’s what makes this such a terrible loss.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM

“Short week, bad weather, long trip and all that. The Chiefs can't lose that game and claim to be a contender.”
Tod Palmer, @todpalmer, Twitter

“We beat Seattle and New England and lost to Tennessee and Oakland...seriously.”
Conrad McGorkin, @ConradMcGorkin, Twitter
GH: This is the NFL. I would say that following your fantasy football team hurts less than when your favorite team loses but I don’t think that is true either. Losing just stinks all around.

“Say what you want Chiefs haters. But, let me tell you the REFS took this game. The Chiefs may not make the playoffs now! Sad! Thank you refs.”
Gary Lezak, @glezak, Twitter
GH: Lezak was particularly incensed about the pivotal pass interference penalty called on the Chiefs’ Ron Parker on Oakland’s final scoring drive. It looked to me and most Chiefs fans to be more offensive pass interference than defensive. But whining about the refs when you lose to a 0-10 team? No. Not allowed, Gary.

“I feel like the Chiefs are in much better hands. Had Romeo Crennel been the coach of that team, that game would have been 33-6. They fought back.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: What? How do you complement Andy Reid after watching the Chiefs lose to that aptly termed “shit show?”  The Raiders couldn’t score 33 points in a Madden game. For Reid to lose to the Raiders with his Chiefs tied with Denver for the AFC West lead is even more head-scratching than losing at home to Tennessee in the season opener. Andy Reid apparently is a very large red-headed tease.

“Bye bye, good Andy Reid feelings.”
Curtis Kitchen, @curtiskitchen, Twitter

“Andy Reid is stitching a clown suit on me. I knew I would regret singing his praises. This is embarrassing.”
Jason Whitlock, @WhitlockJason, Twitter
GH: So now we know where Whitlock has been getting his purple suits to wear on PTI.

“This was brand new triumphant territory for the 2014 Raiders, and my oh my did they act like it. That's what made Thursday's 24-20 victory over Kansas City at the Coliseum -- the Raiders' first victory of the season -- so memorable, so jubilant and yes, so unbelievably hilarious. That's all thanks to linebackers Khalil Mack and Sio Moore, who celebrated a big sack in the final seconds and kept celebrating ... And kept celebrating and celebrating and looked as though they might keep celebrating late into the night and maybe into baseball season, too. Great youthful energy! Let them have their fun!”
Tim Kawakami, columnist, insidebayarea.com
GH: The Chiefs lost to this shit show?

“People say act like you've been there before, well I haven't!”
Sio Moore, on his extended sack-dance with Khalil Mack as the Chiefs lined up to snap the ball for the game’s final play, insidebayarea.com
GH: In what will rival Dee Ford’s turn-and-run-away tackle attempt as the most humorous GIF of the season, Mack and Moore’s extended sack dance was more Raiders than the Black Hole. I don’t know what was funnier, their Kid & Play handshake or their sprint back to the defensive side of the ball when they realized the Chiefs were about to snap it. The Chiefs lost to this shit show?

“Despite all their best efforts, Raiders win.”
Rick Reilly, @ReillyRick, Twitter

“I hate the Broncos way more than the Raiders.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Out of the mouths of babes.

“They’re a great team, obviously. They're probably going to go to the playoffs and do great things.”
Derek Carr, Raiders rookie quarterback, in his postgame interview, NFL Network
GH: I hope Carr is a better soothsayer than he is a quarterback.

“It's a horrible loss. But I don't think this is going to linger at all.”
Bob Glauber,  NFL writer for NY Newsday, in an interview with Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: How does a loss to a winless Raiders team not linger? Is Eric Berry suddenly going to become as good as his hype (or even half that good)? Are the Chiefs wide receivers going to start running real patterns and catching touchdowns? Maybe a win over Denver cures it all. Maybe not.

“First Billy Butler now this. Why don't you come kill my cat, too, Oakland? (Seriously come kill it. Can't stand her. Plus you look capable.)”
Mick Shaffer, @mickshaffer, Twitter

“K-State needs to skip the shower, get on the bus then get on a plane and leave before that win is taken away on account of ugliness.”
Dave Stewart, @davestewartsports, after K-State took a sloppy 26-20 win at West Virginia, Twitter
GH: Ugly or not, this was a huge win for Kansas State. Their hopes of winning the Big 12 remain alive and they now get over two weeks to prepare for Baylor (and a game with Kansas between serving as a Thanksgiving dessert).

“So the Buffalo Bills play the Jets Monday night ... in Detroit. Haven't these two teams already suffered enough?”
Paul Finebaum, @finebaum, Twitter

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Jamaal Charles getting national love

Written 11/17/14

“The Broncos lost to St. Louis and the @KCChiefs just beat the Suberbowl Champs. I don't smoke, but pass me a Camel.”
Chris Stigall, @ChrisStigall, Twitter

“Three or four weeks ago we’re talking about Denver running away with the division and locking up home-field advantage…now all of a sudden Kansas City is in position to win that division.”
Howie Long, studio analyst, Fox

“A lot going on! It is a jammed-packed sports year (in Kansas City). Are the Royals going to dominate it? I don’t know, the way the Chiefs are going – could they actually knock the Royals off as the story of the year?”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: This is how crazy it has become here in Kansas City – better known as the land of professional losers. The Royals come within an Alex Gordon mad-dash to the plate of winning the World Series and now the Chiefs knock off the defending Super Bowl champs to place themselves in a first-place tie in the AFC West with the Broncos. Global Warming might be a myth but it appears Kansas City is on fire!

“We’re watching greatness. We are talking about one of the greatest Kansas City Chiefs of all time. … The other part was the blocking. I thought the whole offensive line was spectacular yesterday.”
Jay Binkley, on Jamaal Charles, 610 AM
GH: Jimmy Johnson reminded the Fox national audience Sunday that Charles is the all-time leading yards-per-carry running back in NFL history – ahead of the legendary Jim Brown. You know what I’m saying?

“The only thing about (Jamaal Charles) is can he stay healthy. He’s not a big strong guy and of course, protecting the ball.”
Jimmy Johnson, on the Chiefs All-Pro running back, Fox
GH: Size is not the best indicator of a running back’s ability to stay healthy. It is one of the most physically demanding occupations in this country and there is just no way to prevent the eventual injuries that are bound to claim Charles or any NFL starting running back – despite their stature. Think about this – Carl Peterson drafted Charles. Yeah, the kid from Texas has been pretty darn sturdy in his seven seasons in the NFL.

“Looks smaller on film than the 6-1, 205 pounds Texas lists him as. ... Has struggled at times with fumbles, including a key lost fumble in a 28-21 loss to rival Oklahoma in 2007. ... At his best in the open field. ... Not a particularly physical back who will run over defenders in the hole. ... Willing, but limited pass blocker.”
Draft analysis on Jamaal Charles prior to 2006 NFL draft, NFL.com
GH: I think the draft gurus missed on Charles’ overall ability to play football. He is one of the game’s greatest running backs and also a physical blocker in pass protection. I am not sure there has been a running back who combined running and blocking with equal greatness. The list is likely a short one.

“You know exactly what position (Anthony Sherman aka The Sausage) plays when he walks into the room. I thought he was Jay Glazer when I first met him. He speaks the same way and he looks just like him with a little bit more muscle.”
Daryl Johnston, NFL color analyst for the Seahwaks/Chiefs game Sunday, on the Chiefs fullback, Fox
GH: I think the former Cowboy, Johnston, does a nice job as a TV analyst. He was timely with his comments on Sunday and he added some personality to Kenny Albert’s overly stiff play-by-play.

“Still no rushing touchdowns.”
Tony Siragusa, NFL sideline reporter, on the Chiefs not giving up a rushing touchdown yet this season, Fox
GH: This is an incredible stat by the Chiefs defense. It is now mid-November and the Chiefs’ end zone has yet to be dented by a rushing TD. Marshawn Lynch is called Beastmode for a reason. He is one of the most physical backs to play in the NFL since Earl Campbell’s massive thighs destroyed defenses. On Sunday he did just about everything BUT get into the end zone. The Chiefs defense is more than legit. It took the Seahawks best shots from Lynch and Russell Wilson – and they were both spectacular Sunday – and came away a winner. Wow.

“To be honest, this was a hard-fought game today. The Chiefs played some real good ball, on offense and defense. Sometimes the ball just doesn't bounce your way.”
Marshawn Lynch, NFL.com
GH: Some consider Lynch a villain but I love this guy’s heart. I thought he was done for the day when he was getting his legs worked on during halftime and the Fox camera showed him grimace in pain. But he never slowed – until the Chiefs forced him to the ground inside the two yard line. Twice.

“They have a defense! They have a really GOOD defense! They still haven’t given up a rushing touchdown all season.”
Michael Strahan, Fox

“We just got to learn how to finish at the end of games. The offense should be able to close these games out. The defense is playing great. We know how to start the game we just need to finish.”
Jamaal Charles, 610 AM

“I think you can take that week-one game (loss to Tennessee) and say that was the reset button for this organization.”
Bob Fescoe, on the Chiefs losing their season opener to the Titans, 610 AM
GH: Maybe the Chiefs loss to the Titans is similar to the Royals getting swept by Boston coming off the All-Star break. Just when we think the season is lost, the heavens open and visions of greatness dance in our heads. Welcome to the new Kansas City.

“My (Twitter) timeline is full of nonsense. I’m not saying Alex Smith is bad. I’m just saying that Alex Smith is not the main reason they are winning. … I can make the argument that Andy Reid makes Alex Smith.”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM
GH: What I like about the 610 crew is that they feel comfortable in publicly digging each other about their opinions. Binkley caught hell from some of this on-air coworkers about his takes on the Chiefs quarterback and he went on his show to defend himself. Does anyone at 810 ever publicly make fun of Kevin Kietzman? Why is that do you think?

“Undeterred by the @OTLonESPN report I've had pot roast, bbq chicken, corn, potatoes, and 2 brownies in the Arrowhead press box so far.”
Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, on his trip to Arrowhead Sunday, Twitter
GH: Just a wild guess but I don’t think the food in Arrowhead’s press box is prepared the same as what the guy in section 341 is buying. Did anybody else see a vendor selling pot roast?

“Kansas University athletic director Sheahon Zenger’s phone rings. He answers it.
Consultant Chuck Neinas says, “Sheahon, Chuck,” Let’s make a deal. I’ll donate $25,000 to charity, pocket the other $25,000 to cover taxes, etc., and let’s call the whole thing off. What do you say?”
Zenger: “Great. We’ll send an airplane to bring you here for a Monday press conference so that you can bring attention to the charity of your choice.”
It seems like the reasonable thing to do on everybody’s part.”
Tom Keegan, columnist, following Kansas gritty 34-30 loss to sixth-ranked TCU, LJworld.com
GH: Zenger hired Chuck Neinas to find him some head football coaching candidates – but it appears the best man for the job already has it. Read on.

“Maybe from the outside there aren’t reasons to be (proud of KU football), and I could understand how people see that. I have always been proud to be a Jayhawk. However, there has been a new sense of pride and enthusiasm about being here. It’s great and it’s refreshing and it’s totally with coach Bowen. … It feels right for everyone involved. It doesn’t take long to be around this place to say, ‘You know what, that works.’ There is something about it. I can’t put my finger on it. It’s not readily apparent to me I guess, but it’s something. It’s there.”
Trent Smiley, KU senior tight end, LJworld.com

“Losing on Saturday might be better for Kansas in the long run. If KU had managed to beat TCU on Saturday, Kansas fans would have been beating down Sheahon Zenger's door to hire Clint Bowen immediately. … Bowen might be KU's guy. He might not be. That decision will be easier to make with more data to process and more candidates to talk to after the season. A win on Saturday might have either a) forced Kansas to make a popular decision largely on emotion and a limited sample size or b) forced Kansas to a decision unpopular with fans and players to not remove the interim tag from Bowen's title.”
David Ubben, columnist, foxsports.com
GH: It mattered little that Kansas did not win against TCU, David. This coaching search is over.

“The university hasn’t always exhibited a great deal of self-esteem in regard to its football program. No louder way of reversing that inferiority complex exists than believing in one of your own, believing your eyes, which are telling you that there is no better fit for the job than the guy who has it, even if your ears don’t want to hear it.”
Tom Keegan, LJworld.com

“Nebraska was 20th in the nation in Rush Defense heading into (Saturday). They're now 73rd.”
Dave Revsine, @BTNDaveRevsine, after Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon gashed the Huskers for an NCAA record 408 yards in three quarters, Twitter
GH: Nebraska football has been fooling their incredibly faithful fan base with false hope for more than a decade now. Their failure against ranked teams has nothing to do with what conference they play in because they were equally inept when still a member of the Big 12. It appears Bo Pelini cannot be embarrassed. He excused this latest crushing loss at Wisconsin to “just one game.” It is one game that seems to happen every time NU plays a team ranked in the top 20.

“Somehow, someway, the Missouri Tigers still lead the SEC East Division and with two games remaining (at Tennessee, vs. Arkansas) they still can weave their way back to Atlanta for the 2014 SEC Championship Game. This despite the deplorable efforts versus Georgia and Indiana earlier in the season.”
Christopher Novak, SEC writer, after Mizzou’s 34-27 win at Texas A&M, SBNation.com
GH: Mizzou was embarrassed twice this season but both those losses came early. It is now November – when good teams win and pretenders lose. Both Tennessee and Arkansas will be tough tests for the Tigers but Gary Pinkel’s team just might be getting better at the right time of the season.

“Friday night was an embarrassment. I’m not taking anything away from UMKC — they played great — but to lose at home in that first game, I think (it made) our guys somewhat tentative. I think they were nervous. And they played through it by playing good defense.”
Kim Anderson, Missouri’s head basketball coach, after his Tigers beat Valpo 56-41 Sunday evening, Kansas City Star
GH: There will be other big wins this season for Anderson’s team but maybe none more important that the win Sunday night over respectable Valpo. Anderson’s Columbia honeymoon didn’t even last one half when UMKC took it to his Tigers from the start Friday night. The Valpo win could not have come at a better time.

“I don’t think we’re going to be real pretty. We might be later on, but right now, we’re not.”
Kim Anderson, Kansas City Star
GH: Pretty sells tickets, as does wins. It looks like both will be in short supply at Mizzou Arena this season.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24

ESPN outs The K and Arrowhead for unhealthy food practices

Written 11/14/14

“A cook at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City used a garbage can as a place to hold his ladle when it was not being used.”
Paula Lavigne, reporter, regarding a story broadcast by ESPN’s Outside the Lines on alleged unhealthy food practices at both Kauffman Stadium and Arrowhead, ESPN.com
GH: Lavigne and ESPN’s Outside the Lines does what they do best with this story – ring the alarm bell loudly and shine a spotlight on the cockroaches. And in this instance – they did that literally. Read on.

“Among the concerns found at the stadiums by the manager: cockroaches in vending areas, mouse feces on the same tray as pizza dough, sinks where employees were supposed to wash their hands being blocked by boxes or trash, employees eating in food prep areas and trays of food headed for customers that measured at unsafe temperatures. The health department found several critical violations, including mold growth in ice machines, dirty pans and trays and excessive numbers of fruit flies.”
Paula Lavigne, reporter, regarding a story broadcast by ESPN’s Outside the Lines, ESPN.com
GH: I don’t think any of this should come as a surprise to anyone who purchases food as an event where they are trying to feed 40,000 people. If the folks out front selling the food are an indication of the work force cooking the food, the mold probably moves faster than those in charge of keeping things sanitary.

“He gave us photographs of boxes of cockroaches…”
Paula Lavigne, ESPN reporter, in an interview with Soren Petro, on photos sent to ESPN from Jon Costa, the district food safety manager for Aramark, 810 AM
GH: Props to Soren for scoring a timely interview with ESPN’s lead reporter on this story. She was very convincing. I have not yet heard an interview with representatives from Aramark, The K or Arrowhead but I am hoping they come off far better live than they did in their prepared press releases…

“The unsubstantiated claims raised by a disgruntled employee are very troubling, as is his unknown motivation. Especially disturbing is the fact that this individual is personally responsible and entrusted with managing food safety at the locations in question. ... The random collection of isolated and questionable photographs that the employee distributed represents selective snapshot 'moments-in-time' that without proper context can support any number of conclusions.”
Tod MacKenzie, senior vice president of communications and public affairs for Aramark, responding to the health issues presented by Costa, ESPN.com
GH: “Selective snapshot 'moments-in-time?’ Uh…Tod, that’s kind of what a photograph is. Unless Costa staged these photos, which appears highly unlikely, MacKenzie should be apologizing and telling us how this is going to change instead of questioning his employee’s motivation.

“We've served 3 million or 4 million fans this summer in Kansas City at those two stadiums. And the food is safe, the food is high quality, and there are really no issues.”
Marc Bruno, chief operating officer of Aramark Sports and Entertainment, ESPN.com
GH: No issues? None? High quality? Since this is obviously not true, it would leads us to not believe the rest of Bruno’s declaration that the food at Kansas City’s Truman Sports Complex is safe. 

“After the last (World Series) game he said it looked like the workers just turned off the lights and shut the doors for several days. … Aramark was saying no one was harmed because there wasn’t going to be another game until March.”
Paula Lavigne, 810 AM
GH: I might not be eating any hot dogs at The K next April.

“Health department division manager Naser Jouhari said the results were ‘shocking.’ He said his inspectors told him that it looked like Aramark workers ‘just flipped the switch off, and they walked out without doing any cleaning or removing any of the food items.’”
Paula Lavigne, 810 AM
GH: Petro announced that Kevin Kietzman will be interviewing Jouhari on his radio show this afternoon. Let’s hope KK handles this interview as a reporter rather than a sensationalistic shock jock. This story appears to have plenty of dirt on its own and doesn’t need KK’s special brand of Jerry Springer spin.

“The main concern is (inviting) all these insects and rodents to the concession stands so they (could) contaminate food service, food contact areas.”
Naser Jouhari, on why it is necessary to clean up the food preparation areas rather than leaving it until March, ESPN.com
GH: Does this even have to be explained???

"We take great pride in promoting an atmosphere at Kauffman Stadium that Royals fans of all ages can enjoy. The excitement and energy running through the stadium was on full display during the World Series and our partners, including Aramark, play an important role in creating those memories. Food and beverage is integral to the fan experience and Aramark has been a valued partner in delivering those services to fans. We all take food service, safety and quality very seriously."
Royals press release, ESPN.com
GH: That might be the worst press release response I have ever read relating to a serious allegation. It completely avoids the issue and talks about nonsense. Who wrote this nonsense? Aoki?

“We're continually looking for new ways to enhance the fan experience and, for the past four seasons, we have partnered with Aramark to transform and elevate our general concession areas. The food and beverage service and selections delivered by Aramark are important parts of the Arrowhead experience.”
Chiefs press release, ESPN.com
GH: These two press releases are basically nothing more than the Chiefs and Royals standing behind their business partner, Aramark, but refusing to address whether or not these health issues are legit and if so, what their plans are to correct them. It makes me think the Chiefs and Royals do not deserve the quality of fans they have inside our stadiums.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


MU to play BYU at Arrowhead

Written 11/13/14

“We made a commitment to get Tiger football back here in Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium. So here you’ve got a matchup of two pretty darn good teams. There are an awful lot of people around the country that are excited about this game.”
Mike Alden, discussing Mizzou’s 2015 non-conference game versus BYU at Arrowhead, 810 AM
GH: The game is schedule for November 14, 2015, exactly a year from tomorrow. Let’s hope the weather is a bit better next year at this time. I like that MU is stepping up their non-con schedule but why play a no-count non-con game in November when you might be in the hunt for an SEC title? Would we be excited if MU played BYU this Saturday? Meh.

“I don't understand Mizzou's thinking when it comes to football scheduling. Playing BYU at Arrowhead is fine. But in Provo? No. Is the SEC not tough enough? No reason to schedule some of these games.”
@MizzouKCfan4, Twitter
GH: I don’t understand not wanting your team to play some schools in your non-con that will make the rest of the country – and Tiger fans – pay attention. Mizzou is a big-time football program now and they need to act like it.

“Most schools drop in pushovers in non-con games. Missouri’s not doing this and I give them great credit for this. Mizzou’s giving up a home game at Arrowhead and then playing at BYU in 2020.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Agree. I just wish the game was in August or September when it didn’t distract from the Tigers’ SEC schedule.

“So Nebraska, Boise State, UCLA, Michigan, ECU and Mizzou are on the slate for BYU in 2015? Tough schedule.”
Bryan Fischer, @BryanDFischer, Twitter
GH: If BYU wants to be considered by the playoff committee as a possible final-four team, they need to schedule up. I am still not sure an undefeated BYU would qualify over four teams from the big six conferences. This is another reason the playoffs need to be expanded to include more teams.

“BYU game in KC also means only six home games for #Mizzou in 2015: UCONN, SEMO, Miss. State, Florida, S. Carolina, Tennessee.”
Gabe DeArmond, @GabeDeArmond, Twitter
GH: Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth begin…

“Let’s be honest, the Big 12 basketball tournament – it felt like something was missing. It felt weird.”
Jay Binkley, on Missouri not being part of the basketball festivities at the Power & Light District in March, 610 AM
GH: Did it? Maybe to Mizzou basketball fans it felt weird but I think the Big 12 tourney here in Kansas City is so popular it could stand losing any school not named Kansas.

“Starting tomorrow, there will be college basketball every day until 12/24/14. Amen.”
Jon Rothstein, @JonRothstein, Twitter
GH: Life is good – especially if you have cable.

“What do you find attractive about (Kim Kardashian)? I think she looks like a horse.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Was Fescoe’s wife listening to his show today?

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Just how good is Alex Smith?

Written 11/12/14

“I don’t know that there is a great deal of difference between an Alex Smith and a Russell Wilson. They are both so well read – they are both so well prepared. They’re very smart. They’ve got very sharp eyes and quick reactions. Both incredibly bright. Although it may be a kind of a far-reaching comparison, I don’t see a great deal of difference.”
Kevin Harlan, on the two quarterbacks that will meet at Arrowhead this Sunday, 810 AM
GH: So, just how good is Alex Smith? Is he Russell Wilson good or just Game-Manager good? The opinions on this topic continue to differ. Read on.

“(Alex Smith) is a good quarterback for this system but I wouldn’t start my franchise with him. … All he does is win – regular season games. Big woop.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: Damn, that is a bit harsh. Klingler doesn’t usually stray from Fescoe’s opinion all that often on their morning show but on this topic he verbally abused his cohost.

“People who don’t like Alex Smith or have reservations about Alex Smith have this mythical bar that is set so high!”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM

“He’s engineering the Chiefs offense so seamlessly that you wouldn’t know whether the scheme was designed to be contoured to him or if he’s simply morphed into mastery of it.”
Vahe Gregorian, Kansas City Star

“Quarterback Alex Smith continues to succeed at leading a conservative, ball-control offense. After throwing three interceptions in Week 1, he has thrown one in the last eight weeks, the fewest among regular starting quarterbacks in that period. He leads a very safe passing attack: His average pass has traveled 5.77 yards in the air, easily the least of any starting quarterback (Oakland’s Derek Carr is closest, at 7.31). This will not lead to many individual honors or highlight plays, but it is part of the process that leads to makeable third downs and long drives.”
Chase Stuart, NFL writer NYTimes.com
GH: Translation: He ain’t flashy. He is playing a black-and-white game in a league where passing attacks are broadcast in 4K Ultra HD.

“That guy knows the offense in and out. On top of that he can make every single throw there is. And even more so on top of that, he’s a leader.”
Travis Kelce, Chiefs tight end, Kansas City Star
GH: I would question Smith’s ability to make every throw. He hasn’t shown a real ability to air it out to his wide receivers – or any receivers. That allows the defensive backs to cheat up shrink their coverage zones.

“He hasn’t done anything in the playoffs so I can’t say that he’s won games. He hasn’t done squat.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: Smith is actually 1-2 in the playoffs overall with his 1-1 record with the 49ers. And the Chiefs’ loss last January in Indianapolis can hardly be laid at the feet of Smith, who was mostly brilliant in that game.

“He’s just real chill. Real chill.”
A.J. Jenkins, Kansas City Star
GH: Smith meets with Kevin Kietzman each week for a one-on-one interview that is probably a perk of WHB’s contract as a Chiefs media partner. But these interviews are painfully sterile. Smith sounds uncomfortable and Kietzman doesn’t seem to know how to let the Chiefs’ QB open up.

“What many of us—including me—missed about Smith in the past was just how explosive his skill set can be. That potential was buried in conservative 49ers systems that didn't always trust him (but should have).”
Michael Freeman, NFL writer, bleacherreport.com
GH: I think we will continue to see Smith grow as a quarterback – if his offensive line doesn’t get him injured. Can you imagine how good Smith would be with some protection and a decent set of wide receivers?

“Decision-making is the most important thing. He makes the right decisions, and his teammates know it.”
Len Dawson, Kansas City Star

“Every QB is a 'game-manager. Russell Wilson is a game-manager just like Alex Smith. He does what's asked of him.”
Geoff Schwartz, former Chiefs offensive guard, bleacherreport.com

“After watching the team in the last eight weeks, it is clear that the Week 1 performance was the anomaly. With games against Seattle, Denver and Arizona in the next four weeks, we will see if the Chiefs can continue their dominant ways. One thing to count on: a lot of slow, methodical drives for the offense and a relentless pass rush from the defense. That has always been a great formula for upsets.”
Chase Stuart, NFL writer NYTimes.com
GH: And we thought the early part of the Chiefs’ schedule was the tough part. A late-season trip to Pittsburgh also awaits. If the Chiefs make the playoffs this season, they will have earned it.

“With Baylor and TCU both thumping their foes today and Auburn losing, suddenly the Big 12 has the best chance of sending 2 to the playoff.”
Stewart Mandel, @simandel, Twitter
GH: How incredible would that feat be, to place two Big 12 teams in the CFB playoff? Maybe the fact that the Big 12 doesn’t have a title game will leave the committee with no choice but to choose two one-loss Big 12 teams.

“I don't want to act like it's rehearsed, but it's rehearsed because I tend to say stupid things sometimes. That early in the season (against Virginia Tech), we were not a great team. We had a quarterback that was a quarterback for about two weeks and did not play very well. We had an offensive line that played horrible that game and a group of receivers that were not ready to play. This is the most improved team that I've been a part of.”
Urban Meyer, on why his Ohio State Buckeyes should be considered for the CFB playoffs, bleacherreport.com
GH: Meyer is making a great point for teams that use the season to improve and how they can be snubbed because of an early-season loss. This is why a four-team playoff is wrong – it allows no room for teams like tOSU that suffer an embarrassing loss early on. This playoff HAS to grow to 12 teams ASAP.

“We talk with our pads.”
Gary Patterson, TCU’s head coach, prior to the K-State game, Dallas Morning News
GH: The Horned Frogs might be the best team in the country. Yes, that Baylor loss makes it difficult to place them ahead of the Bears but it seems like the committee is willing to live with that one.

“I think Ned Yost, moving forward, will engender a great deal of respect from those who follow the game. He’s never going to be known as a great strategist. He’s just not.”
Danny Clinkscale, on Ned Yost finishing second in the AL MOTY voting to Baltimore’s Buck Showalter, 810 AM
GH: I do not agree that Ned Yost will now, “engender a great deal of respect from those who follow the game.” I do think that Royals fans will be more tolerant of his managerial style because he is the Royals manager. But I don’t see objective baseball people changing their minds about one of the game’s more stubborn and backward managers.

“Bubba Starling has 5 hits in his last 13 at-bats in the Arizona Fall League. But he's just 13 for 70 (.186) overall.”
Tony Boone, @BooneOWH, Twitter
GH: Ohhhh, Bubba. If only you were the Royals answer in right field for the next ten years.

“If you’re going to bond (as a team), I think Hawaii is a great place to bond.”
Kim Anderson, new MU basketball coach, talking to Soren Petro about taking his Tigers to the Maui Invitational November 24-26, 810 AM

“We didn’t get a great draw there in the first round but I know our young guys will be excited to play Arizona.”
Kim Anderson, on playing the highly-ranked Wildcats in Maui, 810 AM
GH: This is why those who are not in favor of paying college athletes take the position that these DI athletes receive enough perks. Why would Missouri travel to Hawaii to play Arizona? I know this is happening at all schools but it appears to me that common sense has left the building.

“I’d like to recruit every great player in the state of Missouri. I’m not going to get them all but… Don’t judge Kim Anderson on what has happened (between MU and St. Louis recruits) in the past.”
Kim Anderson, on the difficulty MU basketball has had over the years in attracting the best players out of the St. Louis area, 810 AM
GH: How many years has it been that MU has had trouble attractive the top recruits out of St. Louis? 30 or more? Is Kim Anderson going to be able to knock down those barriers? Can any coach? This sounds like a story just waiting for Vahe Gregorian’s touch.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Are the Chiefs lucky, good or a mirage?

Written 11/11/14

“A win is a win, but another ugly victory in Buffalo begs the question: Are the Kansas City Chiefs really contenders in the AFC? What should we make of the Chiefs? Are they true contenders, or are they pretenders?”
Greg Bedard, MMQB columnist, SI.com
GH: Who in the AFC doesn’t have some ugly wins or visible warts? The Chiefs spanked Tom Brady so hard on MNF that Bill Belichick pulled him out of the game. I think the Chiefs are as real as the Pats. Better yet, why not ask Brady what he thinks?

“Offensively, the Chiefs were outgained (364 to 278), couldn’t convert third downs (3-for-13) and were overwhelmed up front by the Bills’ defensive line. Kansas City, which only had the ball for four plays in the third quarter, had two drives that netted 127 yards. The other 11 gained 151.”
Greg Bedard, MMQB columnist, SI.com
GH: And still managed to find a way to win the game on the road in Buffalo. I find that more of a reason to be impressed with Andy Reid’s bunch than depressed about how it happened.

“This game was more about what the Bills didn’t do—three fumbles, all lost, poor decisions from Doug Marrone and his staff—than what the Chiefs did. And you’re naturally a bit skeptical considering Kansas City’s six wins have come against five teams that are currently out, or on the fringes, of the playoff picture (Dolphins, Chargers, Rams, Jets, Bills). The other win was over the Patriots, who bottomed out on that Monday night but are a completely different team now.”
Greg Bedard, MMQB columnist, SI.com
GH: Wait. The Patriots “bottomed out” on MNF in Kansas City? But they are a “completely different team now?” They might be a completely different team now because they are no longer playing the Chiefs. The Chiefs win over the Pats is simply not getting enough credit. Instead of classifying it as a fluke, it might be the most impressive win this season by an NFL team.

“The offensive line could be the key area for these Chiefs. Outside of center Rodney Hudson, this is not a good group, at least not yet—and that’s taking Sunday’s dismal performance out of the equation. Left tackle Eric Fisher, the first overall pick in 2013, hasn’t come close to living up to that billing, or even the billing of a solid left tackle. Left guard Mike McGlynn and Harris are definition of journeymen with a combined nine teams (10 stints) on their résumés. Fulton, the right guard, is a sixth-round pick. With games against the Seahawks, Broncos, Cardinals and Steelers still to come, the performance of the offensive line will determine whether the Chiefs sink or swim.”
Greg Bedard, MMQB columnist, SI.com
GH: On this point I will agree with Bedard. The Chiefs offensive line looks iffy for a team that expects to advance beyond another first-game playoff loss.

“The real opportunity for the Chiefs will come Nov. 30 when the Broncos come to town. Despite having a dynamic defense with the type of athletes in the secondary to matchup with the Broncos’ many weapons, Kansas City hasn’t come close to slowing down Peyton Manning (66.3 completion percentage, 9.6 yards per attempt, nine touchdowns against two interceptions and 118.8 rating in the three matchups so far). It’s perplexing because, if you were to draw up a defense to give Manning fits, the Chiefs have all the pieces. If Kansas City can knock off the Broncos, that would serve notice that they have arrived as an AFC contender. But right now, they’re not on that level.”
Greg Bedard, MMQB columnist, SI.com
GH: Beating Peyton Manning and the Broncos would be big. The Chiefs have yet to prove they are on the same level as their AFL West rival. A win over Denver would make one heckuva statement close to the Thanksgiving weekend.

“(The Chiefs) may have two Pro-Bowl players this year. What you have is more of a true team. It’s hard to watch sometimes but they trust the script.”
Jeff Chadiha, NFL writer for ESPN, 810 AM
GH: This is a bit of a no-name a Chiefs team – especially on the defensive side of the ball. This is the kind of team that make rooting for the Chiefs easy. Some of these starters were just a few steps away from joining the fans in the parking lot to tailgate on game day.

“(Solomon) Wilcots’ baffling performance was a reminder that sometimes watching a network telecast of a Bills game leaves one wondering where the announcers get their information and opinions about the Bills. It happened repeatedly Sunday with Wilcots and his on the ball play-by-play man, Spero Dedes. … At times, the analyst’s performance was almost as aggravating as the Bills ability to give away a game that was there for the taking.”
Alan Pergament, columnist, on the CBS broadcasters assigned to the Chiefs/Bills game Sunday, Buffalonews.com
GH: Pergament writes a popular column that covers the media aspect of the Bills games each Sunday called “Talkin’ TV.” Click here to read his entertaining work.

“Wilcots might have been the only person at the Ralph more conservative near the end of the game than (Doug) Marrone. The analyst made one of the biggest head-scratching suggestions in recent memory when he said the Bills should kick a field goal inside the Red Zone to close to within 17-16 with a little more than two minutes left and then go for an onside kick.”
Alan Pergament, columnist, Buffalonews.com

“To me it’s all white noise. I don’t pay attention to anything what these guys are saying. I spend a lot of time on Twitter (during the game) seeing what you guys are saying and how fans are reacting to the game. I don’t really zero in on what Spero Dedes and Solomon Wilcots have to say because we’re around the team more than they are.”
Bob Fescoe, on his disinterest in the network broadcasters
GH: I enjoy the broadcasters whether they are competent or not. I do not get as upset as most fans when Joe Buck or Phil Simms or Gary Danielson verbally slights my team. I find it entertaining. It is not that much different than listening to local sports talk radio. Even bad radio can be entertaining radio.

“I like to learn something from the game. I like to walk away from a broadcast and say, ‘Wow, he told me something I didn’t know.’ ”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM

“I think we are so critical of these (network broadcasters). Everybody thinks what these guys do is so easy. They think what WE do is so easy! ‘All you do is talk sports all day!’ I think when people view our jobs everybody thinks they can just sit down and do that. If somebody makes their job looks easy, that means they’re doing a pretty good job at it.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Do people think sports talk radio is easy? I think more believe it is a great gig. The hours are ridiculous. Filling 20 hours a week with live content is a challenge. Not screwing up on live radio five days a week is next to impossible. But in the end, you get to talk sports and not lift anything heavier than pizza and beer. That’s a good gig, Bob.

“The Big 12 does not break ties. Everybody will get a trophy. It’s like first-grade soccer.”
Dennis Dodd, CFB columnist for cbssports.com, 810 AM
GH: It is a little different from first-grade soccer in that you have to actually tie for a conference championship but Dodd has a point. Do any of the other major conferences handle championship ties in this same manner?

“I think I can sum up the rest of the (CFB) season in one sentence – Alabama wins the rest of their games and goes to the playoffs. Alabama is the best team in the nation.”
Dennis Dodd, 810 AM
GH: Here is the good news – we get to find out by watching the games. That Thanksgiving weekend slate of games in two weeks is going to dent many a couch beyond repair. Does anybody else change their couch sitting location to avoid their wife’s weekly wrath? A better question – is there a way to avoid a wife’s wrath? I think not. Dent away.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Chiefs get comeback win at Buffalo

Written 11/10/14

“I think there is something to winning these types of games. You’re not always going to have success. I think these wins are different for sure. There’s a different kind of confidence you get.”
Alex Smith, on the Chiefs 17-13 comeback win at Buffalo,  810 AM
GH: Did this comeback win by the Chiefs remind anyone else of the Royals Wild-Card win over Oakland? The Chiefs looked dead almost from the start and the crowd, the Bills’ stifling front-wall defense gave me almost no hope. But a new breeze is lilting through the Kansas City sports franchises based at the Truman Sports Complex. It has the smell of victory and hope after years of despair.

“Wins like this should make you feel good as a Chiefs fan. Two or three you’ve just got to steal.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Okay, this isn’t really much of a quote of note but I agree with Petro that this Chiefs road win is a monster. The Chiefs have been losing these games for far too long. Big Red Andy and our latest San Francisco quarterback import seem to have done something to change that trend.

“It was amazing how negative people were after the first quarter.”
Steven St. John, on the reaction of Chiefs fans on Twitter during the Chiefs game at Buffalo, 810 AM
GH: I didn’t find the negativity amazing at all. It is what we sports fans do – especially we sports fans of perennial losers like the Chiefs and Royals. It might take us a while to see ourselves as winners again.

“Up front, the Chiefs were getting dominated. That looked like it could be a blowout the other way.”
Mark Boerigter, former Chiefs wide receiver, 810 AM

“I think that had a lot to do with some half-time adjustments. They came out the second half and threw in some wrinkles. We hit them with some misdirection in the second half. We were going one way and they were going the other.”
Bill Maas, when asked how the Chiefs were able to turn their offense around in the fourth quarter against the Bills, 610 AM

“To me, that’s a head scratcher. There is usually something behind it. There’s something there. I’m not sure what it is but I think (Donald) Stephenson is a talented, talented player.”
Bill Maas, when asked why the Chiefs are not playing the former starting offensive lineman, 610 AM

“This (Chiefs) team this year is doing a much better job of finishing.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: It could hardly do worse – especially remembering that playoff fiasco in Indianapolis last January. But winning games by coming from behind was supposed to be something Alex Smith was incapable of doing. Maybe not.

“Andy Reid at 17-8 has the best start that any head coach in the history of the Kansas City Chiefs. I think we just need to accept Andy Reid now to be on track to be the best coach that we’ve had here in Kansas City.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Leave it to Fescoe to not only get out in front of the horse and buggy but also run down Main Street naked with his twig and berries on fire.

Bill Snyder says he has seen mostly anger from his players since Saturday. ‘I think they will respond well. That is the key element.’”
Kellis Robinette, @KellisRobinett, Twitter
GH: I don’t understand the anger unless Snyder and KSU think their poor play contributed to their three-touchdown defeat. What I saw was a fast and talented TCU team that just was too good for the Wildcats to keep pace. Kansas State looks to me to be a top 15 team playing with mostly top-50 talent. It is a testament to Snyder’s greatness that the Cats continue to be as highly ranked as they are.

“I’ve said this for years- they need a Kansas guy. Kansas needs a Kansas guy. They need a tough guy. If I was on the search committee I might say, ‘The guy right there right now might be the guy you really need.’ A guy who isn’t blowing smoke and can go out and recruit and has a true love for that university. You’ve got my vote coach.”
Frank Boal, while speaking to Kansas’ interim head football coach, Clint Bowen, 810 AM
GH: It is difficult to not root for Bowen to become KU’s next head coach. His interviews reveal a likable regular guy with a sense of humor and humility. I hope he gets the job but it looks to me like TCU, Oklahoma and Kansas State are going to put a spanking on his Jayhawks that might prevent the committee to hold their nose long enough to choose the native son.

“I know why (Brent Venables) doesn’t get a look (for head coaching positions). I can’t say why he doesn’t get a look. You can go ahead and scratch him off the list.”
Kevin Kietzman, after the former K-State and Oklahoma assistant was brought up as a possible KU head-coaching candidate, 810 AM
GH: Interesting comment from KK. He “knows” but he can’t “say?” We know that Kietzman has not been pleased with Venables since he left K-State for Oklahoma. But does he really know something or does he just read the rumor boards like everyone else? And if he does have some facts, what is stopping a sports talk radio host from telling his audience the facts of what he knows? 

“If you’re an up-and-coming coach, Kansas is not the entry into coaching that you want. If you fail, you’re done. No up-and-comer at some big program wants to go to Kansas and wind up at Missouri State or Liberty.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kansas is exactly the kind of program that a young up-and-comer coaching prospect should relish. The facilities are excellent and the expectations are about as low as you can get in a big-time conference. I just don’t think Kietzman likes Kansas a whole lot – but he did like Turner Gill being their head guy.

Bob Davis: “The students are preparing to run onto the field”
David Lawrence: “And why not?”
GH: I listened to much of the KU win over Iowa State on the radio and the Jayhawks sounded like a real football team for a change. I was interested in how Davis and Lawrence seemed just fine with the fans storming the playing field – especially since Davis has been a huge grump about this act when it has occurred on the home basketball court of KU opponents.

“It’s embarrassing if you ask me. I could see it if you beat Kansas State and they were in the top ten or something but not Iowa State.”
Mark Boerigter, former Chiefs wide receiver, 810 AM

“I’m not criticizing the fans who stayed to the end of the game. I’m criticizing the fans who went down on the field and ripped down the goal posts. Ripping down the goal posts is just an idiotic action.”
Jake Gutierrez, a born-and-bred Kansas fan, 810 AM
GH: Jake and Nate Bukaty engaged in a heated but entertaining debate this morning regarding whether or not it was appropriate for Kansas fans to storm the field and tear down the goal posts after beating the 2-7 Cyclones. Jake won in a landslide.

“KU football is in a completely different place than KU basketball. KU basketball fans don’t ever storm the court because there’s not a win that’s big enough to storm the court. Because they’ve been to the mountain top multiple times. This (KU football) team has been in the dungeon for a long time. Beating Iowa State is a big moment for this football team. That’s a sad statement but that’s the truth.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: There is so much here in Nate’s statement to discuss that I am eagerly awaiting the Comments section that will follow this column. I am guessing that Iowa State has never had the home team storm the field on their football team. That is not a really good place to be no matter what dungeon your football team has inhabited.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Bill Self likes a little crazy in his players

Written 11/5/14

“I've been thinking about this for a while now. I love KU and I love the Jayhawks. I feel like I've improved quite a bit since I've been here. I love my teammates but I just don't feel like it's the right fit for me. We have many good guards and so many big-time players. I want to be at a place where I could play a bigger role.”
Conner Frankamp, on his decision to leave Kansas before the start of his sophomore season, ESPN.com
GH: Selfishly, I wanted to watch Frankamp play his college career at Kansas, where I could see him play almost every game and follow his progress closely. But college kids need to go to school where they think they fit best and what is best for the four years of eligibility the NCAA grants them. I wish the Wichita Wonder all the best and I hope he lights up whatever backcourt he ends up in.

“Absolutely shocked (that Conner Frankamp left Kansas), to be honest with you. This (Washburn game) is a game I think he would have started for sure. It’s a hard perspective for me because Kansas is everything to me. I can’t imagine leaving this place. But everybody’s got to do what they’ve got to do and I wish him the best.”
Chris Piper, when asked by Mick Shafer his thoughts on Frankamp’s decision to leave Kansas, Time Warner Cable Sports Chanel
GH: I understand that Piper is Kansas through and through but I would like to think someone with his experience would be more understanding (at least publicly) about Frankamp’s decision. KU is loaded with young guards and playing time is going to be tough to come by the next three years. I would not be surprised if one or two more good players decide to find a needier team to ply their game.

“I don’t see (Frankamp’s) dad’s name in the press release and that makes me think his dad meddled too much.”
Aaron Swarts, 810 AM
GH: The dad always seems to be labeled as the bad guy in these player transfer scenarios. I find that interesting because it is the dad who usually is the one variable here who is looking out for the player’s best interest. Because guess what? Kansas or Missouri or Nebraska or Kansas State shouldn’t be “everything” to these young athletes. The school should simply be a tool to achieve their goals. We too often lose sight of that with all this rah-rah hysteria pumping through alums’ veins.

“If he plays up to his capabilities like I think he can, I think he can be the best player in our league.”
Bill Self, on KU’s junior forward Perry Ellis, Hawk Talk
GH: This comment kind of shocked me. I like Ellis’ game but he doesn’t look like a dominant presence on the court to me. Self said that Ellis’ practice sessions this season have been sensational.

“Cliff (Alexander) is big and strong but he doesn’t really know how to play yet – but he’s going to be a monster.”
Bill Self, on his much-anticipated freshman center, 810 AM
GH: This is the guy who looks like he could be the Big 12’s MVP. He moves with the ball like he was born with it in his hands. Smooth just begins to describe this youngster’s game.

“It was worth five wins. Whatever our win total is at the end of the year, Bill Self gets five. What an incredible guy.”
Bob Chipman, head basketball coach at Washburn, commenting on Self making a point to come to their Sunday evening practice at the Fieldhouse and speaking to his team, Jayhawk Radio Network
GH: Chipman has been the head coach at Washburn since 1979 and he said he even learned some things from Self as he listened to the Jayhawks head coach address the Ichabods.

“Every team needs that guy with that crazy look in his eye that makes you think, ‘Is that guy coming after me or not?’”
Bill Self, reminiscing about Thomas Robinson’s intimidating game when at Kansas, Hawk Talk
GH: Self likes a little crazy in his players. It might not fit what some Kansas fans think of their teams but Bill Self is a heck of a lot more like Norm Stewart than he is Roy Williams.

“If everybody in the league were like Phil Pressey, it would be tough for him to make it because of his size. But he’s unique. He has a strong will, he’s a great competitor, and he’s very athletic. He’s used that athleticism defensively, and he also has a good outlook. You don’t see any complaining or whining about his role. He’s just 100 percent grateful to be here. It’s refreshing to be around Phil.”
Danny Ainge, Celtics president of basketball operations, Boston Herald
GH: I was pretty certain that Flip was making a mistake leaving Mizzou a year early. He was not. Read on.

“There’s a big difference (between last year and now). My shooting has improved a lot, and my study of the game and feel for the game is better just because of watching a lot of film with the coaches. That’s really helped me as a player. The more you’re in the gym and the more you’re talking to your coaches, the better you’re going to be.”
Phil Pressey, Boston Herald
GH: It would have been fun to see Paul Pierce play alongside Phil Pressey. Oh well, the Celtics will continue to be one of the NBA teams I continue to follow.

“I think it’s exciting news that the Cats are seventh and not eighth, ahead of Michigan State.”
Soren Petro, on K-State leaping over the Spartans in the college football playoff poll, 810 AM
GH: I find it pretty ridiculous that anyone is paying much attention to the weekly playoff rankings. K-State and TCU will settle quite a bit this Saturday night. But the problem is that seventh or sixth or fifth is not going to cut it for those teams looking to play for a national championship. We need a 12- or 24-DI team playoff. Picking four teams by committee might just upset enough of us to get that done sooner rather than later.

“Well, you could just go to the mall and make money. I think it would be a negative effect on college football.”
Gary Pinkel, when asked by Danny Parkins why he opposes allowing college athletes to profit from selling their autograph, 610 AM
GH: It would sure beat college athletes going to the mall with no money.

“We’re going to be open-minded in bringing Billy (Butler) back. We’re just going to have to see where it fits.”
Dayton Moore, in an interview with Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Butler is probably the most popular Royals player since George Brett. It makes a lot of sense for Butler to go to the National League and play first base for some team needing a bat. I think the next time we see Billy he will be wearing another uniform.

“Lorenzo Cain has probably been penalized by the change (that Gold Gloves are now awarded by outfield position) and Alex Gordon has benefited from that because he probably doesn’t win four straight Gold Gloves if they did it the way they used to – because pretty much it would always go to three centerfielders.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Alex Gordon might be the best defensive left fielder I have ever seen. Lorenzo Cain might not be the best center fielder to play the game but there are not many better. I think Cain’s first Gold Glove comes next season and the only thing that will stop them from keep on coming is his health.

“I’m 60 years old. My birth certificate tells me I’m that old but I don’t feel that old. I think another two or three years would be good for me.”
Ned Yost, when asked by Soren Petro how long he would like to continue to coach the Royals, 810 AM
GH: This comment shocked me. It makes me wonder if Ned would have retired this season if the Royals would have won the World Series.

“Never. Never. And I’m sure I never will again. Even if the Royals were to win Game 7 here in Kansas City I don’t know if it would top last night. I don’t think it would meet the raw emotion. I don’t know that we will ever feel that again.”
Ryan Lefebvre, when asked if he’d ever seen a game like the Royals win over Oakland in the Wild Card game before, 610 AM
GH: We saw some wild, crazy and heart-stopping baseball in the month of October but I will have to put that Wild Card win over Oakland at the top of the list. What that game did is set the stage for the ensuing mania that followed in the Angels and Orioles and Giants series. That one game pretty much changed the course of the Royals season and possibly their future. I still think that game could produce a great book in the right author’s hands.

“Rip jeans, no tie, jersey left unbuttoned, telling stories. Joe Maddon at a press conference.”
Buster Olney, @Buster_ESPN, Twitter
GH: I don’t know if the Cubs can be more beloved by outsiders as a franchise but they just hired the one guy who might ratchet that affection even higher.

“Joe Maddon gets $5M a year for Cubs gig. Tommy Lasorda's 1st contract w/Dodgers signed in '76 paid him $50K/year ($200K in today's $)”
Darren Rovell, @darrenrovell, Twitter
GH: That is going to buy Joe a lot of pizza and hot dogs.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Kietzman says MU would be sixth in Big 12

Written 11/3/14

“Four years ago, I had to play at a high level because I wanted a new contract and I wanted to be known as one of the best pass rushers in this league. That’s (Justin Houston’s) mentality, and it’s hard to stop a guy that has that mentality: ‘I want to be paid, I want to play for a good team, and I want to be labeled the best at doing it.’ Give credit to Justin. The will is getting him there now, and you can’t stop it.”
Tamba Hali, after Houston pushed his NFL-leading season sack total to 12 in the Chiefs win over the Jets, Kansas City Star
GH: Justin Houston, along with the defensive front of the Chiefs has Chiefs fans dreaming that their team can pull a Royals-like second-half surge and put the Chiefs in position to make a run at the Super Bowl. Can this be real? After that season-opening home loss to the Titans? After what we saw here in Kansas City in October, no fantasy is off the table. Well, that Viagra-induced four-hour erection probably isn’t going to happen.

“We just got to play like that the rest of the season. You know what I’m saying?”
Jamaal Charles, after the Chiefs moved their record to 5-3 with an easy win over the Jets, 810 AM
GH: We continue to see the networks place Charles’ rushing stats on the screen each week comparing him to the all-time NFL great backs. Jim Brown, Gale Sayers, Barry Sanders. Charles LEADS these HOF backs in yards per carry. He is the best running back to ever wear Chiefs colors. He may be the best back ever. Period.

“Dogs Daze”
Headline showing a photo of Michael Vick laid out at Arrowhead after the back of his helmet bounced off the turf and left him groggy, New York Post GH: I love what the Kansas City Star does with their headlines but the New York papers take it to another level when it comes to headline snark.

“S-t happens.”
Calvin Pace, Jets linebacker, when asked about a play during the Jets 24-10 loss in Kansas City, New York Post
GH: The Post also used Pace’s quote (minus the ‘it’) in a headline.

“That could be the slogan of the 2014 Jets. … (Pace) was talking about this particular play Sunday but he could have been referring to this entire, miserable Jets season.”
Brian Costello, writer, New York Post

“In fairness, the Jets did win something Sunday: the coin toss.”
Ben Shipegel, writer, NY Times

“Vick went 21-for-28 passing for 196 yards with a touchdown and a rating of 105.7. He did not have a turnover and completed 12 straight passes.”
Brian Costello, writer, New York Post
GH: I had no idea Vick played this well watching the game. To tell you the truth, this game was all but unwatchable for most of the second half. But a Chiefs win is a Chiefs win

“We all feel the same way, we’re stunned by it. Shoot, we’d do anything for a win.”
Rex Ryan said, on the Jets’ eight straight loss, NY Post
GH: Ryan has to be down after this season, right? I can see him as the Raiders’ head coach in 2015. That would be so Raiders.

“Call it the ‘Butt Catch.’”
Brian Costello, writer, on Chiefs tight end Anthony Fasano’s TD catch of a tipped pass as he sat on the turf near the goal line, New York Post

“I didn’t have to do too much to catch it.”
Anthony Fasano, on his drop, catch and roll TD, NY Times

“On his way to his (postgame) news conference, Vick was intercepted for the only time all day. Tammy Reid, the wife of Chiefs Coach Andy Reid, who helped revive Vick’s career in Philadelphia, drew him close, told him she was proud of him and wished him luck. Vick will need it, next week against Pittsburgh at MetLife Stadium, and, perhaps, for the rest of the season.”
Ben Shipegel, writer, NY Times
GH: Vick has to be a better person than I think he is because I think he is pretty much trash. Andy Reid and his wife obviously see something worthwhile in him. Maybe they’re cat people.

“There were people who said, ‘This (Missouri) team will NEVER win in the SEC!’ Well, not only have they shocked the conference and the country after winning a year ago, they are back – and back big time.”
Brent Musburger, after Mizzou’s win over Kentucky and Georgia’s loss to Florida placed Mizzou in the driver’s seat to win the SEC East, ESPN
GH: There are some people who are still not convinced Mizzou is a quality football program. One f them fluctuates weekly from a Mizzou lover to a Mizzou hater on his weekly radio show. Read on.

“I have to say I have watched these (Missouri) guys on film. If they were to win out the rest of their games and make it to Atlanta, I think the defense is good enough to win that game and therefore win the SEC. The big questions is can Maty Mauk continue improving? Can Bud Sasser continue to make plays on the perimeter? Because this D is championship caliber. … The road to Atlanta goes through Missouri.”
Jesse Palmer, ESPN
GH: Can you imagine Mizzou as the SEC champion this season – after losing at home to Indiana? Before you respond, consider that the seventh game of the World Series was played at Kauffman Stadium last week.

“I think Missouri would probably be sixth in the Big 12 at best.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: So…you thought the butt hurt from Mizzou, Nebraska and Texas A&M leaving the Big 12 was just water over Interstate 70? Not in KK’s world of spite. Read on.

“Nebraska misses being here (in the Big 12). My guess is this will not end well for Texas A&M.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: If Nebraska misses the Big 12 and A&M is heading for an SEC hangover, neither appears to know it. Both schools have increased their stadium capacity since their departure and they both continue to be two of college football’s best game-day environments. The Big 12 lost a lot when MU, NU and A&M left. The conference screwed up in cow-towing to Texas and allowing three of the conference’s best schools to exit. Kietzman might think West Virginia and TCU are adequate replacements but he also thinks the Big 12 doesn’t need a championship game.

“I think it kind of depends where you go.”
Todd Leabo, refuting Kietzman’s claim that he has never seen the SEC Network being displayed on a Kansas City-area sports bar, 810 AM GH: I know KK thinks he is omnipresent but does he really think he can speak for every sports bar in Kansas City? Yes, yes he does.

“I have to go back and say it. We all rave about what Bill Snyder did at Kansas State but I’ve got to tell you, I don’t think Gary Pinkel receives as much credit as he deserves.” Brent Musburger, ESPN
GH: It was only a month ago that Pinkel was being filleted by many of his fans for the home loss to Indiana. Now he is back being heralded on ESPN by Musburger as the next Knute Rockne.

“He has exceeded the expectations of a lot of people who didn’t know anything about Gary Pinkel. When (Mizzou) joined this conference, there were a lot of people who laughed and thought they would never win a division championship. Now, considering (Georgia’s loss to Florida), they are looking at going to Atlanta for the second time in three years (to play in the SEC championship). This guy’s a big-time coach. He’s got this team playing good football in all three phases right now.”
Jesse Palmer, ESPN GH: College football is always unpredictable but this season might take the cake, pie and kitchen sink when it comes to surprises.

“But remember this about Missouri – they cannot afford a loss. If they fall into a tie with Georgia, Georgia wins the tie-breaker because of the loss head-to-head. So there’s no margin of error for Gary Pinkel going forward.”
Brent Musburger, ESPN
GH: There is no margin for error for any of these teams that have visions of a conference title or filling one of the too-few CFB playoffs spots.

“He is a special dude. You talk about all the great defensive linemen Gary Pinkel has had in the past? Well Shane Ray he’s right up there. He might be one of the best.”
Jesse Palmer, ESPN
GH: Shane Ray is a junior out of Bishop Miege. Mizzou is so good at producing great rush ends for the NFL they can’t hardly keep them for four years.

“This Bud’s for you! Bud Sasser with the first score of the day!”
Brent Musburger, on his play-by-play of Mizzou’s first touchdown against Kentucky, ESPN

“Missouri has had a much easier path in the SEC than they would have had in the Big 12. It’s not even arguable.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Not even arguable? Not on KK's show where he refuses to invite a Missouri or SEC dissenting voice. Leabo simply played the role of Danny Clinkscale on this afternoon as he agreed with almost all of KK's anti-MU/SEC statements. I sure would like to hear Kevin make that statement to Gary Pinkel this week during their weekly chat. I believe he may get an argument.

“Few had picked Oklahoma State to beat, or even seriously challenge the Wildcats on Saturday at Snyder Family Stadium, but after the Cowboys opened the game with an effortless scoring drive, anything seemed possible. Hope began to build on the visitor’s sideline. Doubt crept through the crowd. Then Morgan Burns hit the reset button.”
Kellis Robinett, writer, referring to Burns’ 86-yard kickoff return to tie the score at 7-7 and lead to KSU’s 48-14 win over the Pokes, Kansas City Star
GH: Kietzman had predicted this game would be so lopsided that viewers across the country would be switching the channel. He was right. K-State methodically moved up and down the field on an out-classed Oklahoma State. How did the Pokes get this bad after Mike Gundy was recently the nation’s coach of the year? Aren’t great seasons supposed to bring in great recruits?

“The FOX commentators for No. 9 K-State at No. 7 TCU have been released. Those names are Gus Johnson, Charles Davis and Molly McGrath.”
D. Scott Fritchen, @DScottFritchen, Twitter
GH: Gus Johnson should add just the right level of insanity a game like this one requires. I will not be switching channels during this one.

“It’s like Christmas. We get to see all the presents we got.”
Kansas basketball fan today at the office, on KU’s basketball opener tonight against Washburn
GH: Kansas’ football season was pretty much over in September after that Duke puke. It is officially over now that hoops are back at Allen Fieldhouse.

“I say this not as a threat but as a reminder to all Kansas basketball fans. All the money and all the tradition will get you nothing without the right coach.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: True, but all that money and all that tradition make hiring the right coach quite a bit easier.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Royals lose World Series to Giants but win over a town

Written 10/30/14

“So unbelievably sad. So unbelievably proud.”
Brian Cunningham, @Hamdogg, after the Kansas City Royals dropped Game 7 to the San Francisco Giants by the score of 3-2, Twitter
GH: Yes, we lost. But Kansas City and its fans proved to be winners in how they bonded with their team and themselves. This was one fantastic October ride we all went on together that was all the more sweet due to its unexpectedness. Not even Madison Bumgarner can erase those memories.

“Hopefully, we can get another opportunity.”
Dayton Moore, 810 AM
GH: Last season we ridiculed Moore for saying that he thought in a small way we won the World Series. It was a ridiculous statement after suffering our 28th year of no postseason play in Kansas City. But that streak not only died this October, it was beaten bloody and he carcasses of some of MLB’s best teams were left in its wake. So let’s do this again sometime. Soon.

“This is a team that is going to go into spring training next year and know that they are a playoff team. And that is something different in this franchise than I can never remember.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM

“In 16 years of covering Omaha Royals always felt small pang of sadness when season ended. Feeling big pang with end of KC's wonderful run.”
Steve Pivovar, Omaha World Herald sports writer, PivOWH, Twitter

“I admire those who can genuinely post about how great the season & postseason run was. I'm not there yet. Probably won't be tomorrow either.”
Ryan Noonan, @ryanjnoonan, Twitter

“I don’t want to spend too much time on Madison Bumgarner…”
TJ Carpenter, during WHB’s Game 7 postgame call-in show, 810 AM
GH: I watched from my right-field seats as Bumgarner’s back slowly grew smaller as he strode from the Giants’ bullpen toward the infield in the fifth inning. The boos from the stands started immediately and only grew louder with each step. As my wife so aptly put it, “That guy takes all the fun out of it.”

“This is probably the best pitching performance of my era that I’ve ever seen.”
David Ross, Boston Red Sox catcher, on Bumgarner, ESPN
GH: That might be the best pitching performance of all time – at least it is definitely in the discussion. Wow. What Bumgarner did Sunday and then come back for five innings of shutout ball on Wednesday is the stuff of legend. And we are now part of that legend.

“Stupidly, I told him, ‘Boy, am I glad we don’t have to face you again.’”
Ned Yost, on what he said to Bumgarner after the Royals beat him and the Giants back in the regular season in early August, 810 AM

“I asked Joe Panik how many times he has done that where he flips the ball with his glove to second base and he said, ‘I’ve got to be honest with you. That’s the first time I’ve ever done that in a play around second base in my life.’”
Buster Olney, ESPN
GH This was the play changed the game and likely turned the World Series in favor of the Giants. Here is a link to the video if you can stomach watching it again. I thought it was brilliant. Devastating, but brilliant.

“You don’t think that I shouldn’t dive (at the first base bag) here. You just want to get there. It’s not a tenth of a second difference between diving at it and running through it.”
Mike McFarlane, on Hosmer getting doubled up after the replay showed him to be out after diving at the first-base bag on Panik’s defensive gem, 810 AM
GH: McFarlane likes to defend the Royals players and coaches at almost every turn but this comment strikes me as naïve. You do not dive at the first base bag to get their quicker. You run through it. There is no decision to make. You run through the bag every time. I am amazed that MLB players still do not understand this simple fact of the game.

“I don’t see a villain anywhere.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Petro must not follow the same folks I do on Twitter. Joe Buck and the Fox boys came away the clear bad boys in the eyes of many Royals fans.

“You send (Alex) Gordon, and it's one of the 5 greatest baseball moments ever, regardless of whether he scores.”
Nate Silver, @NateSilver538, on Royals third-base coach Mike Jirschele holding Gordon at third in the bottom of the ninth, Twitter
GH: From my seat in right I could see the problems Blanco had with the single and then how the left fielder fumbled the ball when he tried to pick it up. The Giants outfield definitely looked nervous and they panicked during the play. But it was not a play you would expect Gordon to go on. But there was that thought…

“I wondered, just for a moment...”
Ian Brisbin, @ibrisbin, Twitter

“Royals 3B coach Mike Jirschele on his decision not to send Alex Gordon: ‘Believe me, I wanted to send him. I couldn't do it.’”
Jeff Passan, @JeffPassan, writer for YahooSports.com, Twitter

“To write, but one last thought: To all those people who thought Gordon should have been sent home -- he's out by 40 feet.”
Joe Posnanski, @JPosnanski, Twitter
GH: Maybe. But there had already been two poor plays made on that ball in the outfield. It is one of those decisions that will likely grow in stature as time moves on. I think Gordon would have been out. But part of me believes that was the Royals chance at their magic moment.

“It was not the wrong call (by Jirschele) at third…I wish he had gone.”
Blair Kerkhoff, KC Star columnist, 810 AM

“Seriously, I thought he had a chance to score on that ball. I thought they might send him there.”
Bruce Bochy, on Gordon stopping at third in the bottom of the ninth, MLB Network

“They just outplayed us. You know, it’s not always the manger’s fault.”
Ned Yost, after Soren Petro asked Yost if he would review his decisions during the series and second guess some of his moves, 810 AM
GH: I listened to Yost praise the Giants in his postgame comments and he made me proud that he was representing the Royals and Kansas City with such class. Ned is not a good in-game strategist and he too often was an ass the past three years with the local media. But something happened to Yost this October. He mellowed, relaxed and he became likeable. As so many others commented on Twitter last night, this is the Ned Yost we need to see at spring training next year and throughout the rest of his tenure in Kansas City. It also would help if his club keeps winning…

“When I heard (Nate Yost) say that (he is now recognized by fans in Kansas City) I thought, ‘What a bunch of idiot Hoosier fans Kansas City has who don’t even know who their manager is.’ People didn’t want to approach him! Seriously, would you not agree Danny that 90% of all Royals fans thought of Ned Yost as unapproachable?”
Kevin Kietzman, after Ned Yost said that he is now recognized everywhere in Kansas City where only one in 30 people recognized him before the Royals playoff run, 810 AM
GH: Anybody who bothered to tune into MLB’s postseason saw that Kansas City is not populated by a bunch of idiot Hoosiers. This is a city filled with great sports fans – just like a lot of cities that have professional sports teams. Kevin seems to be obsessed with how the rest of the country views Kansas City and whether or not they look down their nose at us. That is a problem with him not us. I think we are pretty darn great no matter what they’re saying about us on either coast.

“One postseason (questioned) answered: Danny Duffy suffered a stress reaction in his ribcage during his last regular season start, Yost told The Star. Yost wanted to start Duffy in Game 1 of the ALDS. The training staff told him Duffy could only go two innings at a time.”
Andy McCullough, @McCulloughStar, Twitter
GH: So everyone on the Royals (including Duffy) was lying about Duffy’s physical status the past month? Why?

“The @KCStar page designers and headline writers won the 2014 World Series.”
J. Freedom du Lac, @jfdulac, Washington Post editor, Twitter
GH: The Kansas City Star should take a deep bow for their work the past month. The photos, layouts and words by their staff were so memorable that they made the print edition of The Star once again a viable and desirable part of many of our mornings. The electronic media also stepped up to add so much to this month of madness here in KC. The local sports talk stations 810 and 610 stepped up their games to deliver some of the best coverage this city has seen in some time. Dare I say that 610 may have matured into a legitimate player with their Royals coverage?

“(Sam Mellinger), put yourself in for a raise you will not get. When that happens, steal office supplies until you consider it fair value.”
Ray Ratto, @RattoCSN, San Francisco sports writer, Twitter
GH: Ratto is a funny west coast follow – and I am sure he has a house full of office supplies.

“I look at this (Royals) team – huge expectations for next season.”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM

“I think we’ll see that excitement reflected in Royals season ticket sales. I think the Royals will jack up the prices and I think people will still buy.”
Blair Kerkhoff, KC Star columnist, 810 AM
GH: A guy in the stands last night made the comment that he could have bought two season tickets this year for what he spent on World Series seats.

“I just want to thank all of you (fans) for your support. We definitely heard you out here. Glad baseball is back in Kansas City!”
James Shields, addressing the fans at Kauffman Stadium on Thursday morning following Game 7, 610 AM
GH: Baseball is back in Kansas City. Let’s. Go. Royals.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


And we go to Game 7

Written 10/30/14

“As kids, what I fall back on is when I was 10 years old, hitting rocks in the back yard, trying to hit it over the fence for a home run. I never one time thought, ‘OK, bases loaded, two out, bottom of the ninth, game five of the World Series,’ you know? Never. It was always two outs, bottom of the ninth, game seven of the World Series.”
Ned Yost, in his postgame comments Tuesday night, Kansas City Star
GH: You, me and just about any kid who ever hit a rock with a stick has envisioned that same Game 7 scenario as Ned described. Only for the Royals and Giants it is real. Tonight. Holy Freaking Baby Jesus!

“On July 21 the Royals were 48-50.”
Dennis Dodd, @dennisdoddcbs, Twitter
GH: Let that marinate in your noodle for just a moment. July 21st is almost August! And then consider the Wild Card night (now a month ago) when reality got bent so out of whack that Jon Lester surrendered a 7-3 lead in the eight – to the freaking Royals! If this isn’t one of the great sports stories of all time, there are no great sports stories of all time. And as we all know, that ain’t true.

“Professional sports don’t do better than game seven, and that’s especially true in baseball where the outcome of any of the 200 or so pitches thrown can change history. The Royals have been so bad for so long that watching them with any sort of regularity over the years has meant dreaming of a night like this, usually without any real expectation of it happening. The World Series? Game seven? At Kauffman Stadium? Is this real life?”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: Oh, this is real alright. And a good many credit card bills come November will smack Kansas City Royals fans in the face with zeros in places they have never before seen. But it’s only money. How do you put a price on memories like these? And there is always the chance you’ll die before your credit card is due.

“I am so happy for the fans of Kansas City. The greatest fans in the world. We’ve been waiting so long. We went through those 100-loss seasons. And the fans still came out and still supported the Royals. That’s what it’s about to me.”
Mike Boddicker, former Royals pitcher, 810 AM
GH: How many summer nights did we sit inside The K, or watch Splitt frankly analyze another Royals’ loss, or listen to Denny and Ryan while mow the lawn describe a disastrous evening of baseball? Too damn many. But a month of sensational baseball has made those nights, all those losses, all those batting coaches – all worth the pain and embarrassment. That is how great the baseball has been this October. Tonight has a chance to stamp it as legendary.

“For the Giants, the game was ugly. It was demoralizing. Depending on what happens in the Series finale, it puts Peavy’s name on the short list of Giants all-time goats. But it is also forcing the greatest thing in sports: a Game 7. … Whatever the reason, there’s an even bigger game now. And both teams wake up this morning knowing that that, by the end of the day, their lives will have changed forever.”
Ann Killion, columnist, SFGate.com

“Madison Bumgarner should start Game 7. It won’t happen, no way. Bruce Bochy assured me of that before Tuesday’s Game 6. So I’m not second-guessing Bochy’s plan to start Tim Hudson; I’m first-guessing the Hall of Fame-bound skipper. The Giants’ best chance to win this World Series is to start the farmer. Sentiment is for Hallmark cards. (Made right here in Kansas City!) … Sentiment be damned. If you’ve got the best horse, load him in the starting gate.”
Scott Ostler, columnist, SFGate.com
GH: I know Bochy has said he will not start Bumgarner but you know there are a few players in the Giants’ dugout wanting to see him start – and MadBum is probably one of them.

“The only thing that could make us even think about losing is if Bochy has the balls to start Bumgarner.”
Mike Boddicker, former Royals pitcher, 810 AM

“If Bochy let the Royals vote on the Giants’ starting pitcher for Game 7, Bumgarner would finish dead last on every ballot. … Look, the Giants need to go down swinging. Did Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid walk into that plaza in Bolivia with their arms held high in surrender? They did not.”
Scott Ostler, columnist, SFGate.com
GH: You know, I am not sure these Royals care who pitches for the Giants tonight. Yes, Bumgarner looks to be the best postseason chucker of all time. But wouldn’t that just add to the craziness of this Royals postseason if they beat today’s Sandy Koufax in Game 7?

“Jake Peavy and the Giants hoped Game 6 of the World Series would result in a parade. It did, all right — a parade of Kansas City runs. … A day earlier, Peavy sat at the podium with two of his young sons for a playful news conference. The pitcher was asked whether his family had thought about buying a San Francisco cable car — a real one, as a souvenir — if the Giants won. Peavy was coy, saying that decision was for another day. But fifth-grader Wyatt whispered in his dad's ear: ‘We picked out a trolley car.’ The Royals quickly put the brakes on that purchase.”
Ben Walker, writer, AP
GH: Peavy’s kid has a cable car picked out to purchase after the Giants win it? After Peavy’s outing at The K Tuesday that kid might want to start shopping razor scooters.

“So jealous of all you ST holders but way to go for sticking with this. Want all the real fans possible in that stadium.”
Ross Martin, @PCBearcat, Twitter
GH: Amen. The 13,000 or so core Royals season ticket holders who have propped this team up and supported them through the Glass years all deserve a deep bow from the Royals organization. Hell, if I was David Glass I would give every fan who had a season ticket for more than ten years a World Series ring…if there is a World Series ring to be had after tonight.

“Thank god that it’s over tonight. I feel like I spent one too many days in Vegas.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM

“$15K makes me a legend.”
Danny Parkins, on why he refused to hedge his bet made earlier this season when the Royals were 30-1 odds to win the World Series, 610 AM
GH: Parkins did the right thing in not hedging his bet to ensure he would make $7K and instead let it all roll on the Royals. May the Parkins Kiss of Death die tonight.

“Can you imagine being Sungwoo? He’s more popular than every Royals player except maybe Hosmer, Butler, Gordon and Moustakas.”
Jeff Passan, MLB writer for YahooSports.com, as Sungwoo was surrounded by fans prior to Game 6, 610 AM
GH: If, if, if there is a parade (and I hear plans are for it to take place downtown on Friday at 11:00 AM), Sungwoo needs to be in it. Has to be. Seat him next to Billy Butler and the crowd might explode.

“29-years ago my Dad woke me up and told me The @Royals had won Game 6. This morning I got to relive that moment with my daughter.”
Mike Ransdell, @mikeransdell, Twitter

“I know (the crowd) is going to bring it. We’ve got to find a way to bring it as well.”
Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City Star
GH: The crowd. Two simple words that do no justice to what the atmosphere at Kauffman Stadium has been like this month. Last night was off-the-charts bonkers from Yordano first pitch to Moose’s jack to the stadium security guards aggressively high fiving every fan they could reach as we walked out of The K. Tonight? I will let you know. Yep, going back one last time for history.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24



Chiefs thump Rams; Royals hoping to win two at home

Written 10/27/14

“That was the weirdest 34-7 game I’ve ever seen. The whole time you didn’t feel like the Chiefs were dominating the game. Here’s the good thing about it – they beat a team they had to beat at home.”
Bill Maas, 610 AM
GH: I listened to the Rams first drive of the game and Mitch and Lenny made it sound like this was going to be a long day for the Chiefs as easily as St. Louis sliced through the Chiefs jerry-rigged defense. Who knew then that the Chiefs were going to score 34 unanswered points in a rout to the Governor’s Cup? Maybe that’s a good omen for the Royals as they head into Game 6 tonight following two series-turning losses in San Francisco. Or as the radio disclaimer reminds us – past performances are not necessarily indicative of future results.

“I’ve got to tell you, this defensive secondary with (Husain) Abdullah and (Ron) Parker? They are playing some really good football. These are guys who weren’t expected to do anything and they have become quality starters in this league. To me, that has made all the difference between last year’s defense and this year’s defense.”
Bill Maas, 610 AM
GH: Derrick Johnson, the heart, soul and leader of the Chiefs defense went down in the Chiefs opener with a season-ending Achilles injury and the Chiefs looked doomed. Then Eric Berry went MIA and the clouds grew even thicker over the Chiefs defensive huddle. But so often in sports and life great opportunity spawns greatness as it has with Parker and Abdullah. Now, that didn’t happen with Jayson Nix in the World Series but even miracles have a limit.

“Nobody gave (the Chiefs) a chance when the schedules came out. Nobody gave them a chance when the injuries occurred. This is the personality that this (Chiefs) team has taken on.”
Bill Maas, 610 AM
GH: I had the Chiefs down for five wins before the season. I thought the schedule looked far too difficult for a team that has so few offensive weapons and no wide receivers of note. Well, they are 4-3 and their wide receivers have still not caught a touchdown pass. Maybe they are reinventing the game via George Halas’ playbook.

“Alex (Smith) actually has a shoulder sprain that happened in the game. He was able obviously to go through the game and everything worked out OK. A bit sore today but should be fine.”
Andy Reid, following the Chiefs 34-7 win over St. Louis, ArrowheadPride.com
GH: Is there anyone out there in Mitch Holthus’ Chiefs Kingdom who still doesn’t think Alex Smith is just what the Chiefs needed at quarterback? He’s smart, tough and talented. Has anyone heard Kevin Kietzman toot his Geno Smith horn of late?

“(Michael) Vick, in 6 quarters of football this year has produced zero TDs, 5 INT/fumbles, and has completed 46.4% of his passes; will start over Geno.”
Benjamin Allbright, @AllbrightNFL , NFL draft guy, on the Jets decision to start Vick at Arrowhead Sunday, Twitter
GH: Chiefs fans will likely be denied a look at Geno Smith, the quarterback that KK so desperately wanted the Chiefs to draft two summers ago. At least as the starter. The Jets have been a disaster now for years and the Chiefs need to take advantage of them. As Dick Vermeil like to say, keep losing teams losing.

"This is not looking long-term, this is about the immediate. My focus is just on that and that's on Kansas City and trying to find a way to get a win. And that's why this decision was made.”
Rex Ryan, Jets head coach, NFL.com

“The Jets used Percy Harvin on 40 snaps Sunday (against Buffalo), by an unofficial count. In time, he will absolutely open up the offense for Eric Decker, but Smith and Vick must resist the urge to force the ball to him. Harvin was used sparingly in the slot but was a heavy presence on the outside and in the Jets' backfield. He had four carries.”
Connor Orr, writer, NFL.com
GH: Percy Harvin will be quite a test for the Chiefs scout-team secondary just as the elusive Vick will test the Chiefs’ excellent pass rush. Here’s hoping the Jets stay in a funk at least one more week.

“I just want to mention once again all the great help through the charitable arm, the players and the Clark fam…the Hunt family.”
Governor Jay Nixon, address the Chiefs as he presented them with the Governor’s Cup for their win over the St. Louis Rams, 610 AM
GH: Do you think Governor Jay Nixon listens to sports talk radio?

“Not an accident, Danny.”
Jake Gutierrez, after Danny Clinkscale remarked that the bumper music Jake was playing on The Border Patrol was the number-one song in October of 1985, 810 AM
GH: Jake and The Border Patrol have been serenading their morning audience during the MLB playoffs with tunes from 1985 – and I have been loving the trip down memory lane. Somehow Jake decided that the anthem for the Royals postseason surge should be the theme from St. Elmo’s Fire, John Parr’s Man in Motion. I crank it up every time that song comes on 810. I knocked almost a minute off my fifth mile this morning when Steven St. John let the entire song play out. This World Series stuff is one helluva lot of fun!

“Since 1982, teams down 3-2 going home for Games 6 & 7 have won 8 of 10 World Series.”
World Series Stat that has been repeated often since Game 5 went final in San Francisco
GH: Looks like Ned’s dream of a Game 7 is a real possibility.

“Two home games to win the World Series – would you sign up for that?”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM
GH: Think about coming out of the All-Star break and that three-game sweep by the Red Sox – and just how over any postseason hopes appeared to be. I walked through Hy-Vee yesterday after work and was in awe of the square footage they have dedicated to Royals World Series gear. Our Royals. The same Royals the Red Sox spanked in July. Win tonight and Game 7 awaits.

“The Royals have seen potential Game 7 (ticket) prices hold steady over the weekend despite entering an elimination game on Tuesday. The average price for Game 7 tickets is currently $1,559.27 on the secondary market and will likely rise to even greater heights if the Royals were to force the game with a win on Tuesday. The get-in price for Game 7 starts at $598, more than double what Game 6’s get-in price is currently listed.”
Jesse Lawrence, contributor, Forbes.com
GH: Translation: Getting into The K the next two nights is going to be expensive. Here’s hoping it is really costly for the Giants.

“Yes or no?”
A Friend, texting me Monday night to ask if I was available to go to Game 6 if he got tickets
GH: I don’t have it in my budget to pay for tickets to a second WS game this month but this buddy was willing to treat me and a couple of other guys. I texted him to let him know I wasn’t comfortable sticking him with the cost. He answered my text with the question above, “Yes or no?” Well, I am heading to Game 6 tonight courtesy of one very good friend.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Royals down 3-2, Yost back to being Yost

Written 10/27/14

“I think when we look back over this series we will look back at Game 4 as being the key moment in the series. Game 4 was huge. You had the Giants down 4-1 in a high-leverage situation and the Giants came out on top there. I would have used Wade Davis in that situation in the highest leverage point in the series and here we are 3-2 Giants going into Game 6.”
Brian Bannister, former Royals pitcher, 810 AM
GH: It all looked so real Saturday night when the Royals were up 4-1 in San Francisco and Jason Vargas playfully forgot the count and then froze on his way to first base. A friend of mine told his four young daughters that the Royals were going to win the World Series on Sunday and that there would be no school on Monday because, “WE ARE ALL GOING TO THE PARADE!” He then dogpiled with his kids and sent them off to bed. Sunday morning they awoke to ask, “Dad, is there still no school tomorrow because we’re going to the parade?” His answers were short. “No parade,” he grunted. “You’re going to school. The Royals lost.”

“If you’re going to have a really disastrous game for Ned Yost – which I think this was one – why not have it in this game (Sunday against Bumgarner) which you’re probably not going to win anyway. Let’s face facts, as nice as this has been in the postseason, Ned’s not a great tactician. Period. He hasn’t been a great tactician in this postseason. It’s just worked. And if they just win two games in a row they’ll be World Champions and no one will care.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: There is no need to reiterate my distaste for Ned Yost’s skills as an in-game manager. I think he is historically awful. I was hoping that since the Wild Card win he had either learned from his mistakes or taken a sharp blow to the head that dislodged some logic to his managing. Nope. Same old Nervous Ned.

“Oh, man, somewhere inside of me secretly I had hoped that it would go seven games for the excitement and the thrill of it. Sure looks that way.”
Ned Yost, in his postgame comments following Saturday’s 11-4 loss to the Giants, Fox

“I was sitting around with some friends and some of them played minor league ball and we were trying to wrap out heads around why (Yost) would put Jayson Nix into a game intentionally, allowing him to make one of your final six precious outs. But he did. … I don’t understand how (Nix) is in the major leagues.”
Todd Leabo, 810 AM
GH: Why is Nix on the roster instead of the Royals first-round pick Christian Colon? What future does the often-traveled and never-going-to-hit Nix have with this franchise? I would pinch hit Stevie Nix before Jayson. But maybe Ned is simply trying to fulfill his secret dream of seeing the series go seven games.

“It was too early right there. We were still trying to still keep our defense in the game.”
Ned Yost, when asked why he didn’t pinch hit for Jarrod Dyson in the fifth inning with a runner in scoring position and the pitcher due up next, Fox
GH: The Royals were down 0-2 and Yost was more concerned with keeping the game close than scoring runs? If the Royals are able to win this thing with Yost calling the shots they need to build a new wing at Cooperstown for this bunch of Royals survivors.

“Yeah, it’s tough. I know what I’m capable of offensively. … When you don’t get at bats regularly it’s tough.”
Billy Butler, when asked by Danny Clinkscale if it has been difficult watching the series from the bench in San Francisco, 810 AM
GH: If Ron Howard is directing this Royals postseason, Butler has to be the hero on Game 7. But this isn’t the movies. Somehow the fact that Ned Yost is managing this team is real.

“So much of this Royals season, especially the last month or so, has played out like a storybook. The Wild Card Game, the celebrations, the home runs by Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer. That part of it, no matter what else happens, will live in the franchise’s history forever. The Royals will fly a new flag on top of their Hall of Fame building in left field, and they will be fitted for shiny and gaudy rings sometime soon. A trip back home to Kansas City for a game Tuesday and a possible game seven on Wednesday will determine whether the new swag says ‘American League’ or ‘World Series’ champions.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: The Royals are one win away from playing in Game 7 of the World Series. Time to win that one game.

“Are you excited or nervous? I can hardly think about it without getting sick to my stomach.”
Steven St. John, contemplating Game 6 on 810 AM

“I’m available any day, man.”
James Shields, when asked if he would be available to pitch Game 7, 810 AM
GH: James Shields is one tough teammate. I hope he is front and center Tuesday night in that Royals dugout willing his team to Game 7.

“We’re going to go home and play for our crowd.”
Billy Butler, 810 AM
GH: The crowds in Kansas City and San Francisco have been incredible. They both have added an element of excitement to this series that I was not sure we would see. The Bay Area looked to be just as wrapped up in their Giants (despite their two recent WS titles) as the Royals fans are in their long-suffering squad. I think the Giants are hard to dislike. They play the game hard. And I would take Hunter Pence in right field for the Royals tomorrow. Love that dude’s game and his passion. He and Lorenzo Cain look right at home in the spotlight.

“If Fox by now thinks we’re excited it’s using 226 cameras (3-D and 3,000-pixels per-frame slo-mo numbers, plus “Resin Bag-Cam”), helicopters, blimps, barrage balloons, technicians wired as robots, robots wired as technicians, hand-held remote-controlled umpire cattle prods, gyroscopic bullpen magnetizers, a synthetic second-base synthesizer, Erin Andrews’ text address, a digitized rotation counter/virtual toaster oven, lava lamps, 12 roving reporters, 10 live dead bolts, hams in need of curing and a wired-for-sound partridge in a pear tree, well, we’re not. Well, I’m not.”
Phil Mushnick, media columnist, New York Post
GH: I love the technology that Fox has brought to the World Series. The ultra-slow-motion digital replays are fabulous to watch. I can even handle the too-important-sounding Joe Buck. But Harold Reynolds has no business being in front of a live microphone. When Reynolds unashamedly showed the Fox audience his “notes” on how he tracks the game, it looked like your third grader’s artwork. Unfortunately, his notes looked easier to understand than his analysis. TBS’ crew was worse but Reynolds should adopt Cal Ripken’s style of broadcasting and just shut up.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Royals respond to Giants with a beating of their own

Written 10/23/14

“Now we’ve got a Series.”
Al Wallace, sports anchor, following the Royals 7-2 win over the Giants in Game 2, WDAF Fox 4
GH: GAME ON is what the headline in my very soggy Kansas City Star shouted at me as I carefully removed its sogginess from its micro-thin plastic wrapper. So now the Series moves to San Francisco and becomes a best of five affair. I just hope it doesn’t rain on my newspaper carrier.

“There aren't that many times when a city is completely invested in a professional sports team. When it happens, players and fans alike remember it forever, how they counted down the hours to game time, how for a brief time the games themselves seemed to be the most important thing on Earth. That's what's happening around Kansas City these days. In the coffee shops and bars and restaurants, they're talking Royals. They're nervous and they're excited, and they're having the time of their lives.”
Richard Justice, writer, MLB.com
GH: If you live with 100 miles of Kansas City, you have some idea how this city flipped on its Royalsness since that Wild Card win over Jon Lester and the A’s. Everybody is wearing Royals gear. Everybody is talking baseball. Everybody is losing sleep, going into debt and happy as heck about it because following a winning baseball team through the postseason might be the single best feeling for a sports fan. The NCAA tourney comes close, but this run the Royals are on right now beats anything I can remember. And I am old.

“I wish we didn’t have to go (away from Kauffman Stadium). It’s so electric. It’s been amazing.”
Lorenzo Cain, on the atmosphere at The K, ESPN
GH: I would like all two million area residents to have the experience of going to The K for one of these postseason games. All who have been there the past three weeks know of what I speak.

“Yesterday was one of the best days of my life – and not just because a baseball team won a game. It was just the electricity in the city. I got to sit on set with Linda Cohn and do SportsCenter. Then I got to go to a World Series game and have an experience with my wife and my son that I will never forget. We’re going to talk about this night for the rest of our lives. I wanted it to last as long as possible.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM

“Everybody is very passionate about the Royals. You play here and you get a special feeling. I don't know if you drink the water or what, but I was very fortunate to play here for eight years.”
Bret Saberhagen, columbianmissourian.com
GH: Most MLB cities love their teams and feel just as passionate about the Royals as Kansas City folks. But perennial losers like the Royals and their fans have a bit more pent up craziness that fills a city once success dawns. We are experiencing that here in Kansas City and it is as glorious as we thought it might be.

“We showed them that we have fight in us. And I think they knew that already. But we stepped up big there as a team, and that gave us some confidence in that clubhouse. You never know how guys are going to respond to that, losing in the World Series.”
Billy Butler, on the Royals tying the Series at one win apiece, MLB.com
GH: One of the goofier discussions lines after Game 1 was how would the Royals respond to a loss? Huh? What MLB franchise is better equipped to respond from a loss than the Royals? We made losing a 29-year habit!

“The big stage is the big stage. The spotlight ain't for everyone. #Royals #WorldSeriesGame1”:
Rob Lowe, @RobLowe, after the Giants thumped the Royals in Game 1, Twitter
GH: If Lowe is a Giants fan I have no problem with him rooting for his club. But don’t play on the stereotype that KC is a little flyover town that can’t handle the bright lights. We look pretty cool in shades too, Rob.  I am eagerly awaiting the Dumb Rob Lowe TV commercial where Dumb Rob falls into the pool while watching people swim and stays there until the Super Bowl.

“The key to the game was forged the day before; Yost avoided using any of his key relievers in a Game 1 that got out of hand early.”
Marc Normandin, MLB writer, sbnation.com

“For at least one night, the critics had little choice but to marinate in the following sentence: Ned Yost out-managed Bruce Bochy. OK, maybe that’s an oversimplification. In Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday, the long-derided Yost had the more effective bullpen with which to maneuver than the Cooperstown-bound Bochy. But the facts remain: When the sixth inning began, Yost’s Royals and Bochy’s Giants were tied. By the time it ended, Kansas City scored five runs and had a 7-2 lead it never relinquished. Yost shepherded the game directly from rookie starter Yordano Ventura to middle relief ace Kelvin Herrera, while Bochy deployed five different pitchers in an effort to record three outs.”
Jon Paul Morosi, FoxSports.com
GH: Yost is receiving kudos from many of the same fronts who panned his decision making in the regular season and the Wild Card fiasco. And he deserved the criticism then and the praise now. Read on.

“One minute we're talking about Bochy as a lock for the Hall of Fame, and now all of a sudden he's a dunce? Sorry, count me out. It's true for Bochy, it's true for Yost, it's true for all of them: Managerial decisions only look bad when they don't work out.”
Ken Rosenthal, FoxSports.com
GH: I disagree. Bad decisions are just bad decisions. Some manage not to hurt a team but while winning makes you quickly overlook a bad managerial move, it doesn’t erase it.

“I’m not okay with it. I was shocked. I was like, ‘What’s he doing?’ Billy’s swinging the bat better than anybody on the team right now. It was a one-run game and if the Giants come back… I thought it was way premature.”
Kevin Seitzer, Royals former hitting coach under Ned Yost, when asked about Yost having Terrence Gore pinch run for Butler in the sixth inning with second base occupied and the Royals leading 3-2, 810 AM
GH: Removing Butler in the sixth with a slim one-run lead for minimal benefit of Gore’s speed was a bad move that the Royals offense rendered moot. Billy Butler carried this team during Hosmer’s absence in July and August and he looks like he is ready to do it again in October.

“The thing that impressed me most that after giving up that homer after one batter – I don’t think his heartbeat ever raced.”
Curt Schilling, former World Series MVP, on Yordano Ventura’s night as a rookie starter in Game 2 of the World Series, ESPN

“I like the fact that Salvy was trying (to get Ventura) to establish the fastball – even though (Gregor) Blanco the blind squirrel there found an acorn.”
Mike Macfarlane, on the Giants lead-off hitter and former Royal opening the game with a home run,  810 AM

“I don’t know what happened to that guy.”
Salvador Perez, when asked about his on-field conversation with Strickland, ESPN
GH: Thank you Mr. Strickland for adding some venom to this Series. If you were nodding off when this went down, you were wide awake when Moose dropped his lumber and started out toward the mound to defend his catcher.

“He looked at me. I was like ‘Why did you look at me? Omar hit a homer. Look at Omar.’”
Salvador Perez, via a tweet from @McCulloughStar, Twitter

“God love him, but I have no idea what Salvy is saying...
@aceapplebees, Twitter
GH: It is fun to watch the national media interview Salvy and then have no idea what he said or how to follow up to whatever he said. Where is Joel Goldberg when the World Series needs him?

“My emotions got the best of me. … I don’t know if (Perez) thought I was yelling at him or not. I was just frustrated with myself.”
Hunter Strickland, Giants pitcher, on his verbal confrontation with the Royals catcher, kansascity.com
GH: Strickland does not appear to be real good at handling failure. Let’s see if we can continue his struggles with that character flaw.

“You want to get rid of this? Don’t give up home runs.”
John Kruk, ESPN analyst, on his advice to Strickland, ESPN

“(Lorenzo Cain) is going 20 miles an hour! Think about that! That’s too fast for a school zone!”
Harold Reynolds, as Fox showed a graphic that depicted Cain’s speed as he scored from second in the pivotal sixth inning on a sharp single to left, Fox
GH: I was screaming for Cain to hold up at third on the single to left but he never slowed – and then scored without drawing a play. Lorenzo Cain is way, way, better than any of us knew.

“Mike Krukow, the longtime major-league pitcher and esteemed Giants broadcaster, told his radio audience during Game 2 that he’d never seen a 100-mph two-seamer until (Kelvin) Herrera threw his Wednesday night.”
Jon Paul Morosi, FoxSports.com
GH: That three-headed monster that Ned Yost has in the Royals bullpen has a chance to make history. I mean some HOF history. There has been so much talk that Davis or Holland need to be traded at the end of the season but my question is why? Pay them both and continue to strike fear into every team in Major League Baseball. This threesome almost makes the Royals Ned-proof.

“The KCRoyals are flying to SF tonight, yet the SFGiants staying in KC and flying home Thursday. (Giants’ third-base coach Tim) Flannery: Sleep doctor told us it's better.”
Scott Miller, @ScottMillerBbl, Twitter
GH: I have never understood teams’ eagerness to fly at night when there is no game the next day. I like the Giants decision to stay and fly the next day. Do the Royals really need a Thursday workout after 173 games?

“Thanks to TicketsforLess.com for the seats! Even after I threw them in the recycle once today. Thanks to Dan and everyone at Tix4Less!”
Soren Petro, @theprogramkc, Twitter
GH: Confession time: I printed out my Game 1 ticket at work on Friday and forgot to take it off the printer. A coworker walked into my office Monday morning and said, “I thought you might want this.”

“Whoever at 41 printed up those WE BELIEVE signs that have been in every single broadcast......brilliant.”
Aaron Barnhart, @tvbarntv, Twitter
GH: The local media have stepped up their game for this once-in-29-years-happening. The paper crowns that TV 9 were handing out at Game 1 were everywhere on Tuesday. I was disappointed in 810’s postgame show Tuesday night in that TJ Carpenter, their Chiefs beat reporter, was hosting the late-night show. Really? The Royals finally get to the World Series and 810 chose to plug their ninth-string guy into the postgame show?

“This is one of those times I need to call my dad. He took me to my first Royals game in '69. I was 6 yrs old.”
David Cone, @dcone36, native Kansas Citian, following the Royals ALCS-clinching win over the Orioles, Twitter
GH: If you still have a dad to call, this is definitely one of those times.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Media reaction to Game One

Written 10/22/14

“I think you’ve got an awful lot riding on a rookie (pitcher) here tonight. If you lose tonight – you are watching your final home game of the season. This is not coming back if you go down to San Francisco 0-2. So, your entire postseason run hinges on the next nine innings plus. And you’ve got a rookie out there – and that’s an awful lot of pressure for a rookie to be under.”
Damon Bruce, sports talk host at 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, talking to Bob Fescoe Wednesday morning, 610 AM
GH: Bruce was a great guest for Fescoe’s morning show because he turned the radio screws tightly on Royals fans who are rooting for the boys in blue. He sure made me want the Royals to kick some Giant butt tonight.

“No, no, no. His side sessions have been dynamite. We’re real confident he’s going to come out and pitch a great game tomorrow.”
Ned Yost, when asked if he expects any lingering issues from Yordano Ventura from having to leave his last start due to some tightness in his arm, 610 AM
GH: Throw fire, Yordano. Undress  these Giants  like they were Minneapolis strippers.

“I’m more worried about scoring runs than Ventura right now.”
Aaron Swarts, 810 AM
GH: There was a LOT of talk about how James Shields did not deliver in his starring role but unless the Royals were going to hold San Fran to one run their bats were not beating Bumgarner on Salvy’s solo shot. The Royals will need to hit to win the World Series. Baseball eventually expects you to score to win.

“I think they’ve got to win tonight. I think they should win. There’s a lot of pressure. This is a very big game. I’m confident. I am very optimistic.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: I don’t have a clue what it going to happen but that’s what makes following your team fun. Okay, we lost. Until the Royals lose four times, I ain’t calling the season over. Plus, I have all this new World Series gear I need to wear somewhere!  A quick total of what I have spent on the Royals (combined on what was spent on me) the past two weeks is now over $2,000. And that is likely light for anyone who went to even one game.

“(Shields) looked like a pitcher who hadn’t pitched in 11 days.”
Steve Physioc, after Shields and the Royals dropped the World Series opener 7-1 to the Giants, Royals Radio
GH: I do not understand this excuse for any pitcher. Shields has been pitching since he could fit into a baseball uniform. Eleven days off is a GOOD thing for a pitcher who eats innings. He just got clubbed by the Giants. He needs to do better or the Royals will likely lose. And yes, I agree with Ned that he needs to start Game 5. He’s Big Game James and that’s why we traded Wil Myers for him. Play the man.

“I didn’t say it but at 3-0 (in the first inning) it was over. But it’s just one game and that’s why they play a best of seven.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: The atmosphere at The K was fabulous…and then the game started. Pfffft. Gone.

“From ELIAS: The team that wins Game 1 is 70-39 all-time in the World Series.”
Buster Olney, @Buster_ESPN, Twitter

“Since 1982, only 5 of 12 road teams to win Game 1 also have won the series. Food for thought.”
Ian Cahill, @iancahill, Twitter

“I don’t think the layoff had anything to do with the ball game tonight. I think it was Madison Bumgarner. He was fantastic.”
Ned Yost, answering a question about how the extended layoff after the ALCS sweep might have cooled the Royals, 610 AM
GH: I might be the only person who watched Bum and thought, I think the Royals can beat this guy. There were chances to score and some at-‘em balls that did not fall. Yes, he’s great and his postseason numbers are legendary but it looked to me like the light-hitting Royals might be able to crack him in San Francisco.

“Well, we never got on base.”
Ned Yost, after a reporter in the postgame presser asked how the Giants were able to disrupt the Royals running game, 610 AM
GH: The national media is not always better just because they live elsewhere.

“Don’t get too comfortable. Don’t get too, ‘Aw, it’s just one loss.’ You don’t know when you’re going to get this opportunity again.”
Josh Vernier, cautioning Royals fans on their overconfidence, 610 AM
GH: I have no idea who Vern thought he was talking to with these words of caution. Who in Kansas City is “too comfortable” after losing Game 1 of the World Series? SungWoo?

“SungWoo might turn on The Plaza lights! He’s reached that kind of fame.”
Carrington Harrison, 610 AM

“We're all gonna feel real silly when it's uncovered that Sung Woo actually lives in Lee's Summit.”
Mick Shaffer, @mickshaffer, of TWC, Twitter

“The Giants – for whatever reason – don’t even realize this is the World Series. Talking to the players (Tuesday) was no different than talking to them in spring training.”
Damon Bruce, sports talk host at 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, 610 AM
GH: This is just BS and I wish Fescoe was sharp enough to call Bruce out on it when he laid this out there for Royals fans to ponder. The Giants aren’t any more relaxed than Ned Yost’s bunch or youngsters. Somebody introduce Bruce to Salvador Perez if he wants to see somebody who doesn’t realize where he’s at. 

“I think we don’t like the umpire crew or the announcer when we lose. I think Joe Buck is a lightning rod. I think anybody whose team is losing doesn’t like him.”
Soren Petro, in response to a caller who complained that Fox’s Joe Buck hater Kansas City because he is a St. Louis guy and National League fan, 810 AM
GH: I am not a Joe Buck fan but I don’t think he is prejudice in any way toward one team or another. That’s just not how network broadcasting egos work. Buck is simply rooting for a great story to unfold while he is in front of the mic – and almost nothing more.

“I can see how that could happen but you have to edit the news better than that!”
Henry Lake, responding to a tweet sent Tuesday night by KCTV 5 that urged World Series viewers to take a break from the game and watch their 10:00 PM newscast that highlighted a body found in a local lake, 610 AM
GH: Really, Channel 5? Lake mentioned that they deleted the tweet and apologized for its wording but…really?

“I can’t believe you were going to trade Jack Stack’s ribs for a turkey sandwich!”
Carrington Harrison, after Danny Parkins finished a phone call with former Chiefs lineman, Geoff Schwartz, who favored the Giants over the Royals, 610 AM
GH: Parkins assured Harrison that this NYC turkey sandwich was more than he made it sound but Harrison’s point was a good one. Manhattan was sold for a few bags of beads but if Jack Stack’s beans and cheesy corn would have been around we might have been able to buy Canada as well.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Chiefs get big win; Too soon to start mentioning a World Series parade?

Written 10/20/14

“A monumental win. A giant win for the Kansas City Chiefs. I think this is a monster win. I think this is an organization locked and loaded and ready to roll.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Well, as they say, this changes everything. Or at least it gives the Kansas City Chiefs the opportunity to hit reset on their season and start dreaming about the playoffs and not an early 2015 draft pick. The Chargers came in as one of the NFL’s hottest teams with an offense that looked to be unstoppable. Somehow, the Chiefs’ pieced together enough of a team to win where Chiefs wins are rare.

“The Chiefs are 1-9 in San Diego since 2004.”
Steven St. John, prior to the Chiefs 23-20 victory over the Chargers in San Diego, 810 AM
GH: That was the history that was staring at Cairo Santos as he lined up his 48-yard field goal as the Chargers called time out to freeze the rookie kicker.

“He’s got guts. That’s a pressure kick right there. He showed us he belongs here. I told him during the timeout, ‘Just be you.’”
Dustin Colquitt, the Chiefs punter and place-kick holder, on Cairo Santos kicking a 48 yard FG to give the Chiefs the lead with 21 seconds on the clock, Kansas City Star
GH: The kick looked to be right as it left Santos’ foot and then it faded nicely inside the right upright. I listened to Mitch Holthus’ call live and he did not sound confident when Reid chose Santos to kick rather than go over the first down. “They’re going to kick it,” said Holthus. “Sure, why not,” answered Len Dawson. For now, the why not has been answered.

“I can’t imagine my job as a wide receiver and having those drops all the time. You are a receiver in the National Football League! When you play sports at a pro level now you’re a specialist at what you do. If you’re a wide receiver and you can’t catch the football? I don’t understand that.”
Bill Maas, talking to Bob Fescoe Monday about the many wide receiver drops by the Chiefs in San Diego, 610 AM
GH: Maas sounded not just disappointed in the Chiefs wide receivers but livid. Read on.

“I have got to think there are other thoughts (about receivers) going on over at Arrowhead. They’re up against the (salary) cap but we don’t need this kind of crap anymore. You can just put anybody out there. And that’s what we have in my opinion. Just go find a guy.”
Bill Maas, 610 AM
GH: I don’t know what the Chiefs plans are for replacing Dawson in the radio booth once Lenny chooses to retire but I would hope they give Maas a serious look. Billy Bob has had his life issues in the past but he appears to have things back on track. Maas is everything that most of these NFL veterans in the home-team’s radio booth are not – lucid, engaging, funny, insightful and honest. That is probably way more than the Chiefs want but he would add a great deal of credibility to Holthus’ cheerleading.

“I have no faith in anybody who has WR after their name on this team right now.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: John Dorsey and Andy Reid have righted the Chiefs sinking ship since their arrival but they continue to ignore their receiving corps. High school receivers would be embarrassed to drop the balls that Junior Hemmingway and Dwayne Bowe let slip away. Heck, kids in the backyard don’t drop those passes. It is a problem and one Dorsey and Reid have just never seemed to care enough about to fix.

“I’ve seen (Jamaal Charles) make plays over and over again by himself. Larry Johnson and Priest Holmes had an All-World (offensive) line. That line that those guys had was the best line in football. During Jamaal’s time here, the guy has been doing it over and over again just by himself.”
Bill Maas, when asked by Bob Fescoe if Charles, now the franchise’s leading rusher, is the best Chiefs back of all time, 610 AM
GH: Charles’ 16-yard second-quarter touchdown run was a thing of beauty. It reminds you of just how special he is, even after seven years. And how about his flying knockout of Brandon Flowers in the end zone? As Holthus said, “Charles is tougher than the Navy Seals they train here on the base in San Diego.”

“The Sherman Tank bulls his way in for Kansas City!”
Spero Dedes, CBS network play-by-play voice for the Chiefs at Chargers game, on the Chiefs’ fullback’s second-half touchdown catch and run, CBS
GH: We have heard Sherman referred to as a tank before. But Holthus came up with another nickname for the bruiser…

“The Sausage scores his first touchdown in the National Football League!”
Mitch Holthus, as the Chiefs Anthony Sherman scored on an 11-yard dump pass in the fourth quarter, Chiefs Radio
GH: We know how Mitch likes his nicknames – and the weirder the better it seems for Mitch. This one he claims came from Andy Reid and he is sticking with it.

“You’re going to have to come up with a better nickname for him if he keeps making good plays.”
Lenny Dawson, after Holthus referred to the Chiefs blocking back as “The Sausage” numerous times after his touchdown and tackle on the preceding kick off, Chiefs Radio Network

“Had the Chiefs fallen to 2-4 and 0-2 in the AFC West, they’d be spending the next month climbing uphill in chasing Denver and San Diego, which fell to 5-2. Instead, they can start building a playoff resume by playing six of their next 10 games at home, starting with visits by NFL bottom-feeders St. Louis and the New York Jets in the next two weeks.”
Randy Covitz, Chiefs beat writer, Kansas City Star
GH: Maybe I’m more cautious than Covitz but those bottom-feeding Rams just knocked off the defending Super Bowl champs, the Seattle Seahawks.

“Maty Mauk’s (passing) numbers in a (Mizzou) blowout win? 6 of 18 for 20 yards.”
Steven St. John, after MU stunned Florida in The Swamp, 42-13, 810 AM
GH: I love college football. And I love it more today than yesterday because it has more weekly surprises than Survivor, Big Brother and The Bachelor combined. Mizzou’s offense looked awful and the Tigers were up 42-0. On the road. In a place almost no one wins. After losing at home to Georgia the week before 34-0! It is difficult to feel bad after that win but the Mizzou offense is that bad.

“The chances of a college kicker missing field goals of 22, 41, and 42 yards, like Kansas State's Jack Cantele did against Auburn earlier this year, are about 0.7 percent. The chances of a college kicker missing a 19-yarder, a 32-yarder, and an extra point, like Oklahoma's Michael Hunnicutt did against K-State on Saturday, are about 0.02 percent. That they happened has defined the Wildcats' season to date.”
Bill Connelly, writer, after K-State knocked off Oklahoma in Norman, SBNation.com
GH: Kansas State is one fun team to watch. I also watched the Mizzou and Nebraska blowout wins but neither team looks like they practice much. Bill Snyder’s team looks so much smarter than most.

“At this point in the 2014-15 campaign, there are six teams that, if they win out, would not only win the Big 12 but would finish the season with, at most, two losses and be in the conversation for a playoff berth. Those teams are Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU and West Virginia.”
Bill Connelly, writer, SBNation.com
GH: The Big 12 champion will need some help to make college football’s first final four. And that is reason enough to immediately expand this four-team hootenanny to 12 teams next year and 24 the year after that. No, I am not kidding. The 24th team in college football this week is LSU. Undefeated Marshall is 23rd. Let them all in and let’s have one heckuva party.

“If you’re a retailer and you sell Royals gear, it’s been a pretty good week.”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM
GH: Raise your empty wallet if you have purchased Royals gear in the past two weeks. Or 48 hours. I need something that says World Series emblazoned across the chest to wear Tuesday night. Yep, a bunch of us at the office bought single tickets off the San Francisco Giants’ website. Some were $220. Mine was $414. Face value. I might ask the Glass family if I can sleep there Tuesday night.

Jimbo Fisher (after FSU beat ND): "I wouldn't trade this team for any team in America.”
Gary Parrish of CBS: “I’d trade them for the Royals.”
GH: That’s how nuts Royals mania is right now.

“(Denny) Matthews is catching flak for his lack of emotion during some of the biggest calls of his career. And he should be. I believe it’s a broadcaster’s duty to play to his audience. There’s a balance, for sure. I’m not proposing that Matthews or any other broadcaster become a total shill for the home team, even though that home team is paying his or her salary.”
Bob Lutz, sports columnist, Wichita Eagle
GH: Lutz is an older guy like myself who has listened to Denny since 1969. He doesn’t suffer from ADD or the need for constant pulsating stimulus. He probably doesn’t listen to much Lil Wayne. But he knows when history is being cheated by a play-by-play voice who has declared war on emotion. Read on.

“Matthews has always been adept at those (professional) aspects of broadcasting. He’s not a Ford C. Frick Award winner (2007) for nothing. He’s one of the most outstanding baseball broadcasters of all time. But his grand reputation has taken a hit the past couple of weeks as he has sounded detached from the amazing things happening on the field for the Royals. He seems to be missing the point as well as the drama of the moments and the ecstasy of the fans who are seeing all of this amazement unfold through his eyes. It’s a special time for the Royals and their fans. The team is playing great baseball with clutch hitting, outstanding pitching and incredible defense. Yet the man in the broadcast booth who should be living it up with this fan base, much of which he helped create, seems to be off in his own world, unable to express joy and excitement.”
Bob Lutz
, sports columnist, Wichita Eagle
GH: These resilient Royals have given Denny a chance to redeem himself this week. And hopefully next. As they say in hockey, game on, Denny.

“I am thinking we are going to win this one in six. I don’t think it’s going to be as easy. It gets a little harder as you go on.”
Mayor Sly James, on his prediction for the World Series, 610 AM

“I think we’re looking at downtown (for the World Series victory parade). I think we have a route mapped out. When we’re ready to roll I’m sure we’ll give everybody enough notice.”
Mayor Sly James, when asked by Danny Parkins if Kansas City has made any arrangements for a post-World Series parade, 610 AM
GH: A World Series parade? Can you even IMAGINE that here in KC? Oh, my. We are getting ahead of ourselves. But a WORLD SERIES PARADE?

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Moose gets loose with glove

Written 10/15/14

“So, my day. I was attending a mediation in West Virginia and this one was pretty much as pleasant as I've ever attended (and I've done hundreds). Everybody seemed to want to get this over with and there was a spirit of cooperation I don't always see in my line of work.
But that's not what made today so cool. After all, I get paid whether it's difficult or easy and I love my job, even the difficult parts.

What made today really cool was how often people, when they found out I'm from Kansas City, said something to the effect of ‘Go Royals!’ The mediator said it. Opposing counsel said it. Even the plaintiff said it. The guy who checked me into my hotel said it as did the guy who sold me my pizza I took back to my hotel room to contentedly munch on while watching game three. The mediator said that he believed that every sports fan in the country, unless they have a legitimate rooting interest, were cheering for the Royals to win every game they played and I agree with him.
I know I've done my share of bitching about the Royals, about David Glass, Ned Yost and every manager that preceded him. I've complained bitterly about how they made a mockery of the game I love and the team I've loved since I was aware there was such a thing as sports.

But I tell you, this feels magical. It won't make the 29 years of suck go away and I won't forget them, but this is why I've maintained my love for them (even as I was disdainful as I could possibly be). Because being loyal pays off and I finally feel as if my loyalty is being rewarded.
Anyway, that's how things are today for this traveling Royals fan. Enjoy the game Wednesday. Unfortunately, I'll be on a plane home when they throw the first pitch, but with a little luck, I'll be home in time for the clinch.”
Gavin, OTC email
GH: Gavin’s note pretty much sums up a lot of what many of us are experiencing this month with our Royals. We have suffered through so many dreary summers that led to somewhat hopeful Septembers that fizzled out into so many “maybe next years.” And then this happens. This glorious perfect seven-game postseason run that has not only captured loyal and not-so-loyal Royals fans but baseball fans everywhere. The country has been bitten by a Moose, goosed by a Zoom Squad and has made Yost toasts a nightly ritual. Oh, October. I hope you can tell how we have missed you!

“I'm 57 & had given up all hope that I would live long enough to see this happen.”
Kevin Mark, @Coachbulldog, Twitter

"I will admit I've never liked baseball. But damn these Royals are making me fall in love.”
Ali Mohsen, Marathon Maven and a true Kansas City kid, Facebook

“The worst part is I don't even hate the Royals. How can you hate the ROYALS?”
Colin Campbell, @cmcampbell6, Baltimore Sun reporter, Twitter

“Mike Moustakas just made the catch of the year.”
Jeff Passan, @JeffPassan, Twitter

“To be honest with you, I didn’t even see him catch it. I just seen him fall over and then I’m like, ‘He caught that.’ When things are going good, things are going good.”
Adam Jones, Orioles outfielder, on Moose making the play of the night with his diving catch into the third-base dugout suite, baltimoresun.com
GH: There was The Throw by Bo Jackson in Seattle. And there have been other fabulous defensive plays throughout the Royals history by Frank White, Amos Otis, Brian McRae, et al. But Moose’s catch of that fall ball might jump top the top of the Royals HOF of defensive plays.

“We saved Moose! He’s kind of heavy, but we caught him.”
Mike Talkington, a Royals fan who allowed Moose to make the catch and helped break his fall, Kansas City Star
GH: The fans in the third-base dugout suite could have crowded out Moose and went after the ball ala the Cubs’ Bartman. Instead, they parted like a large 230-pound man was about to dive atop their seats. In other words, Royals fans are a tad smarter than Cubs fans. The group did manage to catch Moose…or most of him. After Rusty Kuntz avoided the line drive and then high fived the fans in the first-base dugout suite and then Moose dove into the third-base suite, I would like to propose the Royals rename the two suites “Rusty’s” and “The Moose Dive.”

“In my 18 year career, I have never seen a defense like this in the playoffs, a daily consistent defense.”
Pedro Martinez, @45PedroMartinez, Twitter

“It's never over until it's over, but it sure looks like the ALCS is going to be over soon. … The odds against the Orioles are stacked higher than an Arthur Bryant's pulled pork sandwich.”
Peter Schmuck, sports columnist, Baltimore Sun

“The Orioles were able to get Jeremy Guthrie out of the game after five innings. Maybe they should have re-thought that strategy because of the Royals’ filthy bullpen. … Thought the Orioles were good in tight games? The Royals are way better.”
Ron Fritz, sports editor, Baltimore Sun

“Suddenly, that nutty 9-8 extra-inning win over the Oakland Athletics back on September 30 in the American League Wild Card game feels like a managerial aberration and a rallying point for his roster. The double steal that imploded. Bunt after bunt after bunt after bunt. The quick hook on ace James Shields and the decision to replace him with a power righty (Yordano Ventura) against a powerful lefty bat (Oakland DH Brandon Moss). It felt as if every time the Royals climbed out of a hole, their skipper grabbed the shovel and started digging a new one.”
Sean Keeler, @SeanKeeler, Twitter
GH: Maybe old dogs can learn new tricks. Or at least learn to sit and stay. Since the over-managed almost debacle in the wild card game against Oakland, Yost has blossomed into a more hands-off skipper who is letting his lineup win games. Billy Butler is no longer languishing on the bench. The first- and second-inning bunts are a thing of the past. Yanking Guthrie after the fifth last night was about as un-Yost a move as we’ve seen – and it was perfect. A lot of the buzz before the postseason was, “What if the Royals’ bats get hot?” Well, who would have considered, “What if Yost turns into a real live postseason manager?”

“A fortnight later, and the hashtag #Yosted has been replaced by #Destiny: Ned's Nine are the only team in Major League Baseball history to ever win four playoff games in extra innings. The lesson from the wild-card win set a tone for loopy on deck and insanity in the hole: The longer you let the Royals hang around, the more dangerous they become.”
Sean Keeler, @SeanKeeler, Twitter

“You may not have agreed with the path uncle Ned took to get you here, but you're sure as hell loving the ride.”
Sean Keeler, @SeanKeeler, Twitter
GH: The ride has been epic. Scary as hell at times but epic on an almost nightly basis. Read Sean’s column on Foxsports.com by clicking here.

“My intention was not to anger O's fans or friends w/my shirt 2night.I apologize to those offended. Did not consider this reaction. Go Royals.”
Jeremy Guthrie, @TheRealJGuts, Royals starter, responding to the criticism from his former team’s fans about him wearing a t-shirt to his postgame presser that read, “These O’s aren’t Royal,” Twitter
GH: I have heard all of the local media and Royals fans making excuses for Guthrie and saying they loved that he went passive aggressive in punking the Orioles. I thought it was bush. This team and town should be above that. Obviously we are not. Why can’t we enjoy our success without also being Bad Rob Lowe Fan?

“Royals play at 2:30 tomorrow...guess we will cancel workouts after school!”
Liberty High School Girls Basketball, @LHSLadyJaysBB, Twitter

“Are the Kansas City IT admins ready for the bandwidth issues of streaming games for the #Royals day game tomorrow? ;)”
Ramsey Mohsen, @rm, Twitter
GH: This is about as nerdy a comment regarding the Royals attempt to sweep the Orioles as you will find online. But Ramsey is my favorite nerd. I mean who has a Twitter name with just two initials? We are talking a nerd from way back. BTW, Ramsey is right. Internet access in offices all over KC are going to be taxed starting at 3:00 PM today with Royals fans trying to watch, listen, tweet and love those Royals. Ain’t it glorious?

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Mizzou bowled over by Georgia; Royals hoping to go up 3-0 on Orioles

Written 10/14/14

“A loss this atrocious demands a look at the schedule to see if Mizzou can scratch out two more wins to become bowl eligible.”
Joe Walljasper, @JoeWalljasper, Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor, following Mizzou’s 34-0 loss at home to Georgia, Twitter
GH: Well. This was not what we expected. I listened to the first half of the UGA/MU game while in the car and I have to give the Mizzou radio crew credit for their honest assessment of what they were seeing. Even with the score only 6-0 in UGA’s favor, Mike Kelly, Howard Richards and Chris Gervino let their audience know Mizzou looked ugly on offense. Not enough college radio crews deliver frank play-by-play and analysis as Mizzou’s threesome. K-State’s broadcast rarely has a negative comment no matter the score and Kansas’ crew is just trying not to fall asleep.

“The media counted us out. Even our own fans counted us out. We went out there with a chip on our shoulder. Anytime you face adversity and answer like we did today it sends a message more than anything. We didn’t win today. We won on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. That’s what it takes.”
Hutson Mason, Georgia’s quarterback, on how the Bulldogs came together after learning that Todd Gurley would be suspended for the Missouri game, Sirius XM
GH: I am not sure Hutson is the quarterback of the future at Georgia but he definitely has a career in public speaking and leadership when he gets out of school. I loved how he handled this Sirius interview.

“Maty Mauk was not good but I’m telling you the (Missouri) wide receivers were a big reason why. Those guys are not good and they could not get open.”
Brad Hopkins, host of CFB scoreboard show, Sirius XM
GH: Gary Pinkel always seems to have two or three wide receivers who look like potential NFL talents. Did the loss of DGB put that big of a hole into Mizzou’s offense? He would have made a difference but I have to think the Tigers’ offensive woes run deeper than DGB being in Norman.

“To me the SEC East is down to two teams. You have the super favorite in Georgia and then you have the dark horse in Kentucky. Who would have thought that?”
Brad Hopkins, host of CFB scoreboard show, Sirius XM
GH: Kentucky? Welp, time to buckle your chin straps, ladies. There is work to be done.

“I was flipping between the Mississippi / Texas A&M game and the Baylor / TCU game. There was no comparison of play between the two teams from the SEC and the teams from the Big 12. None.”
Mike Greenberg, ESPN Radio
GH: Greenberg’s point was that the two SEC teams far outclassed two of the better teams in the Big 12. Games with final scores in the 60s and 50s tend to make you wonder how real the football is in the Big 12. I think K-State might win this conference again this season.

“I’ll say it right now – you put a Baylor or TCU against Mississippi and Mississippi is going to crush them. Their defense is outstanding.”
Mike Golic, ESPN Radio
GH: The big debate prior to the season was whether or not two teams from the SEC would deserve to be in the four-team college football playoff. Now I am wondering if two teams from the state of Mississippi are going to be in the final four.

The @Royals are getting it done. I'm happy for them, pulling for them & I'm wearing my jersey when they play. Go #Royals, you deserve it!”
Bo Jackson, @BoJackson, Twitter
GH: Love knowing Bo is slipping into his number 16 jersey to root on Billy Butler and the boys.

“We are six wins away from Ned Yost being in the Royals Hall of Fame. How long have I been saying he is the best Royals manager since Dick Howser?”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I hope Yost makes the MLB Hall of Fame if it means he managed the Royals to a World Series title. If he can avoid making many decisions down the road and his team keeps hitting home runs he might just get there.

“The one thing that’s gotten us to this point is the patience that Dayton and I had with this club. The biggest thing that has gotten us to this point right here is the wild-card game.”
Ned Yost, 610 AM
GH: The wild card game is the one where Yost’s decisions just about robbed Kansas City of this incredible month of baseball. But even Ned couldn’t prevent his YostBusters from their October surprise.

“The Chiefs in the 90s were absolute rock stars in this town. I see a little bit of a transition going on with the Royals right now.”
Jay Binkley, pointing to the fact that the Royals players are willing to mix with the common fans at McFadden’s while the Chiefs have cut back from allowing their players to have radio shows like Tim Grunhard’s at The Levy, 610 AM
GH: Winning changes everything. The Royals players who were boycotting the media just a few months ago are now posing with them for photos at McFadden’s. Life is good in Kansas City right now.

“The Royals were originally believed to have a shot to keep Shields only if they went far in the playoffs, and sources say the team has decided by now, after reaching the ALCS, that they will make that effort. The Royals told Shields' agent, Page Odle, around the time of the trade deadline that they'd be back in touch after the season, which was a hopeful sign. And now with their amazing postseason run, which will bolster their revenues big-time -- they have decided they will indeed try to keep him with a new multi-year deal.”
John Heyman, MLB writer for CBSsports.com
GH: Will Shields be back in 2015 and beyond to continue the Royals pursuit of greatness? It would be a gamble on the Royals behalf due to his age and the number of innings he has pitched…but it’s only money. And not my money at that. Sign him if you’ve got it, Dave and Dan.

“Gotta say at this point trade is over for me. Don't care if Myers ends up in HOF.”
@crabz2fuzz99, on the Myers trade to Tampa for Shields and Davis, Twitter
GH: The trade will likely never be over but from this vantage point it looks like the Royals got what they went after – a postseason run in October to excite a long-deserving fan base. I still root for Myers and likely always will.

“Father Time is undefeated.”
Bill Polian, discussing the inevitable fading skills of some of the NFL’s aging quarterbacks, Sirius XM
GH: Yeah, he hasn’t lost one yet but I sure as hell like giving him my best shot each day. Just registered this week to run the KC Marathon on Sunday. Hope to be wearing my Royals singlet and a World Series-bound smile on my face as I tour this great city on foot.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Dyson says Orioles know they are doomed

Written 10/13/14

“Jarrod Dyson is a walking sound bite. Everything that has come out of his mouth since I’ve spoken with him has been a money quote. But this one of course bothered some of the Orioles players.”
Scott Braun, reporter for MLB TV Network
GH: Dyson sparked some controversy with a quote that The Kansas City Star’s Andy McCullough tweeted out following Saturday’s win in Baltimore…

“No sir I don’t. And I don’t think the Orioles think that either.”
Jarrod Dyson, in answer to The Star’s Andy McCullough asking him if he thought the ALCS would be returning to Baltimore, via McCullough’s Twitter
GH: Dyson could have stopped with, “No sir,” and that would have been the end of it. But Dyson doesn’t do anything as he should – including sliding into second.

‘What do you want him to say? ‘Yeah, we think we’re going to lose at least two of these games at home?’”
Nate Bukaty, defending Dyson’s comment, 810 AM
GH: I do not understand why Bukaty felt the need to defend Dyson’s Orioles’ baiting comments but he did. I would have preferred that Dyson showed some humility – especially since he hasn’t been much of a factor in the ALCS unless you count getting thrown out at second twice.

“We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves. We understand that this series isn’t over. Just like we took two from them, they could take two from us.”
Lorenzo Cain, 610 AM
GH: Dyson needs to sit on Cain’s knee and learn how to handle team success. Dyson reminds me of the kind of players that Royals fans hate when they are wearing the other team’s uniform.

"I'll just tell you this, man: If we win Game 3, it's going to be hard for them to sit there and look themselves in the mirror and say, 'We can win the next four. That's tough to do, man. Everything must click. I'm just being honest. If we take Game 3, I guarantee there are going to be multiple people in that clubhouse over there saying, 'Man, there's no way we're going to beat these guys four games in a row.' It can be done, but everybody ain't gonna be on the same page, I don't think. There are going to be some people ready to go home. There are going to be some people not cheering in the dugout -- just like if it was vice versa on this side, it might be the same way.”
Jarrod Dyson, ESPN.com
GH: In these comments Dyson manages to diss the Orioles’ heart and his own team’s character. What a guy.

“Yeah, but all he’s saying there is IF we win game three.”
Nate Bukaty, after listening to SSJ read Dyson’s above comments, 810 AM
GH: Is that all Dyson was saying, Nate? Put Dyson on the Cardinals and have him spouting this kind of bravado and Nate and the rest of the Cardinals haters would want to toss Dyson off the Arch.

“Obviously, they’re up 2-0. They should have all the confidence in the world. That’s just how that works.”
Adam Jones, MLB Network
GH: MLB’s Scott Braun took Dyson’s comments over to the Orioles’ locker room and asked them their reaction. Most were subdued and classy in how they responded. Read on.

“I don’t put a whole lot into what he had to say. We’re just concerned about what we’ve got to do.”
Zach Britton, MLB Network

“I’m not worried about what he said. We’ve got bigger fish to fry that that. He’s probably trying to make it…but come one. You know? Come on.”
Caleb Joseph, Orioles catcher, who has had Dyson’s number on the base paths during the ALCS, MLB Network
GH: Joseph was not subtle in the least about his disdain for Dyson and him basically saying the Orioles know the series is over. It will be interesting to see these two square off the rest of the series.

“It was very simple. I just asked (Dyson) if he thought we were coming back (to Baltimore). It was like a 15-second interview. … I’ve received dozens of messages from Royals fans complaining about how the stories I am writing are not FOR the Royals. That they’re not trying to help the Royals.”
Andy McCullough, Royals beat writer for The Kansas City Star, 810 AM
GH: I want to believe that most fans realize the media’s role is not to prop up the local teams but rather report the news and deliver it in an entertaining fashion. McCullough sounded beaten down by the number of fans who do not get this part of his job. He is young. He will one day grow a Bob Dutton-like sense of humor to combat it. Or he’ll go into the insurance business.

“(Moustakas) is hitting a home run every 5.5 at bats in the postseason.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM

“I’m just trying to not do too much with the ball and just hit the ball where it’s pitched. Rusty Kuntz taught me everything I know about bunting, which isn’t too much.”
Mike Moustakas, 610 AM

“With this pitching we always said what would happen if two or three (of the hitters) got hot at the same time? We sure as heck have seen them all cold at the same time! Well, they’ve become the Harlem Globetrotters of Major League Baseball.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: One of the best things about this surreal postseason run by the Royals is reading tweets from all over the country about how fans are cheering for the Royals…

“Chicago is going crazy for the Royals...mix of underdog and anti-Card sentiment. Anything to get the boys in blue to a WS!”
Tim Hall, @timhall1985, Twitter

“Going nuts in a dive bar in Maui. Only 6:30pm here!”
@BenBinKC, Twitter

Hawaii representing BlueNation! RT “@calebdohrman44: @greghall24 @BenBinKC on Oahu going nuts at the Shack! #hawaiiroyals
@Calebdohrman44, Twitter

“And cheering here in Kauai all the way from KC. Hawaii covered.”
David Tischinski, @polishwonder22, Twitter

“I've been a part of 3 epic postseason runs: Seattle in '95, Astros to World Series in '05, now this. NONE TOUCH THIS.”
Jeff Rosen, @jeff_rosen88, KC Star sports editor, Twitter

“I think mostly it’s been a players series so far. Frankly, Yost has made a couple of moves that may have cost the team. I don’t know if anyone has out-managed anyone in this series. It’s more players have made plays.”
Andy McCullough, Royals beat writer for The Kansas City Star, 810 AM
GH: Home runs have a way of making the manager little more than an accessory. Let’s keep it that way.

“I think the postseason is all adrenaline anyway.”
Lorenzo Cain, 610 AM

“In my opinion the chance for a cancellation (for Monday night’s game) is 80%.”
Joe Lauria, meteorologist, WDAF Fox 4
GH: If the game is postponed your Monday ticket is now good for Tuesday and your Tuesday night ticket is good for Wednesday afternoon. Go that?

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Georgia's Todd Gurley suspended

Written 10/10/14

“I have video of Todd Gurley doing a private autograph signing ***. He has been paid thousands of dollars for his stuff over the last 18 months. I personally paid him for this signing on the video. I have bought and sold game used equipment from him. I want no compensation. Just want someone to leak this story that's deserving. If you have any interest, give me a call or email. I attached a photo of him in my car signing a mini helmet that I just sold last week on my eBay store. All I ask is some privacy until we can touch base. I live in Georgia and would crucified if my name was released. The video is about 5 minutes long but doesn't show the money exchange. My cell is ********** I believe this would be the lead story on sports center if ESPN got their hands on this. Hope to hear from you soon.”
Email to Spencer Hall and Steven Godfrey on September 30, 2014, at SBNation.com
GH: I hope the state of Georgia relinquishes all bans on crucifixions. At least for this POS.

“After verifying a.) the tipster's identity, and b.) that this person has sold Gurley-autographed gear on eBay under the name provided, we let it drop, because the purpose of this website is not to enforce the NCAA's insane bylaws. On the contrary, we're all for players making money, and are thus editorially supportive of those bylaws' erosion. So we let it drop. That was September 30.”
Spencer Hall and Steven Godfrey at SBNation.com
GH: To the merit of SBNation.com, they refused to pursue this story from this leech of a person. Unfortunately as we know, this vermin of a human did find a media outlet to out Gurley’s “crime.” Gurley has been suspended by the NCAA because he is doing with his name what they are doing with his name. What a complete joke that college athletes cannot profit from being college athletes.

“We know that someone on the internet really, really wanted everyone to know that Todd Gurley was allegedly breaking the NCAA's rules. And now, over the gigantic princely sum of $400 in allegedly sold signatures, everyone does.”
Spencer Hall and Steven Godfrey at SBNation.com
GH: The football players at Northwestern got it right. I am hoping that this gross injustice to one of the best college football players in the country is the final straw to allowing college athletes to be paid. Missouri fans will be robbed of the opportunity to see Gurley perform at Faurot Field on Saturday and I for one am appalled.

“Free Gurley walk today in front of Sanford stadium.”
Robin Dillon, @Robinlikethebird, UGA student, Twitter
GH: There should be a Free Gurley Walk in Columbia, Missouri on Saturday morning prior to the 11:00 AM kickoff. And there should be a Free Gurley Walk at every college campus that values fairness. The NCAA rules are a joke but I refuse to laugh.

“You would hate to think Gurley dared to sell autographs and profit from his likeness. Only fraud and archaic organizations like the NCAA are allowed to sell jerseys and bobblehead dolls, at least until some backhoe dumps the whole bunch into an Indianapolis landfill.”
Jeff Schultz, sports columnist, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
GH: To those who simply point to the fact that Gurley broke the rules, not all rules deserve to be followed. There was once a time that a black student attending schools in the South would bring out the fire hoses. It is time to take a hose to the NCAA.

“The Bulldogs were three-point favorites for Saturday’s game at Missouri. Then the Todd Gurley NCAA suspension story broke and Georgia fans could be seen swapping their SEC title game tickets for their neighbor’s ladder so they could climb to rooftops and leap off. … Without Gurley, the Dogs are yesterday’s toast. They rank 108th in passing. Can Hutson Mason suddenly morph into Roger Staubach? Is Gurley replaceable? I lean no.”
Jeff Schultz, sports columnist, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
GH: Sure, Mizzou’s chances of beating Georgia and winning the SEC West improve with Gurley suspended. But isn’t college supposed to teach us more than, “just win, baby?” Maybe it doesn’t matter to Mizzou how they beat Georgia but I think it should. Some things are bigger than football victories.

“To say the season is over because Gurley can’t play against Missouri is an overreaction. (Understandable, but still an overreaction.) Chubb is a good player. Georgia was supposed to have a lot of good players, though the other Bulldogs have spent the first five games in the shadow of their shining star.”
Mark Bradley, columnist, AJC.com
GH: Missouri lost to Indiana at home this season. Anyone who is counting the Georgia game as a win now that Gurley is out must have missed that one.

“At least from the (Georgia) folks I talked to, it’s all respect (for Missouri). I have heard nothing to the effect that Missouri took advantage of a down (SEC) last year. Missouri is certainly on equal (footing) with teams in the East – and the teams in the West if you talk to those folks. There’s no slighting of the Tigers in the conference now.”
Scott Howard, play-by-play voice of the Georgia Bulldogs, when asked by Soren Petro if Georgia thought less of Missouri, a former Big 12 member, 810 AM

"We should sell everything out. It should not be a big deal to sell out. That's just my opinion."
Gary Pinkel, when asked about the Georgia game being sold out in Columbia, via @Dave_Matter, Twitter
GH: If there is one difference about Mizzou football and most of the rest of the SEC it is in the stands. Faurot struggles to sell tickets to some games and that just doesn’t happen at Georgia, A&M, LSU, Bama, Auburn, Florida, Ole Miss, etc. Missouri still suffers from their Big 12 days when football was important only three or four weekends a year. Pinkel has seen the rest of the SEC and he wants Mizzou to emulate that hysteria – despite the pressure that kind of fanaticism places on a head coach’s tenure.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Jim Rome building a case against Denny Matthews' work

Written 10/6/14

“They were down 7-3 in the eighth inning with John Lester on the mound against them.”
Ernie Johnson, play-by-play voice for ALDS, reminding the ALDS audience just how close the Royals were to not winning a game in the 2014 MLB postseason, TBS
GH: It now seems like a season ago that Ned Yost yanked James Shields and inserted a spent Yordano Ventura to face the A’s. The camera shots of the Royals dugout showed some frustrated players who knew their playoff run appeared to be over after one game. And then everything changed. I mean everything. Kansas City itself thrust out its collective chest and beat back the A’s, then swept the best team in baseball and now sits a series win over Baltimore away from the World Series. This fairytale just gets better each night. It’s so good no one is sleeping.

“The #Royals have won 4 postseason games in a row against two teams with a combined +300 run differential. Stop and think about that.”
Daniel Wesley, @DanielSWesley, Twitter

“I heard for 16 years that if the Royals start winning again you won’t believe how they will get behind this team. I could never have imagined this.”
Ryan Lefebvre, on the noise and excitement permeating The K Sunday night, Fox Sports KC
GH: Fans at The K stood for most of the game – like it was a K-State/Nebraska football game. The K was you go to read a book on pleasant summer night and maybe have a hot dog and watch the condiments race. Relish this, baby!

“The Wild Card game was an incredible game – a better game than tonight. But this celebration tonight? I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Jeff Montgomery, Fox Sports KC

“This is a special time in this city right now and they are enjoying this as much as we are.”
James Shields, 980 AM
GH: You can’t walk down a street in St. Louis and not spot somebody wearing Cardinals gear even in February. Kansas City has not been like that since I had hair. Well, I’m still bald but Royals gear is flying off of local retailers’ shelves. I just sent two new postseason shirts to my son at Mizzou to combat the Cardinals clan that populates much of that campus. I urge all Royals families with kids in college to do the same. Let’s turn good old State U. blue.

“Let's go Royals chant just broke out at the Pike Market in Seattle.”
Steve James, @spjames88, in a tweet from Seattle, Twitter
GH: How great is this? Seattle probably hates the Angels more than they like KC but we have become the nation’s team overnight.

“That was hands down the best sports moment of my life.”
David Lesky, @DBLesky, Royals writer for pinetarpress.com, Twitter

“I do not believe that it is purely coincidence that in the same season we stop playing ‘Friends in Low Places,’ we advance to the ALCS.”
Clint Razor, @strofaninKC, Twitter

“Right now anything and everything is possible.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM

“You know I speak in hyperbole and I tend to blow things out of proportion at times but something specials going on here.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM

“Seeing players celebrate with fans shows that they understand how long this fan base has waited for this.”
Lee Warren,@OmahaBaseball, Omaha Storm Chasers writer for SBNation.com, as photos of the Royals players slapping hands with the crowd while making a victory lap around The K hit the Internet, Twitter
GH: Johnny Giavotella and some of the Royals players tweeted out after the game that they wanted fans to join them at McFadden’s in the P&L to celebrate. And they did! Eric Hosmer even paid for an open bar for the house for an hour. A few months ago Hosmer and Dyson were acting like spoiled kids about getting shut out of a PPV fight at the 810 Zone. Moose was refusing to answer postgame questions from the media. They were as unlikeable a bunch as I can remember. Now? All is forgiven, forgotten and the players have embraced the media, the fans and the moment.

“Butler legging out run 3 in the first and his steal of second were glorious. I was losing my mind.”
Aaron Boyd, @fakecyrilfiggis, Twitter
GH: You want to ignite 40K fans? Have Billy Butler steal second. Maybe the greatest thing to happen all night. Read on.

“If you’re looking for a sign, there it is.”
Ryan Lefebvre, after Billy Butler stole second base, Royals Radio

“It surprised everyone! It surprised me. It surprised the crowd. It definitely surprised our dugout! And I was happy to see him get there.”
Jarrod Dyson, on Butler’s steal, Fox Sports KC

“It’s what speed do.”
Rusty Kuntz, Royals first-base coach, when asked by Alex Gordon after the game how Billy Butler stole second base, Fox Sports KC

“Rusty looked over at me (on first) and said, ‘He’s really slow to the plate. Do you think you can get him?’ I said, ‘Oh, yeah.”
Billy Butler, on discussing his steal with the Royals first-base coach, 810 AM

“Sure as hell, I will sit straight up from a deep sleep in the middle of this night and say.....Billy stole a base?”
Mike McCartney, @mikemccartneykc, Kauffman Stadium’s PS announcer, Twitter

“This is a different group than I saw during the regular season – in terms of their focus, their fire and their determination.”
Ned Yost, 810 AM

“I would say that but I’m trying to catch everything out there.”
Lorenzo Cain, when asked if he knew he had that catch all the way, 610 AM
GH: Lorenzo’s back-to-back diving and sliding catches prompted this gem from Ernie Johnson, “They’re raising Cain here in Kansas City!”

“This is who I long believed Eric Hosmer would be.”
Peter Gammons, Twitter

“(Hosmer) is locked in right now. So look out Baltimore Orioles.’
Jeff Montgomery, Fox Sports KC

“Those home runs (by Hosmer and Moustakas)? They changed their career. They changed their whole career! Without a doubt, it’s career changing.”
Rex Hudler, Fox Sports KC
GH: They say the postseason is what makes a ball player’s reputation. Right now, we have some hella good reps being forged here in KC.

“I had to listen in the car some tonight. Denny made it feel and sound like a mid June game.”
Matthew Neal, @neally151, Twitter

“Denny's clinching call was terrible. Like he'd rather be anywhere else.”
Alex Parker, @AlexParker, Twitter

“Stuck in the car listening to the first inning. Have defended Denny, but that was brutal. It's time for him to go.”
Brad Veal, @huskerfloyd, Twitter
GH: I have a friend who moved out of town and bought a big house but never furnished it when his marriage broke up before his wife joined him. He didn’t even buy a TV. He listens to his radio and reads to pass the evenings. He tuned in Denny last night and sent me a text; “Denny made Hosmer’s base-clearing triple sound like he walked.” What the hell is going on with Matthews? It is almost as if he is aware of the criticism of his passive work and he is determined to be more blasé each game. It has become more than a joke. He needs to have his ass kicked sideways by his boss or he needs to retire today.

“Sounds like he's calling play by play of a congressional hearing.”
Nick Vlahos, @VlahosNick, Peoria Journal Star reporter-editor, Twitter

“Jim Rome has been playing Denny Matthews calls for the last week and killing him. Good to see him get national pub.”
Brad Rudler, @penguin718, Twitter
GH: I am glad someone nationally is building a campaign against Denny’s ridiculous work. How about locally? Crickets. Neither sports talk radio station has shown any interest in ripping the Royals iconic play-by-play voice. Why does the media treat their own with such reverence? Raul Ibanez sure doesn’t garner that treatment just because he’s old.

“Jon Sciambi with the call on ESPN (Radio).”
E.J. Becker, morning host, after replaying the ESPN Radio call of Alex Gordon’s base-clearing triple off the wall in the first inning, 980 AM
GH: 980 is a sister station to 610 Sports and has the rights to play all of the Royals Radio clips on their air. They chose to not play Denny Matthews’ replay of Gordon’s big hit and instead played the ESPN Radio sound of Sciambi. That should tell us everything about what Entercom really thinks of Matthews work. It stinks.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


It's playoff time, Denny needs to unleash the sounds

Written 9/29/14

“You have to have adversity to get over the hump. You want them to have that adversity. You want them to struggle. That’s how you learn through adversity.”
Ned Yost, on the wild and odd path his team has taken to the MLB postseason, Royals presser
GH: The 29-year hump has finally been scaled by a Royals team that has almost no power and was managed by Ned Yost. That in itself should make you believe in miracles. And Friday night was truly miraculous for Royals fans everywhere. Time to put the champagne away and get after what lies ahead. Champions don’t linger in the past. Royals fans know the past all too well. Time to make some new history. The kind we will want to recall.

“Big Game James. That’s the reason we got him.”
Jaime Bluma, on the Royals sending the former Tampa Bay Rays ace to the mound Tuesday to face Oakland’s hired gun from Boston, Jon Lester, in the AL Wild Card playoff game, 810 AM
GH: Lester was 4-1 for Boston in the postseason last year. The Royals are hitting .196 against Lester in 311 at bats. They have hit one home run off Lester in that stretch. Okay, we knew this was not going to be easy. Hell, it hasn’t been easy. This Royals team has to be one of the more improbable teams in the history of postseasons to even be in the postseason. They are last in home runs and last in walks. No team has ever rated that poorly in those categories and advanced beyond the regular season. Why stop being special now? Go Royals.

“Can you get a little more excited about your team making the playoffs after 29 years? I mean, I’m more excited than Denny! It’s been 30 years almost!”
Marc Malusis, Saturday morning host, after replaying Denny Matthews play-by-play call of the final out of Friday night’s game that secured a playoff spot for the Royals, CBS Sport Radio
GH: Matthews continues to remain subdued with his play-by-play work as the Royals fashion one of their most memorable seasons. It may all end Tuesday night and no one will really care how excited Denny does or does not get. But if this things goes where it might go – all the way to the World Series and even beyond, Denny needs to drop the too-cool-for-school act and get a little nutso on the radio. It’s time to unleash the sounds, Denny.
“Father Time ruins every career eventually, Denny.”

Steve Physioc, while Matthews and he were discussing the career of the White Sox Paul Kornerko, Royals Radio
GH: Irony, meet Denny Matthews.

“Royals should have Frank White throw out first pitch Tuesday...great moment for everyone to move forward and embrace great member of org.”
Greg Schaum, @Greg_Schaum, Twitter
GH: How great would this gesture be? Make it happen, Royals.

“I think I do. I don’t get out much.”
Ned Yost, when asked if he is aware of how giddy this town is over the Royals reaching the postseason after 29 years of waiting, Royals presser
GH: Ned needs to learn how to lie – or he needs to get out more. Better yet, he needs to take a class in how to handle questions at a press conference. He is brutally awful at that task. Could we get a pinch hitter?

“So...should Christian Colon against Lester start on Tuesday? I'm dead serious.”
Rany Jazayerli, @jazayerli, Twitter
GH: I would love to see Moose sit in favor of Colon. But Ned has never been wrong.

“If there happens to be an on-field celebration you cannot shoot that. All of that belongs to Turner Sports.”
Mike Swanson, Royals communications, talking to the media at Monday’s presser Monday, 810 AM
GH: How can any company own video of a live act? If Joe Fan shoots a cell phone video of the Royals does Ted Turner own that? I understand the broadcast ramifications but the wording by Swanson in his message to the media was off putting.

“We could have some rain toward the very tail end of the Royals game Tuesday night.”
Karli Ritter, meteorologist for WDAF Fox 4
GH: Just as long as the sun is shining on the Royals playoff hopes come Wednesday morning.

“It’s unfortunate to see all these teams that have kind of been notorious tankers over the past 10 years or so and suddenly see them become playoff teams. Frankly I guess it makes me a little jealous as a Blue Jays fan.”
Ian Hunter, longtime Toronto Blue Jays fan, on his team now owning the title for team that has suffered the longest postseason drought, Toronto Star
GH: The Blue Jays had back-to-back WS titles to cozy up to over the last 20 years while they waited. The Royals fans have had blurring videos of George Brett. Good riddance.

“I just hope to God you don’t have it as long as we did.”
Ed Connealy, writer for TheKingsofKauffman.com, on the Blue Jays streak of 21 years without a postseason game, Toronto Star

“We’re probably going to go with nine pitchers (on the roster) for tomorrow.”
Ned Yost, 810 AM
GH: I guess you need to prepare for everything but I’d like another position player or two. Definitely need to have Terrence Gore on that bench. That dude is Cool Papa Bell fast!

“I’m going to my first Chiefs game in about three years. I’m really looking forward to going to the game.”
Tim Grunhard, on his plans to return to Arrowhead tonight for the Chiefs MNF game against New England, 810 AM
GH: The Chiefs are playing tonight on MNF and I don’t run a Chiefs quote until this late in my Monday OTC? Either hell thawed or the Royals made the postseason.

“I hate to say it but it’s almost like (New England) is in a rebuilding year. You can’t do that in the NFL.”
Nick Leckey, on the Chiefs opponent at Arrowhead Monday night, 810 AM
GH: How about the Chiefs beat Tom Brady on Monday night and follow that with a win over Jon Lester on Tuesday? Then we declare Free BBQ For All!

“They’re going to set a new Guinness world record tonight for the loudest stadium on earth.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Tell those guys to come back Tuesday for the game at The K.

“I’m telling you boys, this is a big game! Everyone else in the (SEC) East has a loss. If Missouri could get a conference win on the road and then have two weeks off to go home (to prepare) for Georgia – this is huge!”
Chris Gervino, MU’s sideline reporter, Mizzou Radio Network
GH: This might Pinkel’s greatest win at Mizzou – considering what happened last Saturday against Indiana. Dare I say this win was jumbo?

“Where’s the signal??? From 17 stories up…”
Mike Kelly, MU’s play-by-play voice, after the referee hesitated before signaling
GH: I listened to the Mizzou game driving back from Minneapolis on 560 AM because I couldn’t find it on 980, 1660 or the FM dial. Was the game even on the radio locally? Mizzou needs to secure a permanent home for their football radio broadcasts. Is there another team in the SEC that gets their conference games bumped off their home station? MU still doesn’t get it when it comes to SEC football – and that’s not all on the school. The MU fan base needs to demand it. Do you think this happens in Nebraska?

“I think this team can be really, really happy about its effort here in the fourth quarter.”
Howard Richards, on the Tigers coming back to score 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to beat South Carolina 21-20 on the road, Mizzou Radio Network
GH: Richards seems like a nice guy but he offered so little during the broadcast of this game’s fourth quarter that he became more of a nuisance than a resource. I would send Richards to the sideline and give his seat to Gervino.

“Weis will get paid a total of $64.5M by Notre Dame & Kansas for a record of 41-49.”
Darren Rovell, @darrenrovell, after Weis was fired by Kansas following the Jayhawks 23-0 home loss to Texas, Twitter
GH: Oh my. And how about the guy who hired Charlie? Does Sheahon Zenger get to make another hire? I’d have Bill Self make the next hire. He knows a little about coaching college kids.

“My voice is almost gone but that’s alright, it ain’t coming back for a while.”
Steven St. John, after surviving the Royals clinch and Mizzou’s comeback win over the weekend, 810 AM
GH: May all of our voices suffer in ecstasy this month. Go Chiefs. Go Royals. Go Crazy.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Where were you in October 1985?

Written 9/25/14

“In 1985 my dad got a call the day of game 6 of the World Series from Mike Berbiglia, the owner of Berbiglia Liquors (my dad was in the liquor business) and he asked if we wanted to go to game 6 - (my dad had not been to a game since the 1981 players strike). In’ 76, ‘77, ‘78 and ‘80 I went to every playoff and World Series game - my dad had season tickets.  We went to game 6 in ’85 and sat not in the box seats but I think they use to call them field box, up from first base. We were right in front of Mayor Berkley - I specifically remembering my dad saying we had better tickets than the mayor - one row in front of him.  Anyway we saw the greatest game in Royals history. The next day Mr. B called again and we turned him down.  That was the last game my dad ever saw - he died in ‘97.”
Frank, OTC Email
GH: I know people are wondering how your dad could turn down tickets to Game 7 of the World Series at Royals Stadium – but I almost skipped that game as well. I was living in Omaha at the time and the game was on a Sunday night. Well, if my wife and I were going to drive to KC for the game, we needed to be back at work in Omaha on Monday. I was watching the NYC Marathon that Sunday morning with some running buddies and they convinced me I had to drive to KC for Game 7 or I would never forgive myself. After the game we decided to call in sick for work and get a hotel. One problem – there were no hotel rooms available. We ended up staying at the Capri Hotel on the corner of Independence Ave & The Paseo. I’m pretty sure it was all we could afford anyway. As bad a shape as the Capri Motel was in, I had no idea at the time that the Royals were facing 30 years of even harder times ahead.

“I hope you guys (in Kansas City) get a home playoff game and that city is rocking.”
Scott Miller, MLB writer for BleacherReport.com, in an interview Thursday with The Border Patrol, 810 AM

“Last time the Royals made the playoffs I was 7 and had never seen a computer. Now I'm a husband and father and typing this on a cell phone.”
Sam Mellinger, @mellinger, Twitter
GH: When I was seven phones had rotary dials and there were such things as “party lines” and “long distance charges.” But Maxwell Smart had a shoe phone – and an assistant named 99 who made the show far better than it was.

“Last time the Royals made the playoffs I was...never mind. But I watched it at Fuzzy's with @dennisdoddcbs.”
Tom Shatel, @tomshatelOWH, Omaha World Herald sports columnist, Twitter
GH: 30 years later Fuzzy’s and the Capri are both still around. The great ones die hard.

“October is all about pitching. We have seen that many times before.”Scott Miller, MLB writer for BleacherReport.com, 810 AM

“Yeah, I want to do better. I wish that I did better. Is it going to play a part in what I do in my preparation in between my next start? No. I’m going to do the same thing. I’m going to go about my business the same way. And lace it up the next time, if I get the opportunity, if we keep winning games here.”
Jason Vargas, evaluating his outing against Cleveland where he gave up four earned runs in four innings to extend his four-game run of poor starts, kansascity.com
GH: Okay, that tells me everything I need to know about Vargas’ role in the Royals playoff plans. He has none. Moose’s “Vargy” did a great job in the Royals’ starting rotation until the heat of the pennant race got to him or maybe his arm just got tired. Whatever it is, Vargy should be put on the shelf for the postseason.

“He’ll get it together. He’s a pro.”
Ned Yost, when asked about another poor performance Wednesday in Cleveland from the Royals left-handed starter Jason Vargas’  Kansascity.com
GH: All I can hope for is that this is Ned being Ned in that he will almost never deliver bad news about a player through the media – unless that player is Billy Butler. If Ned hasn’t seen enough of Vargas the past three weeks to know he is not a viable option to start any postseason games then Dayton Moore needs to “Milwaukee” Ned’s professional hitting and pitching behind.

“After 28 years waiting for this, the Royals show little interest in discussing hypotheticals. Yost scoffed at the mere suggestion his playoff rotation.”
Andy McCullough, beat writer for Kansas City Star
GH: Ned scoffs at just about any suggestion from lesser humans like newspaper reporters or electronic media. We may have discovered Ned’s best talent – scoffing.

“Next question. I haven’t made the playoffs yet. Until I make the playoffs, I won’t worry about it. There’s still too many variables. Man, this thing could come down to where we play a one-game playoff for the division. The loser of that game plays the wild card game. There’s too much going on.”
Ned Yost, kansascity.com
GH: Here is another question for Ned – since when did YOU not make the playoffs? Isn’t this more of a WE kind of accomplishment? Ned’s use of pronouns might not mean much but it sure sounded wrong to my ear.

“You just can’t roll out a guy who is going to give up early runs because this (Royals) team has such a tough time battling back. And really, a 4-0 deficit is an insurmountable deficit for the Kansas City Royals.”
Bob Fescoe, on the perils of pitching Vargas in the playoffs, 610 AM

“Jason Vargas is in line for $25M from 2015 to 2017.”
Brandon H., @BHIndepMO, Twitter
GH: Yes, that is a lot of money for a left-handed starter who appears to be leaking fluids from all orifices as he limps down the stretch. But I don’t care about Dan and David Glass’ money right now. I care about taking advantage of a postseason opportunity here in Kansas City that took 29 years to reappear. The Brigadoon Royals may never come this way again. The time is now and Vargas just is not the guy to take us to Dreamland.

“I think for the most part in Sunday’s game (the Chiefs) almost turned the corner. Give those guys credit, they answered the challenge this week. I thought they stepped up and did an outstanding job.”
Deron Cherry, who was particularly complimentary toward the Chiefs defense in their win at Miami, 810 AM
GH: The Chiefs are only 1-2 heading into their MNF game with New England but man does it feel better than it did after that week-one home loss to Tennessee. Imagine how excited we would be with healthy Pro Bowlers Jamaal Charles, Derrick Johnson and Eric Berry? Very eager to see D’Anthony Thomas get on the field and make John Dorsey and Andy Reid look like geniuses.

“I love (Dontari) Poe. They ask a lot of that guy. He blows up things in the middle. He’s impressive. He’s very impressive.”
Kevin Harlan, on the Chiefs nose tackle, 810 AM
GH: Poe is not only an underrated star on the Chiefs but I think he is vastly underused by the local media. This guy deserves his own radio show or TV segment. He’s Bill Maas w/o the baggage (and what’s inside the baggage). 

“Oh, the Chiefs will win (over New England). Arrowhead on a Monday Night? The Chiefs will win this game. That game (in 1991 when the Chiefs beat Buffalo 33-6 on MNF), that night is the single most important game to change Arrowhead. That place was ROCKING! The Chiefs were on the rise and we beat (the Bills) and they left with their tails between their legs. It was electrifying that night.”
Deron Cherry, 810 AM
GH: Hard to believe that Buffalo game was in 1991. Marty and Carl were just getting the football rolling here in Kansas City and that Monday Night introduced the National Football League to Arrowhead, Kansas City BBQ tailgating and a fan base that is just this side of insane.

“I think they’re going to get punched in the mouth by Texas. I think they are going to see the full brunt.”
Soren Petro, on KU’s game Saturday at 3:00 PM in Lawrence versus Charlie Strong’s Longhorns, 810 AM
GH: Texas might not be as bad as they looked early but the same could be said for the Jayhawks. This game might be one heck of an appetizer for the Mizzou at USC game that night.

“I’m going to risk sounding like a namby-pamby to a lot of our listeners but I know that I do that anyway, so I’m just going to say it – I love Pina Coladas!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I don’t love Pina Coladas but I love quotes like this.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Alex Gordon has some fun at Kietzman's expense

Written 9/24/14

“Billy (Butler) likes to be liked. And when he’s not liked then he tries harder and doesn’t do as well. He’s the kind of guy you have to go up to every day and tell him how good a hitter he is. This is the first time he’s felt totally unappreciated by the manager he’s playing for. … If I’m managing this team he’s in the lineup every day. I’m going to pat him on his back every day. I’m going to tell him how great he is every day and how much I need him every day to go out and perform. I think that as a manager, that’s part of your job.”
Frank White, in an interview with Jack Harry that is scheduled to air in its entirety Friday at 6:30 PM, KSHB TV 41
GH: Frank White is not some guy calling a sports talk show to complain about how Ned Yost has handled Billy Butler. White has a statue of himself at The K and his number 20 resides beside George Brett’s and Dick Howser’s in the outfield. White also managed Butler when the two were together in Wichita. Kudos to Jack Harry for getting White to open up and talk not only about Butler’s need for constant positive reinforcement but also Yost’s refusal to provide what he does for many of his players not named Billy Butler.

“Sorry for crossing my arms during the interview.”
Alex Gordon, after he was interviewed by Joel Goldberg and Salvador Perez Tuesday night following the Royals 7-1 win in Cleveland, Fox Sports KC
GH: Okay, this is getting fun. This is at least the second time Gordon has referenced crossing his arms in a postgame interview. It is an obvious shot at Kevin Kietzman’s attempt earlier this month to create a controversy about how Gordon’s crossed arms meant he did not like or respect Terrance Gore. Read below for KK’s comments that I posted September 5th.

“I don’t want to read too much into this… I didn’t like the look of Alex Gordon (Wednesday, September 3rd) night. (Gordon) almost seemed annoyed that Gore was getting the attention and was getting splashed with the Gatorade bucket. … I don’t think Alex Gordon ever looked at Terrance Gore (during his postgame interview with Joel Goldberg Wednesday night). I don’t think he ever smiled, patted him on the back, whatever. … He didn’t want to be there. I don’t know what that was about. To a lot of people this sounds unthinkable, trust us on this. Trust us. … I think it’s a very interesting topic. When you start bringing in guys who they don’t know their name? It’s a whole different deal. I don’t want to make too much of it… He had his arms crossed. You talk to any person who studies sociology and arms crossed is a defensive position. ‘I don’t like what you’re asking me. I don’t like the person next to me. I’m very guarded right now. I don’t like this.’ That’s the posture of ‘I’m not real pleased with my position.’ Everybody knows that. … It was a weird dynamic as I’m watching this thing. It did not feel right. For some guys, trust me, having a guy like Terrance Gore that’s five-foot-six on the team that really can’t do anything except run on the bases, is an insult to what they do for a living. I think there are some of these (Royals) players going, ‘We worked out butt off to get into first place and this thing’s become a three-ring circus with Gore out there stealing bases and all these pinch runners?’ I think somewhere at least in the back of their minds they’ve got to be thinking that.”
Kevin Kietzman, commenting on Gordon’s postgame interview with Joel Goldberg on September 3rd, 810 AM
GH: Gordon has obviously enjoyed pimping and embarrassing Kietzman in his more recent interviews with Goldberg. Twitter reacts with howls every time Gordon crosses his arms or smirks about it with Goldberg. As far as I know, Kietzman has yet to respond on his show about Gordon’s digs. Maybe KK will have Gordon in studio for an interview to work this out. Maybe he can invite a sociologist in as well to referee.

“This is what it's all about.”
Kris Ketz, @KrisKetzKMBC, Twitter
GH: Ketz tweeted out this surreal photo of the Royals playoff tickets. Oh man, how freaking cool is this? I might need a sociologist to calm me down…

“I just want everyone to enjoy this. It’s been 30 years. It’s a fantastic moment in kc.”
Bob Fescoe, @bobfescoe, Twitter

“When it’s your turn, it’s your turn.”
Denny Matthews, on the good fortune of the Royals to miss White Sox ace Chris Sale in the Royals series in Chicago, Royals Radio
GH: Matthews has been a bit of a savant since the All-Star break about the Royals chances of making the postseason. He pretty much called an Alex Gordon walk-off home run last month. He correctly predicted that the Tigers bullpen would allow the Royals an opportunity to win Saturday’s game – even when it looked bleakest. Denny appears to think this is the Royals time. Our Time I guess you could say.

“Do you actually believe in a team of destiny? I’m not sure I believe in a team of destiny. I think that this team has created its own success.”
Henry Lake, 610 AM
GH: There are no teams of destiny. Only teams that seize their opportunities and the luck, drama and hardware that comes with them. Are the Royals THAT team this season? I cannot wait to find out.

“I am bummed to not be in KC for this pennant chase but I did score tix to the prospective game 3 and game 4 of the ALDS at the K. I also pulled the trigger on a plane ticket a few days ago.  The Boys in Blue seem to be peaking at the right time.  My wife and I are going absolutely crazy in NYC.  We got to see 2 of the 3 games in the series at Yankee Stadium a few weeks ago.”
Bobby, OTC Email
GH: I met Bobby a couple of years ago through my column and his penchant for distance running. He even hooked up with my Sunday run bunch three times when he was back in KC for a visit. One of the greatest things about the Royals’ season is hearing from folks all across the country who are pulling for the Royals. People who followed the Royals through some dark decades are now wearing their KC caps probably in Manhattan, Salt Lake City and big and small burgs across the land. Our Time is Their Time as well.

“I moved to CHI a year ago from KC and have been bummed not to be there during this run. Safe to say where I'll be Thurs – Sun.”
Tom Howell, @thowell21, Twitter
GH: With all of the Royals fans I’ve heard from planning to attend the Royals/White Sox series this weekend in Chicago, the Fox Sports camera crew are going to be kept busy getting shots of Royals fans on the screen. Wear your blue proudly, folks! And do not miss the opportunity for a deep-dish pizza, some Chicago dogs and a stroll through Grant Park and a drive down/up Lakeshore Drive. What a great city Ditka has built.

“For worst managerial decision in Royals history, I'd have to go with Whitey Herzog calling on Dennis Leonard -- a notorious slow starter who always took two or three innings to find a groove -- to close out the final game of the 1977 ALCS. The Royals should have won that game and gone on to the World Series, and maybe Mr. October would have never been Mr. October. I can't forgive the White Rat for that. (Oh, and by the way, Jim Colborn and not Larry Gura should have been the Game 4 starter.)”
Phil, responding to my pick of Yost’s decision to pinch hit 42-year-old Raul Ibanez that ended the game against Detroit on Saturday, OTC email from Corpus Christi,  TX
GH: At least Leonard was still in his prime. Can you imagine if Whitey had gone with Marty Pattin out of the pen?

“You could make a case that the trio at the backend of the Royals bullpen are the best this game has ever seen.”
Josh Vernier, on the ERAs of Greg Holland (1.49), Wade Davis (0.90) and Kelvin Herrera (1.48) being better than any threesome to have pitched 60 or more innings, 610 AM
GH: Kudos to Dayton Moore for assembling this blockade the Royals have to unleash in the seventh, eighth and ninth in the playoffs. Not even Ned Yost has been able to screw this threesome up.

“That (ground ball) looked like it might be (a double play) but that’s the sixth error for Moustakas in the last two weeks.”
Steve Physioc, on another grounder off the glove of the Royals third baseman, Fox Sports KC
GH: Moose might need an intervention – or his ass kicked. But since Ned is never wrong about these things, I guess we will just allow him to carry on.

“Mom also says to send Moose back to the minors. Obviously she doesn't realize that the minor league season is over. Lol mom.”
Mike Engel, @michaelengel, Twitter

“#LastTimeTheRoyalsWereInThePlayoffs I didn’t know about A…B…C English at all.”
SungWoo Lee, @KoreanFan_KC, Twitter
GH: The last time the Royals were in the playoffs I attended games two and seven of the World Series at Royals Stadium. I’ve told this story before but I took a former brother-in-law to game two who was also a Cardinals fan. This guy was a complete ass to Royals fans before, during and especially after the game. I never spoke to that jerk again and my sister-in-law divorced him not long after. I had two tickets to game seven but I was sure they were going to be nothing more than souvenirs since the Royals were now down 0-2 in the WS. When the Denkinger Miracle made way for game seven, I took my bride of one year and sat there behind home plate for all the fun. My wife and I have now been married 30 years. Our Time, baby.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Royals win in Cleveland; Mizzou upset by Indiana

Written 9/23/14

“Biggest win in 29 years. Pressure all on the Indians these last two games of series. #Royals now just need 3 or 4 wins to make playoffs.”
Jeffrey Flanagan, @jflanagankc, after the Royals 2-0 win in Cleveland Monday night, Twitter
GH: Get used to it, folks. Every Royals win this week will top the last. This is a pennant race. Somebody wake up Ned and tell him.

“We think this place will be pretty cool in October. We’re all dying to see it.”
Eric Hosmer, via a tweet from Andy McCullough, on Hosmer talking about postseason play at The K, Twitter

“We want to go to the postseason really, really bad!"
Greg Holland, while being interviewed Monday night by Joel Goldberg following the Royals win in Cleveland, Fox Sports KC
GH: I got a tweet from a Royals fan last night responding to Holland’s comment by saying, “I love it when these guys talk like this!” Here is an idea for the Royals PR staff – have Holland fill in the rest of the season for Yost in the pre- and postgame pressers.

“Technically, Terrance Gore just scored a run in a game that started before he made his official MLB debut”
@BHIndepMO, after the Royals rookie scored in the tenth inning of the resumed game Monday night, Twitter
GH: Somebody get Doc Brown on the shoe phone.

“Alex Gordon is having one of the worst months of his career at a rather inopportune time.
Dirk Chatelain, @dirkchatelain, sports columnist for the Omaha World Herald, Twitter
GH: Wow. Gordon is more up and down than that new ride at Worlds of Fun. In August he was Babe Ruth. In September he’s been just Aunt Ruth. Time to turn it on, Alex.

“Wait 27 years, and you're liable to see anything from Indiana University football. The (Missouri) Tigers (3-1) were the highest-ranked team beaten by Indiana on the road since a 31-10 victory at Ohio State in 1987. Indiana had lost 36 in a row on the road against Top 20 opponents.”
David Woods, writer, after Mizzou was upset 31-27by the Hoosier Saturday at Faurot, Indianapolis Star
GH: Loosing to Indiana the week after they dropped a game to Bowling Green (the same BG that was bounced 68-17 by Wisconsin on Saturday) is embarrassing. Losing to Indiana in Columbia on Homecoming the week before you head to South Carolina to be part of ESPN’s GameDay experience is about as life-sucking as a regular-season loss can get.

“The defending SEC East champion lost to a 5-7 Big Ten team from last season. It’s the Big Ten’s first win against a ranked Power 5 conference team this season. Indiana had lost 18 straight games against ranked opponents heading into Saturday’s game. The Hoosiers allowed 571 rushing yards in a 45-42 loss to Bowling Green last week, a team that allowed 756 total yards and 646 rushing yards in a 68-17 loss to Wisconsin on Saturday. How does the transitive property work here? Isn’t college football fun?”
Bill Bender, writer, sportingnews.com
GH: When Indiana took an early lead in this game I saw a tweet from a reporter who regularly covers the Tigers that read something like, “that embarrassing moment when Indiana led Missouri.” I thought at the time that kind of entitlement attitude has haunted Missouri sports for decades. Yes, Mizzou should have beaten Indian by three touchdowns. But when you are down on game day, that is not the time to be making light of your opponent.

“Yeah, I wish we would have called (the time out) sooner. It was a communication breakdown. It was my fault. I wish we would have called it sooner.”
Gary Pinkel, when asked why he waited about 20 seconds to call timeout when Indiana was driving inside the MU five-yard line to preserve some time for the Tigers’ final drive, 810 AM
GH: Pinkel seems to freeze at times when it comes to sideline decision making. This was coaching 101 stupid. You HAVE to be on top of the game enough to be aware of the clock. A communication breakdown? What kind of an excuse is this from a guy making $3 million a year? Who did he need to communicate with to call time out – besides the referee??? It was just mind-numbingly ridiculous to blow 20 seconds of clock at this point in the game.

“Throw it to the end zone! That was horrible! Horrible! You’ve got three good receivers and a gigantic tight end. Throw it up there!”
Steven St. John, on MU’s final play of the game from midfield being a 16-yard pass to Indiana’s 32-yard line to end the game, 810 AM
GH: Gary Pinkel was the topic for much of my 17-mile run Sunday morning with both MU and KU fans. Pinkel is never going to be confused with Bill Snyder. Pinkel is a fabulous recruiter who gets a lot out of great talent but has never been able to get it together enough to win a conference title. Snyder is a genius at preparing his teams of mostly ordinary talent and rarely loses to any team inferior to his. Both are getting the job done but each in far different ways.

“Mizzou... I don't know what to say, other than that guy who made really poor decisions today is also going to win you some great games too.”
TJ Carpenter, @TJCarpenterWHB, Twitter
GH: Carpenter could have been talking about Pinkel but I’m pretty sure he meant Maty Mauk. I didn’t think Mauk was the problem in this game. Sure, he threw a bad pick coming out of the half but all quarterbacks are going to screw up occasionally. Mauk has been next to amazing for most of this season. Mizzou is lucky to have him as they get ready for the SEC. It will be Pinkel’s job to reign in his decision making.

“Missouri OL coach AJ Ricker compared Boehm's snaps problem to Chuck Knoblauch's issues throwing to 1B. ‘It’s just a mental block.’”
Dave Matter, @Dave_Matter, Twitter
GH: Those mental blocks can be pretty real, as Knoblauch knows. Hoping Big Boehm can shake the shivers Saturday in that other Columbia.

“Every team in SEC least has a loss? What?”
Kevin Kietzman, @kkwhb, Twitter
GH: KK would really impress me if he opened his interview with Gary Pinkel with this snide “SEC Least” comment. But I’m sure he will be verbally slapping Pinkel on the back during his interview.

“Chance for redemption on the big stage RT @McMurphyESPN: .@CollegeGameDay headed to Columbia, S.C. for Mizzou at South Carolina.”
TJ Moe, @TJMoe28, former Mizzou wide receiver, Twitter
GH: How do you erase the acrid taste of a home loss to Indiana? By beating South Carolina on ESPN the next week. CFB is like that when it comes to week-to-week perceptions. Just ask the Big Ten.

“You can't blame me if I mistakenly call @MizzouFootball TE Sean Culkin THOR at some point during our game this week.”
Holly Rowe, @sportsiren, who will be on the sidelines for ESPN Saturday night at South Carolina, Twitter
GH: Mizzou gets to be on the big stage a week after their boo at the Zou. It will be interesting to see how the Tigers react.

“I probably won’t get over the loss (to Auburn) until we win another game. Man, those SEC people will salt the wound!”
Ryan Lilja, former K-State player, mentioning a salty Tiger-tail-wearing neighbor who was an Auburn fan, 610 AM
GH: K-State’s loss to Auburn does the opposite to their prestige of what MU losing to Indiana does to the Tigers. K-State is now thought to be a real contender for the Big 12 crown. I will be watching with great interest what happens in Ames on Saturday when Baylor comes to visit. Could it be that the Cyclones are actually good?
“That’s just part of the game. It’s not quote unquote ‘stealing.’”
Bill Snyder, attempting to clarify his comments that seemed to accuse Auburn of stealing signs, 810 AM
GH: A lot has been made of Snyder’s comment but mostly by those who are not fans of HCBS and his Cats. Too much in my opinion.
“The Chiefs are right back in this thing, dude. They’re playing better every week.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: How about Andy Reid, John Dorsey and their Chiefs having one of their most important wins in Miami during their short time here in KC? That wakes everybody back up and should make Arrowhead a house for crazed dogs Monday night against the Pats.
“The Chiefs may be 1-2, but their celebrations are elite.”
Austin Earl, @austinearly13, after Travis Kelce and Tyler Gray went TMZ on their TD celebrations, Twitter
“Cyrus Gray just got a few spectators pregnant with that TD celebration dance.”
Jared Carter, @JaredLCarter, Twitter
GH: Gray proceeded to whip his pony at the Dolphins crowd after his TD jaunt. But he did it in such a way that he could have received the NFL’s first 15-yarder for obscenity. I would love to see the video of these guys practicing this trash.
“I'm at the age now where I'd be fine if the NFL outlawed all TD celebrations. These dudes should be ejected for some of this shit!”
@MeMyselfSoSly, Twitter
GH: No one is that old, Sly.
“They’re really struggling on offense to find their way. In 34 drives, they’ve only scored five touchdowns? How about that? They have no explosive players who play outside the numbers. … They can’t protect the quarterback. Tom Brady’s not going to leave the pocket.”
Herm Edwards, when asked to evaluate New England, 810 AM
GH: Monday night at CamaroHead is gonna be wild – especially if the Royals are playing in a tie-breaker game that night.
Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Petro calls Royals out for choking

Written 9/22/14

“Sal Perez (not tagging up) was a play that father’s at 3&2 (little league baseball) would have lost their minds! It’s (reminiscent of) the most bush-league 2004 Royals. And if that doesn’t define the word choke I don’t know what does. What is that if it isn’t a choke? They better pull their heads out! I’m disgusted but I expected this team to play like a real playoff team. They are playing bush-league not-even-interleague-squad baseball. Somebody better wake this team up! … I hope we get treated to some real baseball this final week.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Petro has been playing kissy face with Ned Yost and the Royals for most of this pennant race. He has been quick to smack down those who would criticize Yost or the progress the franchise has made this season. This is pretty much the same approach Kevin Kietzman has parlayed, calling Yost the best manager the Royals have employed the last 20 years. All that changed for Petro with this past weekend’s series with the Tigers. The Royals looked like anything but a pennant contender and Petro sounded like the rest of us. Read on.

“But to state the obvious: yes, what (Sal) Perez did was inexcusable. It was an incredibly stupid mental error, and it probably cost the Royals a two-game swing in the standings, likely the AL Central title, and possible a playoff spot entirely.”
Rany Jazayerli, ranyontheroyals.com

“Yes, it looks like the umpires did not follow the rulebook correctly in allowing the use of replay to determine whether Salvador Perez tagged at third base or not. But I can’t get that worked up about it, because my position on the use of instant replay has always been simple: get the call right. That’s it. Get it right. Major League Baseball is still fumbling its way through the procedural aspects of this, but they’re using replay to correct mistakes in a way that was unimaginable just a decade ago.”
Rany Jazayerli, ranyontheroyals.com
GH: Listening to Steve Physioc whine incessantly over the umpire’s using replay to overturn this call on Saturday’s radio broadcast and never once criticize Sal Perez for not tagging up was one-sided broadcasting at its worse. And any member of the Royals organization or fan who is going to get worked up over the umps getting a call correct should be sentenced to watch game six of the 1985 World Series with a room full of Cardinals fans.

“I have not been one of those calling for Ned’s job but if this kind of bush-league play continues, he should be terminated. At some point, step up and play when it counts! They lost six in a row when it was crunch time, they spit the bit six times in a row and they tried to do it Sunday! … Accountability! At some point somebody has to be held accountable!”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: How about some accountability for those in the media like Petro and KK who have been soft on Yost all along? So now, with the final week of the regular season looming, Petro wants to scream fire Ned Yost? I am fine with that. But there are a lot of us out here who have been singing that tune even when this club was winning despite Yost’s bunting, small-ball and small-minded ways.

“For the second straight year, the biggest at-bat of the season (final results pending) was given to a player who had been released by another team earlier in this season. ON PURPOSE. You remember the Carlos Pena debacle last year, don’t you? Well, I present to you the Raul Ibanez decision. … Yost called upon the player with the lowest batting average in the major leagues among players with 275 plate appearances.”
Rany Jazayerli, ranyontheroyals.com
GH: How Dayton Moore allowed this to happen without leaping from the press box onto the field is a mystery to me. Maybe he feared causing himself bodily harm – because I am sure he wanted to make this leap. But the fact that Moore allowed Yost to retain his job following Saturday’s debacle is an indictment on Moore, the Glass family and this Royals organization. This was very possibly simply the worst decision made by a manager in Royals history. Fire Ned Yost.

“There’s a lot of things going on that nobody really knows about. What I mean by a ‘professional at-bat,’ was a guy that’s been there, done it . . . Billy’s in a funk right now. And Billy has no idea what he’s doing wrong. You see what I’m saying? He’s working really hard at it. It was absolutely no slight against Billy. People that think I’m slighting Billy, they’re off base.”
Ned Yost, attempting to explain why he called wanting Ibanez for a “professional at bat” over Butler in Saturday’s game, Kansas City Star
GH: When Billy Butler stroked a line-drive single on the first pitch he saw Sunday, he appeared to glare back into the Royals’ dugout and mouth the words, “professional at bat.” This might be my KK radar going off but I so want to believe this occurred. I do believe there are “a lot of things going on that nobody really knows about,” inside this Royals team. And Yost appears to be punching all the wrong buttons here during Heimlich season.

“If they don’t make the playoffs it’s a choke job.”
Josh Vernier, 610 AM

GregHall24@yahoo.com & @greghall24


It's Auburn vs. K-State

Written 9/17/14

“If we don’t break the all-time attendance record, it will be because we didn’t sell standing-room tickets. We have not sold the 500 standing-room tickets we sell for most games because we know our student section will be as packed as it’s ever been with 9,400 students having bought tickets again this year, so we’ve allowed for overflow out of the student section onto the hill.”
John Currie, K-State athletic director, on the expected crowd for tonight’s game against Auburn, CJOnline.com
GH: What area college football fan hasn’t been looking forward to this one? Both teams are undefeated and ranked and both represent everything you either love or hate about college football – the Big 12 and the SEC. Even Kansas fans are rooting for KSU tonight – and that happens about as often as Aoki gets 11 hits in a three-game series. But Auburn will have some local backers as well. Mizzou Nation will be rooting for Auburn and Nick Marshall just as hard as they were rooting against them in last December’s SEC title game. The North and South will go at it again tonight and it should be delightful to watch.

“This is unusual for an SEC team to play (at Kansas State) or anywhere outside the south. That just doesn’t happen.”
Gary Barnett, 810 AM
GH: Former K-State head coach Ron Prince scheduled this game and I for one am damn glad he did. Read on.

“When we talk about being a model intercollegiate athletics program, we talk about world-class student-athlete experience. And the opportunity to play in a game like this on your home field is part of a world-class student-athlete experience, and I know that our student-athletes are excited about it.”
John Currie, CJOnline.com
GH: All the more reason to do it more often. Bill Snyder has been the poster icon for making easy non-con schedules allow your team to build 10- and 11-win seasons. His formula has been copied by almost every big program in the country. But games like this one tonight are so special they should be sought out rather than shunned. ESPN’s vast audience will get to experience the magic that Snyder has brought to Manhattan, Kansas. How is that a bad thing, Coach?

“These SEC fans are nuts. They only play with certain (school logoed) golf balls. I’m hoping we wipe the field with them. The place is going to be electric. It’s going to be incredible. I’m eager to see what our team does against supposedly the best conference in the land.”
Ryan Lilja, former K-State player, on his Wildcats taking on Auburn Thursday night in Manhattan, 610 AM
GH: I have heard many stories of SEC fans traveling to Missouri the past two seasons and how underwhelmed they have been with the football facilities in Columbia. K-State is going to have their best suit on for the War Eagles tonight with their recent stadium renovations. It will be interesting to hear how Auburn fans enjoy their Wildcat experience.

“Nick (Marshall) was really excited about Kansas State. (He) loved Coach Snyder, loved the offense. There were a lot of positives for Kansas State. If Coach Snyder could design a quarterback for his offense, the guy would look really, really similar to Nick Marshall.”
Matt Miller, Marshall’s football coach at Garden City Community College while the now Auburn QB was being recruited out of junior college, ESPN.com
GH: That same year K-State also offered a scholarship to Jake Waters, the leading passer in junior college. Tonight’s matchup will give the Kansas State fans a chance to compare the two one-time KSU recruits.

“It was clear Snyder really wanted Marshall. He didn't let up after Waters committed. He didn't let up after Auburn offered a scholarship. He stayed on Marshall all the way through signing day.”
Greg Ostendorf, writer, ESPN.com

“He's a great coach. He's a nice guy, and he's a man to his word.”
Nick Marshall, on his opinion of Bill Snyder, ESPN.com

“(Coach Bill Snyder) is the most consistent human being I’ve ever been around. He works as hard as any human being I’ve been around except maybe Peyton Manning. God bless him. I hope he never leaves. My biggest concern is what happens after he leaves.”
Ryan Lilja, who won a Big 12 championship at K-State under Snyder and a Super Bowl ring with Manning in Indianapolis, 610 AM
GH: Lilja also shared a story with Carrington Harrison and Danny Parkins about the time he spotted Snyder at the Big 12 basketball tournament here in Kansas City and Snyder didn’t remember him. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little crushed,” recalled Lilja, after saying Snyder did remember him once Lilja told him who he was.

“I think Missouri has played the toughest (non-conference) schedule in the country. I think they are the most underrated team in the country.”
Gary Barnett, on the 18th-ranked Tigers playing South Dakota State, at Toledo and Central Florida before taking on Indiana this Saturday, 810 AM
GH: That’s a decent non-con schedule but look what awaits the Tigers the following three weeks – at South Carolina, Georgia, and at Florida. The SEC is big-boy football, son.

“He spun him around like a rag doll. … They are pinning their ears back. … Missouri brought the house on that blitz.”
Howard Richman, MU football’s radio analyst, Missouri Tiger Radio Network
GH: I listened to much of the second half of Mizzou’s comeback win at Toledo on the radio as I drove back from St. Louis Saturday. Richman spouted off cliché after cliché in about a ten minute span. Up your game a bit Howard and be more original. It might help if you added more detail to your analysis. Listen to a Stan Weber tape and learn how to do it.

“(Maty Mauk) takes some chances but he makes some really big plays. I think he’s really good. Missouri has really impressed me against better competition each week. Boy, if they shore up the Tiger run defense – up the middle especially – they shore that up and this is a solid Missouri football team again it appears.”
Chris Gervino, sideline reporter for Mizzou football, Mizzou Radio Network
GH: That Tiger run defense is what Auburn exposed in the SEC title game last season. But I’m with Gervino on MU looking to be every bit as good as they were last season and maybe better. How fun would it be to have MU and K-State strike up a non-con series?

“I don’t know if (Mauk) is going to be the best quarterback ever at Missouri but he is VERY entertaining. It does get nerve wracking when he takes those chances…but I’ll take it.”
Steven St. John, on the red-shirt sophomore out of Canton, Ohio, 810 AM
GH: Okay. Let’s calm down on Maty Mauk. Yes, he looks like he could be Chase Daniel II – but let’s give him some time to mature before we place him among MU’s elite. Mauk looks to be a great talent who still has much to learn. Watching him get there is the fun part.

“Athletic director Sheahon Zenger has an old-school approach to much of his job, and that includes having a distaste for firing coaches in mid-season and handing the reins to an interim head coach. Normally, such a move is too desperate and disruptive. But if Kansas doesn’t defeat Central Michigan on Saturday, the question becomes one of which is less disruptive, moving an interim head coach into the swanky office or leaving in his chair the coach not reaching his athletes. It’s tough to make a case for the latter.”
Tom Keegan, columnist, on the popular opinion that Charlie Weis’ job depends on the outcome of KU’s game against Central Michigan, KUSports.com
GH: I don’t know how Weis survives this season even if the Jayhawks find a way to beat Central Michigan. The Big 12 schedule doesn’t look like it has a victory on it for KU. Zenger likely has already decided he needs to fire the coach he hired. The only mystery is when to do it. I am almost always of the belief sooner is better than later.

“I’m not the quarterback coach nor the offensive coordinator…”
Charlie Weis, in a press conference this week following KU’s blowout loss at Duke where his quarterback, offense and defense were thumped 41-3 by a proud basketball school, 810 AM
GH: Weis may not have wanted this to sound like he was distancing himself from his QB and assistant coach but that sure is how it sounded to me.

“I was not in favor of hiring Charlie Weis from the beginning. To me this looked like a money grab. ‘I’m bringing all my old buddies with me from the NFL and we’re just going to play out the string. My wife is going to stay in Florida and I get all these millions?’ I always thought this was a money grab.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I don’t have any idea what Weis’ motivation for taking the Kansas job was but I just don’t understand a man’s character who would take the job for the money and then not work hard to produce a winner. A money grab to me means Weis cared only about the paycheck. I think he is just incompetent as a head coach.

“(Montell) Cozart has to play. I’m sure Michael Cummings is a nice guy but he’s not even a Division I quarterback. In this (Duke) game, he couldn’t handle a snap! The read option looked clumsy.”
Danny Clinkscale, on the possibility of Weis benching Cozart, 810 AM
GH: After watching Cozart play at Duke, there are plenty of Kansas fans thinking the former Bishop Miege QB is not even a Division I quarterback.

“Pop the cork Omaha fans -- the Storm Chasers have defeated Pawtucket 4-2 and are now back-to-back Triple-A National Champions. The Storm Chasers have won 4 division titles, 4 conference titles, 3 PCL titles & 2 National Championships in 4 seasons at Werner Park.”
Lee Warren, @OmahaBaseball, Storm Chasers’ beat writer for SBNation.com, Twitter
GH: So what the heck happens once these guys get to Kansas City? Hmmmm…I don’t think it’s the barbecue.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Chiefs look good in losing at Denver

Written 9/17/14

“I was really proud of the way the Chiefs played, considering who they didn’t have. I thought they put up a pretty good fight considering they had one hand tied behind their back and on one leg.”
Brad Fanning, TV sports anchor for KCTV 5, 610 AM
GH: I felt the same way as Fanning did about the Chiefs effort in Denver, Yes, this is the NFL and we don’t give out medals just for showing up – but I was expecting Peyton Manning and the Broncos to treat the Chiefs like they were the Kansas Jayhawks (more on that club’s effort at Duke later). This was not only a competitive game but one the Chiefs almost pulled out. As Maximus asked, I was definitely entertained…and in the end that is a lot of the reason I show up to watch each week.

“They played a heckuva football game. … I thought that might have been the best game (Alex Smith) has played since he’s been in Kansas City.”
Len Dawson, on the Chiefs effort in Denver, 810 AM
GH: After week one when Smith looked like he might be Matt Cassel II, he looked every bit like the QB with which the Chiefs can build a winner. I just wish John Dorsey would get the guy a few receivers who someone might want to start on their FF team.

“How much grit and guts is Alex Smith showing here?”
Mitch Holthus, as Smith battled the Broncos with his arm and legs, Chiefs Radio Network

“Denver could have had five or six sacks but Alex Smith was able to escape.”
Nick Lecky, former NFL offensive lineman, 810 AM
GH: As well as Smith played, the Chiefs new placekicker did not. Read on.

(Cario) Santos didn’t show any of this during training camp or the preseason.”
Mitch Holthus, after the Chiefs rookie kicker missed a 38-yard FG after the Chiefs fashioned a XX play drive, Chiefs Radio Network
GH: Why Holthus thought he need to inject this comment immediately after Santos blew a chip shot field goal that ripped the heart out of the Chiefs’ third-quarter drive was puzzling. But not really. Holthus sees his job as one to protect the image of the players, coaches and franchise. Even screw ups like Santos who deserve to be ripped like they were a Raider.

“Don’t say his name. You know how I feel about that person.”
Tim Grunhard, after a caller almost mentioned Lin Elliott in comparing him to Carlos, 810 AM

“There’s no question the guy can kick. There’s just a question of which way it’s going to go.”
Len Dawson, on the Chiefs rookie place kicker Cario Santos, 810 AM
GH: This is one of my favorite quotes of the week. Thank you, Lenny.

“I feel for Mitch Holthus and Suzy Bling Bling and all those people who show up at that Monday night radio shop. Mitch’s grandkids are going to have to open up that book!”
Caller to Chiefs postgame show, on Holthus’ tradition of talking about the heretically sealed book that he will not open until the next Chiefs’ playoff victory, 810 AM

“Deb is here tonight! Double D, Dangerous Deb is here!”
Mitch Holthus, running down the names of the attendees at his Chiefs Kingdom radio show Monday night at Nick & Jake’s, 810 AM
GH: Mitch made me think twice about altering my route home and heading over to N&J’s to meet those Double Ds. BTW, was that the theme music for Friday Night Lights I heard in the bumper music for Mitch’s radio show? I started dreaming of driving through West Texas just hearing those familiar chords.

“I hate to even say this but I’m hearing the word ‘Achilles.’”
Kendall Gammon, reporting on Jamaal Charles after he left the game Broncos’ favoring his leg, Chiefs Radio Network
GH: Gannon’s report proved to be incorrect as we now know that Charles was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain. But was he wrong to report it might be an Achilles? Read on.

“I heard the sideline reporter, Tracy Atkins, said (Charles injury) was an Achilles. I thought that was a little irresponsible. Again, I didn’t see the report. Based on what happened last week with the Chiefs when two guys go done with ruptured Achilles, you’re going to go on the air and say that it’s an Achilles? When it turns out to be a high-ankle sprain? You can’t say it! You can’t say it if you don’t know! She said it could be an Achilles because he was pointing toward it. Isn’t that what she said?”
Brad Fanning, TV sports anchor for KCTV 5, 610 AM

“We don’t know where that originated from though, Brad. That’s the reason I’m not going to call her on the carpet for it. She in no way shape or form said that was what the injury is.”
Henry Lake, 610 AM
GH: I caught most of the Chiefs/Broncos game on the radio so I did not hear the TV network’s sideline reporter say that Charles might have injured his Achilles. But let’s assume she did, as did the Chiefs Radio Network sideline reporter, Gammon. What’s the big deal about reporting what you heard someone affiliated with the team say about an injury – even if it proves to be wrong? The sideline reporter’s role is not to be a journalist in the sense they have the time or resources to vet every bit of info they come across. They have seconds to deliver updated information on the players, coaches and teams from the sideline and that might mean we the consumer have to understand this isn’t going through an editor before it hits live TV. I don’t have a problem with the erroneous Achilles reports unless Gammon and Atkins just made them up. And since they both reported the same injury, that would indicate they both had a reliable source for the information.

“Jim Nantz came into that game looking for nice things to say about Eric Fisher. ‘Boy, if his shoes are tied right I’m going to tell people!’”
Steven St. John, on the glowing comments by Nantz and Phil Simms about the Chiefs top draft pick from a year ago, 810 AM
GH: I guess we have to remember that the NFL is really nothing more than a very exclusive private men’s club of 32 owners who’s ultimate goal is to make gobs of money. They pretty much control everything from the players to the media covering them. It’s not how it’s supposed to be but it’s how it is.

“To me, (Eric Fisher) looks like a guy who is getting better.”
Terez Paylor, Chiefs beat writer for The Kansas City Star, after watching the Chiefs’ second-year offensive tackle’s play in Denver,  610 AM
GH: I still have hope that if Fisher ever gets his shoulders healthy he is going to be a great player for the next decade. But I also thought Lake Dawson was going to be a stud.

“I don’t do many tricks before the snap but I try and give them all they can handle after the snap.”
Dontari Poe, Chiefs nose tackle, when asked by Mitch Holthus if he tries to spit on the ball or move it to disrupt the opposing center, 810 AM
GH: Poe might be my favorite Chiefs player. Have you heard his McDonald’s radio ad? It is fantastic! And he emphasizes the MAC when he says McDonald’s, just like they do down on Prospect Ave. BTW, Billy Butler might be the worst radio ad reader in Kansas City right now. He sounds like he read that copy as he was walking out of the recording studio. Put some effort into it, Billy! Better yet, call Poe for some pointers.

“It’s crazy to look at this week (in Miami) as a must win already but I was calling week one a must win!”
Henry Lake, 610 AM

“I think if (the Chiefs) get to six or seven wins this season you feel happy that there was some progress made in some areas.”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM

“I saw the Green Bay Packers lose 17 players the year they won the Super Bowl. They had people going down left and right.”
Jeff Chadiha, of ESPN.com, refusing to allow the Chiefs to use their recent rash of key injuries as an excuse for failure this season, 810 AM
GH: I like Chadiha’s approach. NFL teams deal with injuries all the time and find a way to compete. The Chiefs cannot just fold up and quit before October. Injuries should not be lethal. I guess we’ll see how good Dorsey and Reid are at their jobs.

“Well, there’s a chance we might ease (D’Anthony Thomas) back into things this week and see how things go.”
Andy Reid, on whether or not the rookie out of Oregon will be activated and play against Miami, 810 AM
GH: After watching Darren Sproles light up Indianapolis, I am very eager to see this Oregon Duck quack for the Chiefs.

“I wish I played with Darren Sproles! Wow is he something!”
Rich Gannon, @RichGannon12, Twitter
GH: Is there a higher compliment from one pro to another than to wish you were a teammate? We were lucky here in Kansas City to watch “Tank” as a kid grow into the NFL star he has become. What a great venue for the 10-year veteran Sproles to go off on Monday night. He remains the greatest high school player I ever saw play – and one of the most underrated college and NFL players of our lifetime. Sproles is that good.

“We suck. That's as blunt as I can put it. For whatever reason. Defensively we just won't stop people, especially early in games. Every drive, every first drive, their team is able to go and get points and today it happened all day. Offensively we put the ball on the ground. We had opportunities and we didn't capitalize on them. Collectively, we look bad. It's frustrating because everything that everybody says about you, we're making them right. It's almost as if you allow others to write your story. And we're not going out there and doing anything about it. That's hard. I'm really embarrassed.”
Charles Woodson, after the Raiders dropped a 30-14 home game to Houston, silverandblackpride.com
GH: I thought I would leave you with something to smile about.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Speed keys unlikely Royals rally

Written 9/16/14

“Un-freaking-believable ending! As for Dyson and Gore? Hell I can't even think that fast.”
Mike McCartney, @mikemccartneykc, PA voice of The K, after the Royals staged one of the most thrilling and timely ninth-inning comebacks in franchise history Monday night with a 4-3 win over the White Sox at The K, Twitter
GH: If you saw it, you know of what McCartney speaks. Dyson scored the tying run from second base on a wild pitch. And then Gore scored the game winner from second on an infield chopper by Lorenzo Cain that didn’t have enough momentum to reach the outfield grass in an empty park. All of this after the Royals looked as lost and anemic as they did during most of the Boston series. They remain 1.5 behind Detroit but it beats the hell out of where they were headed before that ninth inning unfolded .

“Oh, no big deal. Just the single greatest moment I've experienced as a Royals fan in 29 years.”
Rany Jazayerli, @jazayerli, Twitter
GH: Fox Sports KC did a fabulous job with the video replays of the memorable ninth inning. From the multiple angles of both Jarrod Dyson’s and Terrance Gore’s scoring sprints to the spontaneous on-field celebration after Gore scored, their pictures were fantastic. Kevin Kietzman will have a difficult time explaining the photos of Gore and Alex Gordon embracing like school boys in today’s Kansas City Star.

“With Cain batting for the #Royals, Denny called it - win, on another daffy hit - as only MLB's most blasė announcer can. Weird.”
Aaron Barnhart, @tvbarntv, Twitter
GH: I did not listen to the radio play-by-play after the sixth inning last night so I missed Denny’s call. I heard from others though that the voice of the Royals continued his stubborn tradition of refusing to inject any excitement into his calls. Is it something the Royals did to you, Denny? Or have you just become so crusty that not even a season-saving comeback in the ninth that resembled a Little League game can break through your old-man-itis?

“Thanks Denny for injecting zero, and I mean zero, emotion into one of the most key ABs of the #Royals' season. #neverchange
Jeff Rosen, @jeff_rosen88, KC Star sports editor, Twitter

“This is just what the Royals are. This is the way the Royals won games in the ‘70s and ‘80s.”
Ryan Lefebvre, 610 AM
GH: Ryan is half right, this is definitely just what the Royals are – a punchless offensively-challenged club that relies on speed, defense, exceptional pitching and magic. But this is not how the Royals built their division winners in the ‘70s and ’80s. Those teams had some hitters who consistently produced more than Chris Evert back-spinning infield singles. These Royals could sure use Brett, Otis, Mayberry and McRae in the middle of their lineup.

“Ned Yost got killed yesterday for pitching moves. Should be praised tonight for pinch running calls.”
Blair Kerkhoff, columnist for Kansas City Star, @BlairKerkhoff, Twitter
GH: I don’t understand those who want to excuse Yost for the atrocious decision he made on Sunday because he got it right on Monday. Yost deserved every bit of criticism leveled at him in the wake of the Crow Fiasco. I am happy as hell that Yost figured out he needed to get his speed on the bases in the bottom of the ninth and that nobody got picked off of second. By the way, fire Ned Yost.

“Ned Yost has taken a lot of grief about benching Billy Butler and playing Nori Aoki instead. Well you know what? It worked!”
Nate Bukaty, on Aoki getting four of the strangest and most glorious hits that ever landed in fair territory last night, 810 AM
GH: Aoki’s at bats Monday night might go down as four of the most beautifully ugly ABs ever performed at The K. I swore his bat hit the dirt before striking the ball on one infield grounder.

“Nori Aoki is what happens when you cross Ichiro Suzuki with Benny Hill.”
Rany Jazayerli (@jazayerli, Twitter

“I don't know what the hell Aoki is doing. The great thing is, he doesn't know either.”
Craig Brown, @royalsauthority, Twitter

“Nori Aoki has three singles tonight on two swings.”
Andy McCullough, after Aoki’s third Twilight Zone single, @McCulloughStar, Twitter
GH: Aoki added a double in the ninth to give him a 4-for-4 day at the plate. And even that double was slashed at like he was thinking drag bunt but switched to ripping it just inside the third base bag.

“Clearly something (is going on). I thought I saw Billy Butler with his warmup on in the dugout (during the postgame celebration). I definitely think that Butler and Hosmer aren’t going to dinner. He certainly wasn’t front and center at the beginning of the dogpile – not that he had to be.”
Soren Petro, after a caller asked what is going on with Butler and if he refused to participate in the on-field celebration, 810 AM
GH: Butler didn’t get camera time after the game but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t celebrating with his teammates on the field. We really don’t know and I have not yet heard from anyone who was there that Butler shunned the postgame fun. Maybe Kevin Kietzman can tell us what Butler’s body language meant.

“We’ve got to get a playoff spot. Period.”
Jaime Bluma, 810 AM
GH: The march (or stumble) to the playoffs continues tonight. 7:10 at The K. The Royals are starting a journeyman pitcher from Perth, Australia in one of the franchise’s most important games in 30 years. Well, we are the Royals.

PS: I have been working on a Chiefs and college football OTC to post but these darn Royals just refuse to die. I will get a football post up later today.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Fire Ned Yost

Written 9/15/14

“Because I had confidence in Aaron Crow. That’s why. Aaron Crow’s inning is the sixth inning. Kelvin’s is the seventh.”
Ned Yost, when asked why he didn’t opt for Kelvin Herrera or another pitcher from his bullpen before Crow game up the game-deciding grand slam to Boston’s Daniel Nava Sunday afternoon, Kansas City Star
GH: THIS is the reasoning we get from the manager of a team in their first September pennant race in 29 years? He had confidence in the guy who he sent down to NW Arkansas last month to pitch in a game that may very well have decided the Royals’ postseason fate? Fire Ned Yost. Fire Ned Yost today. “Aaron Crow’s inning is the sixth inning.” What is this, Little League? Is Mrs. Yost up in the stands keeping track of how many innings the kids play? Fire Ned Yost. Milwaukee did it before he cost them their postseason. It is still not too late. Fire Ned Yost.

“(Aaron Crow’s) lease has run out for me. I’d rather see Bruce Chen out there than Aaron ‘Gas Can’ Crow. You can’t trust Aaron Crow right now with the baseball. When you’re building your postseason roster, you’ve got to have 25 guys on that roster that you can trust.”
Bob Fescoe, spoken about a month ago on his radio show, 610 AM
GH: I bring this quote up now because when Fescoe made these comments, Crow had proven to all who were watching that he could no longer be trusted in high-leverage situations. This was BEFORE the Royals sent him down to Arkansas. I would offer that we can no longer (and probably never could) trust Ned Yost in high-leverage situations. Fire Ned Yost.

“It’s frustrating that we were one out away from getting to Kelvin Herrera with a one-run lead. That was frustrating.”
Ned Yost, Kansas City Star
GH: Unbelievable. Yost sounds like he manages the game from a prerecorded game plan that Moses chiseled onto Ned’s head…or stone. There doesn’t appear to be a great deal of difference.

“He was an out away from using (Herrera)! Really? One out? We can’t afford to lose games in that situation.”
Mike Boddicker, 810 AM

“It’s not a big deal. Puts the double play in order.”
Aaron Crow, when asked about issuing a walk to the Red Sox power hitter Cespedes, Kansas City Star
GH: When a reliever has the attitude that a walk in the sixth inning of a one-run game is “not a big deal,” that reliever is not worthy of pitching in a pennant race. Sit Aaron Crow for the rest of the season and fire Ned Yost.

“Fourteen games left. Yeah, we’ve got plenty of time.”
Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City Star
GH: How can Cain or any player on September 14th think they have “plenty of time?” Cain should have tackled Crow when he started in from the bullpen and thrown his ass back over the wall. Fire Ned Yost.

“No. No. No.”
Ned Yost, when asked in his postgame if his team can afford to lose three of four games in September to one of the worst teams in the league, Fox 4
GH: Yost abruptly ended his postgame presser by quickly mumbling a thank you to the media and storming out of the room. What did Yost expect when your teams blows a four-run lead at home over the lowly Red Sox and then you choose to go with the one guy in your pen who appears to be writing a horror novel the second half of the season? Fire Ned Yost.

“Here’s the way I’m approaching it – they need to win every single game.”
Josh Klingler, when asked if he thinks the Royals need to win at least nine of their remaining games, 610 AM
GH: It sure would be nice if Yost approached the remaining games with that same resolve. He pitched Crow and left his best arms sitting in his bullpen? Maybe the best pen the Royals have ever had? Fire Ned Yost.

“The chance of a win gone (with Nava’s grand slam). Series split chances gone. And you hope the chance for the playoffs isn’t gone. If the sixth inning is really (Crow’s), they wouldn’t have sent him down to NW Arkansas earlier this year. They wouldn’t have sent him down. Yesterday, I thought the game was given away by Ned Yost.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: There has not been a more staunch supporter of Ned Yost in this city than Bob Fescoe. Even the Bulldog is calling out Yost on this one. Fire Ned Yost.

“Bury the hatchet! Stop your vendetta against Billy Butler. Play Billy Butler at DH the last two weeks! I don’t want to see Nori Aoki at DH instead of Billy Butler! And Butler has not been good this year. But you’ve got to play him.”
Steven St. John, on Yost’s decision to sit Butler down the stretch in favor of just about anyone, 810 AM
GH: Billy Butler needs to go off. I mean GO OFF! He needs to go on live TV and rip into Ned now. Waiting until after this house is burnt to the ground by Nedly will do us no good. Fire Ned Yost.

“If Ned Yost does get fired, everybody will point to that loss yesterday.”
Aaron Swarts, 810 AM
GH: I was planting Knock Out Roses in my front yard when Crow gave up the grand salami to Nava. It changed everything. The game and my hopes for the postseason. I know it’s not over until it is over but I will never forget how I felt listening to that radio call of that grand slam. Fire Ned Yost today. Tell him to remove every piece of Royals clothing he has in his possession and drive his ass to the Georgia border where he can have his tractor waiting so he can drive straight home as the Crow flies. Fire Ned Yost.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Big Game James comes through

Written 9/11/14

“(James Shields) pitches with emotion. Quite frankly, anything that will piss him off – I’m glad. Because it just makes him better. He has a real knack for pitching with a lot of emotion and being real successful doing it.”
Ned Yost, after James Shields shut down Detroit Wednesday night, Fox Sports KC
GH: This is the Ned Yost I can root for – the guy who talks from his heart and isn’t preoccupied with belittling the media or defending his decisions with arrogance. I don’t think Ned is built for a pressure-packed pennant race and that is going to eventually unravel his team’s chances at a World Series title. But I’ll be damned if I am going to quit watching, listening and rooting for his team despite his own self.

“I hope there is a night where the (Shields/Wil Meyers) trade shines even brighter – in the playoffs.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: I agree with Petro that I hope there are even bigger games this season where Shields is able to shine but this win on a rainy night in Detroit will certainly do for now. The Royals were reeling after two straight losses to the Tigers and Big Game James did just what he was brought to Kansas City to do – win big games in the heat of September. This game felt like few others have in many a year.

“I still think top to bottom on their roster (the Royals) are a better team than Detroit Tigers. Now, it would help to beat the Tigers head-to-head once in a while.”
Tom Verducci, MLB writer for Sports Illustrated, in an interview with Bob Fescoe Wednesday morning, 610 AM
GH: Verducci made his comments prior to the Royals win Wednesday night – but his words still should be considered telling. People around baseball are talking and thinking about our Royals in an ever better light than us locals. And when was the last time that happened?

“Only 16 games left, buddy.”
Nate Bukaty, on the Royals remaining regular-season schedule, 810 AM
GH: Nate’s comment this morning froze me. Just 16 regular season games left? Talk about each game meaning everything. Boston is here tonight for a four-game series at The K and then the White Sox come to town for three in a row. Then the Tigers come calling for a weekend to remember September 19, 20 and 21. Will those 10 games decide the ALC? Probably not. This race is heading for the final curve.

“If Oakland doesn’t make the playoffs, this could be the greatest collapse in the history of baseball.”
Buster Olney, MLB insider for ESPN, 810 AM
GH: Olney cted the fact that the A’s were considered by all as the best team in baseball before the All-Star break but have fallen into such despair since that they are in jeopardy of not even qualifying for the second wild-card spot. No team in baseball has had such a lead and such a safety net and not made it. Billy Beane Brain?

“Not many teams start off 0-1 and make the playoffs. I think I saw that 75% of the teams that start 0-1 don’t make the playoffs.”
Kevin Kietzman, after the Chiefs loss to Tennessee in their opener, 810 AM
GH: The Chiefs are far from mathematically eliminated but damn does it look like we are staring at one long ugly season.

“I refuse to believe that the Chiefs are this bad. I refuse to believe it.”
Adam Teicher, Chiefs beat writer for ESPN.com, 810 AM

“You lost your emotional leader on defense. You lost one of your workhorse guys in Mike Devito. My optimism has left the room, guys.”
Danan Hughes, on the season-ending injuries to two of the Chiefs’ defensive stalwarts, 610 AM

“It’s not all bad (for the Chiefs). What this team really needs is wide receivers. They should be drafting wide receivers every year.”
Deron Cherry, 810 AM
GH: Someone please relay that message to John Dorsey. I am starting Dwayne Bowe on my fantasy football team this week – yeah, I am desperate and it’s only week 2!

“(John) Dorsey is going to either get an extension or get fired for what he did in his first year. That’s the dirty little secret that nobody’s talking about.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: I don’t know how dirty or secret it is but Dorsey is already under some heat from the media and fans. It will not get any better if Peyton Manning goes Mile High on the Chiefs defense this Sunday.

“Things weren’t going all that well when (Jamaal Charles) was getting the ball – which no one is talking about.”
Adam Teicher, on all the complaints about Charles not getting enough touches against Tennessee, 810 AM
GH: That is a scary thought. What is Jamaal is no longer Jamaal? Even he was unable to make the Chiefs offensive line look even mediocre.

“I have always said that Andy Reid is the second biggest strength on this team behind Jamaal Charles.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: Gulp.

“One of the things we are proud of here on Between the Lines is that we like to advance the discussion.”
Kevin Kietzman, while discussing the Ray Rice story and how this is a private matter between a man and his wife, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman went on to mention how Ray Rice is a victim because he was videotaped. Huh? Kietzman continued to make statement after statement about Rice, his wife, and the entire incident that was based on nothing but his skewed perception of the crime – even to the point of saying he was sure Rice has not punched his wife since the elevator landed. Does this guy have a soul? Is he concerned about his own Mission Hills videotape being released?

“You know, (Maty) Mauk takes a lot of chances. He takes a lot more chances than he did last year. He can be a little reckless at times but I think it’s important for him to take chances during his growth to see what he can and can’t do.”
Gary Barnett, on Mizzou’s second-year QB, 810 AM
GH: Watching film of Mauk’s play from last week’s SEC Offensive POTW performance at Toledo, he does break some rules back there in the pocket. But we knew that. The only reason he may have been less reckless last season was he didn’t have the same opportunities against South Carolina and Florida as he did against Toledo. Let’s hope he can adjust his risk meter as the opposition stiffens.

“The term ‘great’ is just thrown around too casually. To be considered great, I believe you need to win a national championship. In college football it really sucks not to be able to call Bill Snyder great. I think both Bill Snyder and Virginia Tech’s Frank Beemer are on par or ahead of guys that have won national championships. But as a rule of thumb, to draw a line in the sand, I say you’ve got to win a championship.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Petro has retained this archaic measure of greatness for as long as I have known him. It was dumb 20 years ago and it is even dumber now. Bill Snyder isn’t just a “great” coach, he might be the greatest college football coach of all time – and for the next 100 years!

“If your friends haven’t figured it out yet, let them know that the switch is on to 610 Sports Talk Radio in Kansas City.”
Promo ad for 610 AM
GH: It seems like 610 rolls out one of these promos to let us know the switch is on every year or so for the past decade and more. What should be alarming to 610 is that the more they change, the more their competition stays the same. When was the last time 810 changed a lead voice on one of their four local weekday shows? When was the last time 810 changed a minor voice on one of their shows? The switch might be broken, boys.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Dyson 'loses focus,' gets picked off

Written 9/10/14

Headline in Wednesday’s Kansas City Star after the Tigers 4-2 Tuesday night
GH: The tag line for this Royals headline read, “Teams now tied for AL Central lead.” But the photo that accompanied this headline showed a frustrated Lorenzo Cain after he had struck out with two on in the second inning. While the Royals and Tigers might be “knotted up” in the ALC, the Royals appear to be the club that is also knotted up when it comes to nerves, clutch play and getting the job done in September.

“I haven’t really sensed a lot of it here in this series. And that’s a good thing.”
Ned Yost, when Bob Fescoe asked him about the Royals feeling pressure, 610 AM
GH: I don’t expect Yost to declare that his team is choking in Detroit but from the looks of his team’s defensive lapses, poor starting pitching and small-ball failures, one could surmise that knots are forming in the throats of the Boys in Blew…uh, Blue.

“You have to be locked onto the pitcher there. I guess I just lost my focus. … It was a do-or-die situation and I didn't get the job done.”
Jarrod Dyson, when asked to explain how Joe Nathan was able to easily pick him off second base in the top of the ninth inning in a 4-2 game, FoxSports KC
GH: I really do not want to rehash what most of us witnessed last night with Dyson being inserted into the ninth inning as a pinch runner and promptly getting picked off by a struggling Joe Nathan with the ease one would pick off a guy with a 15-foot lead…who happened to be in a wheelchair…and was stuck in the mud. Dyson is the Royals Lin Elliott. He has shown the team just how poorly he performs in clutch late-season base-running situations and yet Ned Yost refuses to belief what his eyes are telling him. Spoiler alert:  It didn’t work out real well for the Chiefs.

“How do you lose focus? He was in the game for two minutes! … The Royals think Dyson was in Nathan’s head? No. Nathan was in Dyson’s head. Detroit wasn’t rattled.”
Steven St. John, on the theory that Yost inserted Dyson to mess with Nathan’s head, 810 AM
GH: Listening to Jarrod Pay-Per-View Dyson’s interviews over the years, I cannot imagine there was much room left over inside his noggin once Nathan took up residence.

“I really didn’t have any problem with Hosmer’s at bat right there.”
Ned Yost, after Fescoe asked him about Hosmer looking bad striking out against Scherzer, 610 AM
GH: There is clearly a difference in how Ned has chosen to protect Hosmer and Moose but then distance himself from Billy Butler. As Greg Schaum tweeted today, who could imagine that the Royals would play their most meaningful September series in years against Detroit and neither Billy Butler nor Denny Matthews would be a part of it?

“It’s pretty hard to pinch hit from inside the doghouse.”
Nate Bukaty, on why Billy Butler was not used as a pinch hitter Tuesday night, 810 AM
GH: I have no idea if Butler would be doing any better with the lumber than the rest of this feeble Royals lineup – but how can you sit him now? In September? Against Detroit? Billy needs to go Reggie Jackson on Yost and risk getting his ass kicked for the good of the team.

“The only way one of these guys is going to take a ball out of the park is to put one in their pocket and take it back to the hotel with them.”
Mike Boddicker, on the lack of home-run hitting power on the Royals roster, 810 AM

 “It’s a 19-game season now and we need to sprint to the finish and beat them by a step.”
Ned Yost, 610 AM
GH: Preferably with Dyson doing his sprinting in warmups.

“I think (Danny Duffy) is only going to miss one start. It might be two. … We’re going to make sure he’s raring to go. We’re not going to take any chances with him.”
Ned Yost, 610 AM
GH: If Yost is able to win the ALC with Duffy’s rotator cuff  injury, Omar Infante playing and hitting like Venus de Milo, Greg Holland on permanent day-to-day status and Billy Butler on the bench – then I will never criticize him again…or at least until the postseason starts.

“I haven’t done any of my homework. I’m a little preoccupied with something else.”
Ned Yost, when asked by Fescoe who he was taking in his NASCAR fantasy draft, 610 AM

“Do not get swept! Do not get swept!”
Al Wallace, on his advice for the Royals in their three-game series in Detroit, Fox 4

“Today, in my opinion, is the Royals first must win. I am aware that mathematically it is not. But mentally where this team is – this is a must win.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Both Gary Lezak and Yost mentioned that there is a strong possibility that tonight’s Royals/Tigers game will be rained out – or it’s game time will be severely hampered by thunderstorms.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


TMZ scoops the NFL insiders

Written 9/8/14

“A 24-hour cable network devoted to sports couldn't hold the NFL accountable. But a gossip website/syndicated TV show did.”
@jasoncherkis, on TMZ breaking the story on the Ray Rive video inside the elevator, Twitter
GH: The question isn’t whether or not ESPN or any of the other sports-related media could or could not have produced that video from inside the elevator. The question is why they chose not to. As Mark Mangino so aptly stated years ago – “You know what this is all about? Dollar signs.”

“Always, this story would have to be broken by someone outside the league's purview, which meant that the likes of Adam Schefter, Chris Mortensen, Peter King and Jay Glazer - those insiders feeding us morels of preapproved info - were never going to get this scoop. They are not outside the NFL's culture. They inhabit it.”
Mike Sielski, columnist, on TMZ breaking the Ray Rice video, Philadelphia Enquirer
GH: What a deliciously perfectly worded description of those NFL insiders who are far more NFL carnival barker than NFL tipsters. TMZ is looked down upon by the mainstream media for dealing in gossip and paying their sources. I think all news sources deserve to be paid. When the media stops charging consumers to sample their product, then we can go back to expecting a news source to provide them with free information.

“I’ve always said this – what we do in the dark is eventually going to come to the light. It all comes out eventually.”
Herm Edwards, on the NFL turning a blind eye to the Ray Rice elevator video, 810 AM

“Whoever is asking those questions (of Ned Yost), is always trying to paint a negative tone around the Kansas City Royals. I think that was the dude from The Kansas City Star. An unearned run is a run!”
Bob Fescoe, after Andy McCullough asked Yost if he was concerned that the Royals win in New York was due to two unearned runs, 610 AM
GH: Fescoe has made his sports talk show host reputation by making outlandish statements and often playing the fool. What he does not seem to understand is that his constant homerism for local players, coaches and especially the teams that his radio station is contractually tied removes all credibility from him and his show. McCullough is simply doing his job when he asked Yost about his team’s lack of run scoring ability. For Fescoe to criticize The Star’s beat writer for doing his job is simply sad coming from a guy who actually went to college to study journalism.

“I think Phys has been awesome – AWESOME – on this road trip! With the excitement and making you want to be there!”
Bob Fescoe, on Physioc’s work as the Royals lead play-by-play voice this road trip while Denny Matthews remained back in KC, 810 AM
GH: If Fescoe truly believes Physioc has been AWESOME during this road trip, he is likely in the minority. Physioc’s work has replaced Rex Hudler’s as the most criticized on my Twitter feed. Not that Physioc doesn’t have his moments. Read on.

“Joba the Chamberlain. He looks like he just got out of a boxcar after traveling across the country in the Grapes of Wrath era. … He looks like Hagrid from Hogwarts in Harry Potter. Hair is just exploding out of his face, it’s not organized at all. He’s got orange shoes on. He’s a big bear of a man…”
Steve Physioc, describing Yankees’ reliever Joba Chamberlain as he pitched against the Royals Monday afternoon, Royals Radio

“The kind of guy who fishes without a fishing rod.”
Steve Stewart, chiming in on Physioc’s description of Chamberlain, Royals Radio
GH: By the way – how can Denny Matthews take this road trip off? Unless Matthews is ill or has some grave personal issues, he needs to be calling these games on the road in the first meaningful September for any Royals fan under the age of 40. It is called a pennant race, Denny. Time to strap up and get your game on.

“Biggest series of most of our lives coming up. #Royals
Carrington Harrison, @cdotharrison, on the Royals trip to Detroit this week, Twitter

“I looked down and wasn’t totally sure about that ball.”
Wyatt Thompson, who missed that Kansas State’s Randall Evans had ripped the ball from the Iowa State receiver and was credited with an interception, Wildcat Radio Network
GH: Stan Weber kept the radio audience informed as to what was happening on the field when he said, “Who’s got the ball?” I was left to listen to the K-State game at Ames and the Missouri game in Toledo on the radio last Saturday. With MU cruising most of the afternoon, I spent more time listening to Thompson’s and Weber’s call of KSU’s wild 32-28 comeback win at Iowa State. I was reminded again just how good Stan Weber is as a radio analyst. Thompson has a good radio voice but he misses more than he catches of the nuances of the game. Weber is simply like listening to a genius at work. He saved Thompson on this play – the most crucial play of the game. He also correctly predicted that ISU’s decision to begin spiking the ball to stop the clock on their final drive would be fatal in their own comeback effort. In a word, Weber was superb.

“Jake Waters? Amazing! Amazing running the football!”
Stan Weber, on the KSU quarterback’s game-winning TD run and incredible day in Ames, Wildcat Radio Network
GH: I knew Waters could throw, but who knew he was/is a miniature Collin Klein? Weber’s descriptions of him pausing and waiting to rush the line of scrimmage and then relating that to his work with Coach Klein on the practice field painted a picture in my mind of how Waters sliced up the Cyclone defense.

“Stop. Go. And then stop. Ohhhh, that is so tough to stop for the defensive back!”
Stan Weber, describing a successful pass route by KSU’s Tyler Lockett, Wildcat Radio Network
GH: Having played some defensive back in my day – but never having to cover anyone with the talents of Tyler locket – all I could do was whimper for the ISU defensive back. There is no hope of covering this route unless the pass rush succeeds.

“I think that’s a real nice win for (Kansas State). I think North Dakota State’s better than we think.”
Soren Petro, after K-State won a back-and-forth 32-28 battle in Ames the week after NDSU embarrassed Iowa State in a 34-14 loss, 810 AM
GH: This is a big win for Kansas State, despite ISU’s loss the week before to NDSU. It is a conference win on the road in the second week of the season – at one of the more unfriendly venues in the Big 12. There is no reason for the Cats to hang their helmets after this win.

“Winning the Big 10 is like being named the top chef at Olive Garden.”
@FakeSportsCenter, after the Big Ten spent the second week of the season making the other four months appear to be about as important as an intramural league, Twitter
GH: The gap between the cold-weather schools and the warm-weather schools appears to be growing at an alarming rate. Recruits continue to favor the sun and fun over the past and done.

“Right now – right now – (Eric Fisher) is horrible for being the number-one overall pick.”
Steven St. John, on the Chiefs’ starting left tackle, 810 AM
GH: If there is a local sports personality more upset about the Chiefs than SSJ – I have not heard or read them. St. John is in full Gunther mode this week.

“Donny Avery should not be on this roster anymore.”
Jeff Chadiha, ESPN NFL writer, on the Chiefs’ number-one receiver against Tennessee who garnered 13 targets from Alex Smith, 810 AM
GH: The more in-depth analysis I listen to this week about the Chiefs personnel decision making the more depressed I become over the home team’s chances this fall – or next. Could John Dorsey and Big Red really be this brain dead?

GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Rodney Harrison says the Chiefs are 'done'

Written 9/8/14

“The Kansas City Chiefs are done! After their very first game! Yes and I'm not exaggerating. You get your best player on defense, Derrick Johnson, he's out for the year. You play San Diego twice. You had the entire season to prepare for the Tennessee Titans and you have to play outside the division, the NFC West.”
Rodney Harrison, studio host for Football Night in America, NBC
GH: Harrison was not a believer in the Chiefs last season even after they bolted to a 9-0 start. He did not miss out on his first chance to hammer the inept-looking Chiefs after their 26-10 loss to the Titans. He was not alone. Read on.

“A lot of people felt like last year was a little bit of an aberration (with the Chiefs making the playoffs). I thought they were going to win today. I really did. I didn’t think Tennessee was ready for a whole new thing with Ken Whisenhunt. That’s probably got to be one of the more disappointing performances today by any team – especially one that made the playoffs last year.”
Boomer Esiason, studio host, CBS
GH: It wasn’t only the network talking heads who were disgusted with what they saw from Andy Reid’s Chiefs Sunday. Read on.

“(The Titans) came in and punched the Chiefs in the mouth from the very first play and the Chiefs gave in. … It looked very, very bad. It looked like we were in a fight and we backed down. We said, ‘Uncle! Uncle! Uncle!’”
Tim Grunhard, 810 AM
GH: Whoa! Those are harsh words from a Chiefs alum about his organization. If the Chiefs players care at all about the perception we as a city have about their play, Grunhard’s words should sting. “Uncle! Uncle! Uncle!” is not what you want to hear your team screaming in their home opener in what is supposed to be one of the NFL’s toughest venues.

“Who are you going to beat if you didn’t beat the Titans on your home field?”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: Are the Chiefs going to go 0-16? Probably not. But there were more than a few Chiefs fans discussing the possibility of KC once again drafting the first overall player in next year’s draft.

“It don’t look good. I’ve got to be honest with you. … I think it’s possible they get to 0-6.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM

“Andy's first half play calling was gross. 7 touches for Charles on 26 total plays. That's just not enough for your only play maker.”
Bob Fescoe, @bobfescoe, Twitter

“When you take your best player out of your offense, that’s never good. Andy lost sight of that and he admitted it. I always looked at it this way – my star players on offense were going to possess the ball.”
Herm Edwards, on the Chiefs only giving Jamaal Charles 11 touches against Tennessee, 810 AM
GH: Andy Reid again took a verbal beating after the Chiefs loss resembled much of his play calling from the second half of last-season’s devastating playoff loss to Indianapolis. And as he stated, he deserved every bit of the criticism.

“The (Titans) 3-4 defense, which looked so vulnerable during the preseason, was actually stout. The Titans made the Chiefs appear anemic and limited Jamaal Charles to 19 rushing yards. … The Titans hesitated to celebrate too much, however, in part because they got away with committing 12 penalties for 110 yards.”
Jim Wyatt, writer, Tennessean.com
GH: The Chiefs’ game plan made the Titans look like a playoff team. I am going to guess they are not even close.

“You can't say that anymore after 2012 RT @dpulley @ArrowheadPride This may be the worst season for KC in years!”
@ArrowheadPride, Twitter
GH: How unfortunate that our misery has so many recent layers from which to choose.

“I apologize for my voice today, folks. I don’t know what I’ve got – allergies?”
Kevin Harlan, on his deeper, raspier voice for the first Sunday of the NFL season, CBS
GH: It was obvious that Harlan’s voice was far from pristine for the opener but it was not so bad that he needed to back out of his Sunday assignment. What a nightmare it has to be for a guy who makes his living with his voice when he wakes up on an NFL Sunday and sounds like he is gargling frogs.

“We saw a lot of that today where (Alex Smith and his receivers) just were not on the same page. They did not look sharp in the preseason. … I think that’s the third interception thrown in the direction of Donny Avery.”
Rich Gannon, color analyst for Titans/Chiefs game, CBS
GH: Gannon did a good job pointing out the issues that the Chiefs offense faced in this game. Gannon is not a sugarcoated kind of analyst. He pretty much told us what his nose does – that the Chiefs stunk on Sunday.

“Hit and sacked again! The fourth sack for the Titans against this changed Kansas City offensive line.”
Kevin Harlan, network play-by-play voice for the Titans/Chiefs game, CBS
GH: Harlan could not have been kinder in choosing the word “changed” to describe the Chiefs rebuild but failing offensive line. A more accurate term would have been “inept.”

“Those of you that hate Alex Smith have no need to fret. He'll be dead by week 4.”
Johnny Coltrane, @Chief_Wildcat, Twitter

“They cleared out in a hurry in this stadium.”
Kevin Harlan, on the rapidly disappearing crowd at Arrowhead during the fourth quarter, CBS
GH: CBS was not shy in showing this wide-angle view of an almost empty Arrowhead. Good for the Chiefs fans. There is no reason to support an effort that is so weak one of their former players says it looked like the team was screaming, “Uncle!”

“The Chiefs got beat up from parking to play. I think the Chiefs organization is going to get piled on this week and probably the last thing they want to hear about is the parking situation.”
Tim Grunhard, 810 AM
GH: The parking woes at Arrowhead will be as much a reason as any to keep fans at home in front of their TVs instead of venturing out to the Truman Sports Complex. The Chiefs have struggled with this issue for years and their best solution has been to raise the parking fees each year. Brilliant.

“They are not built to play from behind. They are not an offense that is going to open it up and have Alex Smith throw forty times in a game. They want to rush (Jamaal) Charles, they want to play great defense, get turnovers and field position. They’ve been unable to do that (against Tennessee) through the first two quarters.”
Rich Gannon, CBS
GH: How can you build an NFL team that cannot mount a comeback? The Chiefs paid how much for Alex Smith to win from out front or not at all?

“I still think Derrick Johnson is an underrated linebacker – even though he is an All Pro. He is so instinctive and athletic. He is Bobby Bell-esque.”
Bill Maas, 610 AM
GH: A brutal loss for the Chiefs defense and a maybe even tougher injury for Derrick Johnson’s NFL career. A blown Achilles can be fatal to linebackers as seasoned as Johnson. His rehab will be tough just to get him to where he can comfortably walk next season.

"So Dee Ford non-factor, Philip Gaines non-factor. That's your first and second round picks this year.”
Aaron Swarts, @a_swarts, Twitter

“First-round pick Dee Ford only played three defensive snaps on Sunday. Third-round pick Phillip Gaines only played one.”
Terez A. Paylor, @TerezPaylor, Chiefs beat writer for The KC Star, Twitter
GH: John Dorsey has some explaining to do. He either decided to punt this season away in hopes his draft picks would be a long-term solution or his draft was a complete joke. Tell me again why the Chiefs did not need to draft a wide receiver?

“’Let's go Royals’ chant being yelled at Arrowhead as fans exit.”
Mike Lavieri, @mlavieri, Twitter
GH: Fescoe reported that the Chiefs failed to give even one score update of the Royals/Yankees game Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead for the entire afternoon. If true, the Chiefs are clueless about much more than drafting players, play calling and parking.

“(Sunday) the Chiefs did a 31 rating and a 59 share. The Royals on TBS did a .3 and a 5 share. The Royals were also on FoxSports Kansas City and that pulled a 5.9 and an 11 share. So the Chiefs first game of the year was watched by five times as many people who watched a very important Royals game. … People ask us all the time why we talk NFL so much. We talk NFL so much because there is a craving for the NFL. As much as you don’t like to say it, this is still an NFL-driven society.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM

“Jack (Harry) has decided to cut down his Sunday schedule. Jack decided to step away. (Chiefs Sundays) are a long day for Jack that can last until midnight. I’m sure we’ll hear from Jack from time to time.”
Danny Clinkscale, on Harry no longer starring on WHB’s Chiefs postgame radio show, 810 AM
GH: I for one have heard enough from Mad Jack to last me until the Chiefs are good again. In other words, I’m good for now and probably quite some time.

“Always on opening day there seems like are three or four games where you just scratch your head. You just got to let it go and see what happens next week.”
Herm Edwards, 810 AM
GH: What else can we do but wait to see what happens next week and beyond? It’s not like we can all move to Denver.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24



Written 9/5/14

“I’m just ready for it all to be real.”
Dontari Poe, Chiefs nose tackle, when asked by Soren Petro if he was tired of the preseason, 810 AM
GH: So are we, Dontari. So are we. Kickoff is at noon Sunday at Arrowhead. I can smell the BBQ wafting over I-70 now.

“Nothing but the highest (of expectations) from me. I feel like I’ve got to get better each year. If I’m not being the best I can be, I’m not doing something right. I think I had an okay year but it’s not by far the best I can do.”
Dontari Poe, when asked by Petro what his expectations are for the season, 810 AM
GH: We are just starting to really get to know Mr. Poe. You have to like his style.

“Man, you’re going to be fatigued whether you’re playing 20 plays or 60. So you just got to fight through it.”
Dontari Poe, when asked by Petro about him leading all NFL defensive linemen last season in the number of snaps he played, 810 AM

“I’m not a very good poker player. You can usually look at me and know what I’m thinking. The players could tell after the (South Dakota State) game that even myself, I was disappointed.”
Gary Pinkel, when asked by Kevin Kietzman about his team’s play Saturday in their 38-18 win over SDSU, 810 AM

“Toledo doesn’t get many chances to be on ESPN. Their fans and their crowd will go absolutely crazy! It still boils down to Mizzou, Kevin, and how we’re going to play. … This is about Missouri. This is about how we play and how we compete. That’s certainly where we’re going to keep our focus.”
Gary Pinkel, on assessing Toledo’s strengths and the raucous atmosphere MU expects to encounter Saturday at Toledo, 810 AM

“I saw (the betting line) all the way down to 4.5. I’m worried about the Missouri Tigers this week. I just don’t have a good feeling.”
Danny Parkins, on the Vegas odds favoring MU by only 4.5 points this Saturday at Toledo, 610 AM

“If you’re not good enough to beat Toledo, you’re not good enough to win the SEC East anyway.”
Soren Petro, responding to the hand-wringing coming out of Mizzou about having to play at Toledo on Saturday, 810 AM
GH: Mizzou should be past fretting over teams from the MAC. Yes, they need to take the Rockets seriously and then walk out of there with a 2-0 record and their undefeated non-con intact.

“If Missouri loses this game, they are OUT of the playoffs! They are done! I don’t care what they do! They can win the SEC but that committee is not going to take a one-loss Missouri team that lost to Toledo over a one-loss Oregon team that lost to Stanford. They’re just not!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman has gone a bit mad this week. He either needs a vacation or to maybe a driving tour of Mission Hills under the stars. If Missouri goes undefeated in the SEC and is the SEC champ, they are in the playoffs – no matter how much it might upset Kietz’s world.

“Missouri - South Dakota State commercial count: 23. That's 5-6 more than the average game on ESPNU last year.”
@n00nkick, Twitter
GH: College football is now a four-hour event – and that’s merely from kickoff to the final whistle. I don’t really mind the longer games except that there are so many other games I want to watch. MU kicks off Saturday at 11:00 AM and KSU at Iowa State is at noon. Nebraska is another team I want to watch and they have a noon kickoff as well. The good news is you can watch them all for the price of a decent cable/satellite contract. The bad news is you will go nuts trying to see each snap live.

“I don’t see them getting exposed like they were last year. I have very high expectations for our defense.”
Charlie Weis, on his Kansas Jayhawks debuting on Saturday night against SE Missouri State, 810 AM

“I’m looking for our team to come out there and from the start of the game until the end of the game, I want to see them play a nice crisp game and let the chips fall where they may.”
Charlie Weis, 810 AM
GH: Weis has been quoted this week saying his team will be disappointed if they don’t win “significantly more game” this season. The Jayhawks were 3-9 last season. Three more wins would be significant and place KU in a bowl – and save Weis’ job. Anything less and KU football starts over next season – again.

“My social life comes last. I just try to focus on sports and football.”
Montel Cozart, KU’s starting quarterback, in an interview with Carrington Harrison, 610 AM
GH: Cozart failed to mention his education but I am sure that was next on his list of priorities.

“The chemistry of our team is a lot better than last year. We’re all on the same page.”
Montel Cozart, 610 AM
GH: Be in Lawrence at 6:00 PM to watch the improved chemistry of the Jayhawks take on SEMO. I am going to try and get down to L-Town for this one. Hope you have the chance to take in a college or pro game this weekend as well. Looks like the weather is going to smell like autumn and feel like football.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24



Written 9/5/14

“I don’t want to read too much into this… I didn’t like the look of Alex Gordon (Wednesday) night.”
Kevin Kietzman, who then proceeded to read a lot into Alex Gordon’s postgame reaction to he and Terrance Gore being interviewed by Joel Goldberg Wednesday night as he was soaked with Gatorade twice by Salvador Perez, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman has to fill 20 hours of radio time each week and that can be a challenge when his show follows eight hours of live shows that basically cover the same players, teams and topics. For this reason KK likes to stretch the boundaries of reason, common sense and reality from time to time in an attempt to be unique. Another way to put it is to say sometimes he just makes shit up. This would be one of those times. Read on.

“(Gordon) almost seemed annoyed that Gore was getting the attention and was getting splashed with the Gatorade bucket. … I don’t think Alex Gordon ever looked at Terrance Gore (during his postgame interview with Joel Goldberg Wednesday night). I don’t think he ever smiled, patted him on the back, whatever. … He didn’t want to be there. I don’t know what that was about.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: A better question is what is KK’s rant out Alex Gordon all about? Why does Kietzman despise Gordon? It can’t be just because he is from Nebraska, can it? Did Gordon not genuflect in front of Kietz in The K’s parking lot back in 2009? Whatever is fueling Kietzman’s constant attack on the Royals perennial All-Star and Gold-Glove winning leftfielder, someone close to KK should let him know just how foolish and ridiculous he sounds by perpetuating his Gordon grudge.

“To a lot of people this sounds unthinkable, trust us on this. Trust us. … I think it’s a very interesting topic. When you start bringing in guys who they don’t know their name? It’s a whole different deal. I don’t want to make too much of it…”
Kevin Kietzman, after explaining his belief that the veteran players on the Royals are upset with the expanded roster and having to travel, locker alongside and find playing time for the call ups, 810 AM
GH: When Kevin Kietzman tells me to “trust us” on something, I run the other way like I was Terrance Gore trying to avoid a Gatorade bath.

“Now Gordo’s not a high-high, lo-low guy. He’s very even-keeled and whatever, so I don’t want to read too much into it…”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Trust us, Kietzman LOVES to read too much into his fairytale scenarios. Read on.

“He had his arms crossed. You talk to any person who studies sociology and arms crossed is a defensive position. ‘I don’t like what you’re asking me. I don’t like the person next to me. I’m very guarded right now. I don’t like this.’ That’s the posture of ‘I’m not real pleased with my position.’ Everybody knows that. … It was a weird dynamic as I’m watching this thing. It did not feel right.”
Kevin Kietzman, on Gordon standing with his arms crossed during his postgame interview with Joel Goldberg, 810 AM
GH: I have to wonder what a person who studies sociology would say about a guy like Kietzman who twistedly turns Gordon’s celebratory postgame interview after he had hit a two-run homer after the Royals swept the Rangers into a negative, narcissistic and egomaniacal depiction of Gordon. 

“I could totally be reading too much into this. I’m not stating this as fact…”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: For some reason KK believes that if he repeats this disclaimer often enough, it allows him to basically make up any story and air it to his audience. Very professional.

“For some guys, trust me, having a guy like Terrance Gore that’s five-foot-six on the team that really can’t do anything except run on the bases, is an insult to what they do for a living. I think there are some of these (Royals) players going, ‘We worked out butt off to get into first place and this thing’s become a three-ring circus with Gore out there stealing bases and all these pinch runners?’ I think somewhere at least in the back of their minds they’ve got to be thinking that. I know Billy Butler does. If he’s coming out that early in a game (for a pinch runner), he doesn’t like what he sees.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman may have overstepped his microphone cord by stating, “. I know Billy Butler does.” KK has stated in the past how he considers Butler a personal friend. If Butler is confiding in Kietzman that he is unhappy with the number of players that the Royals have called up then Butler deserves to be outed on the radio. BUT…if Kietzman is just talking out of his ass and throwing Butler’s name out there as one of the disgruntled veteran Royals without any facts – then the other owners at WHB need to step in and put a sock in Kietzman’s make-believe radio world. Either that or wait for Billy Butler and the Royals to do so.

“We would have probably flushed their heads in a toilet and pulled their socks down.”
Kevin Kietzman, when asked by Danny Clinkscale how he would have reacted in high school if his baseball coach had promoted a number of JV players up to the varsity for their state title run, 810 AM
GH: Isn’t Kietzman the guy complaining about Grunhard and Maas flushing his ego in WHB’s toilet?

“I for one thought they should have found a way to keep Bruce Chen on the team. If everything they said about him (as a locker-room presence) is true…”
Frank White, 810 AM
GH: I agree with Frank. Chen is washed up (at least for this season) as a contributing pitcher but he could have been a nice locker room presence and comic relief for Yordano Ventura and the club during the pressure month of September.

“LOATHE with a capital ‘E’ at the end! We call them the ‘Skankees’ for a reason.”
Mike Mcfarlane, when asked by Steven St. John if he hates the Yankees, 810 AM
GH: Three games in NYC with the Yankees is a great way to start off one heckuva sports weekend here in Kansas City. BTW, “Beat the Skankees” would make a great T-shirt Tuesday slogan next season.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24



Written 9/4/14

“I think (Alex Gordon) is establishing himself as one of the greats of this organization.”
Ned Yost, prior to Gordon hitting a two-run homer Wednesday night to give the Royals a sweep over the Texas Rangers, 610 AM
GH: We have seen this before in Kansas City where a stoic player steps up and carries a team through clutch situation after clutch situation. George Brett did it for most of his 21 seasons here in Kansas City. Alex Gordon has done it for the last month. Oh, but what a month it has been. And what a month yet awaits.

“When you get to the playoffs, legacies are changed with 20 at bats.”
Danny Parkins, while discussing the possibility of Alex Gordon becoming legendary with a successful run through the postseason, 610 AM
GH: Gordon is a nice story outside of Kansas City but he isn’t really discussed with any seriousness about being one of the game’s superstars. But Parkins makes an excellent point in how that could change with a Brett-like October this fall. Okay, maybe I’m dreaming – but DO NOT WAKE ME!

“The name that comes to mind when you say that is Carlos Beltran.”
Carrington Harrison, responding to Parkins’ comment above, 610 AM

“I've watched a lot of September games where a contender took advantage of a team with nothing to play for. Just never from this perspective.”
Rany Jazayerli, @jazayerli, after the Royals swept the Rangers with their third consecutive win Wednesday night, Twitter

GH: I think we all know the perspective from which Rany speaks. All too well as a matter of fact. This side of the glass is far more enjoyable.

“I like baseball. I do. I know they want to speed up the game, so here’s the thing. If you’re batting .215 and you suck, you have to stay in the batter’s box. You don’t get to get out and do your gloves every time, because you’re not good enough to do that. If it’s like Ventura versus Cabrera, then I’m alright with Cabrera stepping out (of the box). God love the Greek guy, but Moustakas, you’ve got to stay in the box, man! You can’t be doing your gloves all the time because you’re not good enough! You’re killing me, Smalls!”
Lazlo, 96.5 The Buzz
GH: I would like to see a T-Shirt Tuesday at The K with the slogan, “God love the Greek guy!” screen printed on the giveaways.

“The same with pitchers. If you suck, you don’t get to walk around the mound, kick your feet, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Especially if you’re pitching against someone else who sucks. I kind of understand if you’re going against somebody awesome and you suck. But if it’s just two crappy people – you’ve got to go.”
Lazlo, 96.5 The Buzz

“Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker has been suspended for reportedly taking the drug ecstasy at the Kentucky Derby. Well, he thought he was at the Kentucky Derby – turns out it was just a merry-go-round at the park.”
Jimmy Fallon, Fallon Tonight

“I was telling someone else today that I think everyone in America needs to experience a game at Arrowhead because it's something special. The fact that the first game is a home game means it's going to be off the chain. The fans will be there before we even have to report to the stadium. There's going to be music, tailgating, and the whole parking lot is going to be smoked out with barbeque. That gets the juices flowing for us before we even step on the field. You feel like you can't be stopped with that sea of red behind you.”
Eric Berry, Chiefs safety, arrowheadpride.com
GH: Berry played in the SEC where many believe football is more sacred than even most NFL cities. Nice to hear Kansas City can hold its own in fandom anywhere.

“What I keep hearing from all these media people is, ‘Andy Reid! And Reid! Andy Reid!’ Everybody likes Andy Reid. Well, Andy Reid doesn’t play football! … The way this schedule shakes out and what happened those last seven games last year leaves me second guessing of what they are capable of doing.”
Jack Harry, 810 AM
GH: I am HOPING that Andy Reid makes a difference and that the Chiefs preseason was nothing more than smoke – or was that the Chiefs offensive line?

“They’re not going to go 6-10 without injuries or terrible fortune or something really bizarre happening. They’re going to be better than that.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman is as high on the Chiefs as anyone – including Mitch Holthus. So you could say he is Wes Welker high.

“I don’t care who it is (you’re playing), you want to come out and be hitting on all cylinders. … Let’s zero in and let’s get this first one.”
Alex Smith, on the Chiefs opener Sunday against the Titans, 810 AM

“(Randy Covitz) is one of the two people who are pleasant to me. He’s very nice to me, that’s all.”
Steven St. John, prior to playing an audio clip of the Kansas City Star beat writer from Wednesday’s Chiefs presser, 810 AM
GH: Nate Bukaty poked SSJ back by mentioning that his less-than-welcoming demeanor might be the reason other members of the media steer clear of The Beard at Chiefs’ gatherings. The Kansas City Star is full of nice guy writers. Mellinger, Gregorian, Kerkhoff, Paylor, etc. are all easy-going sweethearts. Who are the nice guys in radio? Carrington Harrison never met a person he didn’t like. Todd Leabo gets along with just about anybody. Who is on your nice-guy media list? Or better yet, your jerk media list?

“If you've lost track, Texas is down its starting QB, starting center and both starting tackles since last weekend.”
Stewart Mandel, @SIMandel, after yet more suspensions announced by Texas first-year coach, Charlie Strong, Twitter
GH: It will be very interesting to see if Texas has the stomach for what Charlie Strong thinks needs to be done in Austin. With Texas A&M looking like an SEC power, the Horns will not want to play second chair to the Aggies no matter how cleansed their football program becomes.

“At the rate Charlie Strong is going, Bevo is going to be suspended/dismissed any day now.”
Pat Forde, @YahooForde, after the Texas head coach suspended the Longhorns two starting offensive tackles, Twitter

“For 44 minutes, we actually played pretty darn well. We gave nothing away. We give up a cheap goal, and now all of a sudden it changes the course of the game.”
Peter Vermes, on his club’s 3-1 loss in Foxborough, Kansas City Star
GH: This is a far different approach from the usually tough-talking Vermes after a Sporting loss. This sounds more like the excuses we have come to expect from the Royals and Chiefs.

“Nobody is jumping off @SportingKC bandwagon. It's not a bandwagon it's a family. Good times and bad. Good times and bad. #IBelieve
Lazlo, @lazlothebuzz, after Sporting dropped their third straight game Wednesday night in a 3-1 loss to New England, Twitter
GH: Sporting Kansas City needs more real fans and less of these gooey family fans like Lazlo. The club just got waxed in their last three games and nobody has the stones to criticize the coach, the players or the franchise? Time to be a real professional sport and feel comfortable hammering the home team when they play below expectations.

Greghall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24



Written 9/2/14

“After an intense and largely secretive day of negotiations, the Chiefs and Smith have worked out a four-year, $68 million extension. Per a league source, Smith gets $30 million guaranteed at signing.  Another $15 million in injury-only guarantee vests in March 2015. … Now, Smith has a contract that is much, much (did I say much?) better than the team-friendly deal that Kaepernick signed earlier this year.”
Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk.com
GH: Okay, this surprised me. The experts led us to believe that the Chiefs would franchise Smith after this season and then cut him loose after next year in favor of Andy Reid’s next QB project – hopefully Aaron Murray. It looks like the 30-year-old Smith is the QB who will make or break Andy Reid’s and John Dorsey’s legacy here in Kansas City.

“John Dorsey is onboard with the (Alex Smith) deal or else it wouldn’t have gotten done. Who is the alpha male at One Arrowhead Drive? It is clearly Andy Reid. This is an Andy Reid move. My question is why hurry? Why hurry to hitch your wagon to Alex Smith.”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM

“Kansas City GM John Dorsey did the right thing Sunday evening, putting the finishing touches on a four-year contract extension for Alex Smith that will pay him, on average, $15.1 million over the next five years. (That includes his $7.5-million salary this year, the last year of the contract he signed in San Francisco before being traded to Kansas City 17 months ago.) … Folks, it’s okay to change your minds about a player. Alex Smith of 2014 isn’t Alex Smith of 2007. He’s a pretty good player. Not the best quarterback in football. Not in the top five, or the top 10 probably. But on a given day, he can play with any quarterback, and he’s certainly not the impediment to winning that so many people in Football America view him to be. He’s going to complete 64 percent or so of his throws, he’s going to limit mistakes, and he’s going to give Kansas City a good chance to win most Sundays. In this current landscape at quarterback, with the alternatives the Chiefs faced (Aaron Murray in 2015 or ’16, or Chase Daniel, or some other draftee or retread), Dorsey made a smart move.”
Peter King, SI.com

“John Dorsey is still a tremendous unknown as a general manager and as a drafter. Do you really think (Smith) would have been more expensive if they would have waited a year?”
Soren Petro, 810 AM

“I don’t see any reasonable alternative to this. That’s part of the problem.”
Adam Teicher, discussing the Chiefs decision to sign Alex Smith, 810 AM

“It was a priority of ours to get this deal done and keep Alex in a Chiefs uniform long-term. Alex is a proven leader on and off the field. He is a special individual with a lot of ability, and we are fortunate to have him here.”
John Dorsey, Chiefs GM, ESPN.com
GH: I like Smith more than most. But his talent may not be enough with the offensive line and limited receiver corps that Dorsey and Reid have provided him here in KC. I don’t think saving $1.5 million by cutting Ryan Succop is going to be the answer to filling those holes.

“He just kind of came in and captured everybody with his ability. He doesn’t say much. He just lines up. He gave us every confidence that he could do it.”
Andy Reid, on the Chiefs decision to cut placekicker Ryan Succop in favor of the undrafted rookie Carlos Santos out of Tulane, 610 AM
GH: The Brazilian-born Santos is one of the Chiefs preseason’s best stories – not that there were a lot from which to pick.

“Wow…don't know where to start. What an awesome 5 yrs in KC! I loved every minute of being a @KCChiefs. So blessed to have played for such a great organization, fans, coaches & teammates. Too many great memories to count. Thank you Kansas City! #blessed #thankful.”
Ryan Succop, @ryansuccop, Twitter
GH: Succop’s classy email should be a template for other professional athletes on how to depart a franchise and a city. Succop has since signed with Tennessee – the Chiefs opponent this Sunday at Arrowhead.

“I still have a lot of questions about Dontari Poe. Am I the only one who has questions about Dontari Poe? Is he going to be a destructive force (in the Chiefs defensive line) throughout the entire season? I like Dontari Poe, I just think he has something to prove. He was mostly a non-factor the second half of the season. Am I the only one who saw that?”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Steven St. John and Nick Leckey quickly reminded Bukaty that Poe played almost 400 more snaps than any other NFL defensive tackle last season. While Poe may have worn down last November and December, his play will be key to getting the Chiefs pass rushers a lane to the QB.

“Put me on the island with Nate. I think he’s got a lot to prove. I think it’s time for Dontari Poe and to get better production out of that defensive line.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM

“I think the (Chiefs) secondary is brutal! It’s the worst I can remember as a Kansas City Chiefs fan.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: All the more reason for Poe and the Chiefs pass rush to get to the quarterback.

“I think Bob Sutton is a great coach but if it’s not working, it’s not working and you have to do something else.”
Adam Teicher, on the Chiefs defensive coordinator, 810 AM

“I think we’ll get better as we get more familiar with each other and play together throughout the season. That doesn’t mean we’re a bad group to start.”
Andy Reid, in an interview Monday with Bob Fescoe and Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: Fescoe and Klingler used Labor Day to get in some private time with the Chiefs head coach and it paid off with some quality sound and comments that didn’t have the annoying locker room or press conference ambient noise. Reid sounded upbeat but that is one of Big Red’s best attributes. He is a master at handling the media and his outward emotions.

“We were the second youngest team in the National Football League last year.”
Andy Reid, responding the Fescoe asking him what he learned from the Chiefs loss at Indianapolis in last season’s playoffs, 610 AM
GH: Reid listed some other things he learned in that disappointing collapse at Indianapolis but the youthfulness of his team was the second item (excuse?) he mentioned. Does that mean his team will be better this season after another year of experience? If so, they have an odd way of displaying their improvement.

“I love that even-keel attitude with Andy Reid. I made that Ned Yost comparison.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Is Ned Yost even-keeled? It is true that he refuses to criticize his players and he is very predictable in what he is going to say at a press conference. But he strikes me more as a guy who detests the part of his job that requires him to speak to the media than someone who has a handle on his emotions.

“The Chiefs’ performance in the second half of last season was more true to the makeup of their roster than what we saw in the first half. A winning record will be tough to achieve in 2014.”
Peter King, SI.com
GH: Nine wins is a winning record in the NFL. I think the Chiefs will struggle to win six. I am hoping to be surprised.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24



Written 8/27/14

“On a glorious night for the Royals, Ned Yost manages to dump on the fans”
Headline for Sam Mellinger’s column in Wednesday’s Kansas City Star
GH: Mellinger’s column touched off a firestorm of local sports talk along with the national media picking up on his column’s theme. Want some irony? Here was the headline for Sam’s column the day before… “This team still deserves to get its share of some national attention.” Okay then…

“It’s the most dramatic win of a spectacular-so-far season, the kind of moment we’ll remember in five weeks if this thing heads into the playoffs — and then, dang-it if manager Ned Yost didn’t take away from the whole thing with a clumsy, misguided, insulting and out-of-touch whine about only 13,847 people showing up on a school and work night with temperatures into the 90s. First came the sarcasm. ‘I mean, what, 13,000 people got to see a great game?’ he said in his post-game news conference.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: Did Yost mean his words to be taken as sarcasm? We might never know. I do know that Jeffrey Flanagan used the same term in his game story on FoxSports.com to describe Ned’s comments about the fans. Read on.

“(Yost) was asked if he expected more people at the game, and let’s include his whole answer so he can’t claim to be misquoted, or taken out of context:”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: Mellinger did not have to do this – as most columnists would not give up the space  post Yost’s comments verbatim in their column. I saw this as Mellinger’s attempt to be fair. Not all those who read Mellinger agreed with me – some I will address later in this column. Read on for Ned’s comments in written form.

“We’re in a pennant race, yeah. We’ve been working on trying to build this team for the last three or four years to put ourselves in a position where we can contend for a championship. And not only the division, but we want to contend for a world championship. It’s really, really important we have our fans behind us at the stadium. I know it’s a school night. But I’ve been through this before in Atlanta (when the Braves first made the playoffs) in ‘91, where it didn’t matter what night it was, that place was packed at the end of August and September. The fans really got into it. I know there’s different things you can do. You can watch it on the Internet. You can watch it on TV. But there’s a real need for our fans to be a part of this. We had a great crowd last night, and I was kind of hoping we’d have another great crowd tonight, and we really didn’t. They’re a big part of our success, especially at home. Because the electricity they provide, the energy they provide, helps you get through games like this. You know? We’ve been working hard to make our fans happy and make our fans proud for a lot of years, and we’d like them out here to enjoy a night like this with us. Because this was a special night. This was a fun night. I just wish there could’ve been more out here to enjoy it with us.”
Ned Yost, Kansas City Star
GH: I have heard Yost’s same words replayed on the radio today and I came away agreeing with Mellinger. Yost sounded frustrated with the small crowd at The K Tuesday night and he took this opportunity to voice his displeasure.

“What a stupid thing to say, on so many levels, and I’m writing this on deadline so I’ll stick to the stupidest. First, Yost is dead wrong. Laughably wrong. And this isn’t about his contention that the ‘electricity’ of the home crowd helps a team that is now 4-6 in front of crowds more than 30,000 at home and just had its signature win of the season in front of fewer than 14,000. It’s not even about the fact that a manager fired six years ago with 12 games left and his team holding a playoff spot at least in part because he wasn’t handling pressure well might not want to pick unnecessary fights with fans after the best win of the season.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: I don’t believe Yost intended to pick a fight with Royals fans but he definitely did just that. Bringing up his time in Atlanta isn’t really going to play well here in Merriam and Blue Springs where folks have been dragged through two generations of awful baseball.

“All due respect to Yost’s three or four years of hard work, but the fans he’s talking down to had their hearts broken long before he came here and will be here long after he’s gone. Maybe he should give them some slack if a great five weeks of baseball hasn’t swayed a generation of stink just yet.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: I love to read my local newspaper columnist standing up for the fans in the face of an arrogant manager. Mellinger scored big with me with today’s column. Others, not so much. Read on.

“I think there is a lot of irresponsible journalism going on right now and it’s painting Ned in a negative position. Inaccurate! Inaccurate! We do it for headlines. We do it for (sound) clips. He did not rip the fans! … It’s the first relevant column that Mellinger has written in three years. … That column by Skip Mellinger is irresponsible, man! Irresponsible! For those of you who complain about Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless, we’ve got Sam Bayless and Stephen A. Mellinger right here in the Kansas City Star today!”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Fescoe and his sidekick, Josh Klingler, fashioned most of their Wednesday morning show around attacking Mellinger and his column on Ned. It was entertaining if misguided radio. Read on.

“The story around the country is, ‘Yost rips fans after walk-off win.’ Congratulations to The Star. They did exactly what they need to do to stay relevant. … Ned Yost did not rip the fans! (Mellinger) heard Ned’s comments differently than I heard them. Congratulations to him. Your job is to create a stir and you created a stir. I think falsely though. Falsely.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: Fescoe and Klingler ripped a page out of Kevin Kietzman’s playbook Wednesday morning with their attempt to take the opposite side of a local story and attempt to be controversial. They came off sounding like they worked for the Royals Radio rights holder and homers. And not the good kind of homers.

“I think we’re the responsible ones here, letting people hear what Ned said!”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: This from the guy who has made national news with his over-the-top rants about the local teams.

“I do question Kansas City, though. I’m wondering what it is going to take for Kansas City to go (to Royals games). It seems like we have a lot of built-in excuses. We have just moved on from making going to a Royals game a priority. What’s it going to take to bring everybody back to the ball park because it’s not just the winning right now.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: Klingler sounds like he is trying to beat both sides of the drum. He admonishes Mellinger for his takes on Yost criticizing the fans but then rips the fans himself for not showing up.

“Why is it so many #Royals followers on twitter want this thing not to succeed?”
Josh Klingler, @joshklingler, Twitter
GH: One of my favorite responses to Klingler above tweet came from Kelly Zumbehl (@Brostyleoffense), “I watched that chiefs colts game, we just know how this story ends.”

“The average fan doesn't have four hours to spend going to and from the ballpark on a friggin' Tuesday.”
Brian, @BrianMcGannon, Twitter
GH: I went for a walk with my wife in the second inning. We walked past a dad and his two young sons playing kick ball in a cul-de-sac. All three wore Royals t-shirts. The oldest son, about six years old, proclaimed himself to be Alex Gordon as he let fly a boot and circled the imaginary bases. When we returned about 30 minutes later, the family was heading inside and I said, “Hope the Royals can get a win over the Twins tonight.” The father responded by saying, “I am hoping they have built a big lead for us to watch the rest of the game.” Not everybody can go to the ball park. But that doesn’t mean this city is not engaged in what is happening there.

“I'm embarrassed I called out Orioles fans tonight. Attendance at The K was pathetic.”
Jeff Rosen, @jeff_rosen88, KC Star sports editor, Twitter

“Royals draw 13,000, Detroit draws 40,000…just sayin'… Tigers..8 straight sellouts…”
Frank Boal, @realfrankboal, Twitter

“I'm with Ned. Attendance needs to be higher during this run. 13k last night doesn't cut it. Enjoy the ride. Go to games. Be a baseball town.”
Johnny Kane, @johnnykaneKMBC, Twitter
GH: The media ripping the local fans for not attending games is so old-fashioned and pro-business that it embarrasses me that this is our media.

“Dear Ned, Don’t be disappointed. We’ve suffered 30 yrs. This is new to us in KC. WE love the Royals. 13,847 saw something amazing last night.”
Nick Vasos, @NickVasos, of Fox 4, Twitter
GH: If Ned and the media want a full house on Tuesday nights, build a 20K-seat stadium like Sporting has done and we’ll call every game a sellout and smile about how tremendous our fans are and what a great sports city we live in. Or maybe just put a sock in it.

“If this is your year, and a lot of signs point to that for the Royals, these are the kind of games you win. If it is not your year. These are the games you do not win. (Alex Gordon) down in the count 0-1. Perkins brings it home. There’s a fly ball well hit to right! Back goes Garcia! To the wall. He leaps and…Gone! Gordon!”
Denny Matthews, prior to the pitch Alex Gordon hit into the right-field fountain for a walk-off 2-1 win over the Twins Tuesday night, Royals Radio
GH: Damn. Maybe this is our time. Finally.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24



Written 8/25/14

“When (Andy Reid) says he’s got to do a better job, that means his offense was terrible.”
Danny Clinkscale, after the Chiefs were embarrassed by Matt Cassel and the Vikings Saturday night at Arrowhead, 810 AM
GH: WHB’s Steven St. John cautioned Chiefs fans (like me) who are already pessimistic about this season’s squad to NOT overreact to what we are seeing in the preseason. After watching this debacle, we can only hope this is not what the 2014 season has in store for us.

“I feel very comfortable where we are at. We got a ton of great work in at camp this year.”
Alex Smith, after the Chiefs looked awful at Arrowhead Saturday night against Matt Cassel and the Vikings, 810 AM
GH: Comfortable? Smith and the number-one offense has yet to score a touchdown in three preseason games. If that is feeling comfortable, let’s ratchet up the heat on this unit and try out some uncomfortable shoes. Maybe some with Jamaal Charles in them.

“After watching that (Vikings) game, I don’t know how (Reid) couldn’t be tempted to put some of his starters back out there (for the fourth exhibition game).”
TJ Carpenter, 810 AM
GH: Reid is not going to play his starters for more than a series this Thursday night against the Packers – if that. We are pretty much done with seeing anything to make us feel better about the season opener against the Titans. I guess that means we can only be surprised if Reid is able to field a competitive team against one of the NFL’s tougher schedules.

“On one of the sacks, Eric Fisher was on the ground as Alex Smith was being sacked. I couldn’t believe it! … This offensive line absolutely struggled tonight and I don’t see any relief coming. Will Shields is not walking through that door.”
Henry Lake, 610 AM
GH: The relief for the Chiefs offensive line is coming in the form of Jamaal Charles. The Texas Torch has been making Chiefs offensive lines look far better than they are since Carl Peterson drafted him out of Texas in 2008.

“Right now this offensive line is getting pushed around. They are flat getting pushed around at the point of contact.”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM

“Alex Smith is not only not going to get an extension (to his contract), he is going to be on his back a ton this year with that offensive line.”
Henry Lake, 610 AM

“(Alex Smith) has five guys protecting him that are pulling wedgies out of their asses!”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM

“They’re getting worse. I think they’ve actually gotten worse.”
Jay Binkley, on the play of the Chiefs offensive line, 610 AM

“I'm extremely sorry that I failed to check with the NFL, NFLPA or Chiefs medical team before I took a medication that requires a therapeutic use exemption. The rules are strict and without a therapeutic use exemption, the consequence is a four-game suspension... It is not a mistake I will ever make again.”
Donald Stephenson, in a prepared statement to address his four-game suspension, cbssports.com
GH: My bullshit meter went off so loudly after reading Donaldson’s apology that I had a therapeutic  exemption myself.

“Our best offensive lineman just got suspended for the first four games of the season. The problem is that he’s our best offensive lineman.”
Jake Gutierrez, on Donald Stephenson being suspended for flunking a drug test, 810 AM

“I’m learning that all NFL teams pretty much do the same thing.”
Dee Ford, Chiefs defensive end and the team’s first pick out of Auburn in the 2014 draft, 810 AM
GH: Dee Ford is either an incredibly insightful and quick learner after three preseason games or a naïve rookie. I am guessing the latter.

“I don’t think Dee Ford is going to be a gigantic contributor on this team. I just don’t.”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: That would make both of John Dorsey’s top draft picks as underwhelming underachievers. Let’s hope Clink is wrong.

“It’s more important to try ‘smart’ than to try ‘hard.’”
Denny Mathews, after the Rangers attempted to steal second base late in Saturday’s game despite being down 4-1 to the Royals, Royals Radio
GH: Very true words from one of my favorite baseball voices.

“Did you ever think the Royals would be 16 games over .500 and it would be expected?”
Josh Vernier, after the Royals win in Texas Saturday night, 610 AM
GH: With Sunday’s loss to the Rangers the Royals fell to 15 games over .500. Fell. Consider that statement and try not to smile.

“I don’t think these (Outside the Lines) stories are still happening if Missouri is in the Big 12. I’m talking about the last year or year and a half with ESPN and Outside the Lines really going after Missouri and suggesting that the people who are still there are wrong doers. ”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Is there anything that Kietzman hates more than Mizzou leaving the Big 12 and succeeding in the SEC? Maybe Tiger Woods? Nah, he hates Mizzou leaving more than anything.

“I can’t say it’s because of SEC football but I know the history of this league. Schools will rat out other schools in this conference. They will do to others things that will not happen in any other conference. There are people that were at Missouri in 2006, 2008 and 2009 that are working at other schools in the SEC.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Spoken like a true reporter with his hand on nary a fact.

“It may be that ESPN just has all this guilt of, ‘Well, we do all this other stuff for the SEC and we started the SEC Network and boy we sure look like homers  for the SEC, we better find something somewhere.’ And maybe Missouri’s just that. I don’t know.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Finally some truth from KK – “I don’t know.”

“I just don’t think that this is a coincidence that they’re doing all this stuff now that Missouri is in the SEC. Am I crazy?”
Kevin Kietzman, in a conversation about MU with Vahe Gregorian, 810 AM
GH: Yes.

“I’d like to know where the germ for the idea for these stories comes from. … There’s so much of that that is mystifying to me.”
Vahe Gregorian, columnist for The Kansas City Star, on where ESPN came up with their MU sources for their reports, 810 AM
GH: If you are as tied in to Mizzou as Gregorian has been for the past 25 years as a journalist, shouldn’t you be a bit embarrassed to make this statement?

“Drive hammered, get nailed. Enforcement’s up.”
Interstate Sign, on I-29 North just south of St. Joseph, MO
GH: Words to live by.

GregHall24@yahoo.com & @greghall24



Written 8/22/14

“According to ESPN, Missouri assistant football coaches and the victim’s adviser were aware of the sexual assault allegation (made by a female MU student athlete about MU’s Derrick Washington in 2008) but didn’t report it to the university so the school could start an investigation as required by Title IX. Also, the assault victim told ESPN that she felt her coach said she should decline to press charges against Washington in order to keep her scholarship, a claim MU chancellor R. Bowen Loftin said was unsubstantiated.”
Todd Palmer, MU beat writer, Kansas City Star
GH: R. Bowen Loftin is new on the Mizzou campus and has no ties to the list of sexual assaults and other crimes against students by MU athletes since Derrick Washington made headlines. Somehow, Loftin’s predecessor, Brady Deaton, is still held in high regard for his role in how his administration team and athletic department mismanaged these crimes, criminals and victims. We often talk about student athletes not displaying the proper amount of accountability, but what about the millionaires on campus wearing the suits? Shouldn’t these folks display some embarrassment for their lack of ethics, judgment and shame?

“Though there does not appear to be an intentional mishandling of any of the cases in the report at this time, I make no excuses, and offer my personal apologies and those of my staff to the victims.”
Chancellor R. Loftin, in an MU press release
GH: This sentence is rife with loopholes. Is the intent to allow Loftin future escape from his words? No “intentional mishandling?” Should we then infer that incompetence was the cause?  And then the caveat, “at this time,” seems all too open ended. If Mizzou is really serious about ending these crimes committed by Mizzou students against Mizzou students and the Columbia community, take off the white gloves Mr. Chancellor and toss down the gauntlet. How about stating the following; “We will not tolerate these types of crimes against our students and community. We will act swiftly and justly to eradicate individuals who besmirch our University with their selfish criminal acts. We are fed up and embarrassed with having to apologize to victims. We now strive to prevent victims and maintain a safe campus and community.”

“In contrast to its aloof initial response to the matter of Sasha Menu Courey, Mizzou on Thursday immediately and more sympathetically responded to the introduction of other smoldering remnants of deficient past practices. … This admission in itself is part of progress, maybe even major progress…”
Vahe Gregorian, on MU’s press release regarding ESPN’s Outside the Lines report of additional ugliness from the Derrick Washington arrest and criminal activity, Kansas City Star
GH: Major progress? How Gregorian can reach out and spin a positive from the goings on at Mizzou the past six years is stunning and disappointing. Mizzou stumbled around like a drunken freshman in failing to professionally responding to these crimes against their students and community. So now their new Chancellor gets this mess dumped in his bow tie and Gregorian is lauding his press release as possibly a sign of major progress? Should we not expect more from Mizzou and their leadership? I sure do.

“No degree of explanation or regret can undo what has happened in the past. Our focus now is to do everything within our power to prevent sexual misconduct of any type at Missouri and, if it does unfortunately occur, to provide the resources and support to the victim while assuring that the perpetrator is brought to justice.”
Chancellor R. Loftin, in an MU press release
GH: We will be watching, listening and grading your University’s act, Chancellor.

“(Maty Mauk) was just okay last season. He came into a game in one stressful situation and he did okay. It’s not like he set the world on fire. I’m not saying he’s not going to be better than that but it’s not like he was Aaron Murray as a freshman (at Georgia) and he just went out there and played and was really good. I don’t think we saw that (from Mauk).”
Danny Clinkscale, on the glossy expectations for MU’s second-year quarterback, 810 AM

“If (Mauk) is just the seventh or eighth best quarterback in the league, Missouri’s going to have real problems.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: This is not KK’s boldest prediction.

“I think there was a good sense for where things were headed (at Kansas) and then in the matter of 48 hours they lost their top two running backs. This is a tough blow for Kansas. It’s not good at all. You knew something was up when the email came from Kansas that said they changed their media policy to close practices to the media.”
Blair Kerkhoff, after Charlie Weis announced Tuesday that Brandon Bourbon (ACL) and Taylor Cox (Achilles) would miss the 2014 season with season-ending injuries, 810 AM

“I think in my mind this provides an unfortunate excuse for Charlie Weis.”
Danny Clinkscale, on Weis being able to point to KU’s injuries as an excuse for future results, 810 AM

“I think if there is anything to feel good about if you’re a Kansas fan it’s that you can’t be disappointed this year. You can only be surprised.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: This is not likely to make KU fans feel any better about their football season – or Kietzman.

“You feed off the energy of the city – and this city is hungry for a winner.”
Anthony Fasano, Chiefs tight end, when asked by Bob Fescoe if he is paying attention to the Royals’ success this season, 610 AM
GH: Fasano said he grew up a Yankees fan but has been converted to also being a Royals fan while he has lived in Kansas City. Fescoe can relate to that religion.

“At this time of the year, anybody who says (they aren’t scoreboard watching) is lying. Everybody pays attention to the teams in their division.”
Frank White, Royals HOF second baseman, when asked by Kevin Kietzman if the players and coaches are really not paying attention to the Tigers and other teams in the playoff hunt, 810 AM

“You win for the present, not the future.”
Mike Macfarlane, discussing the Royals decision to allow their young pitchers to pitch deep into the season and into the playoffs if needed, 810 AM
GH: Danny Duffy and Yordano Ventura have been on limited pitch counts throughout the season in preparation for a Royals Blue October. As Macfarlane stated, these opportunities are all too rare. There is no reason to save a player’s talent for a future that may never materialize.

“That looks like another sign that this Royals team might be a team of destiny.”
Nate Bukaty, on the Tigers dropping a 1-0 decision Thursday night to the Rays despite David Price throwing a one-hitter, 810 AM
GH: I loved Mike Macfarlane’s reaction to Price’s one-hit loser – he laughed. Loudly. “I loved that David had to suck on a loss,” chuckled Macfarlane.

“It’s going to be real interesting to see how fans react to Matt Cassel returning to Arrowhead Stadium for the first time Saturday night.”
Bob Fescoe, as Cassel returns to Kansas City as the Vikings’ starting QB, 610 AM
GH: I don’t expect much more than a burp from the Arrowhead crowd over Matt Cassel’s presence at Arrowhead. Cassel wasn’t a bad guy or the reason the Chiefs stunk for much of Scott Pioli’s reign. Now, if Pioli was under center for the Vikes…

“Most of the Pop Warner Leagues and CYO football leagues are down 30% and 40%. They have to combine two and three different schools to have enough players to field a team. Parents are now so concerned about head injuries and they don’t want to put their kids in that kind of peril. I’m telling you right now, most of the Kansas high schools, Gardner Edgerton and some of the Blue Valley Schools as well, are way down in their numbers too. People are not playing football as much.”
Tim Grunhard, 810 AM
GH: This is the reason I believe college football is facing a future crisis. The feeder programs  at the elementary and high school levels are drying up due to safety concerns. All the millions that colleges are receiving and spending on football-related amenities could look like ghost towns in places like Lincoln, Manhattan, Columbia and yes, even Norman and Austin if parents no longer consider football a safe sport for their children. If the lawyers don’t kill it, mom just might.

“Six total leagues.”
Jake Gutierrez, on the number of fantasy football leagues he is in this year, 810 AM
GH: Working in sports talk radio might be a prerequisite for a guy in six fantasy football leagues. I am juggling two teams and find myself cheering and cursing the same play all too often.

According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, The Horse Collar will sell for $20 at Lambeau Field this winter and appears to come with a penalty far stiffer than the 15 yards for a tackle of the same name. … The Packers will also be unveiling a doughnut ice cream sandwich, which looks delicious, and the Bratchos — a bowl of brats, cheese and fried chips Rovell dubbed ‘Wisconsin in a bucket’ — but The Horse Collar is the star of the show, coming in at a rough estimate of 10 billion calories.”
Ben Rohrbach, NFL writer, YahooSpots.com
GH: What a great way to go, though. Man, how I love the state of Wisconsin.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24



Written 8/21/14

“Eric Fisher has not looked good in camp and he has not looked good in games.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: There is not a more scrutinized player on the Chiefs roster than their 2013 first overall draft choice out of the MAC. He has not passed the eye test and he looks to be heading to where he might not pass the smell test as well. These are the kind of picks that can haunt a franchise’s reputation for decades. The Chiefs need Eric Fisher to snap out of it or go on the IR and get his shoulder healed sufficiently for NFL play.

“(Eric Fisher) had his best day today (Wednesday). It should be noted that they did not wear pads today and they was no hitting.”
TJ Carpenter, on the Chiefs much-maligned second-year left tackle, 810 AM

“I would hate to see this (Chiefs) organization make the same mistake that other organizations in this town have made and play young players who are not ready. Fisher should not play in two weeks if he’s not ready to play.”
TJ Carpenter, 810 AM

“I believe that Andy Reid will do the right thing. He will not play Eric Fisher at left tackle if he is not playing well.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Eric Fisher is starting at left tackle week one if he can stand up. We are already hearing the coach speak from the Chiefs that Eric is playing “great.” Andy Reid and John Dorsey are not so different from the rest of their NFL counterparts that they will “do the right thing.” The NFL is about doing the thing that makes you look right about the poor decisions you made.

“Right now, Denver has a team built just like the New England Patriots back when they went undefeated (in the 2007 regular season). I think it's going to be a Denver-Seattle rematch in the Super Bowl. And I would go with Denver this time. Giving Peyton two shots at it, to go against the same team, I'll take Peyton. If they can stay healthy, how do you beat this team? They're balanced on both sides of the ball. They can run, they can pass, they can stop the run and they can stop the pass now on a consistent basis. It's going to be very, very tough to beat them.”
Tony Gonzalez, the newest NFL analyst for CBS, newsday.com
GH: Nothing here is all that controversial but I am seeing headlines all over the place announcing that Gonzo is predicting the Broncos to go undefeated. Hell, they almost did that last season. When Tony predicts the Lions are going undefeated, then I’ll listen.

“The temptation would be there, but I don't know what the gain would be. I've always wanted a ring. That's been my main goal as a player over the last 15 years of my career. You're really trying to get that ultimate goal. But I'd be a mercenary to come in and get a Super Bowl ring, play with a team for, what, six, seven weeks? And even if I got the ring, it wouldn't be the same as going through the fight with the team from the beginning to the end. I don't think that will happen. The temptation will be there, but I'm 100 percent happy with my decision.”
Tony Gonzalez, on whether or not he would consider coming out of retirement to play for a title contender this season, newsday.com
GH: Tony doesn’t sound 100% to me. It would be kind of cool to see him catch the winning TD pass from Alex Smith in the Super Bowl, wouldn’t it?

“Tony Gonzalez has made his first ignorant comment since joining the media.”
Bob Fescoe, @bobfescoe, Twitter
GH: It’s kind of a birthright as a member of the media to make ignorant comments. BTW, I still like Butler in right field…

“After 28 years of almost unrelenting misery, I think we’re due this.”
Rany Jazayerli, on the second-half success of the Royals as they lead the ALC by a game over the Tigers, 810 AM

“For all the crap we give Ned Yost, the team is on a second-half stretch for the second year in a row like they haven’t had in a long time.”
Rany Jazayerli, 810 AM
GH: If the Royals win the ALC, Ned Yost is the American League MOTY – going away. I am not a fan of Yost’s but you have to give the man his due if he can do it. But September is what did him in up in Milwaukee. I still think we have a lot of drama to get through to see October in this town.

“I think it’s the most asked question when I go around town, ‘What should Hosmer do when he comes back?’ And my answer is simple – sit the bench. Why bring Hosmer back? Since Hosmer’s been out, the Kansas City Royals are playing their best baseball of the season.”
Bob Fescoe, 810 AM
GH: Hosmer is the best option at first base for the Royals and there should be no debate. The question is can Butler sit and still hit? If he can’t, the Royals’ postseason chances diminish greatly.

“It is the umpire’s task to move the game along! If this is moving the game along, I am missing something! … Let there be a roll of drums and a blare of bugles. HE HAS THROWN A PITCH!”
Denny Matthews, during the sixth inning of Wednesday night’s game at Coors Field where the Rockies starter, Jorge De La Rosa, took an achingly long time between pitches, Royals Radio
GH: Steve Physioc referred to De La Rosa as, “The Human Rain Delay on the Mound,” during the early innings. By the sixth, Matthews was so ticked at the pitchers slow play that he was ready to jump out of the booth and beat Jorge with his hockey stick. MLB needs to address the pace of play in areas like this where they can speed up play. If the sport wants to know why their audience continues to age with little reinforcements from younger demographics, it is in the pace of play. Even old guys like Denny and I can’t handle watching a pitcher scratch himself after every pitch.

“I don’t mean to come to Rome and not do what the Romans do but I need to warn you – I’ve never liked barbeque. Sorry about that.”
Buster Olney, ESPN MLB analyst, as he discussed setting up a meet-and-greet with The Border Patrol when he is in town this weekend for the Royals first appearance on Sunday Night Baseball in almost a decade, 810 AM
GH: Get a rope.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Billy says KC 'not scared of nothing'

Written 8/20/14

“Billy Butler said the Royals are no longer looking in the rear-view at Detroit. ‘We’re not scared of nothing this time of year,’ he said.”
Andy McCullough, @McCulloughStar, Twitter
GH: You know what? I am starting to believe that to be true. These Royals are 70-55 here in late August – after being tossed away by me and many others as dead for most of the season. This second half of the season just keeps getting better.

“This whole town is different when they’re winning and in first place.”
Jaime Bluma, 810 AM
GH: A 30-year dust storm is showing serious signs of abating here in Kansas City.

“Now I’m @ #HyVee @ 11:15 because I didn’t want to miss the #Royals game.”
John Anthony, @CravenMorhead, Twitter
GH: You are not alone, Johnny. This city has begun the transformation from casual Royals followers to the kind of town that drops everything and drives to Colorado to make the Rockies’ park sound like The K.

“People are expressing hatred of the Royals and it's not their own fans. This truly is a whole new world.”
Mike Engel, @michaelengel, Twitter
GH: How great is that? We are the sons of bitches for a change – and it’s not us calling ourselves sons of bitches!

“Cripes, Royals Twitter is going to be insufferable during the playoffs.”
Andy McCullough, @McCulloughStar, Twitter
GH: Andy says “insufferable.” I would offer, “entertaining as hell.” BTW, did he say, “…during the playoffs?”

“If you've taken my advice and adopted the Royals for the rest of the season, here's a terrific primer for you: ow.ly/AvuxS.”
Mike Vaccaro, @MikeVacc, Twitter
GH: Vaccaro wrote for The Star’s sports page for a short while when Whitlock and JoPo were getting the headlines. He is back in NYC but he still checks out the Royals and their plight – or should I say flight.

“Ned Yost: ‘I'm wearing Greg (Holland) out. I can't find any way to give him a break.’ Then he said he won't use Davis as his closer for a day or two.”
Andy McCullough, @McCulloughStar, Twitter
GH: Read on for my favorite take on the problems Davis and Holland are facing as they are “overused” by Ned and the Royals…

“You know what the good thing is about (the Royals’ relievers Wade Davis and Greg Holland being overworked)? They’re pitching a lot because we’re winning a whole lotta ball games! Okay, so you’re tired. Suck it up!”
Jaime Bluma, 810 AM

“The fun of this job for me is to watch them grow, watch them develop and watch them become successful. Winning baseball games and watching young men succeed in their sport is what drives me to do what I do. I just don’t see any use for Aaron Crow.”
Ned Yost, Fox Sports KC
GH: We could all say the very same thing about Ned as a manager.

“The Royals second half in a nutshell: Salvador Perez tweaks his knee. His late-game replacement homers. Twice.”
Andy McCullough, @McCulloughStar, Twitter
GH: Christmas in August.

“I like the team how it is right now but when (Eric Hosmer) gets back I want him in the lineup.”
Jaime Bluma, 810 AM
GH: This seems to be the hot topic of the week – what to do when Hosmer is healthy and Billy Butler is playing so well he is streaking across SI’s cover this week?

“So there’s no reason to call him Eric Grback or Elvis Hosmer? … Do you want Eric Hosmer to play again this year? Is there a little part of you that doesn’t want him back (at first)? We’re just being honest!”
Steven St. John, 810 AM

“I don’t think Billy’s going to be unhappy or proud if he has to go back to be the designated Hitter. For one thing, Billy’s playing for a contract. I think he wants to show in every way that he’s a team player right now.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Billy is an athlete and athlete’s do not like to sit. This has the potential to be a very big problem if Hosmer comes back and Butler and the team start to tank.

“I’m sure he didn’t think, ‘I need to play first base and that’ll get me out of my offensive funk.’ But that’s exactly what’s happened.”
Jaime Bluma, 810 AM

“When I asked (Butler) he said, ‘I don’t know how I’m gonna feel. I’ll do it, but I don’t know how I’m going to feel.’”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: Ned will get a chance to earn his money in September when he has to juggle all these egos.

“Maybe it’s time to revisit that Hosmer moving to the outfield?”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: The move to make is Billy in right field. Maybe not for this off season but that’s where he could really become an impact player for the Royals’ lineup.

“I think James Shields is the second most valuable player in Royals history. Maybe I wasn’t so far out there with those comments.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Jay Binkley called Fescoe’s comment “asinine.” And he did it while he was talking to Fescoe. This is something I really enjoy about 610 Sports – their on-air voices are all on somewhat equal footing. They can go at each other and not fear getting fired by the other guy. The talent at 810 have to be very careful about who they knock and what they say about the other voices on the air.

“I just enjoy the strategy of a National League game. But I understand that fans would rather see David Ortiz hit than Clay Buchholz in the Red Sox were in town. I get that.”
Ryan Lefebvre, discussing whether MLB should abolish the DH or adopt it in both the AL and NL, Fox Sports KC
GH: Lefebvre then went on to tell us about his plan to eliminate the DH from the college and high school game. I know there are a lot of NL fans who cannot imagine the game with the DH. They need to get over their “strategy” bias. Pitchers hitting and NL teams being able to plan on an automatic out for the first six innings is not strategy. It’s boring as hell.

“We used to have a nice view from the broadcast booth of the Colorado mountains but they are building some apartment buildings. So instead we have the breathtaking view of an apartment building under construction. That’s underrated. There are worse things you could be looking at. There’s also a nice crane out there so we shouldn’t totally bash the apartment buildings. If you like cranes, there you go!”
Ryan Lefebvre, complaining about the view from the Coors Field press box, Fox Sports KC
GH: I love Kansas City – but The Beav is waaaaay off complaining about the view in Denver. The Rockies and Denver revitalized an area of their city with a great ball park. The K is a beautiful stadium build amidst trailer courts, strip joints and a Taco Bell. I’ll take that view in Denver over the view of I-70 any day Denver wants to trade us the Rocky Mountains.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


MU football outlook; and Nick Wright's ridiculous 'breaking news'

Written 8/16/14

“I think Missouri’s being a little bit ignored. The preseason polls are out and Missouri’s not in either preseason poll.”
Blair Kerkhoff, KC Star college sports columnist, 810 AM
GH: How good are this season’s MU Tigers without DGB and L’Damian Washington? Without James Franklin? Without Michael Sam? Great programs shake off these kinds of personnel losses each season and roll on to another nine- or ten-win campaign. Is Mizzou football now in that elite stratosphere where they can absorb these hits and still go bit-time bowling? I can’t wait to find out.

“5-7 DID happen just two years ago. I don’t know why that gets washed away. That DID happen!”
Soren Petro, on why MU fans’ expectations should be lowered due to Mizzou’s inaugural football season in the SEC in 2012, 810 AM
GH: Okay, so not everybody is sold that Gary Pinkel’s troops have what it takes to be SEC worthy each fall. That makes it all the more compelling of a story.

“(Mizzou) has got a chance but there are a lot of questions here. There are questions with their wide receivers, there are question on defense. There’s too much uncertainty to think of them as a ten-win team out of the box.”
Blair Kerkhoff, KC Star college sports columnist, 810 AM
GH: Ten wins is pretty darn difficult to produce no matter what conference you happen to be in but any of the top five or six conference schedules make that 10-win total increasing hard to reach. The biggest question mark for me is the MU defense and if they have learned anything from the thrashing they took at the hands (and feet) of Auburn. I haven’t seen an undressing of that caliber since Bill Callahan coached Nebraska’s pink shirt defenders and Mark Mangino’s Jayhawks hung 76 on the Huskers.

“What is the expectation for Maty Mauk? There is an expectation that because he played well he’s going to come in and set the world on fire.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Yeah, that is kind of what comes with the territory if you are MU’s starting QB. Mauk was sensational as a fill-in starter last season during the heart of Mizzou’s SEC schedule. Should he be expected to be just as good in his third season at MU? Damn straight.

“Somebody’s going to be at the bottom of this (SEC East) Division. I’m not saying it’s going to be Mizzou but I think they’ll be somewhere right in the middle.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: To MU’s credit and their resurgence the past decade as a football school, “somewhere in the middle  is not going to be good enough. There is a LOT of building, renovating and progress happening at the Columbia campus and much of that is based on the success of the football team. Nobody thought moving to the SEC would be easy.

“Big thing about this (Kansas) team: They believe they're good & can win. But also humble/smart enough to know it won't be a given or easy.”
Matt Tait, @mctait, Twitter
GH: This tweet made no sense to me. How humble do you have to be if you are a Kansas football player? That should almost be a birthright.

“These guys are ready for this. These guys are ready or what we’re about to go through the next 44 days or so.”
Ned Yost, Royals Radio
GH: I like 610’s new, “Are you ready, Kansas City?” ad campaign with all the Royals players asking their town if they’re ready for a playoff run. Sungwoo Lee’s final clincher comments at the end of the promo always make me grin.

“We feel pretty good about ourselves. We feel like we’re a pretty good team too. What we take, six out of seven (from Oakland)? That’s pretty good.”
Ned Yost, when asked about his Royals facing the A’s, the team many believe to be the best team in baseball, 810 AM
GH: Ned can be cocky to the point of being an ass. But this is the kind of cockiness that the Royals and Kansas City as a town have long lacked – and needed.

“Salvador Perez, it just seems like he’s so happy every day. It’s awesome to be around him.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: The world needs more people like Salvy and less people like those who caused and have continued the mess that is Ferguson, Missouri.

“People over reacted to my tweets. I said he was a fraud and I stand by that.”
Nick Wright, after calling local newsman Kris Ketz a fraud on Twitter and then in an interview with Lazlo on The Buzz that tried to tie Ketz to the Ferguson riots and was so ridiculous even Lazlo and Slimfast made fun of Wright for his trumped up breaking news, 96.5
GH: Nick Wright calling anyone a fraud is choice stuff. Nick is the guy who went into 610’s studios AFTER the NFL draft and recorded himself making uncanny predictions about who the Chiefs would draft and then played that recording after the draft as if he had accurately predicted five of the Chiefs’ seven picks. I take almost all of what Nick Wright has to say as something to promote Nick Wright at almost any cost – including his character.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Has Kansas City bought into Royals Fever?

Written 8/15/14

“I really feel like this team has taken this city by storm. I just think this city is so locked into this team and they’re on such a ridiculous run right now. Man, it’s awesome! It’s so awesome to watch!”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: TV ratings are again setting records for Royals telecasts in August. Walk-up crowds at The K numbered in the thousands for the just completed four-game series with the A’s. I even placed a Royals sticker on my car window – the first time I’ve done anything like that since the early ‘90s. But has Kansas City embraced MLB and their Royals like it was 1985? Nope. There is still much work to be done and many broken hearts to repair. Read on.

“The interesting thing to me in polling the Royals fans in person is that when you ask them if they think this team is going to the playoffs, almost universally they say, ‘No.’”
TJ Carpenter, 810 AM
GH: Scoff at TJ’s informal polling if you want but I think the guy’s got a pretty good feel for what local fans are thinking – especially because he is a transplant from Arkansas. He doesn’t exhibit a lot of the scar tissue that most of us long-time Royals fans harbor.

“No, not really.”
Josh Willingham, the recently required slugger from the Twins, when asked by Nate Bukaty if he was not experiencing the vibe and atmosphere on this Royals team that has made them successful the second half of the season, 810 AM
GH: Okay. So it’s just not some of the fans that are not caught up in the blue hysteria.

“(The Royals pennant race) has in some ways divided the city between young and old. The older generation has created this time machine and remember when there was a buzz in this city about the Royals. But for the people that are our age, for the first time in our lives we have seen competitive baseball and we’ve seen people excited about baseball with football just around the corner.”
Carrington Harrison, 610 AM
GH: Harrison’s and Parkins’ afternoon drive show on 610 itself divides the KC sports market by age. They market their show to a younger demo to take advantage of their youth and Kevin Kietzman’s audience’s more senior-appealing format. It is not a bad move in trying to unseat the undefeated king of Kansas City sports talk. I doubt it will work but it does define a clearly different demo for 610 to control and cater to advertisers.

“Do you even see the possibility of a collapse (by the Royals)?”
Danny Parkins, as the Royals clung to a half-game lead over Detroit on August 14th, 610 AM
GH: This is the naïve side of being 20-something. Parkins and Harrison went on and on how they could not even fathom the Royals falling out of contention over the next six weeks. Not only could the Royals be out of it in September, they could be all but gone before the end of August. Baseball is a cruel, cruel mistress. Never think you understand the game or its future. All we can do is watch, listen and hope like hell we break this 29-year drought. 

“Hey, what time do the Royals play tonight?”
Guy sitting in the booth next to me at Freddy’s last weekend
GH: I was a bit startled that this stranger saw me as the Royals expert as I downed my second double-cheese Freddy. It then dawned on me that I was wearing a Royals lid. Wearing a sports’ team cap is the universal sign to the world that you are a fan of that squad and open to blessings and barbs about your team. Kind of cool to see that kind of chatter happening in our town again.

“(Josh Vernier) will be on the road with the team (this week). It will be good to have our guy reporting on the road.”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM
GH: There have been a few of those 100-loss seasons where the local radio station holding the Royals rights cancelled the travel for the guy following the team on the road. I believe Nate Bukaty was yanked off the road one or two seasons when 810 was losing their shirt as the Royals rights holder. It is just another change in the Season of Woo to have 610 add Vernier to their Royals road coverage.

“There wasn’t a lot of tough moments. A guy lost a ball in the sun…”
Ned Yost, when asked after the Royals final game of the A’s series to comment on the “tough moments” in the, Royals Radio
GH: Yost can be such a putz. Of course there were tough moments Thursday afternoon in the Royals 7-3 win over the A’s! Dyson lost a fly ball in the sun allowing the game to be tied and eventually costing Shields the lead. Escobar gets called out for running inside the baseline after a throwing error had him on second base. Cain suffers a brain cramp and almost prematurely lifts his hand off third base after a failed pick-off attempt. And through all that palpitating madness the Royals persevered and beat the A’s for the sixth time in seven tries this season. As Ned said, “That’s pretty good.”

“We’re like Mayweather in the ring. We never give up.”
Jarrod Dyson, 610 AM
GH: Dyson with a Mayweather comment? Harrah’s anyone?

“It was a tremendous game to be at. That press box was alive. That entire stadium was alive. It was awesome to be here.”
Henry Lake, 610 AM
GH: The press box was alive??? Did somebody spike the popcorn? If these Royals have the media buzzing in the press box, this truly is a special team.

“ESPN just called (the Royals) ‘America's sweethearts.’”
Luis Lozada, @MrPinkFloyd71, Twitter

“The seventh inning was nothing but a party. There’s no other way to describe it. The Royals took a 7-3 lead and never looked back.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM

“September is going to be the key (to the Royals run at the postseason). It’s going to be how this team reacts. The key is going to be can they overcome their emotions or is it going to be, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re in uncharted waters here!’”
Mike Mcfarlane, 810 AM

“I’m very passionate about playing first and I love it. I understand how talented Eric is over there too.”
Billy Butler, on filling it at first while Hosmer is recovering from a broken wrist, 810 AM
GH: I thought Hosmer’s injury was a death knell to the Royals season. Instead, it’s been the best thing to happen to Billy Butler since Zarda’s started cooking his sauce. And it might prove to be the best thing to happen to the Royals and Kansas City – outside of Sung Woo Lee that is.

“Billy’s turned his whole season around. Billy’s played spectacular defense over there. He’s played tremendous defense at first.”
Ned Yost, Royals Radio
GH: I don’t know about all that, Ned  – but Butler has made himself a LOT more attractive to any National League teams that are interested in picking him up for next season and beyond.

“The Royals are going to pound some people this week!”
Mike Mcfarlane, 810 AM

“I don’t really care if (Detroit) won or not. My team just played a great game. I don’t care if they’re aware or not.”
Ned Yost, Royals Radio
GH: I think this grumbled response was to a question from Karen Kornacki. Not even Korny can soften up ‘ol Nedley.

“Ned Yost played by Nick Nolte. That’s what I came up with.”
Johnny Kane, TV 9 sports anchor, as he and Josh Klingler tried to cast the Royals 2014 season as a movie, 610 AM

“Mike Moustakas played by Mike Tyson. That’s what I came up with.”
Johnny Kane, 610 AM
GH: Moose played by Tyson? Tats gone wild!

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24

Chiefs corners and O-line look rough in opener

Written the other day (too specific?)

“I think the Chiefs actually like Ron Parker but it certainly didn’t help his cause (Thursday) night). I would be absolutely stunned – absolutely stunned – if Sean Smith isn’t starting for the Chiefs week one. Ron Parker is still transitioning to the cornerback position. Given the quarterbacks that the Chiefs are facing, do you really want Number 18 in Denver identifying where Ron Parker is and just absolutely picking on him? I don’t think that’s the case at all.”
Herbie Teope, writer for ChiefsSpin.com, on the Chiefs corner who was toasted Thursday night at Arrowhead, 810 AM
GH: Playing quarterback in the NFL is maybe the most difficult position in team sports. Playing cornerback in the NFL might be the second-most difficult – and the NFL just keeps making the corner’s job all the more difficult with rule changes that favor the offense. Parker isn’t nearly as bad as he looked Thursday night. The NFL is now a lights-out scoring league. It resembles flag football more than it does the NFL from 30 years ago. 

“The (Chiefs) secondary is like the gal you brought home from Funky Town on Thursday night.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Count me among those who have driven by Funky Town on the city’s southeast side (is the building still painted purple?) but have never gotten off I-435 to venture inside. I guess I am going to have to take Nate’s word on this.

“I don’t think this team has a number-one corner. I think they have a lot of number-three corners.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM

“After their OL was tagged for 6 sacks, the Chiefs' Jeff Allen said youth was no 'excuse' vs. Cincy.”
Sean Keeler, NFL writer for FoxSports.com, @SeanKeeler, Twitter
GH: Six sacks in a preseason game is not good. Six sacks in a regular season game gets you beat and puts your quarterback in jeopardy of being injured.

“He was retreating at a pace that you wouldn’t be proud of or put in your offensive tackle video.”
Stan Weber, on the play from the Chiefs former overall number-one draft choice and starting left tackle, Eric Fisher, and his play in Thursday night’s first preseason game, 810 AM
GH: Fisher looked like he is still way in over his Central Michigan helmet against the Bengals. This makes Kevin Kietzman immensely happy, not to mention correct in his criticism of the Chiefs drafting an offensive tackle with the first overall pick in 2013. It is only Fisher’s second season but this has all the makings of being the worst first-round pick in Chiefs’ history – and that my friends is one helluva bad pick.

“Man, (Tyler) Bray has a nice arm. Pocket presence, not so much...”
Kurtis Seaboldt, @KSeaboldt, on the Chiefs’ third-string quarterback’s play Thursday night, Twitter

“You just can't replace arm strength. Tyler Bray has it, you saw it on that last throw.”
TJ Carpenter, @TJCarpenterWHB, Twitter
GH: While watching Bray play, I was trying to come up with the top five quarterback arms the Chiefs have had on their roster over the years. Brodie Croyle, Grbac, Bill Kenny…not the great collection of rocket throwers. Bray’s wing might be better than any of them.

“I just think Albert Wilson is a guy we hear a lot about in the preseason and then don’t hear much about during the regular season.”
Joel Thorman, of ArrowheadPrice.com, on the Chiefs’ breakout wide receiver, 610 AM
GH: We have heard the training camp names before that vaulted into the public spotlight via talk radio and media buzz only to fade as August turned to September. Is Albert Wilson the rare camp star who continues to shine through the autumn? You would think the Chiefs are due to find one of these gems.

“I’m looking forward to being in the booth. I can finally be as honest as I want.”
Tony Gonzalez, on his new role as an NFL TV analyst, 810 AM
GH: Does Tony G seem like the kind of guy who has been harboring a lot of truths beneath his surface? Me either. It will be interesting to hear how real Gonzo gets on CBS’ NFL Today.

“Yeah, but (Rex Hudler) sorta calls for a homer on about every third at bat...”
Kurtis Seaboldt, @KSeaboldt, after @oldmedicinecrow credited the Royals broadcaster with calling a Royals home run just before it was swatted, Twitter

“The terrible accidents in New York City in the 9/11 terrorist attack.”
Steve Physioc, Royals play-by-play broadcaster, Fox Sports KC
GH: This comment by Physioc made Royals Twitter rumble. Read on…

“Physioc thinks the bombing of Pearl Harbor was a terrible accident. Physioc thinks Timothy McVeigh had a horrible farm accident with fertilizer in Oklahoma City.”
Robert Sigrist, @DocSig, Twitter

“Phys may be a nice man. He's a horrible broadcaster.”
Conrad McGorkin, @ConradMcGorkin, Twitter

“Steve Physioc is not good. I try to be a nice person, but he is just really not good at his job.”
Christy, @ChristyDianneG, Twitter
GH: While Rex Hudler was the target the last two seasons for most of the Royals fans ire, it appears Physioc’s sugary delivery is receiving almost as much criticism from the viewers/listeners as The Wonder Dog. Wouldn’t it be interesting to get a leaked copy of the Royals survey on their radio and TV broadcasters? My email is greghall24@yahoo.com if you happen to have a copy.

“(Andrew Wiggins) needs to be in a place where people are really depending on him.”
Bill Self, after saying Wiggins told him he hoped to get traded from Cleveland and LeBron, KSHB TV 41
GH: Really? I like Wiggins and think he is a great talent and a good guy. But he does not strike me as a player who can carry an NBA team on his young shoulders. Maybe is a few years he is that guy but he would only be a sophomore at KU next season. That strikes me as too young to be The Man in Minnesota.

“What should Arkansas and Mizzou call their annual football game? I'm partial to #OzarkOfTheCovenant.”

TJ Carpenter, @TJCarpenterWHB, Twitter
GH: Sounds like an Indiana Jones sequel.

“All I can think about is that I’m a nine handicap and I would like to play (Tiger Woods) for money right now – a LOT of money!”
Kevin Kietzman, when asked by TJ Carpenter if he was getting some enjoyment out of watching Tiger Woods struggle on Friday at the PGA, 810 AM

GH: Let me get this straight – KK wants to jump from fleecing 70-something Jack Harry at Falcon Ridge to playing Tiger for “a LOT of money” at Valhalla? Okay.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


The K rocks as Royals move into first

Written 8/12/14

“First place. After 70 games. For the first time. Since 1980. Holy. Crap.”
Rany Jazayerli, @jazayerli, Twitter
GH: It is mid-August and unlike last season’s pseudo pennant race when the Royals were six or seven games out for most of the last two months, this summer Royals fans can taste October. And man, is that pumpkin sweet!

“Last time KC was in 1st place and at least 10 games over .500 after the 117-game mark: 1985...”
Kurtis Seaboldt, @KSeaboldt, Twitter
GH: And that was a very good year indeed.

“The K had an energy I hadn't felt in a long time tonight.
Dennis Dodd, @dennisdoddcbs, after the Royals 3-2 win over the AL West leading Oakland A’s, Twitter
GH: There were only 21,000 fans at The K Monday night but they made the old place sound like Arrowhead in November. Sitting on my couch I was rocking from the noise. The scenes from the stands in the ninth inning were absolutely beautiful. Damn, I am tearing up just typing about this stuff!

“The top of the 9th gave me chills. In a good way. Major goosebumps. Best game I've ever attended at the K.”
TigerDan, @MizzouKCfan4, Twitter
GH: And it is only Aug. 12. Maybe everything goes to hell in a ball bag for the Royals over the next six weeks. But maybe not. Maybe we get to experience what Cardinals fans view as a birthright – Fall Ball!

“We always have Chiefs watch parties. How long has it been since you went to a Royals watch party?”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: There is a Royals watch party every night on Twitter. I know some of you are repelled by social media but Twitter is one of the most entertaining ways to watch your home team and share in its triumphs and failures. Where would we all be without @THEFakeNed?

“Sung Woo would like to let everyone know that his First Pitch during game 3 of the ALDS will be much more accurate.”
THE Fake Ned, @TheFakeNed, after Sung Woo sailed his ceremonial first pitch over his catcher’s head and into the backstop, Twitter

“I think it's awesome that 98% of Kansas Citians are in love with a guy named Sung Woo. The other 2% are just miserable people.”
Mic Johnson, @MicJohnson, Twitter

“I want to meet him tonight. I brought him a gift.”
George Brett, talking to Denny Mathews and Steve Physioc in the radio booth Monday night about his plans to meet Sung Woo Lee and present him with a 3,000-hit coin that was made for him, Royals Radio
GH: The Year of the Woo has gone Brett Sized!

“If/when the Royals make the playoffs, they should put a bronze statue of SungWoo Lee next to Brett, White and Howser.”
@KingsofKauffman, Twitter
GH: Crazier ideas have been made to happen. If the Royals truly do make this a magical World Series championship season here in Kansas City, I am all for a bronze statue of Sung Woo Lee out front of The K. That shot of him holding up the giant W for the win from last night would make a great pose.

“I remember everywhere you went the Royals were on radio...at school everyone would spend every break talking Royals.”
Greg Schaum, @Greg_Schaum, on remembering a time in Kansas City when the Royals ruled, Twitter
GH: We are not there yet in Kansas City but this town is starting to turn Blue. Every bar, restaurant and office with cable TV should be tuning into the Royals each night. If you spot an establishment not following this Code Blue, let them know it’s Back To The Future in KC -- 1985.

“I literally cannot act like I've been there before.”
Brian, @BrianMcGannon, Twitter
GH: So well stated. For so, so, many Royals fans. It’s time.

“I need to go to bed. Instead, I'm pacing around my living room like a crazy person.”
Jared Speckman, @Speck60, Twitter
GH: Anybody else fit this description last night? I was tweeting waaaay past my bed time. And it felt as good as that Dyson backflip!

“I told the boys I'm gonna backflip on the third out. ... I couldn't let 'em down.”
Jarrod Dyson, on his game-ending backflip in right-center field, MLB Network
GH: Most entertaining impromptu move at The K since Fountain Mom!

“Fabulous atmosphere tonight at Safeco. Hearing from lots of friends that it was the same in KC. Two fan bases getting a taste…. It's only mid-August. It only gets better from here if club stays in race. Nothing like the Hunt for October for daily drama in any city.”
Bob Dutton, @TNT_Mariners, Twitter
GH: Cool to know that our longtime Royals beat writer can enjoy some of this rare August moonshine with the rest of us starving Royals fans. Would love to see the Ms and the Rs battling in October.

“Avg fastball velocities (Monday night).
Yordano Ventura 96.3 mph
Kelvin Herrera 99.2
Greg Holland 96.8
Wade Davis 94.5”
@ESPNStatsInfo, Twitter
GH: You want to know how the Royals have hung in this race long enough to become relevant? Dayton Moore’s pitching has brought us to the brink of greatness. The currency of baseball has a rich future here in Cowtown.

“Two nights in a row – big fat coverage of the Royals on SportsCenter! The Royals are getting that coverage right now. There’s a reason to be proud of your team. You can invest in this team. Come on in. The water’s not too cold.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: The Royals were everywhere last night on national coverage. And Dyson’s flashy backflip didn’t hurt one bit.

“Ned Yost and I had a spirited debate today about whether he would be a good television analyst. He thinks he would be good. I disagree.”
Andy McCullough, @McCulloughStar, Twitter
GH: Andy wins this one in a head-first slide.

“Everything was grist for his mill.”
James Lipton, the host of Inside the Actor’s Studio, on the talent that was Robin Williams, MSNBC
GH: Lipton was interviewed less than an hour or so after the news of Robin Williams’ death. He was audibly shaken over the death of one of his favorite artists. I listened to the interview in satellite radio and it was riveting stuff. I think Williams was one of the greatest actors/talents of my era. A genius with the depth of range of no one I have ever seen. My favorite works of his are as different as his characters. His portrayal of a teacher in Dead Poets Society is one of my all-time favorite roles. He was what I wanted all of my teachers to be – funny, motivational, tough and smart as hell. His stand-up routine on the Scotts inventing golf makes me cry with tears every time I view it. The man was brilliant. I am so glad he found a way to share his talents with so many for as long as his madness allowed.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24



The magic of Sung Woo; and Butler says he wants to stay in KC

Written 8/11/14

“On the morning of July 31st – ten days ago – the Royals were five games behind the Detroit Tigers. That morning the Tigers traded Drew Smyly and Austin Jackson for David Price, while the Royals did nothing.”
Rany Jazayerli, ranyontheroyals.com
GH: Ten days ago I was so despondent over this Royals season that I changed the banner photo of my website to a photo of the Chiefs training camp. All looked pretty much over at the trade deadline and then Eric Hosmer was diagnosed with a broken hand. Ball. Game. And then insanity happened. Sung Woo Insanity to be more specific. Read on.

“I think it's time to change the banner photo to a certain South Korean man with a broom.”
Tom Howell, @thowell21, Twitter
GH: Done. And we are riding with the Crazy Korean up top right through August. What a great story this guy is and likely will be for maybe years to come. Imagine if the Royals do the unthinkable and win the World Series this October. The Year of The Woo will be talked about in Kansas City when our grandkids are grandfathers. More…

“It’s funny. For twenty years I’ve been trying to make the Royals play better by writing about them analytically, by bringing a scientific approach to baseball and using it to show what the Royals are doing wrong and how they could do things better. And for twenty years maybe I’ve been doing it wrong. Maybe science and intellect doesn’t work here. Maybe it works in Boston and Oakland and Tampa Bay, but not in Kansas City. Maybe what works here isn’t reason, but emotion. Maybe what the Royals needed wasn’t someone to explain to them that OBP matters, but someone who loved them so much that he’d fly 6,000 miles to see them play. Maybe what they’ve been missing isn’t talent, but a talisman. And that talisman is Sung Woo Lee.”
Rany Jazayerli, ranyontheroyals.com
GH: Rany can write really long, insider-baseball kind of columns that might not be for everybody. But this column is a keeper. Read it here. Just fantastic stuff, Rany. Loved it.

“Screw it. I'll deal with the heartbreak later if need be. I'm in.”
David Lesky, @DBLesky, writer for PineTarPress.com. Twitter

“As an aside, do you know hard it was to be a Royals fan in South Korea in 1995? This was years before an MLB Extra Innings package existed, let alone MLB.tv and watching games over the internet. Sung Woo was able to watch the Royals play only rarely – he told me he saw most of their highlights from the satellite TV equivalent of CNN Headline News, a snippet here, a ten-second clip there. I lived overseas from 1984 to 1991 and it was almost impossible to keep up with the Royals – but at least I was already a Royals fan, and we came home to Wichita every summer from early June to mid-August. The level of devotion it took for him to become a Royals fan warrants every good thing that’s happened to him this week.”
Rany Jazayerli, ranyontheroyals.com
GH: Imagine following a really crappy Korean baseball team the past 20 years from here in KC. And loving them like they were the Yankees.

“Screw it. Go get the AL Central.”
Ross Martin, @PCBearcat, former sports editor of the St. Joseph News Press, Twitter

“Pretty sure the @Royals need to find a way to keep @Koreanfan_KC around until the end of the season. Heck, bring the whole family over too!”
Brad Hallier, @bhallier, Twitter

“If @Koreanfan_KC needs a place to stay in October....I have a couch.”
Mike McCartney, @mikemccartneykc, Royals stadium PA announcer, Twitter
GH: McCartney is as much a Royals fan as us other degenerate social media wonks. I love that the old guy is willing to be one of us – great pipes and all.

“I'm giddy, but I know I shouldn't be. Oh hell, let's roll with it.”
Brian Spano , @kcspano, Twitter

“I’m not quite on (the Royals bandwagon) yet. I’m getting close. You know me.”
Jack Harry, when asked by Frank Boal if he is now on the Royals bandwagon, KSHB TV 41
GH: Jack isn’t the only Royals fan holding back his emotions about the Royals latest surge. His and other’s skepticism makes a lot more sense than my and your unabashed fan-aticism. But it is mid-August. The Royals are a half game from the ALC lead. As Jack Buck would say, “Go crazy folks! Go crazy!”

“I knew they were going to do it. I knew it all along. There was no wavering there. I just knew it. I believe in them.”
Ned Yost, on his team’s second-half surge toward the playoffs, Fox Sports KC
GH: Ned is a freaking genius I guess. This week anyway.

“Is Ned Yost the manager of the year if they make this postseason as a wild card?”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM
GH: Gulp. If the Royals turn this dumpster fire of a season into a postseason appearance, Ned gets the AL MOTY and three Walmarts of his choosing. (I would suggest a Walmart outside of Ferguson, MO.)

“Dude, it’s so much fun. It’s so much fun to be in this clubhouse.”
Danny Duffy, Royals starter and a huge reason for the rotation’s toughness this season, 810 AM

“I still think the Tigers are the best team in the AL Central and I think over the course of 162 games they will prove themselves out. There’s just some inconsistencies with that team that hasn’t allowed them to pull well ahead in a race that they should be pretty much in control of now.”
Drew Sharp, sports columnist for the Detroit Free Press, in an interview with The Border Patrol, 810 AM
GH: Sharp might be right and I am sure most of baseball agrees with him, as they should. But his words rubbed me wrong. He sounded like he dismissed the Royals simply because they were, well, the Royals. Again, it makes sense – but it is maddening. Let’s kick these guys’ asses and change that thinking about our town.

“I hope Eric Hosmer gets back in the lineup because I am TIRED of talking about this. OF COURSE they are going to put Hosmer and his gold glove back at first base when he is healthy.”
Josh Vernier, on speculation that the Royals need to keep Bill Butler at first to keep his bat hot, 610 AM
GH: Hosmer needs to play first base and catch fire like Butler, Gordon and Aoki have done. Billy just needs to hit no matter where he is during the rest of the game.

“It would definitely be painful. … I would definitely be more than happy to make that an option," he says. "I'd do it because I love playing here. It's all I have ever known. There's been a lot of tough years, but there have been a lot of good memories, too. I don't want to let that go. I've enjoyed every minute of it.”
Billy Butler, in an article written by Jeffrey Flanagan, Foxsports.com
GH: Flanagan continues to get great quotes from the Royals organization and this stuff today from Butler is head-turning once again. Billy has looked at times this season like he had checked out, didn’t care and was less than excited about being a Royal. If he’s in, a lot of Royals fans will be in on him resigning as well. The guy has seven more good years in his bat or more. We know he sure didn’t use up many hits the last two.
GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


The Star's McCullough can write

Written 8/7/14

“Up to the plate came Moustakas. Collmenter relies on deception rather than dynamism. He tested Moustakas with a 3-1 cutter down the middle. A line drive exploded off the bat and screamed past the right-field fence. Moustakas reclaimed the team lead in homers with 14.”
Andy McCullough, Royals beat writer, in his game story for the Royals 4-3 win at Arizona Wednesday night, The Kansas City Star
GH: I pulled up McCullough’s game story from last night’s win to get a quote that exemplified his writing skills – which I believe to be plentiful. Instead, this stinker of a paragraph grabbed by attention. Dynamism? Screaming past the right-field fence? This clunker aside, the young man can write. Read on for an example of his prowess with a pen.

“The baseball hung in the sky for eight seconds, and Billy Butler stared upward for the duration. His eyes were bare, without protective shades to ward off any glare, but he insisted afterward the sun had not hampered him. As Jonny Gomes’ soaring pop-up floated toward first base, the Royals’ temporary replacement shuffled around and made a backhanded stab. ‘I just misjudged it,’ Butler said in a quiet clubhouse after his team absorbed an 8-3 drubbing by the Oakland Athletics.”
Andy McCullough, Royals beat writer, in his game story for the Royals 8-3 loss at Oakland last Friday night, The Kansas City Star
GH: This was McCullough’s lede for his Friday night game story and it vividly described Butler’s stumbling effort and the game’s pivotal play. And it was all done in a tightly written paragraph. McCullough looks to be another nice find by The Star’s sports desk.

“I don’t want to hear about Junior Hemmingway anymore! He’s been around here for three years! Wouldn’t we know if Junior Hemmingway was going to do something? I’d rather hear about somebody else! If these (other receivers) can’t beat out Junior Hemmingway… That’s another one – Donny Avery! How long’s he been with the team – four or five years?”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: It sometimes takes a bit to get Clinkscale worked up on the air but it appears that the dearth of talent available to the Chiefs is the tipping point. As I listened to his rant, I wondered how great it would be if he turned to Kevin Kietzman and proclaimed, “And I am sick and tired of hearing about your golf game! And how much money Jack Harry owes you from your two-bit bets! And haven’t we had just about enough of these damn grilling segments?” Talk about some quality radio…

“Corey Kluber's numbers in four post All-Star break starts: 34 innings, 3 earned runs, 3 walks, 35 Ks.”
Buster Olney, @Buster_ESPN, on the Indians sensational young starter, Twitter
GH: Kluber did not make the AL All-Star roster – which was a ridiculous slight. He appears to be taking the snub to heart and mowing down just about every hitter he faces in the second half of the season.

“You gotta have motivation to (pass block). You’ve got to be ‘hongry!’ … If you’re gonna bull rush me, I’m gonna come back next play and cut (block) you. You gonna bull rush me? I’m not the biggest and the strongest but I can play your game as well. If he tries to come up to me I’m gonna try and chop his legs off.”
Jamal Charles, when asked about his pass-blocking skills, 810 AM
GH: We often hear that the problem with the Texas Longhorns is that their players are soft from the country club life style they led under Mack Brown. Jamaal Charles is the exception to that stereotype. Mitch Holthus calls him the toughest Chiefs player he has come across in 20 years. Mitch might be right.

“The things I saw (at Chiefs camp) is the same thing everybody is talking about – the offensive line and the secondary. Are those two areas going to be able to overcome some of the questions people have about them? I didn’t walk away feeling better about it to be honest with you. I think they’ve got a lot of issues.”
Jeff Chadiha, NFL reporter, on his visit to the Chiefs camp in St. Joseph, 810 AM

“It will not make you feel better to see that (Chiefs’) secondary.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: Our last look at the Chiefs secondary was in Indianapolis as they surrendered one of the biggest second-half leads in NFL postseason play. It does not sound like Andy Reid has found a solution. This will very likely be a problem in the AFC West.

“You’re not going anywhere in the AFC unless you can manage to cover Denver’s wide receivers.”
Louis Riddick, ESPN NFL analyst, in an interview with The Border Patrol, 810 AM

“I see the way that secondary plays and the quarterbacks they are going to have to play and I can see a lot of flags flying.”
Jeff Chadiha, on the rules changes that will be new this year could hamper the Chiefs style of pass coverage, 810 AM
GH: Were the Chiefs DBs even close enough to the Colts’ receivers to garner a flag last January?

“The Chiefs rewarded (Justin) Houston for honoring his current obligations by offering a new contract.  Houston didn’t like it.  Per a league source, a ‘huge’ gap current exists between the team’s offer and Houston’s demands.”
Mike Florio, nbcsports.com

“I’ve got a hunch this Justin Houston thing is going to get done sooner rather than later.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Take your pick on who to believe in the Justin Houston contract dispute – Florio or Fescoe.

“(Danny) Parkins and I were talking and it doesn’t seem like people are as excited about the Chiefs as they normally are this time of year.”
Carrington Harrison, after seeing that the number of Chiefs fans attending the team’s first day of camp at Missouri Western looked to be less than in past years, 610 AM
GH: Harrison made this statement on the first day of camp so his opinion may have since changed. But there does seem to be a bit less buzz this summer about the Chiefs’ upcoming season. How many folks at your office are wearing red today? We have one guy in a Chiefs shirt.

“I want to see Weston Dressler in action tonight. Rider fans rave about him. Probably get a good look tonight.”
@ArrowheadPride, on the diminutive former wide-out from the Canadian Football League, Twitter
GH: We all love to see the little guy with almost no chance make a big splash. Call it The Rudy factor in sports. But with the poor quality of the Chiefs secondary, any camp stats from the Chiefs wide-outs might be as worthless as the fourth quarter of an NFL preseason game. BTW: Click here for some great info on ArrowheadPride.com as to where and how to watch tonight’s Chiefs preseason game.

“Brandon Carr can’t even cover a receiver who is laying on his back.”
John Q. Cowboys Fan, Twitter
GH: This link from Jimmy Kimmel Live shows Dallas Cowboys players reading “mean tweets” about themselves from Cowboy fans. The former Chiefs corner, Brandon Carr’s reaction at the end is priceless.

“I’ll give you one secret – Italian dressing. Italian dressing and a little mayonnaise.”
Wallace Gilberry, the former Chiefs defensive end who now plays for the Bengals, in an interview Wednesday with The Border Patrol, 810 AM
GH: Gilberry swears his smoked BBQ is better than anything we can buy here in KC. Mayo? Wallace is smoking something but it ain’t ribs.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Chiefs concerns might temper optimism

Written 8/4/14

“They showed their best side there (in the three-game series in Oakland) except for that fifth inning on Saturday. They played good defense and the pitching was outstanding. You just grinded out two wins against what I think is the best team in baseball. That’s pretty impressive. They’ve really responded well after that horrible series in Boston.”
Andy McCullough, Royals beat writer for The Kansas City Star, 810 AM
GH: So you want to quit this Royals team? They just refuse to let us leave. Get swept in Boston coming out of the All-Star break and most of us were ready for the Royals fire sale and football. But this team just won’t let us go. Guthrie and Big Game James pitched playoff-worthy gems in the Royals two wins in Oakland. It is only August 4th. Plenty of time for Royals fans to give up on this squad three more times and then jump right back on the bandwagon before October. Let’s hope we have a reason this season to be embarrassed for our fickle fanhood.

“I think the offensive line is a big worry.”
Tim Grunhard, while discussing his concerns for the 2014 Kansas City Chiefs with Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Tim Grunhard knows offensive line play. While he might not have been the best center in the league, he was darn good for a decade. If he is concerned about those behemoths protecting Alex Smith, we all should be concerned.

“I don’t think not being good enough at wide-out is going to stop this (Chiefs) team from going where they want to go. If they’re not going to go where they want to go, it’s going to be defense. Wide receivers are not going to be what takes this team to the Promised Land.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Petro added that a knowledgeable NFL insider once told him you could pick up a decent wide receiver on any playground in America. I would suggest the Chiefs start kicking it in some playgrounds, then. Because this draft and free-agent mode doesn’t seem to be getting it done.

“To this point Frankie Hammond has been awesome! He’s been fantastic! There’s been a couple of wide receivers like that.”
TJ Carpenter, on the play from the former Florida wide receiver who resided on the Chiefs practice squad last season, 810 AM

“Jonathan Baldwin. Suited up but did not receive a single target during team drills. Baldwin has been practically invisible during camp — two catches and three drops. A.J. Jenkins never was this bad.”
Grant Cohn, San Francisco 49ers beat writer, on the former Chiefs wide receiver who the Chiefs dealt for A.J. Jenkins, pressdemocrat.com
GH: The Egoli Virus has now infect the Niners franchise as well.

“I’m here to tell you that Dontari Poe is one of the best interior linemen in football. You cannot lose him.”
Steve St. John, 810 AM
GH: SSJ brought up Poe to back up his claim that Scott Pioli’s draft picks did contain some winners – especially in Poe who was roundly criticized by many after Pioli chose him with the Chiefs first draft pick. Read on for an assessment of Poe’s play midway through his rookie season…

“Fans love to make excuses for Poe. We have heard it all before. One line of thought was they had poor coaching at Memphis and that coach Romeo Crennel would bring out the best in him. Others said he played both tackle and it would be much better if he concentrated on just one position. Still other fans have said he is young and just needs time to develop, and rave about combine performances. … Poe rarely draws double-teams and gets stalemated by one guy. Not good, even for a rookie. When Poe recently played against Pittsburgh, he was blocked by one guy for almost the entire game. When he finally saw a double-team, he froze like a deer in headlights. He has other problems as well. His instincts for the game are poor. By the time he figures out what he is supposed to do, it's usually too late to do anything. … What bothers me the most is that he doesn't play the game mean, and when you are in the trenches you have to or you'll get pushed around by offensive lineman all day because that's what they expect. He may improve, but a ‘beast?’ I don't think so.”
Ron Temper, NFL writer, in a column written during Poe’s rookie season in November of 2012, BleacherReport
GH: Is Poe now a beast? He is at least close. If he can avoid wearing down the last six weeks of the season he could vault himself into elite status in the league.

“When you have this many injuries, you have to look at what was the training like in the off-season.”
Tim Grunhard, 810 AM
GH: I am of the belief that injuries are like the lottery – unpredictable and difficult to script. The Chiefs just seem to be in the crosshairs of the injury bug this summer – no matter how hard they did or didn’t work this off-season.

“Everybody is screaming that they need to give more relief to Jamaal Charles. That they need to save Jamaal Charles. I don’t think the Chiefs are in any mood to do that. He may have more work than he did last year. The Chiefs aren’t looking to rest him especially after doling out a fresh contract.”
Adam Teicher, in a conversation with Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Expect Jamaal to be treated like porcelain during the preseason and like the Chiefs ticket to the playoffs from September on.

“I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t think the Chiefs are going backwards this year. I think part of that is a residual from the meltdown in the playoffs against the Colts. Maybe I’m a little more bullish on the Chiefs than others.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM

“I think we need to temper our expectations for this team in this town. … If they get to a .500 season, that’s a pretty solid season.”
Marc Boerigter, former Chiefs wide-receiver in an appearance Monday on The Border Patrol, 810 AM
GH: Boerigter probably speaks the truth. No fan base signs up for a .500 season in August. But would that be acceptable for Chiefs fans? Are we a playoffs-or-bust kind of franchise? Or can we enjoy the four-month chase of a postseason sprinkled in with some titillating games and personal performances by our team and call it good even without the playoffs? Reality tells me we will need to this season.

 “I don’t want to say this and sound disingenuous because people say it all the time but the people here (in St. Joseph) are genuinely some of the nicest people you will meet. They will get you anything you need.”
TJ Carpenter, on his time spent at the Chiefs camp the past three weeks at Missouri Western, 810 AM
GH: St. Joe, MO is one friendly place. I hope the Chiefs renew their contract with Mo West. I cannot imagine things would be nearly as cozy if they move their camp to their Truman Sports Complex headquarters next July.

“What’s a raccoon?”
Rocket, the brains behind The Guardians of the Galaxy five-some, The Guardians of the Galaxy
GH: Loved this movie. One of the best romps of the summer season. My wife laughed loudest at this line and then nodded off to sleep for the remaining 90 minutes…at the 1:45 PM showing. It is difficult to teach art.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Royals do nothing at trade deadline

Written 7/31/14

“The Tigers added David Price. … Everybody around the Royals made moves. The Royals stood pat and Dayton Moore called a press conference.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: Whether you were rooting for the Royals to be buyers or sellers as the MLB trade deadline loomed this afternoon, you came away disappointed when Dayton Moore decided to stand pat with his roster. It created some interesting conversations in the media and on Twitter. Read on.

“We’re not going to apologize for our market and what we can’t do. … It’s always a factor.”
Dayton Moore, when asked if finances factored into the Royals decision to not get a deal done, MLB trade-deadline presser
GH: What kind of an answer is this??? This is the definition of apologizing for your market size. What “can’t” the Royals do? Are their rules in place in MLB that handcuff the Royals more than the A’s? The Rays? The Tigers? Dayton Moore is so far in over his head in this job that it is embarrassing.

“Please stop saying the Royals did NOTHING. We got Downs, Frasor, Ibanez, and Kratz. What more did you want????”
Royals Review, @royalsreview, Twitter
GH: Read this tweet again with a HEAVY sarcasm font overlaid on it.

“James Shields said he was shocked to see David Price traded (from his former Rays team) into the division. He was not exactly thrilled about this development.”
Andy McCullough, @McCulloughStar, Twitter
GH: Price going to the Tigers doesn’t guarantee the Tigers will win the ALC, since that was probably a likely outcome of this season without the Rays’ ace. What adding Price does for the Tigers is make them even a more dangerous opponent of Oakland’s in the postseason.

“All I can say is...Thank you @DAVIDprice14 for all the wins and memories. Your character is unmatched.”
Evan Longoria, @Evan3Longoria, Twitter
GH: Compare this tweet from Longoria to the unflattering comments he made about James Shields when he left the Rays. I don’t know who the ass is in this feud but I do find it interesting.

“We’re going to continue to look for ways to improve our team. There will be opportunities. We’ll keep looking.”
Dayton Moore, MLB trade-deadline presser
GH: Not quite what you want to hear from your GM an hour after the trade deadline has passed. I am guessing the Tigers GM’s message was a bit different today.

“In a small way, it feels like we made a trade." - Dayton Moore at 4:15, probably.”
Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, Twitter

“They’ll add a few offensive guys in the offseason, I’m sure.”
Rex Hudler, when asked by Danny Parkins to say something to make Royals fans feel better, 610 AM
GH: That makes me feel happy that football is only a month away.

“We’re going to maintain our strength...which is our starting pitching. So it didn’t make a lot of sense to take away from that to add a big-time bat.”
Dayton Moore, on one of the reasons the Royals made no moves for a power bat, MLB trade-deadline presser
GH: What doesn’t make sense is maintain a GM who has not sniffed the playoffs in eight seasons.

“While the rest of baseball plays Chess, DM isn't even playing checkers, he's playing connect four.”
Jeff Herr, @TheJeffReport, Twitter

“The #Royals rank last in both OPS and HR and to boost the offense they did absolutely nothing.. In year 8. I'm done.”
Dr. Koppe, @TKoppe22, Twitter

“Not necessarily. When you look at it, it makes perfect sense. It’s not really a surprise.”
Dayton Moore, when asked if he was surprised by Oakland’s willingness to deal Yoenis Cespedes, MLB trade-deadline presser
GH: Moore is just too cool to be floored like the rest of us over an out-of-the-blue blockbuster trade like this one. Dayton is either a fool, phony or he thinks we are fools. Pretending to be on top of this trade also makes him look all the worse for not being in the middle of it by offering the A’s James Shields, Billy Butler and Sluggerrr.

“We were prepared to make moves with prospects. There was nothing presented to us that made us uncomfortable, but certainly not out of the running. … It wouldn’t have been significant upgrades over what we had.”
Dayton Moore, MLB trade-deadline presser
GH: Prospects? We’re talking about PROSPECTS? Jim Mora is even chuckling over the Royals offering prospects instead of Dayton’s untouchable roster.

“When you look at the players that were available…we just couldn’t get ‘em.”
Dayton Moore, MLB trade-deadline presser
GH: Finally. A statement that rings of some truth. Dayton could have skipped his presser and tweeted this comment out to the media and gone and scarfed down a rib dinner at Oklahoma Joe’s. (I had my second such there meal this week today.)

“Dayton Moore is always a likeable guy but that was not – I repeat – that was NOT his best news conference. He stumbled and stammered and had to correct himself. … That was not Dayton Moore’s best moment.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: KK knows an uncomfortable conversation when he hears one and this was definitely one of those.

“I felt good about this group from the first day on and I feel good about them now.”
Ned Yost, 810 AM
GH: Translation: “My sense of ‘feel’ is broken. It’s spinal.”

“If you’d have seen the effort to try and improve the club. … It wasn’t for lack of trying.”
Ned Yost, on the Royals inability to add offense via a late trade, 810 AM
GH: Translation: “Dayton locked himself in the toilet and I could hear him whimpering in there.”

“All the moves ... today makes me want to quit the #royals season more than any losing streak.”
Curtis Kitchen, @curtiskitchen, Twitter
GH: But few of us will quit this mismanaged franchise of David Glass’. They may not win, they may not provide the proper number of t-shirts and they may not be wily traders. But they are ours. Be glad there is next year. Be Royal.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Does Billy want to get off his DH ass?

Written 7/28/14

“Call it a coincidence, but Billy Butler’s recent hitting surge has coincided with his return to first-base duty in place of Eric Hosmer.”
Randy Covitz, kansascity.com
GH: I have never understood why a healthy 28-year-old MLB player would be satisfied with a fulltime DH role. Maybe Raul Ibanez’s fitness and fire have embarrassed Billy into looking at his future and wanting to get off his DH ass.

“Sometimes you get your mind off just hitting, and you go out there and play. It takes a little pressure off you. That’s what I’ve done my whole life. I didn’t DH when I was growing up.”
Billy Butler, kansascity.com
GH: How great would it be if Butler got in shape and became the Royals answer in right field?

“He’s been late on balls. The last two days he’s been right on them.”
Ned Yost, on Billy Butler’s hitting Friday and Saturday, Fox Sports KC

“As the trade deadline looms, perhaps the Royals have already added a bat to their lineup with a productive Billy Butler.”
Joel Goldberg, Fox Sports KC

“I would like them to make that move. I would like them to make that acquisition. I would like them to make any move.”
Steven St. John, on reports that the Royals are interested in acquiring Alex Rios before the trade deadline, 810 AM

“If this team makes the playoffs it’s going to be because Billy Butler gets things going. It’s going to be because Eric Hosmer gets things going. I’m not going to get too excited or too depressed if they do or don’t make a move.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Sometimes the best moves are no moves at all. Ever hear of that one, Stan? I’m with Nate on Rios and just about any late trade that the Royals can/will afford. They need to win or lose with the guys who are supposed to be getting the job done.

“If you believe in KC, the 5-game winning streak was delightful. If you don't, then it just means they won't sell when they should have.”
Rany Jazayerli, @jazayerli, Twitter
GH: Jeff Passan made this point as the club limped into June. The spurts of success this team has experienced might be what kills their hopes in 2015 and 2016. But with a 29-year-playoff drought looking to turn 30 this October, I understand why the Royals want to keep paddling upstream. Their chances are small but they are more attractive than all of Dayton’s other late-season runs.

“It seems that when this team gets down to the big games, the games they have to win, this team can’t get it done.”
Frank White, 810 AM
GH: Frank hit this one out of the ball park. This Royals team needs to stop getting crushed every time they pull close to a contender. Is that Nervous Ned’s influence?

“When I heard that James Shields was the leader of this ball club I had my concerns. On my ball club, we would never let a pitcher be the leader. Good teams don’t allow pitchers to do that.”
Frank White, 810 AM
GH: Frank made some killer comments in his interview with Kevin Kietzman on Friday afternoon. I hope somebody posts them in the Royals play…I mean locker room.

“This is such a young group of guys that they are telling each other what they want to make them feel good – not what they should be telling them. I want you to tell me the truth, not what you think I want to hear. You don’t get any better by patting each other on the back after you’ve had a bad outing and saying, ‘It’s okay.’ You have to get better by saying, ‘What can you do to fix it? How can you get better?’ We had guys who would go sit in a player’s locker and say, ‘You need to pick it up a bit.’ Then they know their teammates aren’t going to be so kind when they don’t do what they’re supposed to do.”
Frank White, 810 AM

“I think the Royals are a hapless organization, so you know I'm being honest when I say this: they have the best uniforms/logos in baseball.”
TJ Carpenter, @TJCarpenterWHB, Twitter
GH: The Dodgers, Yankees, Cardinals and Orioles are my top  for great looking MLB uniforms. Who you got?

“There was absolutely nothing out here. Now look at it! It’s like a freeway out there!”
Disgruntled KCK Farmer, when asked about his opinion of the USA Soccer building their national training center off of Parallel Parkway, 980 AM
GH: This KCK farmer was not pleased to hear that Wyandotte County may yet again be growing and leaving behind it’s “absolutely nothing” kind of reputation. Let’s hope he becomes extinct as well.

“We all knew that this was bullshit. We knew that UMKC was not better than MIT and Stanford.”
An anonymous UMKC professor, on the 2011 findings that UMKC was the top university for innovation management research, Kansas City Star
GH: I don’t think I have ever seen the word “bullshit” printed in The Kansas City Star – on a Sunday no less! This might be the best sign yet that the daily newspaper is on the way back! Now if the sports section will begin to allow the printing of “suck,” we will be on the edge of evolutionary progress.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Two years ago Butler was the toast of the All-Star Game in KC

Written 7/15/14

“The Royals sixth-inning song now this year has been Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’. And that is exactly what the fans here need to do. They need to stay behind this ball club and believe it can happen. And maybe the players, they’ve got to believe it! I think they do.”
Rex Hudler, as the Royals enter the All-Star break at 48-46 and 6.5 games behind Detroit, Fox Sports KC
GH: Let’s hope the players at least believe they can repeat their second-half surge of last season. As fans, we don’t have much of a choice other than to watch, hope and wait to see if this Royals team can end the 29-year playoff drought.

“They shouldn’t be second-half guys. They should be full-season guys. I think the best baseball’s ahead of us that we’re going to play. … I think all of our guys – Moose included and Hos included – are second-half guys. So all the signs are pointing up for us on offense in the second half.”
Ned Yost, 610 AM
GH: I have no idea why any manager, player or front office person would think it takes a team 90 games to have their offense pointing up. And if the only “sign” is that these are second-half players, Ned needs to get a new speech writer.

“I think you can kiss the division good-bye. But that second wild card is still in play.”
Carrington Harrison, on the Royals chances of catching the Tigers in the AL Central, 610 AM
GH: MLB has added the second playoff spot to now make falling out of the playoff race almost impossible before mid-August. Being around .500 allows teams to pretend that a miracle might happen. And it might. But I see more signs with injuries and the pitching rotation that the Royals are headed backward instead of forward in the second half.

“I hear people saying, ‘It’s over! They’re out of it!’ They’ve got to get hot but it really is possible for them to catch the Tigers. It really is.”
Brad Fanning, 610 AM
GH: With 70 games left it’s possible for just about anything to happen. What else are we going to do besides watch it unfold and hope?

“All of (the Royals) prospects are at the major league level so it’s understanding that there’s going to be kind of a lull.”
Nate Bukaty, attempting to explain why the Royals do not have any immediate answers in their organization for their offensive woes, 810 AM
GH: I do not understand this excuse. This is Hosmer’s and Moose’s fourth season in the big leagues. It is Salvador Perez’s third. I don’t see a reason that Dayton Moore should not be expected to have major-league ready position players for James Shields’ final season with the Royals. It is kind of his job.

“Since 2009 (the Royals) have drafted one player who is contributing at the big-league level.”
Andy McCullough, 810 AM

“They like their guys (in their farm system). They believe in their player development.”
Andy McCullough, when discussing the chances of the Royals trading some of their prospects for possibly 33-year-old Ben Zobrist or similar immediate help, 810 AM
GH: The Royals have no business trying to win anything this season by trading away prospects. This team is simply not worthy of the risk.

“You have to beat the best. Detroit’s the best. And (the Royals) aren’t doing that.”
Les Norman, 810 AM

“The Royals are probably a lot more like Cleveland, Chicago and Minnesota than they are Detroit.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM

“He's the hardest worker I've ever met in my life. There's not a close second.”
Danny Duffy, on Alex Gordon, Omaha World Herald
GH: This quote comes from a well-written story from the Omaha World Herald’s Dirk Chatelain. Click on the link to read his account of just how far the Royals All-Star and Gold-Glove left fielder has come since he was sent down to Omaha to learn a new position and battle the label of being called a bust. Chatelain is a skilled storyteller as this reflective piece demonstrates.

“More than 360 plate appearances into his season, Butler has hit three home runs. Three. Eugenio Suarez hit three homers in his first eight games in the big leagues. Butler has hit three all year. Two years ago, he slugged .510. This year, he's slugging .353. In the 42-season history of DHing, there hasn't been a single "regular" DH (i.e., a guy who DHed in 75 percent of his games) who was given 500 plate appearances without hitting at least five home runs and slugging at least .350. But that's where Butler is heading -- toward a season in which he reaches neither of those pedestrian plateaus.”
Jayson Stark, MLB writer, on why he named the Royals DH as the AL’s Least Valuable Player at the All-Star break, ESPN.com
GH: Two years ago Billy was the toast of the Kansas City All-Star game. How did this happen to one of the game’s most natural hitters?

“Look what the Royals have done – developing a closer like Greg Holland. Making himself and the Royals look like a star!”
Rex Hudler, on the success of the Royals 10th-round draft pick, Fox Sports KC
GH: Is there any chance Physioc and Hudler can take the second-half of the season off? I sure would like to know what the Royals survey results are about their broadcasters. Do you think we’ll get a press release on that one, Stan?

“There has never been a more perfect man created in the world than Derek Jeter. It is hard to find a person in the history of the world that was created better than Derek Jeter. I can’t think of a better male than Derek Jeter. The guy’s done everything. I think it will be very, very, very, very entertaining to see how they honor Derek Jeter tonight at the All-Star Game.”
Bob Fescoe, 810 AM
GH: You can take the Yankee fan out of New Jersey but you can’t always educate them.

“I fear for Missouri football after Gary Pinkel is gone. I truly do.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Truly? How fearful is Kietzman about K-State football after Bill Snyder is gone? It would appear to me that Snyder is the most important person to any one DI program. Kietzman also made a point to a caller and his listeners that he is not backing down from his stance that Missouri made a mistake in leaving the Big 12 for the SEC. It would sure be interesting to have a Missouri representative on KK’s show live to debate this topic…someone besides Jack Harry.

“I think Missouri has lost a lot by not playing Kansas anymore.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: The Missouri and Kansas fans have lost a great rivalry but the two schools are far from hurting. The schools are as popular and financially successful as maybe ever before.

“I think what’s exciting about the Missouri football season this year is that you have such a wide range of what Maty Mauk can be. He could be a Heisman Trophy candidate or he could flame out. Every other quarterback they’ve had has been very predictable. Maty Mauk will always have four or five plays where you say, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ But sometimes that mindset works out very well.”
Carrington Harrison, 610 AM

“If you go strictly with the talent on the field, Georgia will win the (SEC) East running away. They return literally everybody on defense. But it’s not decided strictly on talent.”
TJ Carpenter, 810 AM
GH: Carpenter picks South Carolina to win the East, Mizzou second and Georgia third.

“It's also great seeing guys who paved the way for me. I wasn't the first good big man KU has had. Been many more before me like @Trobinson0.”
Tarik Black, @TarikBlack25, Twitter
GH: This tweet is so true it did not need to be posted.

“There's no reason or cause for worry on his part because Andrew's not going anywhere, as far as I know and as far as the club has expressed. I would think for a guy like Andrew, to have the opportunity to play with arguably one of the best players of all time, and to learn from him and to be tutored by him and to play alongside him -- which he will -- I gotta think that's a tremendous boost to his confidence and his comfort level and probably his motivation.”
David Blatt, Cleveland Cavs’ head coach, ESPN.com
GH: The NBA is going to be fun to follow with Wiggins playing alongside LeBron and Doug McDermott testing his college skills with the Bulls.

“(Bill) Self says other teams use lack of NBA All Stars against KU in recruiting so for perception, it matters how Wiggins & Embiid are as pros.”
Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, Twitter
GH: I don’t think Bill Self is going to have any trouble recruiting the nation’s best talent to KU – no matter what Wiggins and Embiid do in the NBA. And I think both are going to do very, very well.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Tigers rock the Royals

Written 7/11/14

“The Royals drew only 21,000 (Thursday) night and that was smaller than every other announced crowd in baseball except Seattle.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: The Royals will be close to a sellout tonight and Saturday night at The K. Yes, it’s Dollar Night and fireworks night tonight and Saturday’s fans will be lured in part by the Salvy bobblehead giveaway. But that’s what happens when you smother the heart of a baseball town for 30 years with promises and slogans.

“Let’s see if the Royals fans show up tonight. This is what they said they’ve always wanted. ‘Just show me a winner and we’ll be out there (at The K),’ is what they’ve said. Well, here’s your chance. They won 86 games last year and they have the Tigers in town for a big four-game series this weekend. Time to show up.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I pretty much detest when members of the media snarl at the paying public for not showing up to a sporting event. And KK was snarling and baiting and chastising Royals fans Thursday prior to the game about supporting the team by buying tickets. MLB, the NFL and big-time college sports cannot have it both ways. You don’t get to make billions off of TV contracts and then complain that your fans prefer to watch the game via their $200-per-month cable/Internet provider.

“I’m not going to tell anybody that they’ve got to go out to the stadium to support this team. It’s not pretty out there.”
Steven St. John, after the Royals were bounced 16-4 by Detroit in the series opener, 810 AM
GH: SSJ made this comment the morning after Kietzman made his snarling remarks about Royals fans showing up. Were the two related? I can only hope so.

“You cannot go through the second half of the season with your designated hitter popping two or three home runs. This team has to have a second half from Billy Butler, and I’m a firm believer in that this team is a second-half team. That’s not going to happen if Billy Butler doesn’t start hitting. I hate to put it on him but it is on him. He is the veteran bat in that lineup.”
Mike Macfarlane, 810 AM
GH: I love Macfarlane’s optimism about Butler and the Royals. I just don’t see much of a reason to think this version of the Royals is going to repeat last season’s dramatic turnaround in August and September. This organization is thin on talent. The Royals have been able to avoid injuries until now – and still find themselves 5.5 games behind Detroit. Look at last night’s lineup and tell me how that collection of castoffs, underachievers and Ned’s pets are going to hold up over the next two months? I so want this summer to be different but a 16-4 butt kicking has me crying in Brazilian.

“He’s absolutely exceeded my expectations. He is incredibly engaged in the things he does in our community.”
John Currie, K-State’s AD, when asked by Kevin Kietzman if Bruce Weber had exceeded his expectations, 810 AM
GH: Bruce Weber has been so much more than I thought he would be at Kansas State that he deserves my apologies and a deep bow. I used to think of Weber as Bill Self’s caddy but the guy can coach. Maybe he’s not the greatest recruiter but that merely accentuates his coaching prowess. He makes it easy to like Wildcat basketball once again.

“We have three SEC teams on our (basketball) schedule.”
John Currie, on KSU playing Tennessee, Texas A&M and Georgia this season, 810 AM
GH: We are getting closer and closer to a truce between Missouri and their former Big 12 mates from the Sunflower State. The groundwork is being laid with these SEC/B12 battles. I just  hope I’m still typing when they decide to get it back on.

“I’m at 9-7 right now without seeing them but I’m leaning toward 10-6. I want to see how the offensive line responds is what it is.”
Tim Grunhard, on his prediction for the Chiefs’ record this season, 810 AM
GH: Without seeing or knowing much of anything new from last season I have the Chiefs at five wins this season. I desperately hope their schedule doesn’t prove to be nearly as tough as it looks on my monitor.

“If he can be like Evan (Boehm)…he’s on the same track. He’s got three more years to get there He’s a good kid and he works hard. The only kicker is how tall is he going to get and if he can get up to 6’2. One of the positives of me going back over to Miege is that I’m going to be able to work with him the next three years and give him an opportunity if he wants to play in college. He’s on his way to do it. He’s a really good kid. As much as his dad is an ass, he’s a really good kid.”
Tim Grunhard, on his 15-year-old son, Colin, who is a 250-pound center for Bishop Miege, 810 AM
GH: Evan Boehm, Mizzou’s All-American candidate at center this season, is one of the great local success stories of a high school kid who was coached by his father and succeeding at a high level. I enjoyed hearing Grunhard talk about his son not only as a father but also as a coach. There was a lot of pride in his voice but also a lot of coach. It will be fun to watch Colin grow over the next three seasons.

“Other stations dabble in Chiefs. That’s cute. We’re going nuts!”
Promo for 610 Sports Chiefs coverage, 610 AM
GH: Another 16-4 Brazilian waxing by the Tigers this weekend and we will all be tuning in for nutty Chiefs coverage.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Salvy's 3-run homer saves Royals

Written 7/10/14

“What was going through Jarrod Dyson's head as Salvador Perez's homer approached the foul pole: ‘Mother[expletive], get out!’”
Andy McCullough, @McCulloughStar, on the Royals catcher’s three-run eighth-inning homer to beat the Rays 5-4 Wednesday night, Twitter
GH: I sat on my couch Wednesday night half watching the Royals head toward another loss as the ninth inning rally looked to be nothing more than another disappointment. Then Perez lifted a ceiling-high pop up toward the cozy left-field corner at Tampa’s Trop. The 320-sometihng fly ball would have been an unceremonious out at The K. Instead, it turned the Royals road trip from a loser into a winner. In what may be the biggest win in Ned Yost’s Royals’ career, the Royals did what they so often have had done to them.

“I’ve never seen Ned like that! He went out there to give Salvy a chest bump! That’s a big win.”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM
GH: Ned looked almost human last night after the Royals’ surprising comeback win. Why can’t he act like this more often in front of a camera or microphone? He is making millions coaching grown men play a game. Enjoy the cushy life you have stumbled into, Ned. There are far worse lots in life.

“I think Sal Perez is steaming toward being the face of this franchise.”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM
GH: The Royals signed their young catcher to a franchise-friendly seven-year contract for a paltry $20 million two years ago. He might be worth $20 million A YEAR right now. You have to wonder if Salvy continues to be the AL All-Star catcher for the next few years just how happy he will be watching bad middle-infielders make more than he is as the game’s best catcher.

“I think this might not only be the biggest win this season but it might be the biggest win all of last season too!”
Henry Lake, 610 AM
GH: Last season ended with a feel-good story that went where the last 28 Royals seasons have gone in October – nowhere. This season still has hope – at least here on the eve of a four-game series with Detroit.

“This (four-game series versus Detroit) is maybe the most important series for the Royals up to this point.”
Carrington Harrison, 610 AM

“I am not going to be freaking out with a split (with the Tigers). Lose three out of four and I’m going to be disappointed and wondering where the team is going.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM

“Don’t be afraid to give some credit to a guy who had a hell of a road trip. A little applause when he comes to the plate might be nice.”
Soren Petro, on Eric Hosmer hitting .400 and showing some pop in this last road trip, 810 AM
GH: Hosmer’s numbers took a dramatic upturn on the Royals road trip but have the Royals fans at The K ever been less than supportive of any of the current Royals players? The last Royal I remember getting booed at home is Kyle Farnsworth. I don’t recall ever hearing that Hoz or Moose were the target of anything but cheers.

“Absolutely. Wait until he gets home and he gets his swing fixed.”
Mike Boddicker, when asked if he is sticking by his prediction that Raul Ibanez is going to be a productive pick up for the Royals in the second half of this season, 810 AM
GH: Boddicker believes that KCK’s David Segui is a hitting-coach savant and holds the fountain of youth for Ibanez’s swing. I think Ibanez’s swing looks fine – it’s just too slow now to catch up to MLB pitching. Unless Raul turns into Barry Bonds, 42-year-old players just don’t get better with coaching.

“I cringe at what people would be saying about Bill Self if Mario Chalmers’ shot would not have gone in and they wouldn’t have won that game in overtime.”
Eamonn Brennan, college basketball writer for ESPN.com, in an interview with Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: No Mario Miracle, no Bill Self national championship. Would it make Self any less of a great coach? No. But it would change everything from his salary to his ranking amongst today’s great college coaches.

“On vacation so I missed the DGB to OU talk, but I'll be shocked if he ever plays a snap for them. Reminds me of Josh Gordon to Utah.”
Matt Miller, @nfldraftscout, Twitter

“I don’t think there is any chance of that happening. If it does, I take back everything I’ve said about DGB turning his life around.”
Stan Weber, on DGB possibly entering the 2015 NFL draft, 810 AM

“I feel sorry for you. I can’t even tell whether you’re in charge or whether you’re a minion (to the universities). If you’re merely a monetary pass-through, why should you even exist?”
Claire McCaskill, as she questioned NCAA president Mark Emmert Wednesday on Capitol Hill about the alarming statistics of sexual abuse on campuses across the country, Kansascity.com
GH: In what might have been McCaskill’s finest moment in politics, the former Missouri State Auditor embarrassed the head of the NCAA with facts, figures and outrage. If only our government examined their own work with such tenacity. 

“I had to turn off the mic and ask what state she represents, for god sakes.”
Soren Petro, on watching Senator Claire McCaskill question Emmert, 810 AM

GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Hosmer catching heat, Kietzman on being the butt of jokes

Written 7/9/14

“I think you would have to say that Dayton Moore is putting his job in the hands of Eric Hosmer.”
Soren Petro, on the perception that the Royals have decided to strap their 2014 postseason hopes onto the back of their first baseman no matter his offensive numbers, 810 AM
“I’m sorry, but Eric Hosmer is a six-foot-four, 220-pound first baseman singles hitter! I have to have better than that! At first base you have to have some pop! Not a number-two hole singles hitter. He doesn’t want to change. He thinks he’s doing fine. And the Royals want to make sure that he believes he’s doing good.”
Mike Boddicker, 810 AM
GH: Some believe Eric Hosmer is the key offensive player to the Royals playing in the postseason this October or not. Ned Yost and the Royals continue to treat Hosmer like he is George Brett and some of the local media and fans are starting to question their parenting skills. First it was Moose and now it’s Hoz.

“Eric Hosmer, frequently – not always – plays the game like an airhead.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM

“It’s good to know its Billy Butler with the ego, not the guy who stubbornly hits Eric Hosmer second every night.”
@royalsreview, Twitter

“He likes to eat and he doesn’t like to work out. That’s not a good combination.”
Mike Boddicker, on Billy Butler’s less-than-athletic physique, 810 AM

“I complain about the Royals philosophy, focus, work etc, but if I didn’t, the alternative would be to acknowledge they just aren’t any good.”
TJ Carpenter, @TJCarpenterWHB, Twitter
GH: I refuse to believe the Royals aren’t any good. Their lineup is full of talented players who in my opinion too often underperform. If the Royals do stink, I am sure wasting a lot of summer nights bathed in their questionable cologne.

“I didn’t really go out and tell people (I made the All-Star team). I guess they just kind of figured it out on their own.”
Greg Holland, in an interview with Jay Binkley and Henry Lake, 610 AM
GH: With the number of likable personalities on the Royals’ roster dwindling with each pay-per-view fight night, Holland is as refreshing a local celebrity as this town has seen in some time. He is wildly underappreciated by MLB because he plays for the Royals. He is just as underappreciated as an interview. I think Holland could one day have a great second career as a color analyst on TV or radio. He is simple yet deep.

“I don’t really concern myself with (what music is playing when I walk in from the bullpen). The only thing I concern myself with is throwing strike one and making sure we’re still winning when when I get out of the game.”
Greg Holland, when asked why he allowed James Shields to pick his walk-in music, 610 AM
GH: This was just an enjoyable interview by 610’s midday crew of Lake and Binkley. You can listen to the entire interview by clicking here.

“I really wasn’t going to do anything, so getting to go to Minnesota to play in the All-Star Game is really kind of a treat.”
Greg Holland, when asked about his plans for the All-Star week if he had not been selected, 610 AM
GH: How can you not like this guy?

“With 35.6 million Tweets, #BRA v #GER is the most-discussed single sports game ever on Twitter.”
@TwitterData, on Germany’s 7-1 throttling of the host country, Twitter
GH: How does Brazil overcome this embarrassment? They have won more World Cup titles than any other country except Germany but this loss may be what haunts the home of Pele the rest of this century. It was that embarrassing.

“Andrew Wiggins shoe deal with adidas is worth about $2M a year (over five years). Slightly short of the $14M-$18M projections made last year.”
Darren Rovell, @darrenrovell, Twitter
GH: I hope Wiggins is expecting a phone call from the Williams Fund asking him to help pay for that new basketball dorm in Lawrence.

“Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports previously reported (Wiggins’ adidas) contract as being worth close to $100 million over 10 years, but that Tweet was subsequently deleted. Spears later reported that it is a five-year deal worth approximately $12 million to $13 million.”
Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick, USA Today

“Most KU fans don’t care about how good Andrew Wiggins is in the NBA.”
Frank Boal, 810 AM
GH: Is this true, KU? I think all alums are very proud of their former athletes once they succeed in the professional ranks – but they lose interest quickly if the player is a bust or also-ran in the pros. Paul Pierce versus Greg Ostertag.

“I would be really mad if I was on a game broadcast some night that made me the butt of a joke. It would anger me, Danny, to no end!”
Kevin Kietzman, after discussing a fan who is suing the Yankees for showing him sleeping in his seat, 810 AM
GH: If you have ever wondered why Kevin Kietzman’s voice never appears as a humorous drop for The Border Patrol or The Program, you no longer need to wonder. KK does not suffer being made fun of lightly. I don’t really understand this kind of person but it takes a special kind of guy to be able to dish it out but refuse to be on the receiving end.

“(Collin Klein) got the best deal of any college football player ever! He got to make a run at a Heisman Trophy, play for a legendary coach and win a conference championship. Now they hired him to have a job as a coach. What’s wrong with that? He became famous and got a look (from the NFL) just because of that, when he never really had the ability to play quarterback in the NFL. Trust me, John Currie could go run an NFL franchise!”
Kevin Kietzman, to a caller who argued that the K-State quarterback was not adequately compensated in college for his contributions to the Wildcat football program compared to Currie and the coaches’ salaries, 810 AM
GH: Collin Klein is the most important reason that Kansas State has been able to spends the millions of dollars in facility upgrades the past few years. His play for four years was worth millions to KSU. History tells us that the beatings he took as the Wildcats quarterback will likely haunt him as he ages. For Kietzman to say that Klein was adequately compensated for his contributions to Kansas State is embarrassing.

“He stopped short of agreeing with me but I could tell he wanted to.”
Kevin Kietzman, when he suggested to K-State’s AD, John Currie, that scholarship college athletes on K-State’s campus are the one percenters, 810 AM
GH: This might be one of my favorite KK quotes. Kevin knows what you’re thinking even when you’re not thinking it.

“I think most of the basketball coaches want to give these kids the world and football coaches want to give them a little. Football coaches want to say, ‘You’re not entitled to anything! You have to work for it!’”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Translation: Bill Snyder is a far better man than Bill Self.

“I don’t want anything I do or say here on the radio show to be taken by someone else and have them make a profit with it. We are protected by copyrights.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I find it interesting that Kietzman and his sports radio station make a living off of reporting on, critiquing and goofing on what athletes, coaches and front office people do while performing their jobs, yet he abhors the thought of his work being turned into profit by another business. Maybe now he understands why Ned, Hosmer and the Royals treat the media like they do. They have the same view of people using their copyrighted work for profit as Kevin.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Critiquing the Voices of the Royals

Written 7/7/14

The Voices of the Royals

With the baseball season passing the halfway point in the season, here is my review the broadcasters, writers and media who cover our Kansas City Royals.

Denny Matthews, Royals Radio play-by-play voice
Denny is The Voice of the Royals. He is also known as the Voice of Summer by generations of Kansas Citians like me who hear Denny and immediately think baseball. I have been a loud critic of Denny for his grumpy on-air nature and his trademark refusal to express excitement. Denny believes you save the excitement for when it really matters. I believe that is a convenient excuse for a guy who stayed too long in his job and no longer can muster the daily energy it takes to be a MLB play-by-play voice. Denny is now coddled by his audience and boss instead of held to the same standard as the team’s much-maligned GM and manager. I don’t think Denny cares anymore…except if the game is going to be over in less than three hours.

Ryan Lefebvre, Royals TV and Radio play-by-play
Lefebvre replaced Fred White in the Royals radio booth in 1999 and he was awful. I started a “Held Hostage by The Beaver” campaign and updated the growing list of days Beaver was allowed to remain on the Royals air. Ryan took the criticism that I and others leveled at him as blowback from him replacing the popular Fred White. This was not the case. It was time for Fred to go. I was excited that the Royals had hired a young voice to add to Denny’s deep Royals knowledge. But the young Beaver was as bland and forgettable as a drive through West Lenexa. But the Royals are nothing if not loyal. They stuck with Lefebvre through bad and worse, and after 15 years they have themselves a professional if not memorable play-by-play voice.  Lefebvre is now my favorite voice on the Royals broadcasts – which should be a big hint as to what I think of the others in this lineup.

Steve Physioc, Royals TV and Radio play-by-play
I was actually excited when the Royals announced they had hired the former Kansas State alum and broadcaster who had spent so many years calling games for the Reds, Giants, Padres and Angels. I was always impressed with Physioc’s innate broadcast-quality pipes. His voice purred like a DJ from the 1950s. It is that same melodic, saccharine-sweet voice that makes me cringe when I tune into a Royals game now. Physioc is definitely a talent that is appreciated from afar – like seven-states-away far. He is a sickeningly sweet glob of gosh-gee-super-dooper-ness that my baseball-loving ears treats like a Billy Butler double play ball. And Physioc’s speech pattern might even be slower than Butler’s gait. It takes him so long to form a thought or complete a sentence that I am sure Denny takes his bathroom breaks during his conversations with Phys. 

Rex Hudler, TV color analyst
Rex came with Physioc as part of a package deal from California. The Angels had canned the pair and the Royals picked them up off the wire for the price of whatever out-of-work MLB TV broadcasters are making nowadays. You can bet it was Walmart cheap. And just like that plastic laundry basket you bought for $2 at the local Wally, the Royals got what they paid for – a cheap imitation. Hudler is who he is – a goofy, life-loving man child who fashioned a successful career with his body not his mind. So why place him in front of a live mic and tell him to be informative and entertaining? Rex is about as prepared for his job as @feministstripper is for a job in marketing. There is a portion of the Royals fan base who love Rex’s quirkiness, goofy sayings and his friendly egoless demeanor. But people in the media all have a portion of their audience who loves them. Fescoe even has fans. Having fans is no reason to be a homer of Ruthian proportions. I just think Royals fans deserve so much more than Physioc and Hudler. My wife, who knows less about baseball than Whitlock, hears Hudler’s voice on TV as she passes through the room and says, “That guy just sounds stupid. Who is he?” That’s the guy the Royals think their fans deserve.

Steve Stewart, Royals radio play-by-play
Stewart might be the most forgettable guy in the Royals franchise. And that’s a franchise where I am counting Aaron Brooks. His role on the Royals radio broadcasts is to give score updates during the broadcasts and to fill in for Denny when he doesn’t want to make a road trip to Minnesota, Cleveland or Detroit – you know the teams in the Royals division. Stewart is a decent sounding play-by-play guy who is utterly safe – which is exactly what the Royals like in their broadcasters. Stewart has few opinions and those he does have he keeps to himself. He’s just a guy. He’s that C-minus you got in that math class you had to take. Nothing more than something to step over to get where you’re going.

Andy McCollough, Royals beat writer for the Kansas City Star
The new kid on the Royals beat had some big shoes to fill when Bob Dutton retired to Tacoma, Washington to tweet about the Mariners. Dutton had a Bob Newhart sense of humor in how he interacted with his Twitter followers – and I miss that dearly. But McCullough is a capable young writer who I would take far more seriously if he didn’t look like the paper boy. This is Andy’s first season with KC, the Royals and Ned. He is just trying to survive and not get Nate Bukatied by the Royals. He plays it far too safe for my taste but the guy’s got to eat. I am hoping he gets a bit hungrier as this season progresses and starts in on some backside.

Joel Goldberg, Royals TV pre- and postgame host and on-field reporter
I like Joel. He seems like an easy-going kind of guy who has never raised his voice in anger. He is perpetually upbeat – even after the Royals get their butts beat. No matter the score, you can bet Joel will find a nugget of positivity to mention to the Royals faithful. I am trying to remember a memorable interview of Goldie’s with a Royals player. They all kind of sound the same, don’t they? “Well, you had a pretty good game tonight, right?” Sideline reporters are all pretty much dreck when it comes to watchability and so Joel’s job is not an easy one. The guy is basically Sluggerrr without the costume.

Josh Vernier, 610 Sports Royals postgame radio host
Vernier is the guy Nick Wright accused of being a nepotism hire by his old boss when he was brought here from Milwaukee to be the anchor host of 610 Sports afternoon drive show that also included Jayice Pearson and Jay Binkley. That show never worked and Vernier was left hanging when they cut Jayice and moved the football-loving Binkley to midday. To Vernier’s credit, he has found a niche as 610’s Royals insider. Is he any good? Meh… He does show up every night. I will give him that. He’s in a tough spot in that he is a twenty-something nerd who has to go face-to-face with Ned Yost and the players on an almost nightly basis. We are not going to get Bill O’Reilly out of him. Vern is ultra-protective of Ned on his show and readily shouts down callers who criticize the manager’s mistakes. The Royals probably love Vern’s show. I do not.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24


Covitz and Mellinger on the selfie by Sporting's Dwyer

Written 7/7/14

“After great steal and goal, bush-league move by SportingKC Dom Dwyer taking selfie. Yellow card well deserved.”
Randy Covitz, @randycovitz, after Dwyer scored to give Sporting a 1-0 lead over Chicago and then ran to the sideline to snap a staged selfie with the CK crowd in the background, Twitter
GH: Covitz called out Dwyer for being “bush-league” for staging this selfie. I don’t want to get into a whole debate over the merits or lack thereof between MLS soccer versus the futbol played elsewhere in the world but…isn’t MLS soccer the definition of bush league? We play minor-league soccer here in the states. That should be no surprise to anyone. Is it a big deal to Kansas City that Sporting won the MLS title last year? Yes! But it’s no different than Japan’s World Series. Is it a big deal when the T-Bones win? It is to them. So let’s not confuse an MLS match to the mania we have witnessed at the World Cup. If Dwyer or anybody in the league is creative enough to draw some national attention with a selfie – I am all for it.
“Sporting KC forward, Dom Dwyer, drew a yellow-card on this goal celebration, but first.. he took a selfie!”
@SportsCenter, Twitter
GH: Having ESPN run this video on SportsCenter and tweet out the selfie is proof enough for me that Dwyer’s actions were not only fun but marketing savvy. Maybe the Royals could hire Dwyer to help with those lame in-game promotions they broadcast on the video board.
“Just not a fan of taunting and poor sportsmanship. Dwyer is better than that. Taunting should be forbidden. Dwyer is better than that.”
Randy Covitz, @randycovitz, KC Star writer, responding to multiple followers who thought Covitz’s criticism of Dwyer’s selfie was get-off-my-lawn grumpy, Twitter
GH: I don’t understand Covitz’s criticism that Dwyer “is better than that.” What did he do that was so awful? This was not an act of taunting. It was an act of celebration. Goals are so rare in this game that there SHOULD be some kind of parade after someone scores. Who was the guy with the Wizards who did the centipede crawl after scoring? Soccer is not dignified. Soccer is fun and passionate and goofy haircuts. Did Covitz think he was covering the No Fun League?
“That's a yellow for using a prop, but it should be for ‘crappy celebration.’”
Sam Mellinger, @mellinger, KC Star columnist, after Twitter
GH: Et tu, Samte? At least Covitz can be excused for his brain having fossilized…but you still have hair!
“I don't understand how something can be so bad that it's penalized yet the league celebrates the action on its official twitter account.”
Michael Smith, @prezmike25, after the MLS tweeted out a photo of Dwyer’s selfie, Twitter
GH: Maybe the MLS learned their backdoor marketing from the NFL.
“Decent performance, but would have liked 3pts tonight! thank you @KCCauldron and all, loudest of the season so far!”
Dom Dwyer, @Ddwyer14, Twitter
“I'd put our club up against the majority of clubs in the world. Obviously, we maybe don't compare in the fact that we don't have the same pocketbook they do, because of our salary cap. But outside of that: the facilities, the stadium, the game environment, fans, city to live in – this is the best country in the world, the United States, and you're living in Kansas City. You think about it. It's a great place.”
Peter Vermes, talking to reporters after Friday's training session about the possibility of Graham Zusi and Matt Besler remaining with Sporting Kansas City instead of being traded to an overseas club, mlssoccer.com
GH: If Covitz and Mellinger want to get serious about MLS soccer, here is a great topic to tackle. I love Kansas City as much as the next guy but Vermes must be smoking the net if he thinks Sporting KC can retain any player that an overseas club covets. The Yankees are going to get every T-Bone player they want.
“And then the final piece that you evaluate when you go somewhere – yeah, maybe I'm going to go somewhere and make some more money, but am I playing on a regular basis? I look at it like this, why would they want to leave? All their success has been found here. Why do you want to move on if you're here, you make a good living and you have all that opportunity?”
Peter Vermes, mlssoccer.com
GH: When was the last time Vermes was drug tested?
“MLB catchers in Missouri not looking too bad. Cardinals Molina starting for the NL and Royals Perez starting for the AL.”
Megan Rice, @MRice_Sports, Twitter
GH: Missouri – Catch Something!
“Worse case is if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. … I really think they have been missing a veteran player in the clubhouse.”
Joel Goldberg, on the Royals acquiring the 42-year-old Raul Ibanez, 810 AM
GH: How can the Royals be missing a veteran in the clubhouse? Billy Butler has been around long enough to age two decades.
“It’s already worked! … If I’m the Skipper he is playing right field every day!”
Kevin Kietzman, on Ibanez’s first two games with the 2014 Royals, 810 AM
GH: KK gets a little goofy when he sees something he likes. If the Royals need a 42-year-old in right field to make them better, football season cannot get here fast enough.
“I don’t understand the Shieldsenfreude that grips a certain segment of this fanbase, but, either way, another wretched outing (Tuesday night).”
Andy McCullough, @McCulloughStar, after the Royals lost 10-2 to the Twins, Twitter
GH: There are maladies that grip certain parts of any fan base that are unexplainable but I don’t know a lot of Royals fans taking a great deal of glee in Shields’ misfortunes. Andy might need to upgrade his Twitter follower list. He can start by muting Covitz.
“There’s no level of concern. That’s the wrong word. He’s just not sharp right now.”
Ned Yost, after James Shields again had a poor start in the Royals 10-2 loss to the Twins, 610 AM
GH: Maybe Shields is just going through his “dead-arm phase.” Whatever it is, the Royals need him to be Big Game James for three more months if there is any hope of October being anything more than another early offseason for the Royals.
“I don’t think he plays another down of college football.”
Danny Parkins, on former Mizzou wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham transferring to Oklahoma to sit out one season before he is again eligible, 610 AM
GH: If DGB is serious about getting his life straightened out he will stay in Norman for two more seasons and leave their as an All-American. Jumping to the NFL after a season on the Sooners’ scout team looks to me like more of the same smoke.
“(DGB) is a top-ten talent in my opinion.”
Carrington Harrison, on where DGB would stack up in the 2015 NFL draft, 610 AM
GH: Maybe. I am rooting for the kid to use his second chance as a ladder and not a slide. You know we will be watching.
GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24


Wiggins and Embiid drafted 1 and 3

Written 6/27/14

“It doesn’t even feel real. I’m just embracing the fact that I’m here, man.”
Andrew Wiggins, in a radio interview shortly after he was drafted number-one overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers, ESPN Radio
GH: Wiggins has to be one of the most humble and likeable one-and-done college superstars to play the game. But is he an NBA superstar? In a draft that some believe the deepest in years, he will need to be to justify the Cavs’ pick.

“(Wiggins) didn't rack up absurd scoring numbers like Kevin Durant or propel his team to a national title like Carmelo Anthony, but the one-and-done star still flashed enough upside to merit being a top pick. Wiggins showcased an ability to defend multiple positions, an explosive secondary jump around the rim and a knack for finishing with aplomb in transition. The top criticism of Wiggins: he wasn't assertive enough to take advantage of his physical gifts. In Kansas' stunning NCAA tournament loss to Stanford, he scored just four points and attempted only six shots, inexplicably floating around the perimeter. There's no doubt Wiggins has a tendency to coast, but he still has the ability to make an instant impact and get better in years to come.”
Jeff Eisenberg, Yahoo.com
GH: Reading Eisenberg’s evaluation of Wiggins brought back some bad memories of his too-often disappearing act at Kansas. But we all saw that photo his agent tweeted of his vertical jump…

“That’s what I wanted to be and I finally achieved it.”
Andrew Wiggins, when asked about being the first player taken in the 2014 NBA draft, ESPN Radio

“The kid started the year as the No. 1 prospect and finishes the night as the No. 1 prospect. He seems genuinely thrilled to join the Cavaliers and playing on a team with talent and a superstar means he'll be able to develop at the pace he needs.”
Matt Moore, NBA writer, CBSsports.com
GH: I will be rooting for Wiggins to be great in Cleveland. But it is so damn difficult to be great in Cleveland.

“Andrew Wiggins was asked if he could lure LeBron James back to Cleveland: ‘I want to win. If he wants to win, we'd be good together.’”
Alex Kennedy, @AlexKennedyNBA, Twitter
GH: I would be decent paired with LeBron. The number-one pick needs to be LeBron-like and carry the Cavs with or without another elite superstar.

“Hello Philly!!!! This is my real ‘just got drafted’ face. Couldn’t be happier to be a 76er!!!”
Joel Embiid, defusing a mini-controversy over his satellite-delayed somber face shown on ESPN after he was picked by the Sixers, Twitter
GH: ESPN cut to a close-up shot of a very unimpressed Embiid just as he was drafted by Philadelphia. What viewers didn’t realize is that they were seeing Embiid seconds before the pick with the satellite delay. ESPN corrected this miscommunication shortly after by showing a smiling Embiid – but the Twitter damage had been done. Embiid’s stoic face had been frozen forever by social media. This likely won’t have legs but it does point to how easily photos, video and words can be misinterpreted. ESPN didn’t portray Embiid negatively on purpose but we got a good sense of how powerfully manipulative the media can be when they want to mislead. 

“It’s different. I’m disappointed not to be there. I wish I could be there. I’m excited the Sixers took me. I still can’t believe it. I started playing basketball so late. Just being here means anything is possible.”
Joel Embiid, on having to watch the draft in LA as he recovers from his foot surgery, ESPN

“Had Embiid not added to concerns about his lingering back problems by also fracturing his right foot last week, he had a good chance of being selected No. 1 overall by the Cavaliers. Instead the 7-footer instantly became the lottery's biggest boom-or-bust gamble and slid to the Sixers at No. 3. The list of 7-footers derailed by foot and back injuries is long, but Embiid's upside had to make it difficult for general managers to pass on him despite the fear of drafting another Greg Oden.”
Jeff Eisenberg, on Embiid going third overall to the Sixers, ESPN.com
GH: Embiid story has just begun. To think he is only three years into his basketball career should make even the surliest of Sixers fans smile.

“Even though (Marcus) Smart shoved a fan, earned a reputation as a flopper and failed to lead his team to a single NCAA tournament victory this past season, the Oklahoma State guard's decision to return to school for his sophomore year really didn't hurt him. He still went nearly as high as he would have last June despite the draft being much deeper and stronger. What makes Smart worthy of a high pick is his strength, quickness, smothering defense, leadership and ability to attack the rim. He isn't a pure point guard and he doesn't shoot as well from the perimeter as most wings, but he'll work hard at turning those weaknesses into strengths.”
Jeff Eisenberg, on the 6’3 Oklahoma State guard going sixth to the Celtics, ESPN.com
GH: Marcus Smart – the most hated player in the Big 12 – didn’t hurt his draft stock one iota by coming back for his sophomore season and flopping on a court near you. I am a Marcus Smart fan – sans the flops. He will be a fun pro to watch as he develops a jumper and hopefully manages to stay upright when they open the doors at Boston’s Garden.
“They don’t need the goal but it would have been nice.”

JP Dellacamera, play-by-play voice for the USA World Cup game against Germany, as team USA missed a chance for a shot on goal in the final minute of their 1-0 loss Thursday, ESPN Radio
GH: Never has a loss by a USA national team been celebrated more fervently than the Yanks’ loss to Germany. Team USA did not even scaring up a shot on goal. Go crazy, folks! Go crazy!

“I love this team!! I love my country!! USA USA USA!!! We're still hungry....”
Matt Besler, @mbesler, following USA’s advancement out of the Group of Death, Twitter

“At the 810 Zone there were a lot of fans going crazy like they were having heart attacks. I don’t get that. … It is hard to think of them as a winner today but they are a winner.”
Kevin Kietzman, on the celebrations by USA fans after their loss to Germany secured them a birth in the round of 16, 810 AM
GH: I was far more pleased with the USA effort and heartbreaking 2-2 tie against Portugal. But what do I know? It is on to the Round of 16 for the Red, White and Blue and games that will need to have a winner.

“I don’t think we are anywhere near soccer’s ceiling in this country.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: Soccer in the states is a lot like the Winter Olympics in the states – it’s popularity peaks every four years with the World Cup. I am far more into futbol this summer than I will be next summer. Not that there is anything wrong with that, right?

“No (I’m not worried about the Royals 1-6 slump). You’re going to have these ebbs and flows. This team is a second-half team. I’ve said that all along and I fully believe it. Let’s get to September and let the Royals get hot when it matters the most.”
Mike Macfarlane, 810 AM
GH: Macfarlane looked like a savant last week when the Royals were wining ten in a row. He again is refusing to back off from his belief that this Royals team is going to win the ALC over an overrated Detroit. I enjoy Mac on the radio but he and the Royals need to understand that the games in June and July mean just as much as the games in September.

“If you do one good thing in that game you played, you've had a tremendous game. Even for everyday players. If you've done one good thing you've had a good game."
Rex Hudler, after the Royals rarely used Brett Hayes threw out a runner at second, Fox Sports KC
GH: One good thing equals a tremendous game? This is a good example of why Rex just doesn’t resonate with savvy baseball fans. He’s a fun cartoon to watch as an anvil drops on his head nightly but intelligent fans expect so much more than cheerleading. Maybe this says something about Royals fans. Maybe there are far more fans like KK’s mom than KK.

“So is now an appropriate time to acknowledge something's wrong with James Shields? He now has the highest ERA in the Royals' rotation.”
Rany Jazayerli, @jazayerli, after Shields was again rocked in his start against the Dodgers, Twitter
GH: Shields has not looked like Shields for some time. There is no reason to panic, though. He is either going to get it turnaround or not. And then he will be gone. Unless the Royals get into this pennant race, there isn’t much use in expending the energy of concern.

“Also James Shields is pissed he keeps getting called for that balk. Yost plans to send footage to MLB office for clarification.”
Andy McCullough, @McCullough, after Shields balked in a runner from third for the second time this season, Twitter
GH: Shields is really good at getting pissed. I liked him better when he was getting pissed and getting batters out before they homered.

“There is only one way to succeed in anything and that is to give it everything...”
Dwayne Bowe, @DwayneBowe82, Twitter
GH: What if Dwayne Bowe played this entire season like he did in the Chiefs playoff game last January? It could happen. And what a season that would be.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24


Royals rock Greinke

Written 6/24/14

“Fans want people that want to be here. I don't think they ever forgot that.”
Billy Butler, on why Royals fans remain upset with Zack Greinke for leaving Kansas City, despite Greinke’s success as a Royal, LA Times
GH: Fans and the media alike have reminded us this week how Greinke left Kansas City and how they have no love for him over his request to be traded. 810’s Border Patrol has been especially hard on the Royals former Cy Young winner. Steven St. John stated he is not a fan of any ex-Royals once they don another uniform. Nate Bukaty has held a personal grudge against the right hander ever since Greinke “stole” his latte at the Starbucks counter and then told him it was terrible. I have a hard time working up any anger for any former Royals who did not want to be stuck in KC and lose 100 games a season. Us Royals fans are kind of stuck. We are geographically bound to this team. I understand why a professional athlete would want more than 29 years of futility.

“I don’t know. I was pretty rude on the way out. They have every right to be mad at me. I didn’t want to be rude. I felt I had to be in order to get traded, and I wanted to get traded.”
Zack Greinke, in his postgame comments about being booed by his former fans at The K, LA Times
GH: There is a LOT here in these few sentences. Greinke wanted to win and he let everyone know that he did not see the Royals winning during his prime. He was rudely honest – but honest just the same. I like honest. Greinke is far more honest than the Royals will ever be. Like those $10 seats for tonight’s game they marketed over the weekend? They are actually over $13 each because of a “convenience fee” that somehow was not part of the marketing campaign.

“They’re playing good now. You knew it was going to take time, and now is the time, it seems like.”
Zack Greinke, on how his former team has improved, LA Times
GH: Our time?

“I’m not a psychologist.”
Zack Greinke, when asked after the game why he thinks Royals fans have both cheered and booed him as an opposing player, 810 AM
GH: My early pick for the understatement of the season.

“Zack Greinke being Zack Greinke, to me tonight he was somewhat ordinary."
Jeff Montgomery, Fox Sports KC
GH: Greinke explained that he thought he was too fine in his last outing, throwing 116 pitches in just six innings. He wanted to throw more strikes this time out and the Royals took advantage of this plate coverage. But Greinke has been anything but ordinary most of this season. Monday was the first time this season he has given up more than four runs in a game.

“Jarrod Dyson is one of my favorite interviews. He is steadily becoming one of my favorite players to watch. He's been dialed in lately.”
Johnny Kane, @johnnykaneKMBC, Twitter
GH: How does a member of the media balance enjoying interviewing an athlete he/she covers but also reporting and covering that same athlete critically? I think it can be done. I just think it’s a tough dance for most in the media.

“How many pitchers have thrown 2 no-hitters in a row? The Royals have that going for them.”
Johnny Coltrane, @Chief_Wildcat, on the Royals facing the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw tonight in his first start following his no hitter, Twitter

“In those three games against Cy Young winners so far, the Royals have scored 22 earned runs in 15 2/3 innings.”
Joel Goldberg, on the Royals beating Verlander, Scherzer and Greinke in the past week, Fox Sports KC
GH: If the Royals knock of Kershaw tonight, that has to be worth something historic, doesn’t it? Has any other MLB team defeated four former Cys in eight days?

“After Royals wins, they light a neon sign in the clubhouse of a ‘Texas heart shot,’ apparently the term for shooting a deer through the ass.”
Kent Babb, @kentbabb, Twitter
GH: When you get insight like this, are we sure we needed to change The K’s sing-along song from Garth’s Friends In Low Places? BTW, I don’t see a lot of people singing along during the playing of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing. I think they want to, it’s just a matter of the fact the song takes some upper register that most folks can’t scale. I also think we need Steve Perry to record some new lyrics – like replace “Detroit” with “Born and raised in South K. C.” I would sing along to that. It would also help to create a video to run with the song that paired local photos with the lyrics. It wouldn’t be too hard to match “Up and down the boulevard” with some photos and a sponsor. And the lyrics, “Some were born to sing the BLUES,” should be belted out at The K like Red Sox fans yell “Sweet Caroline.”

“I wonder where your scorn is for Eric Hosmer – because he just looks terrible at the plate. And they just moved him up to second in the lineup. If you listen to the talk shows, you don’t hear a lot of scorn for him. They treat him like the wonder kid. I would have to think if you were Billy Butler or Mike Moustakas, that would have to get a little bit old. It just doesn’t seem that Eric Hosmer has the same amount of scrutiny as those other guys.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: Hosmer is now hitting under .250. He needs to be so much better than he is. He doesn’t attract the same criticism as Butler and Moose because he rarely is as bad for long stretches as these two have been this season. But Hosmer doesn’t have a magic invisibility cloak over his stats. If his play (and shoulder) continues to dip, he will be just as hunted by the critics as Moose.

“Eric Hosmer last drew a walk on Friday the 13th. That was 45 at bats ago. Memories.”
Jeffrey Flanagan, @jflanagankc, Twitter

“11 hits in 23 at bats for Bubba w/ 2-2b,3b and 2 HR in that stretch. Hitting .210 now.”
Clint Scoles, @ClintScoles, Twitter
GH: Come on, Bubba!  

“I’m not (into the World Cup). I would overload with sports I think if I added soccer to my list.”
Denny Matthews, radio voice of the Royals for 45 seasons, responding to Danny Parkins asking if he is into the World Cup, 610 AM
GH: Can you imagine Denny calling a soccer match in extended play? And these World Cup play-by-play guys think they can scream into a mic!

“World Cup ratings prove America embraces World Cup. Hasn't, and probably won't, translate to MLS, because World Cup is a separate entity.”
Ray Ratto, @RattoCSN, Twitter
GH: We have a skewed view of the MLS’s popularity here in Kansas City. Think back to the Wizards playing at Arrowhead. That is what too many MLS cities still experience when they talk about their MLS teams.

“If USA beats Germany on Thursday then win their first game in the knock out stage they then play on July 4th. Most patriotic day in history?”
@TheWorldCup2014, Twitter
GH: More patriotic than the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest on Coney Island?

“They’re in the driver’s seat right now. Destiny is in their own hands.”
Tony Meola, former Wizards and USA team goal keeper, on team USA’s chances in the World Cup, 810 AM
GH: Thursday at 11:00 AM in KC’s Power & Light District should be a bit nutso for a workday. Can 10K soccer fans find a way to play hooky from work? I am betting so. 

“This is the 9th straight year the CWS attendance has surpassed 300,000 total. Thanks Omaha for your great support!”
Rob Anderson, @_robanderson, Twitter
GH: What a stunning success this college baseball tournament has been in the middle of nowhere. I am a bit biased, but Omaha might be the best sports town per capita than all the San Diegos and Denvers you can count.

“I know for the fans it’s more cosmetic. But for me, it’s more about safety, and I’m very pleased about both aspects.”
Charlie Weis, regarding Kansas removing the track around Memorial Stadium, Lawrence Journal
GH: Removing the track will move Jayhawks fans closer to the action. Hopefully, Charlie will give them something to look this season at that won’t have them shielding their eyes.

“Sources confirm there have been discussions between the Dorial Green-Beckham camp and the University of Oklahoma.”
Jordan Burton, @thejordanburton, Twitter
GH: Is Barry Switzer back?

“Two number-one seeds have already fallen! Maybe we didn’t do a good job of seeding these (events).”
Danny Parkins, reporting early upsets in the Missouri and Royals regions in their Summer Sadden bracket, 610 AM
GH: The early casualties to The Drive’s Summer Sadness bracket were the 1994 baseball strike falling to Bo Jackson’s injury and Mizzou’s decision to pick Quin Snyder over Bill Self knocked off Tyus Edney’s top-seeded drive and dagger.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24


Royals streak reaches 10

Written 6/19/14

“These aren’t even your older brother’s Royals. These are your new Royals! This is all very new, very fresh. The Royals are sure to be buyers not sellers at the trade deadline. The high-flying Freddie Pateks were going for nine in a row – their best such streak in 20 years!”
Steve Levy, after the Royals won their third straight in Detroit to build their winning streak to a head-turning ten in a row, ESPN
GH: You win ten games in mid-June and people are going to notice. ESPN kind of people. The Royals and their mind-bending streak are now the hottest story in MLB – for all the right reasons for a change.

“KC started the series with the Tigers by pounding Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. … They have hit 13 homers during the streak, while leading the majors in runs and slugging percentage. Prior to the streak, Kansas City ranked last with 26 homers in 61 games. And that’s not all! They were five games back tied with the Twins for last place in the AL Central prior to the start of the streak. Now they stand a game-and-a-half up with their eyes on their first playoff appearance since 1985.”
Steve Levy, ESPN
GH: What is happening right now with the Royals just might be the most astonishing accomplishment in the franchise’s regular-season history. Hyperbole? Maybe. But consider where this team was three weeks ago after having been swept in a three-game series at home by the lowly Astros. The season was doomed. Jeff Passan posted a column 17 days ago following this Royals collapse calling for the Royals to consider firing Ned Yost hold a fire sale and dump James Shields. And I and most right-thinking Royals fans were not arguing in the least with Passan’s premise. Read on.

“Their lineup is so chock full of mediocrity, so Glass Joe punchless that only someone blind to reality or naively optimistic could expect it to suddenly morph into something productive.”
Jeff Passan, in his June 2nd column on the Royals, YahooSports.com
GH: Passan then went on 610 Sports Radio and said the worst thing the Royals could do is have a successful June and just exacerbate the chronic problem. I am not quoting Passan to embarrass him or make fun of his words. I and others were writing the same kind of the-season-is-over columns. I am reliving this two-and-a-half-week old moment to highlight just how incredible, magnificent and unprecedented this ten game run has been for Kansas City. The Royals – your Royals – have bolted from an outhouse in Argentine, KS to the best table at The American Restaurant – all in less than three weeks! Is there anything in the history of the Royals 45-years that can compare to this fortnight? Congrats on living in what may prove to be the Royals most interesting times.

“Look, you don’t have to tell Royals fans that all this can disappear in a moment. There are stats that suggest the Royals have had a lot of luck this season, and luck rarely lasts all the way through. There are reasons to believe the Tigers are much better than the Royals, and that the Royals’ bullpen will not continue to dominate, and that the lack of power in the Royals lineup will lead to some bad stretches and that the starting rotation won’t hold up. You don’t have to tell Royals fans any of that because they’ve been living it for almost 30 years. But right now: The Royals are in first place. They are wearing their raspberry berets and listening to the cheers and going back to the future. You don’t question these things in Kansas City. You relish in them. Maybe it’s a dream. But if it is, let us sleep for a little while longer. But, yes, please do wake us up before you go go.”
Joe Posnanski, nbcsports.com

“You need to be at the game Friday or Saturday. Friday is going to be an Opening Day-like atmosphere.”
Carrington Harrison, on the Royals returning to The K Friday against Seattle secured as the leader in the AL Central, 610 AM
GH: Friday is fireworks night. Friday is also Buck Night. Friday is also the first time in a very long time that the home team will stand at attention for the national anthem as the hunted and not the slaughtered. Friday is going to be one of those rare Kansas City days and nights of which you and I deserve to partake. See you there. (I will be tweeting from the game – or as much as the antiquated technology at The K allows. Has Dave and Dan ever heard of a company named Google? I hear they can help with that Internet thingy.)

“I am just going to walk up to (Carrington) and slap him and then tell him who I am. Shame on you! You’ve all gotten a lot of entertainment out of me. … Carrington, I’m not crazy. I just love my Royals.”
Caller Shannon, who was upset with Carrington for laughing at her for sobbing during her phone call to Josh Vernier Tuesday night after the Royals slipped into first place by half a game, 610 AM

“Shannon, anytime someone says women are crazy, we now have a perfect example why people have that stereotype of women. Thank you for calling.”
Carrington Harrison, 610 AM
GH: I enjoyed the heck out of this live exchange Wednesday afternoon between Caller Shannon, Carrington and Parkins. Shannon played her role well as the deranged caller who has no clue how ridiculous she sounds. Carrington refused to budge on his stance that she was over reacting and pimped her even further into hysteria. Parkins seemed content to know the show had a caller who knew their names.

“Speaking of happy fans these days, look no further than reports that Kansas City is scouting the Cubs’ Jeff Samardzija.”
Steve Levy, on reports that the Royals are interested in signing the Cubs’ starter, ESPN

“Wait, what? … It is hard to see how (acquiring Samardzija) makes sense for the Royals. The asking price for a young pitcher with years of club control left will be quite steep, and the Royals seem to have larger holes to fill elsewhere, namely in the starting lineup at third and in right field. And with a starting rotation of James Shields, Yordano Ventura, Jason Vargas, Jeremy Guthrie, and Danny Duffy, there appears to be little room for a Samardzija unless you send the overachieving Guthrie to the pen as a long reliever. But as he is still owed $12 million beyond this year, it seems unlikely the Royals would admit that mistake and send him to the pen.”
Max Rieper, writer, Royalsreview.com
GH: How great is it to argue about whether the Royals should spend big money on a quality starter in June for their playoff run? I am not yet prepared for this kind of gaiety.

“I’ve worn this hat every day during the Royals winning streak and I refuse not to wear it.”
Jake Gutiérrez, on his lucky hat helping the Royals win ten in a row, 810 AM
GH: I have not done anything the same since the streak started in hopes that the streak will continue – so I am just going to continue to not do that. Anybody else out there riding a superstition along with Jake’s hat?

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24


Royals pound Scherzer to the max

Written 6/18/14

“I guess the most pertinent question is; will the Royals ever lose again?”
Denny Matthews, as he did the play-by-play for the Royals as they jumped to a 4-0 lead in the second inning Tuesday night against Max Scherzer in Detroit, on their way to their ninth straight win and sole possession of first place in the AL Central, Royals Radio
GH: Dare I say Denny Matthews sounded almost giddy? This is getting serious, folks!

“Listening to Denny enthusiastically struggle to find ways to describe how well the #royals are playing is new. And amazing.”
Curtis Kitchen, @curtiskitchen, Twitter

“I can’t explain it. The Royals are in such a streak that everything they do turns to gold. It’s been an amazing couple of weeks.”
Denny Matthews, Royals Radio
GH: And this was before one of the season’s more bizarre (and lucky) plays where Yordano Ventura unleashed a wild pitch over the head of the batter with such velocity that it struck the backstop and immediately ricocheted back to Salvador Perez, who whipped a strike to Mike Moustakas to tag out the base runner at third. Last month that wild pitch would have ricocheted back toward the plate, hit Salvy in the back of the head and put him on the DL for two weeks.

“Royals are ON FIRE. Kansas City tags Max Scherzer for 10, wins its 9th in a row, 11-4. Royals take over 1st place from Tigers in AL Central.”
@SportsCenter, Twitter

“The Royals are playing very loose. I mean this in a good way – The Royals are playing like a bunch of wet noodles! … They’re playing flawlessly, really! Defensively, pitching – everything is clicking. When you’re playing this way – and I was being facetious when I said, ‘Will they ever lose again?’ – but that’s the appearance that they give, that they’re never going to lose.”
Denny Matthews, Royals Radio

“What they did, who they did it against and where they did it last night is the most impressive thing.”
Steven St. John, on the Royals beating the defending Cy Young Award winner in front of 34K of his fans in Detroit, 810 AM
GH: I would also add, how they did it to SSJ’s list. The Royals clubbed Verlander and Scherzer like they were the last two guys in Omaha’s bullpen.

“Just how good are things going for the Royals? Denny & Ryan on radio are ‘synced up’ to HDTV broadcast.”
@fox4sports, Twitter
GH: If you are lucky enough to have access to cable TV during the noon hour the next two afternoons, try this out and let me know if Royals Radio has made this adjustment. If true, this could deal a blow to the Physioc/Hudler pairing on FoxSports KC.

“We’re embarking on a time where the Royals dominate this city – living and dying with each game, each pitch. Sports-wise, you don’t know nervousness until you’ve been in a pennant race.”
Josh Vernier, 610 AM
GH: A real pennant race in August and September? Here in Kansas City? It seems a lifetime ago that this was reality. Can you imagine people wearing Royals gear to Chiefs camp in St. Joe?

“I don't even know what to tweet about our @Royals, 20 plus years of the lovable losers vernacular does not apply. 1st place coming. Go Blue.”
Bill Maas, @BillMaas, Twitter

“The Storm Chasers announced that the Royals have moved into first place in the AL Central and the crowd erupted.”
Lee Warren, @OmahaBaseball, Twitter

“Man, if you thought I was insufferable when the Royals sucked, you're about to find out how insufferable I can be when they're good.”
Rany Jazayerli, @jazayerli, Twitter

“So excited I bought a Twinkie at QT. Why? No clue. But who cares?! Royals are in first place and calories don't count when we're in first.”
Jimmy Faseler, @jimmyfaseler, Twitter
GH: I loved this tweet from the famous Fat Jimmy Fasler, he of the dancing belly fame. Anybody else cheat on calories after a big win? I have a Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia Froyo in my freezer for just such an occasion.

“The All-Star Game’s coming up. Fans, go ahead and stuff the ballot box. We told you yesterday there is a young lady here in Detroit and she’s already done 4,000 ballots, punching in all Tigers. So we are encouraging all Kansas City Royals fans to do the same.”
Steve Physioc, Royals TV play-by-play voice, Fox Sports KC
GH: I hate this kind of approved ballot stuffing for the home team. Physioc and the Royals should be ashamed of themselves.

“Last night's Royals game at Detroit drew a 9.1 Nielsen rating, the highest-rated game of the season on FSKC.”
Jeffrey Flanagan, @jflanagankc, Twitter
GH: Winning is kind of sexy.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter @greghall24



For earlier columns, click here