Chiefs looking for quarterback help, Royals aren't spending, and KU and Mizzou go hard
The Kansas City Star
INDIANAPOLIS — Promised you on Twitter some details about Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel calling for more competition at quarterback.
Funky Randy Covitz wrote about this and the offensive coordinator search in the paper this morning, so check that out.
I asked each guy — Scott and Romeo — essentially the same question: will Matt Cassel enter training camp as the clear No. 1 guy? (Emphasis is mine.)
Romeo: “Matt is under contract. He’s done a good job. He took us to the playoffs, you know. He comes back healthy, we’ve got Stanzi under contract. So what happens in free agency remains to be seen. I know the competition makes everybody better. So we’ll just have to see what kind of competition we’ll have at the quarterback position.”
Pioli: “Really, there’s only two guys who’re under contract…there will be increased competition at every position, including the quarterback position. Now, who that is, right now I don’t know. Maybe it’s kyle, maybe it’s another free agent, maybe it’s a draft choice. I don’t know. But I guarantee you, we’re not going to camp with just two, and we’re probably not going to go with just three. *There will be competition. Very few people can perform at an extremely high level without competition. Competition is a good thing.
There’s going to be competition. I just don’t know who it is right now.”*
What’s interesting here is as much what wasn’t said as what was said. Mostly, you didn’t hear the same level of support as in past years.
I’m not reading this to necessarily mean the Chiefs will be first in line to give Peyton Manning whatever the heck he wants (assuming he’s both healthy and available), or offer Matt Flynn a giant contract or the Rams a giant package to draft RG3.
But what I am reading it to mean is at the very least, we can expect the Corolla not to be the only car in the garage.
Edwin Jackson agreed to a one-year $10 million contract with the Nationals, and the old line is that there is no such thing as a bad one-year contract in baseball.
So of course the Royals would’ve made themselves better by signing Jackson^ and putting him in the rotation rather than, say, Aaron Crow. I’ve also been pretty clear that I really like Jackson.
^ This assumes Jackson would’ve taken the same offer from the Royals. I have no inside knowledge on this, but if I were him, I’d rather take the audition-offer-for-a-bigger-contract-next-offseason deal in the National League rather than American.
But, even as this makes the assumption that the Royals didn’t seriously pursue him, I think they did the right thing by passing. Let me explain.
First, and perhaps least importantly, the Royals have already promised Crow a legitimate look at making the rotation. This is something that nearly all of us agreed with. If you sign Jackson, you’re essentially telling Crow to screw off and go back to middle relief.
But more to the point, the Royals have — depending on how generous you want to be — eight candidates for the rotation:
Jonathan Sanchez, Luke Hochevar, Bruce Chen, Felipe Paulino, Aaron Crow, Danny Duffy, Everett Teaford, and Luis Mendoza.
Their chances of winning the division this year are real, but this is still a longshot. The better opportunities figure to start in 2013, and with the position players mostly set, the best way to maximize that future is to make every possible effort to figure out who in this group of mostly unknown commodities you can build around. Sacrificing a better chance next year to chase a longshot this year just wouldn’t be smart.
If the Royals hadn’t traded for Sanchez, I’d be much more worked up about this. Sanchez has his own flaws, obviously, but you can’t go into a season with Hochevar as your opening day starter and expect anyone to take you seriously.
If the Royals are within five or so games in July, need a starter, and don’t make a move, they will deserve every bit of crushing they get in my column.
If the Royals don’t need a starting pitcher next winter and don’t make a move, they will deserve every bit of crushing they get in my column.
But right now, holding is the thoughtful move, and it’s absolutely the correct move if the $10 million saved is used to get a long-term extension done with Alex Gordon.
If the Royals don’t do that, they will deserve every bit of crushing they get in my column.
The most anticipated Kansas City-area college basketball game in at least a few seasons^ and probably much more^^ happens Saturday in Columbia and aside from one more chance to make an unbecoming plug about driving the 11 hours or so from Indy and back it gives me another chance to point out how silly it is that this rivalry won’t be played in the future.
^ I’m going back at least to the KU-KSU Big 12 final two years ago.
^^ You know, until Feb. 25, at least.
Gary Bedore, who I adore — see what I did there? — tweeted another argument that doesn’t hold water to me about why KU shouldn’t play Mizzou anymore.
Gary plays into the divorce analogy, and says KU would be disrespecting the rest of the league by playing MU.
I love Gary. It’s just hogwash.
The Big 12 doesn’t have higher moral ground in this. The Big 12 is stealing West Virginia, for instance, a school that made a commitment to stay in the Big East for a few more years. And the Big 12 would’ve loved to have stolen any other BCS school that would’ve made for a stronger league.
The idea from KU people that they’re somehow punishing Mizzou by discontinuing the basketball games^ is delusional nonsense. At best, it’s taking a business decision personally, but more realistically, it’s petty and insane.
^ Notice I’m leaving football out of this. I get why the football game won’t be played. Even if this isn’t how KU will put it, they can’t afford to lose any non-conference games. They need to play McNeese State three times. I get that. Football’s gone. Wasn’t as fun as basketball, anyway, at least except for one glorious year.
Still, all the conference alignment arguments can go both ways. If you disagree with me, you can make a point, I can make a point, we can go around and around about that stuff and neither one of us will convince the other one.
But here’s the point that can’t be refuted: KU and Mizzou continuing to play basketball would be fun. It would be interesting. And sports need more fun and interesting, not less. We need more games to look forward to and less bickering about business.
And besides all that, it’d be good for business, too.
Hate can be profitable.