Twitter Tuesday: Royals, Chiefs, Sporting, magic numbers, Black Keys, free food, KC's booing Santa Claus moment, and comparing Twitter to my dog
The Kansas City Star
The Royals are a good baseball team. I really believe that. They have pitching, they have defense, they have pitching, they have some guys who are hitting and more who should hit soon, and they also have pitching. That’s a .500 team, at least, a contender with the right breaks.
For 21 games, they looked the part. They looked better than the part, really. They had a nasty road trip through Atlanta, Boston and Detroit and won more than they lost. They were a first-place team.
Then the last two games happened, a cumulative 19-3 beatdown from the mediocre Indians. The Royals hadn’t been blown out before Sunday night. Now, they’ve done it twice in a row and the ghosts of Ken Harvey and Mark Redman and Buddy Bell are haunting a fan base.
So here are three truths:
I still believe the Royals are a good baseball team.
James Shields could really do his new team a favor by beating his old team tonight.
The shaky feeling from many around town is why I always say Kansas City sports fans come by their cynicism honestly.
Loaded week — if I answered every good question this week we’d have to rename it Twitter Friday — so let’s just get to it. Eating recommendation is the biscuits and gravy at Planet Sub (long as you go into it with the right expectations), and the reading recommendation is the story you’ve been hearing about: Jason Collins on the cover of Sports Illustrated becoming the first active and openly gay man in major pro sports.
As always, thanks for the help.
@dumbassrambling Is Jason Collins announcement that big of a deal? Isn’t it pretty well known amongst players that certain players are gay? #TT
No man has ever come out while an active member of a major professional team sports league. It’s ridiculous that it’s taken this long, but now that we’re here, sports will again help bring social change.
It’s a cool thing. Everyone is entitled to their own views, of course, but the platform that comes with sports means that many will address this issue in a way they haven’t yet.
@rock_hawk Great for Jason Collins. Long overdue in sports. I wait for the day when we look back at this and say, “what was the big deal?
@HalfwayToHobo Without saying it’s a good or bad choice, isn’t taking a MAC OL the most boring #1 overall pick ever? #TwitterTuesday
Yeah, that’s probably about right. Clark Hunt alluded to this the other day, saying that there was a time he felt cursed that the Chiefs had the first pick in the draft the year AFTER Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. That was a pervasive thought inside the Chiefs offices. Not to the point of distraction, or moping, but how could you not think about it?
Luck and RG3 are changing franchises and in some ways cities. Eric Fisher is going to block pass rushers. For a marketer, it sucks. But I don’t know anybody in football who wouldn’t have taken either Fisher or Luke Joeckel with that pick.
@Dfitz29 What’s going to happen with the B Albert trade? 2nd next year?
It’s not completely dead yet, but it’s an enormous long shot. At one point, it looked like too good a fit not to happen. But there was something lost in translation there, in the negotiations, that just didn’t match up. To me, it’s another example of how hard trades are to pull off. So many moving parts that need to lineup.
My guess now is the Chiefs have Fisher at right tackle, and try to work out a long-term deal with Albert. In the NFL, teams can always move money around and try to fit things around the cap.
I think new GM John Dorsey has shown he’s willing to pay a little more than he thinks something’s worth if it’s something he really wants, but the football consensus is that Albert is asking for significantly more than he’s worth.
@mitchopkins Whatever it was that Joe Namath did. Did it make sense being there live? #TT
I was hoping you guys could help me out. Honestly, I’m not sure I understood any of that. I had a Suzy Kolber flashback.
@JDec89 Why the hell did the Chiefs draft Knile Davis in the 3rd round?
The guy averaged 6.5 yards a carry as a sophomore in the SEC, and basically went all Bo Jackson at the Combine. You guys know where I stand on posing as a draft expert, but it’s easy to see what the Chiefs like.
@cjsauer will the Chiefs see improvement in their defensive front seven? I just don’t see where they upgraded besides MAYBE Nico Johnson
Well, yeah, they didn’t draft any defensive linemen (Mike Catapano, the Princeton kid, is both a project and an outside linebacker in the beginning) but I do think that if Johnson is a good player he fills a significant need. The Chiefs have a good enough group of linebackers that they can make up for some deficiencies on the d-line.
@nickrichie24 what did you think of the Chiefs draft? Best/Worst pick?
I don’t know. Neither do you, or anyone else who answers this question.
@jdplantinga Am I the only one who thinks the Chiefs really improved themselves in the draft? I’m pleased. #TwitterTuesday
Cool. I just … I don’t know, guys. We’re all guessing, even by the usual standards of sports talk.
@mmMOUF US education continues to fall, but wow, it’s amazing how many experts we have on the NFL Draft, we are all masters.
The way I look at a team’s draft isn’t whether I like the player, but whether I like the thought process. Whether it makes sense, whether you can follow the logic, and see a plan. With this Chiefs class, that exists.
I think you see a team that said it would draft the best available player, and followed through. You see a team willing to take risks. Joeckel was seen by many as the “safer” choice, though most everyone believes both will be excellent players. Knile Davis has an injury history with superhuman athletic gifts, Travis Kelce has had some off-field issues, and Sanders Commings doesn’t have a clear position (but does have an off-field issue the Chiefs believe was overblown).
So, sure. Combined with the rest of the offseason, it sure looks like the Chiefs got better with a clear plan they executed well. To me, that’s all you can ask.
@Dfitz29 With Alex Smith and Chase Daniels do you think that Bray can learn what it takes to dedicate to the game?
I actually love this move. Bray has the talent of a starting NFL quarterback, and the Chiefs are assuming zero risk. They feel strongly about the coaches and quarterbacks in front of him, that this is an environment where Bray can learn how to work.
If he does, they have a starting or solid backup quarterback for essentially no investment. If he doesn’t, on to the next one.
@kent_swanson Sam. I was sitting by radio row at the draft and apparently you walked by while I was out interviewing with SiriusXM.
Look at this guy, too big time to say Hi now.
@Greenman_KC Now, who do you think will win a playoff game first; Royals/Chiefs?
I feel like this question is asked most every week, and my thoughts are so split I can’t remember what I’ve answered in the past. As it stands right now, I’m going to take the Royals and here’s my thought process:
I don’t think the Chiefs are a playoff team in 2013. That’s just a lot of ground to make up. So the Royals have two shots before the 2014 Chiefs would have a chance at a playoff game. That means I’m betting the Royals make the playoffs in either of Shields’ two seasons, and that they aren’t swept once they get there. I’ll take it.
@DanielSWesley #TwitterTuesday It took #Royals fans about 24 hours to recreate the plot of Lord of the Flies on Twitter. Gonna be a long season?
Well, I think it’s important to keep Twitter in its proper perspective here. I love Twitter. I get a lot of my news and reading material there. It’s an essential part of my job. It’s also not reality, or where any of us should go to hear reasoned debate or discussion.
Sometimes that exists on Twitter, but for the most part, I think of Twitter a bit like my dog: I love her, she makes me smile every day, but I also know I have to pick up her poop and clean her paws before she comes inside.
@Speck60 One month in for the Royals and Dayton’s offseason looks brilliant thus far. I’ve never typed that before. #TT
It is an interesting point. I’ve always said that Dayton Moore has done a brilliant and thorough job of remaking the Royals from Omaha on down, but a mostly rotten job with his big league acquisitions.
Ervin Santana might be changing that, along with James Shields, George Kottaras (if he ever plays) and Jeremy Guthrie. The Royals will need them all.
@mblaise524 why does Alex Gordon not get the love from fans? Analysts are finally giving it to him #tt
Is this a common belief? I think Gordon gets a lot of love from fans. He might be the best corner outfielder in the American League, and he and Gordon got the biggest ovations before the home opener.
@Greenman_KC Do you think Alex Gordon will make the ASG this year? Any other Royals? #TT
This looks like a good year for the Royals to finally get two All-Stars. Gordon should be there if he keeps doing what he’s doing, and then someone on that pitching staff should make it. Santana, Guthrie, Shields, a reliever, someone.
It’s too early to talk about this seriously, but yeah, definitely a potential two-All-Star year for the Royals.
@HeAintReally Do you support #BooGarth? #TT #hashtag
Look, I’ve been with Kansas City fans through Winston, Cano, Cassel, the banners, everything. And I despise the Garth singalong. I think it’s a bad message, a forced tradition, and makes the Royals look small time.
But I also think booing a video of one of music’s all-time greatest performers wearing the home team’s jersey would be Kansas City’s Philadelphia-fans-booed-Santa-Claus moment.
@BobbyCave Should the Royals try Gio at third? Dude is mashing in Omaha and Moose, well, isn’t…
I think this is a horrible idea. The Royals have worked hard enough on Gio to be adequate defensively at second base, switching him to third because Moustakas is struggling is the kind of short-sighted panic move that helped define the don’t-ever-say-it-can’t-get-worse years.
Moose is terrible right now, but it’s also only 21 games. I think you need around 40 before you start seriously considering big changes. And if those big changes need to happen, I’d much rather see the solution include Tejada and Johnson.
@RoyalsHaiku What happens after/ The all star break when Duffy/ Finally gets back?
This is a problem,
The Royals would love to have,
Sure beats starting Hoch.
@royals312 #twittertuesday Is this the most optimistic you’ve been about a Royals team this early in the season?
First of all, we all need to recognize what a low bar this is, sort of like, “What’s the tastiest sandwich at Subway?”
After a month — let’s go ahead and assume the Royals aren’t blown out today and tomorrow — it’s the most optimistic I’ve been since 2003. This is different than 2009, because that team was Zack Greinke, Billy Butler, and a bunch of duct tape. Going .500 looked like a legitimate goal before the season, where .500 looks like a fair minimum this year.
And let’s be clear: this team is also much better than 2003, but that team started 16-3, and it’s just hard to screw that up^.
^ They did, of course.
@BobbyCave Is the Santana acquisition a bit of luck on the part of GMDM, or did he see something that other scouts/media did not?
What Dayton did is be willing to pay $12 million of Santana’s salary this year. Santana was terrible last year, and had some elbow issues, but the Royals’ scouting judgments were optimistic that he could bounce back. Santana’s success has always been predicated on his home run rate. This is where scouting comes in. It’s always a mix of luck and skill.
@AyeBayBayless what did you think of the new Sporting KC Argyle Jersey?
I dig ‘em. I normally don’t get too into uniforms, and that form will hold here^, but it’s a sharp look.
^ I say this a lot: NOTHING has otherwise slobby grown men find their inner fashionistas like sports uniforms.
@cdotharrison If you could get free food for the rest of your life to Chipotle, Five Guys or Chick-Fil-A which would you pick?
Just an excellent, excellent question here. If the three are lined up next to each other, and it’s just a regular Tuesday, I’m going with Chick-Fil-A. That bird is exquisite, their sauces outstanding, and the waffle fries underrated but delicious.
But your question was “for the rest of your life,” which changes the discussion. Chipotle is the pick here because they have more variety — Tacos? Burrito? Steak? Barbacoa? How about some chips and guac with that? — and you can eat it in a wider variety of circumstances. Lunch or dinner, starving or hungover, weekend or weekday, I think it holds up a tick better than the other two.
Chick-Fil-A also loses points here for being closed on Sundays. Seems I disproportionately crave food like this on Sundays. Similarly, this is my only beef with Oklahoma Joe’s.
@canglem When you started your career did you have a “bucket list” of things you’d like to cover or is more of a “that’d be cool sometime”
Nothing formal that I wrote down or anything, if that’s what you’re asking. But I think I’ve always wanted to cover a World Series, a Super Bowl, a Final Four, and especially an Olympics. I’ve been lucky enough to do each of those, and except for the Olympics, more than once.
Now, my sports bucket list would include way more fan experiences than anything else. Like a Game 7, or a glamor boxing or MMA title fight, or a Saturday gameday at a place like Alabama or Tennessee. No deadlines, or storylines. Just friends and a few beers.
@DownBy_ABay Hey @mellinger, what are some columns that you read on a regular basis/would recommend to an aspiring writer?
Such a subjective thing, of course, but a good and incomplete list for writing: Dan Wetzel (he’s the best in the business), Gregg Doyel, Dan LeBatard, S.L. Price, Jason Whitlock, Sally Jenkins, Michael Rosenberg, Joe Posnanski, Seth Wickersham, Bernie Miklasz, Jeff Passan, Adrian Wojnarowski, Bill Plaschke, Kent Babb, Eli Saslow, Chris Jones, Dave Sheinin and Wright Thompson. I know I’m forgetting a bunch, but that’s a pretty good list.
And since you said “aspiring writer,” I’d also add that you should read with a different eye. Study it. Pick out specific passages or structure or approaches that you like, and figure out why you like it. Do the same with what you don’t like. Copy what you can, but incorporate it into something unique.
Also: know that you will feel like you’ve failed much more than you’ve succeeded, and that in a twisted way, that means you’re doing the right things.
@dpickman Was Mo from Nickelodeon’s Guts the ideal woman? Spill your guts! #tt
Hey, whatever does it for you, but 12-year-old Sam was pretty loyal to Kelly Kapowski, though he did crush on Jennifer Parker in Back to the Future.
@HisDirknesS Sam, what can i do to become an F-word enthusiast? Can I apply somewhere? A certain threshold of F-bombs? #PleaseHELP
This was a response to my Tweet last week from New York, where I called Bud Selig a noted f-word enthusiast. The occasion was Selig saying David Ortiz’s word-choice — “this is our f-ing city” — was “outstanding.
Selig’s f-word enthusiast credentials include dropping it often in casual conversation, but always with affect, almost never gratuitously. I remember he was talking about … something … and described his reaction as being, “What the duckity duck?” Only, you know, he didn’t say duck. Or duckity.
@theGeneric1 I’m in Houston for work and it’s a nightmare. What is the worst place you’ve ever had to travel for “work”?
I can enjoy myself anywhere, though because of the timing, most of my work trips don’t allow for much tourism type stuff. I don’t like Atlanta, Orlando, and LA. Houston is also on my list, but I’ve been there enough that I’ve found a few places I like, even though getting around that city blows. Actually, I could write the same exact sentence about Dallas, too.
But the worst work trip I can remember might actually be this most recent Super Bowl. Had nothing to do with New Orleans, which I love. I just happened to be so sick my week’s consumption ended up being something like two Miller Lites, five bowls of chicken noodle, 400 Day/NightQuil and a thousand bottles of water.
@ChrisRElliott You got me hooked on The Black Keys. Any other good music recommendations?
They’re my favorite, by far. But a few others: ZZ Ward, Alabama Shakes, Gary Clark Jr, Lupe Fiasco, The National, TV on the Radio, and Patrick Sweany.
Course, as I type this, Snoop is rapping about Gin and Juice in the background. So, you know. Whatever.
But that show the other night, guys …
@froggiemlm how weirded out were you by the lead singer of the flaming lips holding a baby doll the entire show? Keys killed it
… pretty much. I like the Flaming Lips OK, but that show, I just wasn’t feeling it. In my defense, I don’t do drugs.
@rhettdaily The Black Keys were awesome. The Flaming Lips were… well… possibly the most painful thing I have sat through. Thoughts? #FHAH
Yeah, pretty much. I thought I’d seen the Lips before, but I hadn’t. First rock concert I’ve ever been to where the lead singer is both holding a baby and hooked up to some psychedelic umbilical cord. Like I said, I think being drug-free hurt my appreciation for what they were doing.
But the Keys predictably crushed it.
@mlavieri Where do you rank Sunday’s show? #BlackKeys #TwitterTuesday
This is a little embarrassing, but I’ve actually seen them seven times now. The only one I didn’t love was last summer at Kanrocksas, it just seemed like they didn’t want to be there. The best I’ve ever seen them was the first one, at Grinders three years ago. The rest, in order: New Orleans last March, Sprint Center last night, Boston two summers ago, Tulsa last spring, and Chicago around New Years 2012.
You care, right? No? Oh.
@MrBenMcGuire We’ve made it to May and the Royals are still contending! What is your over/under on when Hell will be freezing over?
Ben is trying to repeat as the Most Kansas City Tweet of the week, and I can’t knock the hustle, but he got topped by this one that came in after a second straight blowout loss last night …
@MarcosAntBarb I had begun to wonder where the Royals were! Found them…
… but Marcos couldn’t quite match this one, in response to one of those “Royals magic number” Tweets I send when they wake up in first place …
@kctacoparty I’m stupid. Will you explain the magic number thing again in Twitter Tuesday? #TT
Isn’t that kind of sad? This is probably one of two dozen Tweets I’ve seen over the last week or so asking what a magic number means. The term isn’t really used much in the NFL, and the Royals just haven’t given their fans any reason to know. But here goes:
The magic number is how many wins (plus losses by the second-place team) would be required to win the division (it can be altered for a wild card race, of course).
The math equation for baseball is 163 - (the team’s wins) - (the second-place team’s losses).
It’s usually used in the last week or two of a season, but, hey, this is Kansas City. April’s not too early.
Most years, it’s too late.