Twitter Tuesday: Royals hope, Holland angst, Chiefs pick, Ed Rushing folks, and Tetris
The Kansas City Star
You may have already seen the wonderful news that the smart, hard-working, kind and thoughtful Vahe Gregorian is bringing his talents to Kansas City.
Vahe has been at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for 25 years, covering just about everything you can imagine. He instantly becomes the smartest sports columnist on staff and, as you could probably surmise from the picture in that link, the best dressed, too.
On a personal note, I’ve known Vahe for about 10 years and he truly might be the nicest person I know in this business. We’re lucky to have him at the Star. I’ll probably have more about Vahe here in the coming weeks, but anyway, for now, I toast my coffee cup in the general direction of St. Louis.
Another busy week so let’s get to it. The reading recommendation is The End And Don King, one of my favorite reads of 2013. The eating recommendation is the braised steak sandwich at Anton’s Taproom. I went there for lunch, on a workday, so I didn’t get to try it but the beer menu is fantastic, too.
Anyway, as always, thanks for your help.
@caleboverman is it just me or does this Royals season already feel different? #GoodPitching #TimelyHitting #tt
Well, it does feel different. That’s why it was so important for the Royals to show it in the home opener.
It’s the pitching staff that changes everything. Don’t get sucked into the timely hitting. That stuff comes and goes.
Baseball players aren’t as gutsy and heroic as they’re made out to be when they get a two-out RBI, and they’re not as cowardly and weak as they’re made out to be when they popup in a clutch situation. I’m not trying to diminish the importance of clutch hitting. Games and sometimes championships are won with it. But for the most part, we’re talking about luck and small sample sizes. I remember once, I think it was last year, Billy Butler didn’t come through in a key situation and a segment of Royals fans freaked out and called him a choker. The next night, he hit the game-winning home run in the eighth or ninth inning.
Anyway, the difference in this team is the pitching staff. Ned Yost referenced this yesterday, but last year, the Royals were just begging for five innings from whichever crappy starting pitcher they had that night and then taking their chances with a really good bullpen. This year, the bullpen could potentially be better on its own, but it will have the benefit of not having to set the big league record for usage.
Yesterday’s game is a good example, actually, and probably would’ve been the column if it wasn’t the home opener. Greg Holland and Kelvin Herrera were both unavailable after pitching the previous two days. Last year, that would’ve meant further taxing someone else or multiple someone elses. This year, Ervin Santana throws eight beautiful innings and Aaron Crow locks up the ninth and everyone goes home happy.
@BobbyCave Too early to say that Herrera for Holland might be the defining moment of this Royals season?
@GabeDeArmond Simple question: How many more chances do you give Holland and who do you think should be the Royals closer?
Getting a lot…
@SAHDaddyKC can Holland be fixed? Is it mental or physical?
…of Holland panic…
@awestfall81 has Hochevar’s presence in the bullpen rubbed off on Greg Holland? Only explanation right?
…and I wish I had a more defined thought than, “be patient.” If I was the Royals manager, it’d be different. Well, it’d be different in a lot of ways. My press conferences would be AWESOME, first off. We would hardly ever sacrifice bunt. I’d see what I could do about retiring the “Low Places” singalong. I’d probably run most major decisions by Sal Perez before saying anything. And Herrera would probably be my closer.
That said, I get why they’re going with Holland. I think both guys can do it. I also think the importance of a closer is overstated, and the role is often misused in modern baseball. I’d play it much more by matchups, basically.
But, alas, I’m just a sports writer typing these words in gym shorts and a big comfortable chair right now. So as it stands, I think you stick with Holland, though on Sunday Yost showed he’s willing to adjust on the fly.
The “small sample size” warnings apply to Holland’s early struggles, but so does the reality that closers’ careers are often determined in small sample sizes. Holland is talented enough to be a big league closer, and I don’t know him well by any stretch, but I’ve never heard anything to make me think he can’t handle it mentally.
@BobbyCave Alex Gordon is really good, huh?
He’s fantastic. Really. He might be the best corner outfielder in the American League at the moment, which is really something when you remember that just three years ago he was a struggling former prospect at third base.
He’s a star. It’s just a matter of when people outside Kansas City realize it.
@TheNumber65 Last time the Royals made the playoffs Reagan was president. Who will be president the next time they make the playoffs?
So, if I say Obama, that means they’ve gotta make it in the next four years? I’ll take that.
@JDec89 Where does Danny Duffy fit in this rotation when he comes back?
That’s a problem the Royals look forward to having. Right now, they maintain they’re not expecting anything from him this year. Tommy John patients have historically been much better the second year back than the first, and there is an extra dose of caution when guys are set to come back during the season.
If you put Duffy in a big league rotation right away, there are just too many factors to manage — adrenaline, ambition, fear, competitiveness, team concerns, etc. This is a question that really has no answer until he’s ready to come back, because you have to see what the rotation looks like at the time.
But I will say this: you can make the case that Wade Davis is the only current starter who will be with the Royals beyond next season. The rotation is better than its been in years, but that’s a tenuous thing if the Royals can’t find some more solutions from within. Duffy is an enormous part of that, and the Royals are smart to be cautious with that commodity.
@BAP_KC any chance the Royals partner with Denny’s for a Billy Bulter Grand Slam Breakfast promo!? #twittertuesday
Well, they should.
@bmalcolm88 What are your thoughts on the #Royals using dynamic ticket pricing? #TT
A lot of teams do this, and I believe have done it for years. Anybody who’s bought an airline ticket or made a hotel reservation or — holy price gouging — reserved a car knows the concept.
Teams in all leagues and all cities are going to have to do more things like this. Purple Pricing is another method. The reality is that the secondary ticket market is a major problem for sports teams.
Set the price too high, and ticket brokers will undersell. Set the price too low, and ticket brokers will reap the profit. Especially in baseball, local revenue is critical. Teams have no choice but to hoard as much of it as possible.
@kent_swanson I don’t know if I have the stamina to be so emotionally invested in 162 games. We normally are dissappointed at about 70.
Well, shut it down. This is the most Kansas City submission of the week. Maybe the month.
@nickrichie24 who did you have winning your bracket?
Louisville, which makes me both correct and unimaginative. If I remember correctly, Louisville was actually the only Final Four team I had. I believe my final bracket had Louisville, Ohio State, Miami and Florida in the Final Four. Of course, my bracket was trash so early in the tournament I didn’t check it much after the second day.
@jvdoull is April the greatest sports month of the year? Masters, draft, NCAA championship and opening day
Reasonable minds can disagree, but I’ve got April no better than the sixth-best sports month behind, in order: March (you know why), January (NFL playoffs, bowl games and championship, college basketball), October (playoff baseball, NFL, college football), September (baseball pennant races, start of both NFL and college football), and February (Super Bowl, college basketball heats up).
They all have something, of course. May and June have the NBA playoffs. August has the very beginning of football. November has better football and the start of college basketball. December has bowl games and the end of the NFL regular season. Really, July is the only one that stinks.
@AlanSwansonmed8 Favorite things to put on your wiener? Ketchup, mustard, spear pickles, relish, etc
Relish. Always relish.
@burban77 if you were going to Ed Rush somebody, coach or otherwise, who would it be? And you can’t say “Babb”.
In no particular order: entitled travelers; parents who put their kids on leashes; people who are rude to servers and cleaners; people who are, like, Duke basketball and Ohio State football fans; guys who treat their noon pickup basketball games like the NBA finals; guys who spend three hours at the gym doing 30 minutes worth of exercise, usually grunting unnecessarily loud when they do their eight reps on the bench; and people who give you directions after you already tell them you know where you’re going.
Like it very much, don’t LOVE it. The two new beers I’ve had — new to me, I mean, not actually “new” — in the last week or so: Tallgrass Velvet Rooser and Mother’s Spring Batch. Both are fantastic.
@Thuettenmueller Im trying to think of a question, but I can’t. Is this what writers block feels like?
Depends. If you can solve it by taking the dog for a walk, or running, or even just wasting a half hour or so on the internet, then yes.
@b_rockers Which would have helped more… Tyshawn on this year’s team? Or Ben on last year’s team? #twittertuesday
Tyshawn Taylor and it’s not close. Look, that team last year reached its ceiling. They weren’t beating Kentucky no matter what. This year’s KU team lacked a true point guard all season. Elijah Johnson made a sacrifice to play out of position, but that was the weakness all year long, amplified by the brutal end.
@EstoniaKat KU’s always been afraid of playing WSU, but K-State has in the past but stopped. Would Bruce consider restarting the series?
I don’t know, but I feel strongly about this: if they play each other it should be because both schools want to play each other, not because of some silly political pandering.
@Grant4MU Is there a more tortured fanbase combo last 25 years than Royals/Chiefs/MU? Especially considering ku, Cards, even Rams successes
You know what’s weird? I probably get this question three out of four weeks, minimum.
@gregoravey if self or snyder retired tomorrow who would you pick as the new coaches to take over the two programs? #tt
I’m a fan of programs shooting for the moon, so if I was running KU, I’d make Brad Stevens an offer he couldn’t refuse and at K-State I’d go hard after Chris Petersen and Gary Patterson.
@canglem Which is worse, the wave, the kiss cam or jumbotron proposals? #tt
I actually like the kiss cam. Especially when they end on two players from the visiting team. They usually play along, everybody’s happy. And the jumbotron proposal is the worst thing ever, no question about it. There is no imagination. It’s a copout. Unless your girlfriend has said her dream is to be proposed to at a game, chances are she will secretly hate you for as long as your relationship lasts.
About the wave … I think I’d be OK with the wave, except for something that happened when I was a kid. Not sure if I’ve told this story before, but I was at a Royals game with my dad and it was late in the game, bases loaded, Frank White at the plate and the fans started the wave. I didn’t really notice, because I was watching the game, but just as the stupid thing came through our section White hit a grand slam. That I missed.
This was before videoboards, of course, so really, I just missed it. I remember the people around me fraudulently cheering and screaming and clapping like they actually saw what happened, and wanting them all to develop painful migraines. And, actually, through the magic of Baseball-Reference, I see that this probably happened on my eighth birthday.
So screw the wave even more than before.
@TheBeertree Is it sad that I’m now more excited for Sporting KC’s season than the Royal’s? I don’t even like soccer much, but winning helps.
It’s only bad if you really don’t like soccer.
@ksubmac How do you account for the sports year that Louisville is having? BCS bowl win, playing in 2 natl championships #impressive #TT
Don’t forget the Big 12 could’ve had Louisville.
That’s mostly hindsight, of course, and realignment decisions are bigger than just competition, but that sure would be fun. Better than crappy West Virginia, anyway.
@KyleR best backstop in KC right now, 2012 #MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Jimmy Nielsen or wunderkid Salvador Perez? #twittertuesday
Tough to argue against the guy who won Goalkeeper of the Year, but I’ll say this: Jimmy Nielsen turns 36 this season. Sal Perez turns 23.
Nielsen gets points for his hair, coming back from a gambling addiction, and the story about him stopping in the park and playing soccer with a bunch of random kids. Perez gets points for signing an incredibly long-term contract, and throwing out a guy yesterday from his knees on a pitch in the dirt (even if the guy overslid the bag).
@dpickman If you had to cover one professionally, which would you prefer: cricket, rugby, or lacrosse? #tt
Don’t cricket matches (or whatever they’re called) sometimes last for DAYS? I’d go with rugby, because the afterparties would be fun.
@CelloJordan Isn’t getting excited about the Chiefs’ offseason moves kind of like getting excited about trailers for Star Wars prequels? #TT
You lost me at Star Wars.
@Thurmonator8 Would you rather cover the Chiefs in the Super Bowl or the Royals in the world series? #TT
@Sniper_Jones35 Do you think that the #chiefs best chances are to trade the top pick?
My guess — that’s all it is — is that they’d like to. But guys, remember, just like the Chiefs would like to trade out of the pick because there isn’t a projected Hall of Famer waiting there … other teams aren’t knocking each other over to trade into the pick because there isn’t a projected Hall of Famer waiting there. I know we’ve said this a bunch, but it really is the worst year for the Chiefs to be picking first.
Anyway, like I say, my guess is they’d like to. And my guess is they won’t be able to.
@KaloPhoenix What are the chances that the #Chiefs go into next year with two new OT’s as starters?
@tijuana_gringo here’s to hoping royals and chiefs continue to feed/learn off each other #TT
I think this is a reference to Monday’s column, and I think you’d rather one of the teams start winning first.