Another year and another Kansas City summertime tradition. The moment when any interest in the Royals completely dies and everyone's focus turns to Chiefs training camp. We are a week away from the glorious event so what better place to start this week?
1. Bowe Show not a long term engagement:
The stalemate between the Chiefs and WR Dwayne Bowe came to a head this past Monday as the two parties could not come to agreement on a long term contract. Now D-Bowe will play this upcoming season under the franchise tag and contract talks are tabled until next off-season. The chances of Bowe sitting out this upcoming season are slim and nearer to none. And slim just left town. Now the focus shifts to whether this has an effect on Bowe signing a long term contract next season.
The Chiefs played this the best way they could. Bowe comes with a few issues both on field and off field. The off field issues are nowhere near the realm of Larry Johnson but they are issues none the less. Getting suspended for testing positive for a banned substance is a red flag. Yes, he took the substance in order to cut weight to meet Todd Haley's insane training camp weight limit. But he still took a short cut. A short cut many take but he got caught.
On the field, the Bowe Show has moments where he plays like one of the top 5 wide receivers in the NFL. But those moments are stained by dropped passes and poor route running. With Bowe you really get the good and the bad. With Jamaal Charles returning from a major ACL injury, Bowe is the Chiefs best and most important offensive weapon this next season. The Chiefs long term need for Bowe could change depending on the development of second year WR Jonathan Baldwin. If the Chiefs lose Bowe after this season and try to move along with Baldwin as a replacement that is a mistake. You can never have too many play making receivers. Just ask the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints. And it's not like the Chiefs are short on cash. Speaking of wide receivers...
2. T.J. Moe owns SEC Media Days:
MU's Senior WR went to SEC media days and said exactly what his fan base has been thinking for the past months but were too sheepish to say aloud. Moe held court at the podium and let all of the media covering the SEC know that the MU football program does not suffer from a lack of swagger. People who think MU's inclusion into SEC football will look more like Vanderbilt than South Carolina are mistaken.
Yes, MU never won a Big 12 Conference title in football. Yes, they have never made a BCS bowl game. Last time I checked, making a BCS bowl game does not mean your program has arrived. See the University of Kansas. Throwing dirt on what the MU football program has accomplished over the past 10 years is very short sighted. And Moe made sure the SEC media remembered that as well. This is the same program and coach that were one win away from playing for the BCS National Championship. And speaking of coach Gary Pinkel...
3. Gary Pinkel needs a new PR guy:
So, yeah, Gary Pinkel kind stepped in a big one when he shared his thoughts about the late Joe Paterno. When are coaches and former players going to learn that there really is only one right answer when it comes to the Joe Paterno question? Condemn, condemn, and then condemn some more. Then express sympathy for the horrible crimes that were committed against the many innocent children.
Pinkel fell into the trap of trying to talk about the "greatness" of Paterno and trying to separate what he accomplished on the football field from the horrible actions that went on for years off the field. The "greatness" of a football coach is not relegated simply to "football wins". It is clear that Joe Paterno's active involvement to cover up the actions of his long time colleague has to be part of his legacy. Gary Pinkel should have known that and should have distanced himself from it. If Pinkel would have framed his response a little differently and referenced the greatness on the football field it would have not been as bad as it turned out but it would still have been the wrong response.
Covering up Jerry Sandusky's disgusting, horrible, and criminal actions is now the biggest part of Joe Paterno's legacy and that is how it should be. Back when the Sandusky news started coming out and Joe Paterno was fired he was quoted saying, "with the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more." Once I heard that I quoted my favorite Pawnee City Government official Leslie Knope "seems like regular sight should have caught that one." Gary Pinkel should feel free to use regular sight for now on when answering questions about Joe Paterno's "greatness."
4. Jonathan Sanchez heads off into the desert on a horse with no name:
Well, it took until the fourth spot but we finally get to the hometown local nine and, man, what an awesome week it has been. The brightest spot of the week was news that the Jonathan Sanchez experiment is finally over. I can admit that I was one that thought this would turn out to be a win for GM Dayton Moore when the trade happened.
The Royals already had Melky Cabrera's replacement in Lorenzo Cain and they had a massive hole in their starting rotation. With Sanchez the Royals had a chance to buy low. Like, really low on Sanchez. He had shown the ability to be a really effective, high level pitcher and helped the San Francisco Giants win the World Series two years ago. I guess in order to get that Jonathan Sanchez he has to give a crap and you know, actually try. It was clear early on that Sanchez had zero desire to be in Kansas City and on the Royals roster. His body language spoke volumes more than any baseball cliche he used in the post game interview. Before the season the rosters were in desperate need for front line starting pitching. And a week after the All-Star break they still need it. Speaking of pitching...
5. Zack Greinke trade a win for Dayton Moore:
With the return of Lorenzo Cain it has reopened the discussion of the Zack Greinke trade and the fruits of said trade for the Royals. The advancement of Alcides Escobar at the plate has lead people to claim that the Greinke trade is already a win for the Royals and Dayton Moore. I don't know how to properly type that I did a spit take when I first heard that. But I did.
I have no idea where this idea that the production of Escobar both offensively and defensively makes trading away a Cy Young winning pitcher a win for the Royals. Last time I checked the Royals are in desperate need of starting pitching (see #4) and Escobar is no Jose Reyes or Jimmy Rollins in his prime. Having a stud shortstop is good and all but it means nothing if you don't have a pitcher who can get people out.
The key to the Royals "winning" the Zack Greinke trade has been and always will be Jake Odorizzi. To quote Dayton Moore, "pitching is the currency in baseball" and the Royals are filing Chapter 13. If Odorizzi flops then this trade is a loss for Dayton Moore. From the looks of Odorizzi it appears the chances of him becoming the dominate pitcher like Greinke was for the Royals and is for the Brewers are not high. Having Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar to go along with Odorizzi lessens the blow a little. But does not make the Royals winners of that trade.
Until next Friday...
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