Curtis Kitchen has followed the Big 12, Kansas State and national college basketball beat including K-State's run to the NCAA Tournament Elite 8 in 2010. You can currently follow his work at his blog: KitchenKC.com In the past, he also covered the Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting KC) for Major League Soccer's mlsnet.com site as well as the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals for the other sports station in town. His freelance portfolio ranges media outlets and publications, including gopowercat.com (part of the Rivals network), collegehoopsnet.com and the Miami Herald.
Curtis Kitchen: Fightin' Words for 10/5
by Curtis Kitchen,posted Oct 5 2012 5:15PM
Each week, it might be me mixing it up (good), an aggravated quote from a coach or player (better) or an irritated email or angsty tweet from you (best). One way or the other, we’ll hash it out because here, in this column on 610sports.com, we definitely talk about the club. It’s FIGHTIN’ WORDS! - ck
“Team slammed by our own school newspaper. Amazing! No problem with opponents paper or local media. You deserve what you get! But, not home!” – KU head coach Charlie Weis on Twitter
I… wait… I said I wouldn’t do… give me a second… Charlie Weis is mad at the… AHAHAHAHAHA!
I’m better now. This so has a “can’t hit a kid, so hit the dog” feel all over it. Charlie Weis is four games into his career at KU. His team is 1-3 and stands to have sand kicked in its face on Saturday against the in-state rival — the rival that is No. 7/8 nationally, likes to physically dominate its opponent and has a distinct distaste for fowl. And, the last “motivation” ploy Weis unfurls two days before the game is attacking the student newspaper through Twitter?
If Weis can stand up for his players, then I’ll stand up for the University Daily Kansan staff. They are KU kids, kids who are learning that, in this profession, the first goal is to accurately capture the news as it stands in front of you. Nobody on this planet expects KU to compete with K-State. Nobody. That’s why Weis has passively apologized to Bill Snyder by making Keba Agostinho take down his ‘disrespectful’ tweets from last week. That’s why Weis has spent this week lavishly praising the K-State program. Coaches who expect to win or compete in games don’t sidle up to the opponent or focus on the student newspaper. Why? Usually because they understand that if they take care of business (*cough* like not blowing two fourth-quarter leads to lesser teams *cough*) and go into this game at 3-1 instead of 1-3, the student newspaper wouldn’t feel the need to do what the UDK did.
But, that’s the media’s… excuse me… the student media’s fault, right Charlie?
The Kansas City Royals have now parted ways with the hitting coach. Problems fixed.
Let’s talk intangibles about successful people. Rarely, if EVER, do they blame others for their failures. Jeff Francoeur, while fun and neat with his $100-wrapped baseballs, toothy grins and what not, blamed Billy Butler’s speed for a disgustingly terrible .235/.287/.378 over 603 plate appearances. How many opportunities do you need? Francoeur blamed Butler’s speed. Repeat that. Breathe in the ridiculousness.
It affected Francoeur so much that he carried down the lineup with him. He spent 67 games in the sixth and seventh spots of the lineup, where he notched 272 plate appearances. 203 of those were in the seventh spot, well after the fragile psyche was shattered. With Butler three spots ahead of him, Frenchy managed a .196/.271/.359 line. Francoeur couldn’t have done much worse by picking up slow Billy Butler and swinging him at the baseball.
I’m not going to geek out here on other stats (like having way more than double the number of strikeouts – 119 – than runs batted in – 49. I’m not going to. But, the bottom line is the guy couldn’t hit a baseball even reasonably well because of, according to him, another guy’s lack of speed messed him up.
“@raford3: Don't bet on it. RT @curtiskitchen Man, the#royals have to be done with Hochevar, don't they?”
I asked Robert Ford this last Sunday, as Hochevar put the finishing touches on a poo-in-bag-on-doorstep season that apparently puts him in line for a raise this winter. Nobody can defend Hochevar’s year, but the Royals are going to bring him back… based on hope.
Unless I am covering a game professionally, I will not attend another Royals game as long as Luke Hochevar is part of this staff. I will not believe the Royals are serious about winning. I will not believe that more substantial help is on the way for the starting rotation (especially after hearing the tone soften from “we’re going to add” to “guys who think like a No. 1”). I’m done. See ya. I’m checking my fan card at the door and will reserve the right to pick it back up when you at least care enough to fake caring. There’s something to sticking with your team when times are a little lean. There’s also something to standing up for yourself when realizing you’re getting trampled in the relationship.
(And, I hate you a little, Robert Ford. I hate you because you’re right.)