Josh Klingler is the co-host and update anchor of "Fescoe in the Morning," heard weekdays 6a-9a on 610 Sports Radio. Perhaps the busiest sports personality in Kansas City, "Kling" also hosts pregame and postgame for KU Football and Men's Basketball broadcasts on the Jayhawk Radio Network and does morning sports updates on News Radio 980 KMBZ. He brings you his insight each Thursday on 610sports.com
I'll admit I was wavering, last week's blog dealt with putting the Royals on a 17 game notice, six games at home and eleven on the road before the All-Star break. Decision time to sink or swim with 2012 season.
After the three game sweep by St. Louis, I was teetering. But to borrow from Michael Corleone "just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in." A three game sweep of Tampa Bay and WE"RE BAAAAACK!!!
I need to stay the course, the All-Star game is my line in the sand, so I'll stay with it. (luckily my wife is a therapist --- free analysis)
On the college front, I'm actually very surprised that we've gotten to a four team football playoff. Ever the pessimist and reading articles from across the country, it appeared we wouldn't have any resolution until the fall. I'm glad we've gotten to the point most wished for and me specifically ... a playoff where four best teams play it out. I expect the details to get worked out with a selection committee and formula, all that I ask for is that you stick to it. While the BCS was good for determining #1 vs #2, they failed to adhere to their great formula to pick the rest of the BCS games. If you come up with the formula, you have to use it, if the polls say who is 1-4, you can't pick #5 or #6 to be in the playoffs. Thanks.
Sporting KC needs to turn it up a notch. After the fast start, our bar got very very high. Not allowing any shots on goal, blitzing on offense, it looked pretty easy. But now that things have settled in, they look like they need a pick me up. Goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen says they may have gotten overconfident early. It's the meat of the schedule now, here's hoping they get back to early season form.
Who wouldn't want the Royals to contend, Sporting KC battling for first, and Chiefs training camp still to look forward to this summer?
So are the Royals buyers or stand patters? We shall see. I'd largely written off 2012 after the rough start at home in KC, but the Royals are on the verge of making this summer fun and dare I say relevant.
I know I've mentioned on air that there was 'no chance' but I'd be more than happy to be wrong. The AL Central isn't great so I'm sayin there's a chance! So I'm making July 8th the date. The All-Star break. Get there and let's see where they stand.
It's 17 games. A six game homestand followed by 11 games on the road. Normally the road is not so kind, but as we've seen this year the Royals are just fine away from the K.
So get 17 more games and there will be three more weeks until the non-waiver trade deadline. I'd say the time to decide whether 'you're in' or still laying the groundwork for 2013, 14 or whatever is considered the future.
1 pitcher away? 2? Seems to me they'll still need a major deal or two to be in firm shape for this year or beyond. We've taken plenty of reaction on the show about what's okay and not okay to deal. The consensus seems to be that fans want to hold on to THE NEXT, the not yet here, Wil Myers.
To me, no one is untouchable, even Myers. My fear is that he's the one top notch commodity that could help bring back something significant in return. If you want a 1, a 2, or maybe even a 3+ pitcher, you might have to deal somebody you like. Sorry folks, I don't think one person's trash is another person's treasure in this case. Teams aren't going to want the backup or backup to the backup at 2nd or a 7th or 8th inning reliever for their #1.
Or we can all wait until free agency and think of 2013 .. or kidnap a top notch starter when they are here at the All-Star Game. Two things I'm not ready to commit to .. yet.
Minicamp is now over and the next time we'll see the Chiefs will be at training camp in St. Joe coming up at the end of July. Is it a good thing or a bad thing that it seems like there are no starting spots up for grabs? Would you like to see more training camp battles?
I hate to disappoint Chiefs fans but I think we can put the starting lineup pretty much in ink before mid-June. St. Joseph will provide the opportunity for everyone to evaluate Matt Cassel, check on the health of Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry, Tony Moeaki and Kendrick Lewis, and see battles unfold for the #3 running back and backup corner spots and how the D-line rotation will work out. For some of you ... Yawn.
But also, isn't this a good thing? I think the Chiefs lineup is solid if nothing else, maybe not as flashy, but the makings of a competitive AFC West contender.
Here's the rundown.
QB - Cassel
RB – Charles / Hillis
WR – Bowe *assuming he signs, Breaston, Baldwin, & mix in a little (or a lot) of McCluster
TE – Moeaki & Boss
OL – Albert, Lilja, Hudson, Asamoah, Winston
DL – Jackson, Dorsey, Poe / Toribio / Gordon → only real starting battle
I feel totally responsible for starting something .. StanziNation is on cloud nine, annointing the 2nd year QB Ricky Stanzi with 2nd team status after two weeks of play in shorts and no pads as the Chiefs offseason workouts are upon us. I'm almost sorry that I tweeted it out last week when Stanzi was running the 2s. I think we've all wanted a QB competition, but the hope was a competition at #1. It's nice that there may, I emphasize, may be competition for the backup job. But nothing has been won yet. Stanzi getting some extra reps is a good thing, just don't declare the battle won over Brady Quinn.
What I'm looking forward to seeing more of --- TE play. Hopefully Tony Moeaki is ready to go for training camp to pair with Kevin Boss. I'm anticipating a nice combo. Throw in the competition for the 3rd TE with Jake O'Connell, Steve Maneri, Martin Rucker and see if former KU TE rookie Tim Biere can stick on the practice squad, I like the potential of this position.
Safety play. I like the addition of Abram Elam, a player that has started the past three years in Dallas and Cleveland. I'm hoping this means quality backup and not any type of setback for returning safeties Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis. But depth at that spot was an obvious problem last season.
The slot. How will this position ultimately turn out? Right now Dexter McCluster is there with Jonathan Baldwin and Steve Breaston outside. When, and I say when, Dwayne Bowe returns, does Breaston move inside instead? Where does that leave Dex. Devin Wylie, who we thought after the draft may have been a Dex 2.0, is playing both inside and outside and should be fun to watch.
There's plenty of other stuff still to be sorted at D-line and back up running back to make the rest of the offseason and into training camp fun to watch. Yes, I'm ready for some football.