OTC: Royals Trade W/ Blue Jays That Josh Vernier Calls A “Sell” Move / Steven A. Smith Bugs Beadle

“The Royals trade Danny Valencia to Toronto for spare parts”
Headline, for Max Rieper’s column on RoyalsReview.com
GH: The Royals received Erik Kratz (catcher) and Liam Hendriks (a right-handed pitcher) from the Blue Jays. Rieper calls both former Blue Jays “journeyman” players. Kratz is a 32-year-old never was and Hendriks is a 25-year-old maybe with a 6.06 ERA in his 169 MLB innings. If Dayton Moore is writing a gripping narrative to the Royals season, he has a spellbinder brewing with this twisted move. His fans/readers feel betrayed and all looks lost for this tale’s heroes. Will all be saved in the final chapter? The problem with this scenario is that all of Dayton’s other works have been as titillating as the phone book.

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OTC: Is Billy Butler The Mid-Season Bat The Royals Have Longed For? / Frank White Scolds Young Royals

“Call it a coincidence, but Billy Butler’s recent hitting surge has coincided with his return to first-base duty in place of Eric Hosmer.”
Randy Covitz, kansascity.com
GH: I have never understood why a healthy 28-year-old MLB player would be satisfied with a fulltime DH role. Maybe Raul Ibanez’s fitness and fire have embarrassed Billy into looking at his future and wanting to get off his DH ass.

“Sometimes you get your mind off just hitting, and you go out there and play. It takes a little pressure off you. That’s what I’ve done my whole life. I didn’t DH when I was growing up.”
Billy Butler, kansascity.com
GH: How great would it be if Butler got in shape and became the Royals answer in right field?

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OTC: Is MU’s Maty Mauk Or KSU’s Tyler Lockett More Important To Their Team’s Success This Season?

“I think Maty Mauk is going to have a bigger impact than a guy like Tyler Lockett. I would hesitate to say that Maty Mauk won’t be the most important player in the area to his team.”
Jay Binkley, when asked to name which local college football player would have the biggest impact on his team this season, 610 AM
GH: Binkley was quick to add that he thinks the K-State wide receiver is a supreme talent but it is his opinion that as Mizzou’s quarterback, Mauk will have a better chance to impact his Tigers. I would agree that Mauk’s position gives him the nod over Lockett as far as every-down impact BUT there may not be a better player in the Big 12 or the SEC than Mr. Tyler Lockett. I remember how devastating a weapon David Allen was as a kick returner for KSU and also Tyler’s dad, Kevin as a great wide out. Maybe KSU’s best ever was Darnell McDonald. All three played on that wildly talented yet underachieving 1998 Wildcat team that was bitten by the Sirr Parker miracle. Tyler might do things this fall that no receiver/returner will ever top at KSU.

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OTC: Big 12′s Boss Comes Off As A Whiner With His “Cheating Pays” Speach / KK Tells KU Fans They Don’t Want To Know

“Enforcement is broken. The infractions committee hasn’t had a hearing in almost a year, and I think it’s not an understatement to say that cheating pays presently. If you seek to conspire to certainly bend the rules, you can do it successfully and probably not get caught in most occasions.”
Bob Bowlsby, Big 12 commissioner, Big 12 football media days
GH: Bowlsby made a viral splash with his ‘cheating pays’ declaration in front of the Big 12 and national media. Is he pointing his finger at the SEC? Is he making excuses as to why Big 12 football has almost disappeared from the national title game this last decade? It sounded like sour tortillas to me from the Big 12’s leading man.

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OTC: Royals 2nd Half Begins W/ A Thud. Who Is Accountable? Anybody? / Petro’s Interview W/ Chiefs’ Alex Smith Shines

“Remember, I came up with an organization that if you didn’t do your job they’d get rid of you. I always understood that my priorities were on the field first. I knew that I was playing for my job.”
Derek Jeter, when asked during the All-Star Game how he has been able to fashion such a successful career in MLB and stay out of the headlines off the field, Fox
GH: Curse the Yankee Way all you want. Scoff at the arrogance of the Cardinals rich tradition as well. But understand that these organizations demand accountability – something the Royals lost 20 years ago along their David Glass highway to hell.

“Another Royals loss, this one with the added bonus of seeing the Chris Sale they should have drafted. Something happening soon?”
Joe Posnanski, @JPosnanski, following the Royals fourth straight loss, a 3-1 loss to the White Sox, Twitter
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OTC Is OOT For The Rest Of The Week / Annual Red Man Golf Trip

IMG_8511I am out of town this week and I have put my Off The Couch column on vacation until next week.

I am in Omaha playing in the 39th Annual Red Man Two-Man Scramble Golf Tourney in Omaha. Some college-age buddies and I started this tourney back in the mid-70s and we still travel back to the same old city course where we all met so many summers ago. Everybody should travel back in time on a regular basis to touch base with their former lives. This tourney is one of my favorite weekends of the year and at the same time one of my wife’s most hated. Somehow I remain married and an annual participant in the Red Man.

Look forward to seeing you back here next week. Meanwhile, let’s hope the Royals get that second-half mojo motoring and the Chiefs start their journey toward another playoff season. Catch me on Twitter @greghall24.



OTC: Hudler Urges Royals Fans & Players To Don’t Stop Believin’ / KK Fears For Mizzou FB After Pinkel

“The Royals sixth-inning song now this year has been Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’. And that is exactly what the fans here need to do. They need to stay behind this ball club and believe it can happen. And maybe the players, they’ve got to believe it! I think they do.”
Rex Hudler, as the Royals enter the All-Star break at 48-46 and 6.5 games behind Detroit, Fox Sports KC
GH: Let’s hope the players at least believe they can repeat their second-half surge of last season. As fans, we don’t have much of a choice other than to watch, hope and wait to see if this Royals team can end the 29-year playoff drought.

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