Leftridge: Royals, Chiefs Making Exhibition/Offseason Waves

San Diego Chargers v Kansas City ChiefsThe news spread quickly across Twitter and assorted other social media outlets on Monday afternoon. Dwayne Bowe locked up for 5 years. Dustin Colquitt signed to a long-term contract. Branden Albert given the franchise tag (with the hope, of course, that a long-term deal can be reached). And while some bemoaned the deals—there are always going to be loud malcontents ready to negatively chime in at ANY news—most fans, analysts and experts lauded the moves, confident that the Reid-Dorsey era is decidedly different than the recent history of futility that had been so resolutely displayed by the previous regime.

These were big moves, to be sure, and for the first time in what feels like forever, it’s exciting to be a Chiefs’ fan again.

Kansas City Chiefs v Atlanta FalconWhile Bowe has suffered from a recent injury, a suspension and a terminal case of general idiocy (which has been in slight remission for the better part of many years now—a few transgressions notwithstanding), he’s still a solid number one receiver. Colquitt has demonstrated a history of excellence—queue the jokes about winning the Special Olympics, I know—and was a fine, necessary signing. The franchise tag on Albert is clearly a stop-gap, but given Reid-Dorsey’s short (though impressive) history of willingness to make moves, it seems likely that something substantive will get, and likely sooner rather than later.

And though these three pieces were all here last year—on a miserable team that only won two games—they were hardly the biggest issues.

Remember last year’s offseason? Remember how excited we all weren’t about the signings of Brady Quinn and Peyton Hillis? And we were kind of lukewarm about the Eric Winston signing until he opened his mouth and shat on the city with his accusations that we’re all the worst people ever?

Well, even though BoweColBert isn’t shiny and new, this feels infinitely better. Oh, and that whole “Alex Smith signing” didn’t hurt anything, either.

(Late news: the Chiefs restructured the deal of 2009’s 3rd overall pick Tyson Jackson. This had to be done because Jackson was scheduled to make more money than Elton John next year. This was particularly troubling because Jackson has been only slightly more effective on the football field than the notoriously effeminate singer/songwriter who has [probably] never played football a day in his life.)


hochMeanwhile, way across the country, over the scorpion-filled desert, past the cacti, the mesas and a million immigrants selling bacon-wrapped hot dogs cooked in shopping carts, the Kansas City Royals are giving it THEIR best to make you think that they too might be poised for a renaissance.

They’re off to a tremendous start in exhibition play, compiling a 11-0-1 Cactus League record. And while exhibition baseball records are as worthless as football preseason play in terms of regular season results, it’s worth noting that the last time the Royals won the Cactus League, it was 2003, and we all remember what happened in ’03: that wonderful, fluke of a season that had us all interested in baseball WELL into July (which was a crazy, unusual feeling that I would love to replicate sometime soon).

No, it’s not very important that the Royals are beating teams with players you’ve never heard of who are wearing strange jerseys with numbers in the 70’s and 80’s, but it is encouraging that they’re getting strong performances from their starting pitching staff, a perpetually suspect segment that recently underwent a staggering overhaul (at a sizeable cost, of course). Though early sample sizes have been VERY minimal, newly inked pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis are showing their expected promise, last year’s diamond in the rough Jeremy Guthrie is picking up where he left off (a really pretty great place) and the biggest offseason question mark acquisition—former Angels’ pitcher Ervin Santana—seems to be recapturing some of the ability that once made him a fairly hot commodity.

The only poop in the egg nog, as it were, seems to be Luke Hochevar, and the organization’s reluctance to part ways with their horrifically awful albatross. After a typically poor Hochevar outing last week, manager Ned Yost said some stupid shit like, “oh, well, I thought he threw the ball well and I think the veteran presence in the rotation will really help him out and blah blah blah I’M A COMPLETE IDIOT IF I’M BEING SERIOUS, YOU GUYS.”

But hey, none of this technically matters right now because if he cracks the rotation coming out of Arizona, I’m betting he’s on a leash tight enough to choke a horsefly.

I hope.

And that’s the beautiful thing about March, especially this one, when the wind-chill is in the low 20’s and there are still filthy mountains of snow spotting the landscape; Hope springs eternal and anything is possible… even winning seasons from two teams who mostly don’t seem to know how.


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7 Responses to Leftridge: Royals, Chiefs Making Exhibition/Offseason Waves

  1. Super Dave says:

    Ok the Royals look good now but sorry I am going to wait till maybe end of July before I might believe they are the real deal. Been teased into thinking they was going to play decent ball way too many years in the past.

    • I know, I know… but it’s the only time I’m allowed to dream without looking like a crazy person.

      • Super Dave says:

        Not saying your crazy at all, good story pointing out some somethings and your wishes, all good things. But the Royals have come out of the gates looking good almost every spring and then it’s like one morning a meeting took place and the owner says start playing crappy ball I want to move the team without pissing off the fans. Sort of like the movie Major League if you get my drift.

  2. smartman says:

    In the post Glazer, post Posnanski, post JJ’s world I wondered who would assume the role of Hope Springs Eternal scribe. Et tu Lefty?

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