Leftridge: Royals Can’t Stick with Holland Much Longer

Kansas City Royals Greg Holland (56) in action during a game against the Chicago White Sox on April 3, 2013 at US Cellular Field in Chicago, IL. The White Sox beat the Royals 5-2.

I feel as bad saying it as you probably feel reading it, but Greg Holland should no longer be closing for the Kansas City Royals.

Look, I love Holland.

He has been an immeasurably important piece of an outstanding bullpen for a few years now, and his contributions to last year’s success will be forever remembered fondly. But the fact of the matter is, I don’t think this is the same Greg Holland.

With the occasional exception, this Greg Holland seems busted and ineffective, an actual liability in an otherwise solid pen. Oh, he still has his flashes—he’s hit 95 on the radar gun in his past two appearances, with some solid movement on his fastball—but his dominance, it would appear, might be gone. Continue reading

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Glazer: My Pal TJ Miller @ Starlight Tonight

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 22:  Actor T.J. Miller attends the 23rd Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation's Oscar Viewing Party on February 22, 2015 in West Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – FEBRUARY 22: Actor T.J. Miller attends the 23rd Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation’s Oscar Viewing Party on February 22, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

The Odd Ball Comedy Tour hits Starlight tonight…

It’s a sold out affair with big names like Amy Schumer, my pal TJ Miller.and several others on the long list of up and coming comics.

It’s a Woodstock type event.thgat runs from 5 pm today until 11 pm. Other names include Jeff Ross and Jim Norton. Naturally, most of the comics tonight have played Stanford’s over the past few years.

As most of you know, TJ Miller is a close friend of mine.

And as you may recall, I wrote a story a while back about how TJ took me to Tom Jones 75th birthday party in LA. It was a great night!

Miller did his first standup headline gig for a week in 2008 at Stanfords at our Legends location. At the time he’d only done a couple small films including Cloverfield and was doing She’s Out of Your League in a role would get him rolling as a young comedy star.

TJ let me know that his mother was from Kansas City and he had family here. Continue reading

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Starbeams: Trump to Leavenworth, Ashley Madison, KC Air Show & Peyton’s Place

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures and declares "You're fired!" at a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, June 17, 2015.  REUTERS/Dominick Reuter      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX1GZCO

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures and declares “You’re fired!” at a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, June 17, 2015. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY – RTX1GZCO

Guantanamo Bay prisoners could be coming to Leavenworth.  Donald Trump says we should build a wall around the prison.

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Between the Stock Market and AshleyMadison.com, I’ve barely gotten any sleep this week.

                                                                 ******* Continue reading

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Glazer: Scribe Unravels This Year’s Chiefs Team

jamaal-charles-chiefs-hdrWow, the Chiefs won their first two preseason games…

I can’t remember the last time they did that. Plus an opener on the road with a big scoring game for KC – ultra rare. Then again, the Chiefs own Seattle, ha! In games that don’t seem to matter anyway.

However the heat is on for our boys in Red, because the window may be closing on this core group of all pros.

Actually, we really only have two all pros. The rest are good, but not great players who were named all pro. Jamaal Charles is a great back and Justin Houston has emerged as a monster linebacker/sacker. Others like Derrick Johnson are steady, solid but his overall career has been a bit less than hoped for. He’s no Derrick Thomas, but he’s good. Eric Berry – the other core player – was over rated at best. Tamba Hali has been outstanding but like everyone here save Houston, is nearing the end of his career.

And zero playoffs wins at all for this group so far.

So why does this franchise fail? Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘NO ESCAPE’—An Extreme, Intense Nail Biter

ne-NOOI was not at all prepared for just how intense and violent things would get in this movie…

After all the movie stars Owen Wilson—who is usually an easy going kinda guy.

But in NO ESCAPE he helms an intense international political action thriller that’ll have you on the edge of your seat for much of the film’s 103 minute running time.

Originally entitled THE COUP for an earlier March 2015 release, NO ESCAPE starts out innocently enough.

Owen Wilson as Jack Dwyer with wife Lake Bell and their two young daughters are on an incredibly long flight to some unidentified southeast Asian country.

Owen’s engineering job in Austin, Texas has blown up and he opts to accept a waterworks tech opportunity in this third world country.

But what follows would almost make one think of the place as really being in a fourth world.

Barely has the family settled in at the country’s only western-style hotel when all hell breaks lose. Continue reading

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Glazer: The Death of Society & Culture As We Knew It

frstOne of the reasons many of us try to accomplish things in life is for our own history…

Our legacy, if you will.  That’s the wayn it is in this new America, where even major events and famous people are forgotten in the blink of an eye.

I speak with many young people – the new generation – and their interest in the past is nearly nonexistent. When I ask them to name famous actors, historical figures or even major events that most of us are well aware of, they don’t know or care.

It’s shocking to me.

Names that mean nothing include, Johnny Carson, John Wayne, Paul Newman, Babe Ruth, Micky Mantle, any president before Kennedy and any war heroes.

In fact, they know nothing much of anything about this country’s past wars.

They know nothing about WWI or WWII. Nothing about Korea, Vietnam or much about our history at all, The Civil War…HUH?

No, they don’t know the blue was  the north and the grey was the south. It’s not taught much in school and if it is taught, they don’t seem to listen or to care.

 

Now some of you are thinking, “Well, Craig you’re just getting older and not accepting all the changes.” Maybe.

So let me get this straight: you guys over 35 think this is all just fine. The new way – the SOCIAL MEDIA world? Really.

You like it that anywhere you go from a restaurant to a movie theater, the entire audience under 30 is on their iPhone texting and Face Booking, usually about nothing of any importance. Or better yet, playing the latest game? Shopping?

What’s lost in this mix is our recent past. Continue reading

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New Jack City: Big Screen Summer Replays Set

150608103918-jurassic-world-training-780x439It’s that time of year again on the movie calendar…

You know, the end of the summer movie season when the fat lady sings—and she’s about to cut loose.

We’re heading into the dog days of late August and early September when no major Hollywood studio risks releasing any of their A—or more often than not, even the B titles.

It’ a time for distributors to clear off their shelves in preparation for the fall movie season

And the 2015 fall movie outlook is PROMISING!

It’s also a time for the studios to wring that last drop of ticket revenue out of their major summer hits. Call them re-issues, re-releases or my favorite …back by popular demand!

Whatever you call it, this end-of-summer practice will offer at least four returning titles going into Labor Day weekend.

They include:

*** Universal’s “JURASSIC WORLD” with Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. The film opened on June 12th and has grossed $ 638.3 million domestic dollars to date. It returns to IMAX and large screen formats.

Continue reading

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Leftridge: TV Time: Because One Walking Dead Just Wasn’t Enough

Fear The Walking Dead - Fear The Walking Dead _ Season 1, Key Art - Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

What do you do when you have the most popular show on television but the demand is greater than your feasible output?

Well, if you’re AMC, you spin off your enormously successful zombie show into another zombie show set at a slightly earlier time period and in a totally different part of the country.

Problem. Solved.

Fear the Walking Dead premieres Sunday, and I’m not gonna lie: I’m pretty excited. See, I really like the parent show—as do millions and millions of others—and another avenue to quench my unwholesome bloodlust is quite welcome.

But I’ll admit, I have some reservations. Continue reading

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Glazer: Are This Year’s Royals KC’s Best Team Ever?

mlb-oakland-athletics-kansas-city-royals2I can’t recall past Chiefs or Royals teams wrapping up their division by mid season…

This just waiting for the playoffs and trying to keep the best record for home field  advantage is a strange feeling, isn’t it?

I mean, is this Kansas City’s best pro team ever?

It may well be.

Now that doesn’t guarantee a World Series title. Anything can happen in the post season. However, this current Royals club seems to be as close to perfect as any great team Kansas City’s ever had in either football or baseball.

Even the George Brett Royals always seemed to be looking up to the New York Yankees through the 1970s and up until 1980. And the 1985 Royals that won it all battled all season long to win the division. Nobody at the time felt it was anywhere near KC’s best Royals club until they won it all over St. Louis in the World Series.

And now we have a team that is a regular season monster! Continue reading

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Sounds Good: Turnpike Troubadours @ Granada

Saturday, August 22nd

Turnpike Troubadours at the Granada in Lawrence

Not a country music fan?  Me neither.  Don’t let that stop you from checking out one of the best live bands I’ve seen over the past couple years.

I suppose we’re lucky here in northeast Kansas to be so close to Oklahoma, the home base of the Troubadour boys.  That proximity has afforded us several shows in recent memory – at Liberty Hall in Lawrence, at the Crossroads, and at the Granada – while those in more distant locales have had to scrap just to get a ticket to see these young red dirt boys blow up.

This show comes on the tail end of a long tour spent promoting their upcoming self-titled album, which drops on September 18th, so I expect the band to be right in the pocket, road-hardened and tight.  And the crowd at the Granada should be pretty good, most likely sold out, especially considering the students are just back in town.  As of writing this post there are still some tickets left here, but if you’re planning to wait until the day of, you may end up on the outside looking in.

Bonus tip: If you spot Hearne at the show, he’ll buy you your first shot of whiskey.  He’ll be the one in the chaps with spurs.

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Lefsetz: Podcasts, The New Frontier

Radiolab

Radiolab

Why is it when major media is cropping its stories down to nothing, believing that’s the only way to achieve virality, because America is dumb and has a short attention span, that podcasts are gaining traction and are generating the word of mouth traditional outlets crave?

There’s the splash and then the regeneration.

Podcasting was all over the news in 2005 and then it crashed.

But suddenly, it’s been reborn as a long-form medium where those excluded from the traditional airwaves are making not only a home, but inroads.

It’s San Francisco in 1966. Seattle in 1991.

It’s passionate people pursuing their dream with money in the background. And if you partake of the art, you know there’s not enough time to listen to all the podcasts you may want to – still you’re addicted and can’t stop talking about them.

There’s the intimacy… In a world where you’re constantly being told you’re inadequate and don’t count, you feel close to podcasters (even if you never contact them).

It’s akin to FM radio back in the mid-sixties. It’s a small club and you’re thrilled to stay up all night listening.

Then there are  the stories…

Most podcasts cover stories that appear nowhere else.

There’s the humanity…

In this tech-dominated culture we love our smartphones, but we’re looking for something a little more squishy, a little more gray than black and white. Podcasting is primarily about people, their backgrounds and their flaws.

You can start with “Radiolab,” which happens to be going through an identity crisis. Continue reading

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Glazer: Johnny Dare Deserves to Enter Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio Hall of Fame

dareHis name’s a household  word in Kansas City….

Like Gates BBQ, Winstead’s and Kelly’s. He’s a staple and has been for years. I’m talking about the Johnny Dare Morning Show on 98.9 The Rock.

The latest: Dare’s been nominated to the Rock and Roll Radio Hall of Fame. And trust me, he’s more than earned this honor.

There are those who say, “He’s not my cup of tea.”

Well, they still know who he is and secretly listen to him from time to time to hear what he’ll say next. Kinda like Howard Stern.

Dare’s always pushed the envelope on his top rated morning show.

At times it’s got him into hot water.

However he’s always learned from those controversies and made his show better. And today Dare’s one of the most respected radio hosts in the nation. He does his homework on his guests, reads their books, checks out their movies or TV shows or stand up comedy material.

The result is simple, outstanding interviews that are often as good as it gets. Continue reading

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Starbeams: Prairie Villager Makes His Mark, Rolling Roof Update & Koko

Robert Kaplan

Kaplan

Robert Kaplan will be the president of the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas.  He is from Prairie Village.  People in the Dallas region can expect an immediate ban on Christmas lights and Little Free Libraries.

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The traffic reporters in Kansas City should start doing weather reports because they’re making me hot!   #JohnnyRowlands

                                                        ******* Continue reading

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Glazer: Reality TV Rules in America & Trump Can Win It All

donald-trump-roastFox News spent all Sunday explaining why Donald Trump can’t win the White House…

“He has no real plan,” Fox railed. “He’s just a reality TV star and billionaire appealing to the 25% of Americans who are unhappy with professional politicians.”

HOWEVER, REALITY TV HAS TAKEN OVER TELEVISION FOLKS AND IT MAY TAKE OVER THE WHITE HOUSE.

Fox News played Trump’s interviews on his helicopter and hIs interviews on his plane. His name was on both. They played his call in interviews to everyone at the national networks … he is now a reality superstar and a news superstar.

Donald Trump is a first,  remember a guy named Ronald Reagan?

Reagan was the only movie star to be elected president, yet was never even as big as Arnold Schwarzenegger who also became the governors of California. Arnold may well have been able to capture the White House as well. Except was he was not born in America and got caught knocking up his maid. Arnold was a superstar actor Reagan was not.

So it could happen. Continue reading

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Leftridge: I Had My Groceries Delivered Today, Like Some Kind of Big Shot

CTA_Brown_Line_060716I was born and raised in Kansas City, moved to Chicago for a spell, then moved back. KC will always be my one true love, but there are a LOT of things I miss about Chicago. I miss the Brown Line. (And the public transportation in general. I didn’t own a car in Chicago, and honestly, I didn’t need one.) I miss being able to step outside of my door and walk to anything I need. I miss the hustle and bustle of downtown, and working on the 34th floor of a giant building one block down from Sears Tower. (It will always be Sears, no matter what they think they want to call it.) I miss all of the crazy languages you can hear in a one block radius, the weird characters lurking in the shadows, the art, the culture, the seedy bar that was open until 4am just steps from my crummy apartment.

There’s a lot to miss about a place like Chicago.

But most of all, I miss two websites. I miss Grubhub and I miss Peapod. Continue reading

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Lefsetz: ‘The Donald’ Rules Truth Starved Republican Field

Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian

1. Money changes everything.

If Donald Trump were poor, he’d have no traction. He gets attention, and in many cases a pass, because he’s a billionaire. That’s the nation we live in, one in which the rich have the power and the poor believe the loaded are better than they are. Or, that they too can become a billionaire, if they just work hard enough, even though statistically the odds of upgrading are better in Canada and Europe.

The rich have been crapping on the downtrodden poor for so long they believe it.

We watch the Kardashians, we believe Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are saints, is it any wonder people look up to Donald Trump?

2. Television is the most powerful medium in America.

It turned Howard Stern into a household name and it did the same for Donald Trump. If you’re on television you’re a star. What is the goal of the YouTube and stars? To be on TV! It’s a hurdle that’s hard to jump. If Snooki and Kim Kardashian could be built by television, it’s not hard to understand Trump’s mindshare/traction.

3. Runaway media.

Insiders control the story, at least they believe they do.

They said Trump was dead after his comments about John McCain, ditto regarding his comments about Megyn Kelly. But what the internet era has taught us is that stories outside the usual narrative start online and traditional news media is the last to come on board. And that the traditional news media is often wrong. And that what it likes best is ratings.

Trump is irrelevant, soon to be forgotten, a footnote in history, even smaller than that of Ross Perot and Ralph Nader, but don’t expect any perspective from the media. Continue reading

Posted in Bob Lefsetz | 11 Comments

Starbeams: Mizzou Lineman Goes O.J. Stroud’s U, Big 12 Scare & After Dinner Sex,

MTE5NDg0MDU1MTI5NDU4MTkxFormer Mizzou offensive lineman Max Copeland will play a crazed killer in an independent horror movie.  The movie just got a rating of 5 on a scale of one to O.J. Simpson.

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A new study shows people who eat fried foods have a 56% greater chance of getting heart disease.  The study was conducted that the University of Stroud’s.

                                                                 ******* Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Pushes Racist Buttons

maxresdefault1Thirty years ago the legendary hip-hop group N.W.A. (“Niggaz Wit Attitude”) turned the music business upside down…

Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and Eazy-E created what we now know as ‘Gangsta-Rap.’

This weekend their story of the sound and portrait  of a generation hits the big screen in the much anticipated bio-drama STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON.

They were raw, black talent in those volatile days of the early 80’s, mixing and spinning vinyl records while rapping  and rhyming their disgust with the system for hungry ears in search of a future and a brighter tomorrow.

To them N.W.A. was “dope.” Continue reading

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Hearne: KCMO AM Tops 980 KMBZ & KCUR FM Soars Past 98.1 FM KMBZ

gregknapp1KMBZ’s News, talk stations are in the crosshairs…

As evidenced by the continuing decline of both KMBZ AM and KMBZ FM in the July radio ratings.

Starting with UMKC’s not-for-profit NPR station KCUR FM smoking of 98.1 FM KMBZ.  KCUR slotted in at 10th place in the standings with a 4.5 share to KMBZ’s 3.0.

That’s nearly 50 percent more average quarter tree hugger listeners versus KMBZ Tea Party types .

Even more surprising was that lowly Talk Radio KCMO AM nosed out 980 KMBZ for the first time in like forever.

Yep, the one time news talker powerhouse that was home to radio legends like Mike Murphy skidded into 20th place with a 1.8 share, inching past KMBZ’s 1.7. Continue reading

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Glazer: Watch Out, World; Trump Still Triumphant

Polls show Donald Trump leading by a huge margin even AFTER the first debate!

Yep, even though many – including me – thought he took some hits at the debate. But it turns out he did not! According to NBC, it’s Trump with 23%, Ted Cruz 13%, Ben Carson 11%, Carly Fiorina 8% and Marco Rubio 8%.

Big gains were posted by Carson and Fiorina as well as Cruz.

Jeb Bush, the heavy favorite before Trump entered, is slipping badly. Some polls have him at 4% and some much higher at 11%. But as of now, Trump is leading in all the current pre polls like Iowa.

Voters are clearly fed up with ‘business as usual speeches and promises.

Trump says he’s a major business success – a man worth billions – and he’ll apply his “touch” to our economy and its problems. He promises huge changes in dealing with China, Japan,Mexico and other foreign nations. He’ll put people in positions, much like himself, that are major business players who have big time experience with dealings in business and with our foreign friends and enemies. Continue reading

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