Mac Stevenson
Here’s an unwelcome prediction: In 2023, the Kansas City Royals MLB team will be just slightly improved over the current team and they will not be contenders to win the American League Central Division. There’s just one caveat; that prediction could change significantly if the Royals acquire a new owner in the interim.
It would be foolish indeed to question KC owner David Glass’ ability as a businessman. In 2000, Glass bought the Kansas City franchise for $96 million—it’s now worth $1.2 billion according to Forbes. Those figures are not exact, but they’re close.
Kansas City’s latest move to trade closer Kelvin Herrera to Washington for three minor league prospects is a disgrace. The trading of Herrera isn’t the issue; it’s what KC got in return for one of the best closers in baseball. Washington didn’t give up any of their quality minor league players for Herrera. KC got Kelvin Gutierrez, a 23-year-old infielder who is hitting .274 with Double-A Harrisburg; Blake Perkins, a 21-year-old outfielder who is hitting .234 at Class-A Potomac; and Yohanse Morel,  a 17-year-old pitcher from the Dominican Republic who will be sent to rookie ball.
The only logical reason for this inept trade is getting rid of Herrera’s salary. David Glass has made enough money with the Royals to make it possible for his family to live in luxury for many generations to come. And he can be proud of Kansas City going to two World Series and winning one of them. This would be the perfect time for David Glass to sell the KC franchise.
Owners of MLB teams need to be billionaires—who aren’t concerned with their profit and loss statements—in order to put successful teams on the field. Although he’s quite wealthy, Mr. Glass isn’t in that category. David Glass would do well to get out while the getting’s good—MLB can’t continue down the path it’s on for much longer.
Much has been made, justifiably, by the national media about what a great frontline the Kansas basketball team is going to have this fall. The Jayhawks are loaded at the center and power forward positions. But KU lost all four of their perimeter players from last season’s Final Four team.
Kansas basketball fans had their concerns about the Jayhawks’ backcourt alleviated after the recent FIBA Americas Under-18 World Tournament at Ontario, Canada. KU’s Bill Self coached the American team and led them to an undefeated (6-0) championship. KU freshman guard Quentin Grimes (6-4, 175) was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
Grimes scored 17 points to go with six rebounds and six assists in the U.S. team’s 113-74 win over Canada in the Golf Medal championship game. Grimes also played well in the McDonald’s All-American game last spring. In the U-18 tournament, Grimes was outstanding in every game. Bill Self agreed and said, “He’s probably as complete a guard as we’ve ever had.” For Self, that’s abnormally high praise about a freshman. Asked how he felt about playing for Coach Self, Grimes said, “I can’t wait to get back to Kansas with him.”
In addition to the good news about Grimes, Charlie Moore (5-11, 170)—a sophomore transfer from California—scored 26 points in one of KU’s recent intersquad games. Moore is poised to play a key role at the point guard position.
Kansas is loaded for the 2018-19 season; this team has the potential to be the best of the Bill Self era.
Sean Snyder (48) is Associate Head Coach/Special Teams Coach at Kansas State; he has earned an enduring reputation for producing exceptional special teams. This season will be a challenge.
Snyder is well-aware of and concerned about the almost total lack of experience on the Wildcats’ current special teams lineup. He recently said, “It’s the first time we’ve flipped every single specialist as far as kicker, punter, snapper, and return guys are concerned.”
Special team members are the most underrated players on college teams of all levels. Snyder knows what has to be done and said, “We don’t have a choice . . . we have to get them going. There is a level of concern.”
But Snyder knows he can, once again, get the job done, saying, “Most of the guys have all been in the program, so they know what the expectations are . . . they all understand what needs to get done. They just have to do it now. The nervousness and the anxiety and that kind of stuff won’t be as great as it is with a really young guy coming in.”
If Sean Snyder puts another stellar group of special teams on the field this fall, it will be the best of his many achievements—over 25 years—while coaching these vital special teams.