Covering and announcing basketball games four days of the week has left precious little time to check the mailbag as the only free time I’ve had lately has gone to the golf course to work on my depleted game that has me thinking of — gasp — moving to the white tees.
Once again, answering your questions.
Q — Can the Kansas State Wildcats upset the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday?
A — Can they? Sure. Will they? I don’t think so. The Jayhawks are smelling blood now after many — including me — had written them off after three early road losses in Big 12 play. There was a time I didn’t give this game a second thought because KU so overwhelmingly dominated the series. But the Jayhawks have this way lately of not being totally focused. From a pure talent standpoint KU is 10 points better just when the teams take to the floor, but look for it to be in single digits.
Q — Are you going to pick the Royals to win their division or, as usual, are you going to snub them by picking them fourth or fifth?
A — I picked the Royals to finish fourth last year in the AL Central and, of course, they went on to win the World Series. Their window is closing fast as after 2017 several of their stars are going to head for greener pastures — as in money — as the Royals won’t be able to afford them. Second base and right field are still huge question marks in my mind and you can’t expect some of their players to duplicate last season. I haven’t totally decided my picks yet, because there are so many good players out there still unsigned, but my guess is I’ll probably pick them behind Detroit in the AL Central.
Q —What was your take on the Royals signing pitcher Ian Kennedy to such a rich contract?
A — Ownership must have had a brain cramp. The guy is a .500 pitcher at best. I think their money could have been spent much more wisely elsewhere. If the Royals get more than 12 wins from him, I’d be surprised.
Q — Should the Denver Broncos bring back Peyton Manning for one more year?
A — I don’t think so. Manning delivered them a Super Bowl and it’s time for him to move on and enjoy his life, though it has become some clouded by off-the-field questions. The Broncos should sink or swim with Brock Osweiler. As Manning showed in the Super Bowl, all you have to do as a quarterback with Denver is not win the game, just manage it. The defense will take care of the rest.
Q — What will be the direction of the Kansas City Chiefs in the upcoming draft?
A — Offensive lineman. Then offensive lineman, offensive lineman and offensive lineman. Seriously, I would like to see them go O-line in the first round, but then linebacker and receiver needs to be addressed. Given the culture Andy Reid has established in KC, it should be attractive for free agents, something the Chiefs really don’t do much of. At some point, though, quarterback is a position to take a look at. Alex Smith isn’t getting much younger.
Q — What do you think of McPherson High’s basketball teams having to go to Ulysses for sub-state?
A — Is Ulysses in Kansas? That was my first thought. Then I started to think what Ulysses has to go through most of the time. The Tiger teams probably get tired of traveling to all parts of the state since they are in nowheresville. Hopefully the MHS teams can survive, with state a much shorter trip to Salina. I just wish KSHSAA could seed the thing on Feb. 1. with the teams with the best records earning home sites. You want the eight best teams at state, this would make it much more probable. Of course, that would make too much sense, so it’s not going to happen.