Royals could really sink in standings without Duffy

By Steve Sell
May 30, 2017

Tuesday’s thoughts...

• ROYALS IN CRISIS MODE — Monday may have been the darkest day of the season for the Kansas City Royals as it seems like there’s been a season-long cloud hanging over the team.

The news that Danny Duffy would be out from 6 weeks to 2 months was a stunner. Duffy was injured on Sunday when he missed first base while receiving a throw from Eric Hosmer, then stumbled awkwardly.

As staff ace, Duffy is counted on to stop long losing streaks. He’s 4-4 on the year with a creditable 3.54 ERA and if you take away his two troubled starts against the Chicago White Sox, he’d be well under 3.00.

The Royals’ starting rotation is now in shambles. Ian Kennedy, who is being paid about id="mce_marker"7 million a year, is 0-4. Jason Hammel, an $8 million a year pitcher, has been a total bust as he’s 1-6 with an ERA of 6.18. He was handed a 3-0 lead on Monday and handled it like a wet bar of soap. Nathan Karns, who was just starting to emerge, is on the disabled list. Thankfully there’s Jason Vargas, who’s 6-3 to prop up arguably the worst starting rotation in baseball at this point.

The Royals’ bullpen hasn’t been much better. Joakim Soria was lit up Monday night as he failed to protect a late lead against Detroit and he’s become a lightning rod for displeasure by  Royals fans. He’s now blown four saves and even when he gets the job done, there’s plenty of anxious moments. Closer Kelvin Herrera has 11 saves, but has given up 5 homers, which is rather alarming.

Given the fact the minor league system is threadbare with pitchers, you have to be holding your breath if your a Kansas City fan. Out of necessity, the fire sale expected on July 31 may have to start earlier with Lorenzo Cain maybe the first to go.

• TIGER IN TROUBLE — The sad saga of golfer Tiger Woods continues.

Woods was arrested early Monday morning for suspicion of DUI, though he’s claiming “an unexpected reaction to prescribed medication” led to his arrest. He was found pulled over on the side of the road asleep in his car.

It seems like the only news the idle Tiger makes these days is off the course and it’s all been bad. 

Woods released a statement saying he takes full responsibility for his actions and made it clear that alcohol was not involved. 

There was a time when he was expected to obliterate Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors. Some thought he might reach 25 or 30 before his career was over.

But he’s been stuck on 14 for nine years as his career has been derailed by a myriad of injuries, not to mention personal life woes. He’s 41 years old now and there’s a belief we may never see him in active competition again.

For two decades Tiger brought in fans from all walks of life and while there’s been a cadre of new stars, golf just doesn’t seem the same without Tiger driving the storylines.

• BOL BOL UPDATE – Remember Bol Bol, whose 3-pointer against McPherson High in the Class 4A Division I state championship basketball game in 2016 was the dagger to the Bullpups’ heart and propelled Miege to the championship?

He left Miege after his sophomore season and headed West for California. He played this past year for legendary program Mater Dei and is now tearing it up on the summer AAU circuit.

Bol reportedly has now grown to 7-2 and allegedly weighs 215 pounds. According to a story in The Kansas City Star, he averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks a game during a tournament this past weekend in Los Angeles.

Bol, as MHS fans remember, likes to roam around the 3-point line and cast away treys rather than mix it up inside. His late father, Manute, had a long NBA career, but was best known for being 7-7 and spending most of his time outside the arc. He reportedly is on KU’s recruiting list, along with most of the other Top 20 players in the country.