• CHIEFS CUT MACLIN — There seems to be much hue and cry over the fact the Kansas City Chiefs released their most accomplished receiver last week, Jeremy Maclin.
The move saves the money-starved Chiefs about id="mce_marker"0 million in cap space.
The 29-year-old Maclin was the most professional receiver on the team. He was everything the Chiefs wanted in his first year in 2015, snagging 87 balls for 1,088 yards and eight touchdowns. He also displayed a toughness that was infectious on his teammates.
But Maclin, hampered by injuries, was limited to 44 catches last year for just 536 yards and only two touchdowns. The fact he’s had two major knee surgeries and can’t blow by defensive backs like he used to certainly had to factor into the decision.
Maclin will be missed, for sure. But it’s time for the Chiefs to find out what they have in Chris Conley, who certainly looks the part of a No. 1 receiver in terms of size and speed but doesn’t seem to have the coaching staff’s trust. And now Tyreek Hill, the home-run threat, will get on the field more. Let’s not forgot that the No. 1 receiver on this team is actually tight end Travis Kelce, who had 85 catches.
I, for one, am not as outraged as others. The Chiefs needed some cash to play with and cutting Maclin when other receivers can probably come close or surpass his production seems like a no-brainer to me. My only regret is he’s one of the true professionals in the game, but he won’t be unemployed for long.
• SOLER TO MINORS — The Royals’ trade of star closer Wade Davis to Chicago for Jorge Soler is looking terribly lopsided at this point.
But it’s way too early to call the trade a bust.
Soler was sent down to the minors last week to knock off the rust. He fell behind early in spring training and started the year on the disabled list. We really haven’t had that much of a chance to see what he can do other than striking out.
Remember, Davis is in his walk year and the Royals weren’t going to be able to sign him since he’s one of the five best relievers in the game. They have invested in Kelvin Herrera and while he’s been prone to the home run ball, he’s still above average.
The emergence of Jorge Bonifacio has eased the pain of Soler’s ineptitude. The rookie is putting up some nice numbers, though I have a feeling the book on him will soon be out. He’s probably going to be an average major league player, much like his older brother Emilio, a one-time Royal.
Soler is intriguing because he’s huge and can hit the ball out of any yard. But the breeze from his swings and misses kept those in the front row cool as he doesn’t get cheated. If he could just hit about .260 with 20 to 25 homers, the Royals would gladly take it. I have a feeling we won’t see him at full strength until next year.
• SERIES ALL BUT OVER — I’ve been saying it for a week. Golden State is far superior to Cleveland and the Warriors’ 2-0 dominating start is no surprise to me.
Of course for the Cavaliers to win it now, they have to win four of the next five.
No chance, no way, no how.
The Warriors are as focused as any team I’ve seen in the playoffs since Michael’s Bulls in the 1990s. I have never felt like a team in the current era could play with them, or the Showtime Lakers or the Celtics when they had their “Big 3.”
But Golden State might very well be one of the best of all time. It has so many ways to score and two of the greatest ever in Kevin Durant and Steph Curry. When Klay Thompson is knocking down shots and Draymond Green isn’t whining and just playing ball, this is a team that is virtually impossible to beat.
The only question now is does Golden State sweep or end it in 5? Because no way does it go any farther.