• GORDON BENCHED — Alex Gordon is one of the most beloved players in Kansas City Royals history.
But Kansas City manager Ned Yost, who is perhaps more loyal to his players than any manager in baseball, had to make a decision on Tuesday that is best for his suddenly struggling club.
Gordon, a former All-Star left fielder, was benched by Yost, though he did play the last couple of innings Tuesday as a defensive replacement. But Yost also said that Gordon’s benching would apparently be for more than just a game or two since he’s hitting under .200 and coming off a .220 season in 2016.
Gordon handled the announcement with the class that you would expect from him. He said given his current situation, he agreed with his manager and that he would be working hard in the batting cage trying to find his former stroke.
The Royals, fortunately, acquired Melky Cabrera at the trade deadline and he’s been hitting well, while Jorge Bonifacio, who had lost his starting job when Cabrera was acquired, is being reinserted into the lineup.
The Royals' current woes — after such a torrid streak to vault them back into contention — go far beyond Gordon, however. The fact is the starting pitching has been terrible in the last week as Jason Vargas has returned to earth after a marvelous first half and Danny Duffy has been lit up the last few starts. The rest of the rotation has been unsettled all year, with Jason Hammel and Ian Kennedy being major disappointments, while the fifth spot has been a revolving door since Nate Karns went down early with an injury.
The Royals are hanging by a thread, but they're starting to unravel as their offense isn't consistent enough to overcome their lack of starting pitching.
• KW LANDS D-I TRANSFER — Anthony Monson was Tabor College's top assistant basketball coach until last year when he took over as head coach at Kansas Wesleyan.
Monson was greatly credited for recruiting much of the talent to Tabor that made it a national power.
His first year at KW didn't match the success he enjoyed in Hillsboro, but don't be surprised if the Bluejays are the sleeper team that will make the biggest rise in the KCAC this year.
Monson announced on Tuesday that NCAA Division I player Zach Rammelt, who has been at North Dakota State, is joining the Coyotes. The 6-2 guard is expected to be an impact player and Monson is probably hoping that Rammelt will be to the Coyotes what Grant Greensberg was to Saint Mary.
Rammelt is expected to be the headliner of a 14-member recruiting class for Monson, who has added some top-notch jucos — most notably former Salina Central star Jordan McNelly, who starred at Cloud County.
• DAWSON TO RETIRE — Len Dawson, regarded as the greatest quarterback in Kansas City Chiefs history and now in his 33rd year of serving as an analyst for the Chiefs’ radio outlets, is calling it quits after this season.
The 82-year-old Dawson made a seamless transition from the playing field to the broadcast booth. He’s scaling back in his final year, doing only pre-game segments.
Kendall Gammon, a former Chiefs long snapper who served as analyst for road games last year, will be the in-game analyst for all games this year.
96.7 KBBE will be carrying the Chiefs this year.