• DONATE TO SPS — In an earlier post on midkansasonline.com, I wrote a story about the wildly successful McPherson High SPS program being implemented at the middle school next year by Travis Sears, who will be moving from the high school to MMS as a physical education teacher.
I only wish we’d had this type of program when I was in high school. The results of the program have been staggering. It’s not something these students learn just for school, they can go on and use it in their everyday adult life.
It’s obvious what the program has done at McPherson High. There are few athletic programs in Kansas with the depth and success of those at MHS. We’ve had a great run of athletes come though the school in the last 10 years and I’m sure a majority of them, if not all, will say the SPS program contributed greatly to their success.
I urge everyone to donate to this project by contacting Sears at McPherson High School. A little bit here and a little bit there can go a long way. McPherson is proud of its sports success and it could be even more successful once the roots of the program take hold. Students will enter high school physically fit and with a better chance of competing at a younger level since they will be more physically advanced than students at other schools.
• LOST WEEKEND FOR ROYALS — How much longer until that seat Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost sits on starts to heat up?
The Royals just completed a forgettable three-game home series against AL Central leader Detroit and were never competitive in each of the games. Detroit came in red-hot and outscored the Royals 26-8, proving the chasm between the teams is Grand Canyon-esque.
To make matters worse, the Royals now head out on the road for series in San Diego and Seattle while Detroit gets four at home against hapless Houston, which should result in a sweep. The Astros are so far removed from being competitive that it’s almost farcical.
I watched all three games this weekend and what disturbed me is the lack of urgency the Royals play with. I mean, c’mon. When the piano-on-his-back Miguel Cabrera can score on a lineout to left field to Gold Glove outfielder Alex Gordon, who pulled a bonehead play by just flipping the ball back at which time Cabrera took off and trotted in, that tells me the Royals are not playing alert baseball.
The starting pitching, which had been the backbone to the team’s 14-12 April, threw nothing more than batting practice. “Big Game” James Shields was reduced to “Little Game James,” Danny Duffy somehow allowed only one run in four innings and mercifully didn’t kill anybody with his usual wildness and Jason Vargas is finally starting to resemble the pitcher everybody said he was when he was acquired — a .500 pitcher who’ll eat up innings, but don’t expect more than 10 or 12 wins.
The Kansas City bats, of course, continued in their season-long slumber. Eric Hosmer is so fouled up at the plate it looks as though’s he going to screw himself into the ground. Billy Butler hit a meaningless homer, but at least he got one out of the yard. Gordon’s body language is terrible and he looks disinterested, like he’s resigned himself to another year of Royals mediocrity. Finally, how Mike Moustakas remains employed at the major league level is beyond me. Send him down and see if he can hit pitching at Omaha. If he can’t hit there, it’s time to cut bait and move on.
Maybe the Royals are playing like Yost is managing. There’s no fire, no passion. When you listen to his postgame pressers, he makes excuses for his players and never calls them out. It’s almost to the point of enabling and coddling.
May is the month where the Royals lost any chance to win the division last year and they’re 0-4 so far. Looks like it’s going to be another hot, miserable and unproductive summer in KC if things continue to slide.
• KU ADDS POINT GUARD — Subtract one point guard and add another.
That was the week for the Kansas Jayhawks, who always seem to stay in the news even though next basketball season is months away.
The Jayhawks have added freshman standout Devonte Graham to take the place of the departed Naadir Tharpe. Graham is regarded as a Top 50 player, though he’s hardly going to be a savior some Jayhawk fans might envision. Supposedly, his strength is his turnover-to-assist ratio, something Tharpe struggled with in his three years.
I really feel for Tharpe because say what you will, he gave all he had to the program. The bottom line is he probably is a good backup, but suffers with extended minutes. He had a yo-yo career with the Jayhawks and it didn’t help he succeeded Elijah Johnson as the team’s No. 1 lightning rod for criticism. It seems like it comes with the position because Tyshawn Taylor incurred the fans’ wrath before Johnson came along. Who will it be next year?