July 28, 2014

Chiefs special teams coach compares rookie to Devin Hester as team wraps up first practice in full pads with full contact

DeAnthony Thomas

DeAnthony Thomas

The Kansas City Chiefs took the field on Sunday morning on the campus of Missouri Western State University for their first full hitting period of training camp, which included blocking and full out tackling of ball carriers.

Some of the highlights of the day came from special teams.  Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub likes the battle between kickers rookie Cairo Santos and veteran Ryan Succop.  Toub says Santos will be a kicker in the NFL, whether it is with their team or somewhere else.  Toub has also been impressed with rookie De’Anthony Thomas.

The former Oregon Duck is number two behind Knile Davis for kick returns, but his speed and quickness has caught the eye of Toub who made a strong comparison to another brilliant return man.

“His burst, his ability to make the first person miss—he’s got that,” Toub said. “The same thing that Devin Hester had. The thing that we need to work on with him right now is his catching and his ball reads. You’ll see him in practice occasionally have to run late to make a catch and it’s just a matter of him seeing the ball where it’s going to be and have the ball chase him and him not chase the ball.”

Holliday’s homer just enough as Wainwright becomes the first 13-game winner in the majors

Matt Holliday rounds third in the first inning after his solo homer (photo/MLB)

Matt Holliday rounds third in the first inning after his solo homer (photo/MLB)

With the wind blowing out to right field, Sunday’s rubber game at Wrigley Field could have been a high scoring affair, but Matt Holliday’s line drive homer to left during the third at-bat of the game, produced the only run in the Cardinals 1-0 victory over the Cubs.  St. Louis grabs two out of three in Chicago and remains two games behind Milwaukee.

Holliday’s homer came off rookie starter Kyle Hendricks who match Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright the rest of the way.  Hendricks was pretty good…Wainwright was better, as he went seven innings, allowing five hits and three walks, while striking out three to get to a Major League leading 13 wins.

Sunday’s outing was a great comeback effort for Wainwright who got tagged for six runs in just 4.2 innings against Tampa Bay in his last start.  The Cubs had chances and hit the ball hard, but Wainwright was also backed up by some solid defense.  For Wainwright, it was his tenth start this season with at least seven scoreless innings. Only three pitchers since 1969 have more 11 starts like that in a season.  Former Cardinal John Tudor did it with Dwight Gooden in 1985 and Cliff Lee in 2011.

Kevin Siegrist worked the eighth and Trevor Rosenthal pitched the ninth for his 32nd save in 36 chances.

Indians slugger does something that no other opponent has done against the Royals at The K

Carlos Santana points skyward after going deep against Kansas City (photo/MLB)

Carlos Santana points skyward after going deep against Kansas City (photo/MLB)

Cleveland Indians slugger Carlos Santana did something no other visiting player has ever done against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium…hit five home runs in a series. Santana went deep twice more on Sunday as the Royals got blown out 10-3, unable to sweep the Indians.  K.C. still took three out of four to stay five back of Detroit and a game and a half ahead of Cleveland.

Santana went 9 for 14 with eight RBIs in the four games against the Royals.  There wasn’t a player who wasn’t impressed by Santana’s performance.  Former Royal and current teammate Mike Aviles said, “It was pretty impressive to watch.  Everybody knows how big he can be. He was able to drive some balls out of the park consistently from both sides.”

The loss also prevented the Royals from sweeping a four-game series at home against the Tribe for the first time since they’ve started playing against each other.   Almost overlooked in the weekend was the resurgence of Billy Butler who also put on a show.

Billy Butler had three hits on Sunday to go along with his game winning homers back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday nights. Butler was 6-for-12 with five RBIs in the series.  Butler has been filling in at first base for injured Eric Hosmer, who is expected back in the lineup on Tuesday night.

 

 

Carlos Santana did something that the Royals had not seen in the 46 years of their existence.

Santana became the first opposing player to blast five home runs in a series against them. The last two homers came on Sunday as he powered the Cleveland Indians to a 10-3 victory at Kauffman Stadium.

That prevented the Royals from accomplishing a first of their own. A victory would have given them their first four-game sweep against the Indians in Kansas City since the rivalry began in 1969.

La Russa and Torre both point to one St. Louis coach for having a big influence over their careers (VIDEO)

Former St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa delivers his induction speech during the National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Cooperstown, New York on July 27, 2014.  UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Former St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa delivers his induction speech during the National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Cooperstown, New York on July 27, 2014. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Former Cardinal managers Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre joined Bobby Cox along with players Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas in Cooperstown for their induction into Baseball’s Hall of Fame on Sunday.

If you’re under the age of 30, you’ll know Torre as the New York Yankees manager during their dominating run in the 90′s.  However, what you may not know about Torre, is that he had his best playing years in St. Louis where he spent six of his 18 seasons, playing third and first and doing a little catching.

In those six season with the Cardinals, Torre hit .308 and drove in 558 RBIs. In his other 12 seasons with the Mets and Atlanta, Torre drove in another 627 runs…the Cardinals had him in his prime. As the manager of the Yankees, he won his first of four world series and six pennants in 1996, the year after he was fired from the Cardinals.

That’s right, Torre also managed in St. Louis, (after stints with the Mets and Braves),  where his record was three games under .500 in a span from 1990 to 1995. Torre was fired early in the ’95 season and it was Tony La Russa who took over at the start of the 1996 season with the Cardinals and won the division. He’d go onto to win 1,408 games with the Cardinals, two world series title and three pennants. He also took the Oakland A’s to three World Series in a row, winning in 1989.

During their speeches, both Torre and La Russa took time to talk about the influence that George Kissel had on their lives in baseball.  Kissel spent nearly 70 years in the Cardinals organization as a minor league manager, coach, scout and third base coach on the major league level.

Kissell earned the nickname “the Professor,” and his influence on the game in St. Louis is highly regarded as being one of the key factors in what is known as the “Cardinal Way.”

Watch La Russa’s speech. Video courtesy MLB.com

As expected, Mizzou picked for fourth in the SEC East. Boehm, Golden, Murphy and Baggett pick up player honors

Mizzou picked fourth by the SEC Media.

Mizzou picked fourth by the SEC Media.

After a one year hiatus, the SEC Media predicts that Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide will come back and repeat at SEC Champions by defeating South Carolina in the championship game.  The official SEC Media Preseason picks were released this morning as Media Days conclude in Birmingham, AL.

The Missouri Tigers, despite finishing 12-2 a year and winners of the SEC East, failed to convince the media that they were strong contenders to repeat or even make a run at the SEC East for a second year in a row.  The media picked South Carolina just barely ahead of Georgia and Florida a distant third, just ahead of the Tigers.

Missouri center Evan Boehm was named to the Third Team All SEC offense and senior defensive end Markus Golden picked up Second Team All SEC honors on the defensive side of the ball. Kicker Andrew Baggett and return specialist Marcus Murphy earned Third Team recognition on special teams.

2014 PRE-SEASON MEDIA DAYS ALL-SEC TEAM

OFFENSE

First-Team
QB Nick Marshall, Auburn (241)
RB T.J. Yeldon, Alabama (281)
RB Todd Gurley, Georgia (280)
WR Amari Cooper, Alabama (282)
WR Sammie Coates, Auburn (207)
TE O.J. Howard, Alabama (188)
OL La’el Collins, LSU (231)
OL Arie Kouandjio, Alabama (188)
OL Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss (183)
OL Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M (174)
C Reese Dismukes, Auburn (226)

Second-Team
QB Dak Prescott, Mississippi State (118)
RB Mike Davis, South Carolina (240)
RB Alex Collins, Arkansas (126)
WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss (182)
WR Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia (71)
TE C.J. Uzomah, Auburn (141)
OL A.J. Cann, South Carolina (166)
OL Vadal Alexander, LSU (112)
OL Alex Kozan, Auburn (112)
OL Corey Robinson, South Carolina (107)
C Ryan Kelly, Alabama (126)

Third-Team
QB Bo Wallace, Ole Miss (94)
RB Corey Grant, Auburn (52)
RB Keith Marshall, Georgia (44)
WR Jameon Lewis, Mississippi State (67)
WR Marquez North, Tennessee (66)
TE Hunter Henry, Arkansas (72)
OL Austin Shepherd, Alabama (106)
OL Chad Slade, Auburn (101)
OL John Theus, Georgia (96)
OL Chaz Green, Florida (94)
C Evan Boehm, Missouri (77)
DEFENSE

First-Team
DL Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss (239)
DL Dante Fowler, Jr., Florida (212)
DL A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama (208)
DL Gabe Wright, Auburn (192)
LB Trey DePriest, Alabama (253)
LB A.J. Johnson, Tennessee (186)
LB Ramik Wilson, Georgia (147)
DB Landon Collins, Alabama (274)
DB Vernon Hargreaves, III, Florida (243)
DB Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss (210)
DB Deshazor Everett, Texas A&M (183)

Second-Team
DL Trey Flowers, Arkansas (181)
DL Chris Jones, Mississippi State (150)
DL Alvin “Bud” Dupree, Kentucky (134)
DL Markus Golden, Missouri (125)
LB Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State (143)
LB Jordan Jenkins, Georgia (137)
LB Denzel Nkemdiche, Ole Miss (116)
DB Robenson Therezie, Auburn (144)
DB Tre’Davious White, LSU (141)
DB Damian Swann, Georgia (127)
DB Tony Conner, Ole Miss (116)

Third-Team
DL Ray Drew, Georgia (102)
DL Montravius Adams, Auburn (94)
DL Carl Lawson, Auburn (87)
DL Jermauria Rasco, LSU (79)
LB Kwon Alexander, LSU (112)
LB Cassanova McKinzy, Auburn (82)
LB Serderius Bryant, Ole Miss (76)
DB Jon Mincy, Auburn (99)
DB Corey Thompson, LSU (86)
DB Rashard Robinson, LSU (84)
DB Brison Williams, South Carolina (81)

SPECIALISTS

First-Team
P Drew Kaser, Texas A&M (221)
PK Marshall Morgan, Georgia (224)
RS Christion Jones, Alabama (262)
AP Christion Jones, Alabama (130)

Second-Team
P Sam Irwin-Hill, Arkansas (136)
PK Colby Delahoussaye, LSU (142)
RS Andre Debose, Florida (97)
AP Terrence Magee, LSU (111)

Third-Team
P Jamie Keehn, LSU (81)
PK Andrew Baggett, Missouri (103)
RS Marcus Murphy, Missouri (72)
AP Trey Williams, Texas A&M (89)
PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

SEC CHAMPION
Alabama 154
Auburn 75
South Carolina 32
Georgia 19
LSU 9
Ole Miss 2
Arkansas 1
Mississippi State 1
EASTERN DIVISION
South Carolina 1895
Georgia 1777
Florida 1362
Missouri 1263
Tennessee 893
Vanderbilt 619
Kentucky 395

WESTERN DIVISION
Alabama 1915
Auburn 1735
LSU 1453
Ole Miss 1069
Mississippi State 890
Texas A&M 791
Arkansas 351