Gardener, Kansas, home boy Bubba Starling is called up to the big leagues. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Bubba, Burks and the Beginning of Chiefs Camp
By Sam Kombrink
Time has moved fast since our last sports column. The United States Women’s Soccer team won the World Cup, Whit Merrifield represented the Royals, playing in his first MLB All-Star Game, The Royals called up Outfielder Bubba Starling, a former 2011 1st round pick out of Gardner Edgerton High-school. Former Grandview basketball star Alec Burks has signed with a new NBA team.
The trade season is upon us and we know the Royals have dealt Homer Bailey to the Oakland Athletics for Kevin Merrell, who sources say has impressed the Royals with his speed. KC also traded veteran Martin Maldonado for Mike Montgomery. Montgomery was a first round pick by the Royals in 2008 and closed out the 2016 world series breaking the Chicago Cubs World Series curse.
We should still expect the Royals to make some more moves as we get closer to the trade deadline on July 31st. Royals General Manager Dayton Moore has indicated that he would like to hold on to pieces signed to a multi-year deal, unless the right offer comes his way. Sources say that he has made Adalberto Mondesi and Hunter Dozier untouchable. There’s no doubt the season is shot, so we might as well do the best thing possible: trade for prospects and draft picks. For example, if the Royals were to get a good package for Merrifield, then they should do what is best for the team and trade him, simply because he will give the Royals the best return, more so than any other player on the roster. I don’t believe Merrifield will be moved, but I could see the Royals pulling the trigger on dealing Jake Diekman.
It’s Bubba time in KC, and it is something the fan-base has been waiting for since the Royals drafted him out of Gardener Edgerton High-school. The Royals have finally brought up their former 2011 first round pick Bubba Starling. It has taken some time for the Gardener product to make it to the big leagues but now he’s here. Bubba finished his minor league career with a batting average of .310 and had a minor league career average of .244. Bubba has adjusted just fine to the major league game. Through 10 games played, he has an average of .286, and an On Base Percentage of .355. Bubba has a 10 game hitting streak.
Much like I have said before, the soccer season is longer than baseball season, and with that means that there is still light at the end of the tunnel. That light at the end of the tunnel is the postseason. Sporting is currently on the outside looking in, ranked 10th in the Western Conference out of 12 teams. It looks ugly but saying it’s “only July” is like saying it’s “only May” to baseball fans.
Good news for Sporting is that they are a balanced team despite being plagued by injuries. I have faith in this team because they have three players who are in the top-20 in the MLS in Goals Scored. Those players are Midfielder Felipe Gutierrez, with 8 Goals, Forward Krisztian Nemeth, with 7 Goals and Forward Johnny Russell, with 7 Goals.
Sporting looks to improve their 6-8-7 record on the road against NYCFC with a record of 8-3-8.
Alec Burks signs a new Free Agent Deal
Former Grandview star Alec Burks has been in the news lately for his Basketball camp that he hosted a few weeks ago. Soon it was time for him to make a decision on where to take his game. On July 8th, Burks decided to make a smart move and sign with the Golden State Warriors. I like the move for him, because Head Coach Steve Kerr will bring out the best in his game. During the 2015-2016 season Burks shot 40% from downtown, and you can expect the Warriors will try to get the best out of Burks off the bench and mold him into a Warrior sharp-shooter.
Burks was drafted by the Utah Jazz in 2011 where he spent 7-1/2 years before being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers and then shipped to the Sacramento Kings. Burks has a career stat line of (9.5 points per game, 3.0 rebounds per game, 1.7 assists per game, 42.3 field goal %, 35.5 field goal 3 point %, 77.1 free throw %). Alec signed a 1 year deal with the Warriors for $2,320,044.
Get ready for a road trip up to St. Joe to watch and meet the Chiefs at Training Camp. Practices are usually at 8:15 am in order to beat the heat. The Chiefs start camp on July 27th, and the first practice open to the public will be at 3:30 pm. Admission is $5.
Rookies and Quarterbacks will be the first to report to practice on Tuesday. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes was able to get some work in with his receiving core before camp, including rookie Mecole Hardman Jr., Sammy Watkins, Gehrig Dieter, Demarcus Robinson, and Tyreek Hill.
I look forward to following the action up in St. Joe during training camp, and keep you posted.