17 August 2010

Final Thoughts on KC

I was pleasantly surprised with Kansas City as a town - there's a lot more to it than barbecue (though that's not to say the barbecue isn't to die for, because it most certainly is).

KC is cheap, the people are friendly, and the nightlife is kickin'. There is plenty to do and see when it comes to sports, museums, and bars. My biggest regret was missing the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (despite the fact I repeatedly posted here that I was heading to see it on any number of days). I did, though, catch the National World War I Memorial and Museum and the Nelson-Atkins Museum, both with some amazing displays and atmospheres.

Despite the sweltering heat, I managed to get in a 5K run, Ultimate Frisbee competition, and my own little jog to Kansas the state, the border between it and Missouri located only a mile and a half west of the hotel. I think that's the only time I've ever crossed state line on foot, though the border between California and Nevada in Primm might go through the outlet mall there and could have been my real first. It's too close to call though.

The hotel was probably one of the best I've ever stayed at - a fact reinforced by its high-profile guests during my time there: The New York Yankees. When they weren't pounding the Royals, the Bronx Bombers were attracting hordes of fans, shutting down the elevators, and plain moseying around the lobby with a 7-ft behemoth of a security guard keeping watchful eye.

Throughout the week I spotted Joe Girardi, Mariano Rivera (and his 11 kids), Jorge Posada, and Andy Pettitte in one form or another. The hotel was very strict about its "no privacy invasions" policy so I never offered more than a nice polite smile. The entire week there were tons of Yankee fans, often in father and son combos, itching for a stray photo or autograph. I never saw anyone fortunate enough to come away with anything.

Overall, despite the fact I sweat enough to fill the Missouri River basin, I really enjoyed Kansas City. It's the closest to the South I've ever spent an extended period of time and I definitely felt the trickles of the famous Southern Hospitality wherever I was. The fellows at ADG Zeta chapter did a great job at making us all feel at home and I look forward to going back and seeing all I didn't get to see the first time.

Photos

National World War I Museum




Freak T-Storm amidst 103 degree weather


Kansas City - City of Fountains


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The Dodgers did the unthinkable yesterday. Yes - they did implode in the 9th again but that's come to be expected. The unthinkable thing is that they signed their previously unsignable first-rounder, Zach Lee. His picture below shows him doing what most people figured he'd be doing this fall - throwing the football.


Lee spurned LSU at the last minute and agreed to his contract shortly before the deadline yesterday evening. The Dodgers shelling out $5 million for a draft pick seems completely absurd considering their recent tight-pocketed antics. Naturally, the $5 million is spread out over five years, a signature McCourt move - why pay now when you can try and pay later? This is the guy who bought the team on credit and has since lost most of his collateral.

Still, the Lee signing serves as a small glimmer of hope for Dodger fans, who were treated to another bullpen implosion last night against the Braves, this time thanks to Hong-Chih Kuo (first time I've had to use his name negatively in a long while) and Octavio Dotel. The biggest mistake was by Joe Torre, trying to stretch his new closer to get a two-inning save. The man is completely inept at the helm of this team.

Meanwhile James McDonald pitched 6 innings of 1-run ball. There has been talk around the Pirates organization that they cannot believe what the Dodgers staff were making McDonald do in his development. Considering the fact that the Torre/Little/Honeycutt era of on-field management has only been able to develop two starters - Billingsley and Kershaw - while completely whiffing on guys like McDonald, Elbert, and Ely - reinforces so many common criticisms.

The biggest problem I have is that young pitchers are completely shelved at the first sign of trouble. Ely had a miraculous run earlier this year and, instead of giving him the chance to make adjustments when the league began to figure him out, Colletti shipped him back to the hell hole in Albuquerque.

Their treatment of young talent is stupefying, especially since they've been willing to keep players with "veteran presence" on the roster for days, weeks, and sometimes months longer than they should have.

This season has been a laugher - and as TheLFP.com perfectly puts it, the Zach Lee signing is just like putting sprinkles on a giant turd.

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Meanwhile, the Dodgers have been paying themselves a ridiculous amount of rent to play in the stadium they own.

Deadspin and Dodger Divorce address this issue - just another in a long line of McCourt douchebaggery.

2 comments:

  1. I remember seeing some pretty funny pictures of you dressed as a chump in my grandparents' house, Jerry.

    ReplyDelete