Posted on: May 24, 2010 2:17 am
Edited on: May 24, 2010 3:59 am
Finally, after weeks of hard work I get a Sunday off for some fun. Take my son and a friend of his to St. Louis to see the Cardinals and Angels. We're sitting there in the infamous heat and humidity of Busch Stadium, enjoying the game when something comes across the scoreboard that made me look twice, and then a third time. Jose Lima dies of heart attack at age of 37. Lima, gone? My mind instantly started thinking about several things involving Jose.
The first was his 1999 radio appearances on the Jim Rome Show. Back then I did listen to Jim whenever possible because I thought the show was humorous. I finally quit listening when his show yielded to Entercom corporate pressure and switched stations here in KC, going from the hometown owned one to the new, large corporate owned one. Never listened to the show ever again, but that's getting off the subject. Lima Time was funny. Of course it is easy to be outgoing when you're going 16-8 and 21-10 in successive years. He was a favorite of the listeners and you could tell by the way he went about the segments with Jim that life was good in Jose's world, and a very fun place to be.
After his career cooled off some, he found himself in KC as a Royal to start the 2003 season. The Royals got off to a tremendous start that year, and Jose Lima had seemed to reinvent himself as a pitcher, getting off to a very hot start. Even when he was injured, later in the year, he was a good clubhouse presence and somehow, I still believe if he would have stayed healthy, his 8-3 record might have been 17-7 and that might have been the difference to avoid the late season swoon that cost them a 7 game division lead at the All-Star break. He was on the local sports news all the time. You would see video of him at charity golf events, a loud shirt, straw style Caribbean hat, and a big old stogie being his trademark look. Many of us in KC would have loved to see Allard Baird keep Jose, but somehow he slipped away to the Dodgers for 2004. Helped them to the playoffs and, ouch, pitched a masterpiece against the Cardinals in the playoffs to get them a long awaited playoff victory (Cards still won the series though).
Jose came back to KC for 2005. 5-16 with a near 7 ERA didn't keep him from being exuberant, at least to the fans. It was obvious that he just had lost something out on the mound though. He did eat up some innings and kept going out to the mound and kept attempting to find the stuff that used to baffle so many batters. It never came for the most part. He kind of slipped away form the mind of many Royals fans after that, until today.
Many things will be written about Jose. Some good and some will expound on his faults. Jose I'm sure had his faults and no doubt there are those who will bring those out. But this blog isn't written to do that. I write to remember happier moments. The fans screaming Lima...Lima when he brought home a victory for the home team. Thanks Jose for reminding us all that Baseball is a game, and even players should have fun. Thank you for Lima Time.
Posted on: May 21, 2010 4:04 am
Edited on: May 21, 2010 11:17 pm
As we travel the rocky road that us mortals call life, often we run into situations where something doesn't appear to be what it seems to be. A friend who turns out not ot be a friend. Tiger Woods appearing to be be dedicated husband when he obviously was not. Those sort of items. Then, there is the ownership of the Kansas City Royals. David Glass is an owner reviled by many large market and hometown fans as what's wrong with small markets. Greedy ownership that pockets cash and doesn't spend money on his team. Won't go out and spend money and buy players to make the team good. True, the Royals have not been successful on the field for 15 years now, save for the 2003 season. But as Paul Harvey always said, now for the rest of the story, for the rest of this tale is one that few fans in baseball understand.
Lack of local investors would make it difficult for KC to get an NBA or NHL team
By SAM MELLINGER
The Kansas City Star
He has a friend who sometimes e-mails pictures from Lakers games with friendly taunts attached, like, just thought you’d like to see where I am, except this is not a game you win against Brett. He’s in Italy now and sent that friend a picture from Florence, Michelangelo’s statue of David up close. Touché.
This is all a way of reminding you that it’s good to be George Brett, because his world is like that On Demand button on your cable remote — save his desire for Kansas City to land an NHL or NBA team.
“No one stepped up in the past,” he says. “So for someone to step forward in the future, that means there’s gotta be someone new in town. And I don’t know anybody new in town with the deep pockets to do that.”
Brett is more than an observer here. He’s a potential participant, saying publicly for the first time that his family was contacted about joining a potential ownership group for an NHL team in Kansas City.
But he tried this once before, and a failed attempt at buying the Royals means he’s appropriately skeptical of a local group ever surfacing. He knows better than anybody why these little talks never produce anything substantial.
This all comes up during another week filled with reports about one team being in trouble, another team looking to move, and the natural progression to, Hey look! There’s the new team for the Sprint Center!
The future of the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes continues to swish back and forth in a negotiation that could move the team to Canada or keep it in Arizona if the city of Glendale can help meet payroll. The NBA’s Pacers are asking Indianapolis to help with operating expenses, or else all options are on the table.
In all, more than a half-dozen NHL or NBA franchises may be up for sale or looking to move, and these are the times that bring to mind the burning confidence of AEG president and CEO Tim Leiweke’s in landing a team for the Sprint Center.
Except the same major obstacle exists now that did when Leiweke and others campaigned for public funding: no local owner.
Kansas City is bigger and has a better arena than Oklahoma City, for instance, but the Thunder plays five hours south of here because Clay Bennett is a rich Oklahoman who bought an NBA team and moved it.
Who’s our Clay Bennett?
“No, just not interested,” says Bill Hall, president of the Hall Family Foundation. “We have never looked at sports teams.”
This is how it is with all of Kansas City’s super-rich families. This is how it’s always been, part of why the Chiefs and Royals operate under out-of-town ownership.
Hall says the foundation’s interests are in “the overall health of Kansas City” and that the family “doesn’t see sports franchises as part of that strategy or vision.”
The Blochs, Stowers and Wards have traditionally operated in much the same way. Julia Irene Kauffman serves on the Royals’ board of directors, but has never indicated a desire to get into ownership.
None of this is meant as criticism. These families give to Kansas City in many other ways. The most obvious is the nearing completion of the $400 million Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, funded generously by the Kauffman family.
That’s great for the local arts scene, but a zero for Kansas City’s chances at an NHL or NBA team.
What it means is that any movement will need to come from an existing or purchasing owner wanting to relocate. The NHL’s Los Angeles Kings could be an emerging possibility, and are owned by AEG.
But even then, our hopes are reliant on something like an out-of-town savior, with presumably no vested interest in Kansas City.
Brett says he and his family will continue to listen to potential investors, but there’s a reason nothing’s come of it yet.
“To get a franchise here,” Brett says, “really, that would be extremely difficult.”
He talks for a few more minutes before excusing himself to get back to his vacation. He’s in Italy, you remember, waiting on the dinner being prepared for him. Yes, George Brett can make many things happen in this world.
But he needs help with this one.
So, the article very nicely points out that KC is indeed an unusual place when it comes to people rich enough to be sports owners. There are many in town who have done very well. Lot of folks arond KC with 50-100M in assets. We just lack the super rich, thats all. Without one of them, there is no NHL, no NBA, and no one local, with area ties and interest, to purchase the team from Mr. Glass and keep the royals in town.
Posted on: January 7, 2010 12:02 pm
After struggling with three drafts in Word on this subject, I finally decided to just wing it and compose on the fly on this topic. It is an important topic and one that radically divides major league fans. The inequality in payrolls has been debated ad nauseum on Sportsline and across the baseball media.
I know this has gone long. There is much I haven’t been able to cover here. All I wish for is for all sides to sit down and hammer out a system that rewards well run teams with an opportunity to win in the post season no matter what city the team is located in. Then, if your team blows, you know it is because of poor management and not that someone can simply outspend you.