Jul 5, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Kansas City Royals designated hitter Billy Butler (16) reacts after getting thrown out at third base in the fourth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Around the Kingdom: Billy Butler, James Shields, Dee Ford, and Bill Self

The Royals opened their 3-game series with Tampa by unveiling a new lineup that featured former cleanup hitter Billy Butler dropped to the no. 7 spot. The new lineup seemed effective in the Royals 6-0 win at Tropicana Field Monday night.

The move was long overdue. For months the Royals featured a lineup where none of the first four hitters had an OPS over .700. The new lineup featured the Royals most effective hitters at no. 3 an no. 4, Salvador Perez and Alex Gordon. However, the struggling Eric Hosmer remained at no. 2, where he has hit in recent games.

With training camp still a few weeks away, the Chiefs are making more news off the field than on it. The team’s backup QB’s have hit the news recently with Chase Daniel‘s recent wedding and Aaron Murray’s appearance on “The Bachelorette”.

Maybe that’s why rookie running back DeAnthony Thomas said his goals were to win rookie of the year, earn a Pro-Bowl bid, and play in the Super Bowl. Maybe his aspiriations are a bit over-the-top, but that could be what he needed to say to get someone to pay attention.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can’t wait for training camp.

KANSAS CITY ROYALS

As it turns out, this trade has been fairly one sided – for the Royals. While Wade Davis predictably struggled as a starter last season, he has turned into perhaps the preeminent setup man in the American League, posting a 1.23 ERA and a 0.845 WHiP, striking out 14.2 batters per nine innings. James Shields has been everything that the Royals had hoped for, as he has posted a 21-13 record with a 3.41 ERA in Kansas City since coming over. Perhaps just as importantly, Shields has been through playoff chases before, and can help keep a younger pitching staff under control when the pressure is on.

  • Royals Review – Baseball Prospectus day at Kauffman Stadium
  • Kansas City Royals – Sam Mellinger writes about Billy Butler’s demotion to no. 7 in the lineup:

So by now, even with both sides understanding they are likely breaking up at the end of the year, both sides also understand their mutual dependence. The Royals need Butler hitting to win, and Butler needs opportunities in the lineup to hit. Neither team nor player expected to be in this situation, but as much as any sport baseball is about adjusting to surprises.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS’

  • Arrowhead Addict – Ben Nielsen presents three questions about Chiefs quarterbacks
  • Arrowhead Pride – Matt Verderame asks what would be a successful rookie season for Dee Ford:

Ford will struggle for playing time unless defensive coordinator Bob Sutton gets creative, sitting behind veterans Justin Houston and Tamba Hali. Of course, if Houston decides to hold out, Ford could be thrust into the spotlight sooner than anybody expected.

KANSAS JAYHAWKS

  • Through the Phog – ESPN rank coach Bill Self no. 6 of top college basketball coaches:

Self has an 82% winning percentage since coaching at Kansas, one national championship, two championship appearances, two final fours, six Big 12 tournament championships and has won or shared every Big 12 regular season championship since 2005.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article685648.html#storylink=cpy

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Tags: Bill Self Billy Butler Dee Ford James Shields Kansas City Chiefs Kansas City Royals Kansas Jayhawks

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