Bob Lutz

Lutz on the loose: Any Royals adviser will need OT pay

I see the Royals hired former Milwaukee Brewers manager Ned Yost as a "special adviser."

I'm sure Trey Hillman, Kansas City's manager, saw that, too. I'm also pretty sure he wonders who Yost will be giving his "special advice" to.

I've kept tabs on the Royals' strange offseason and can't help but wonder what general manager Dayton Moore is trying to accomplish.

If there's a plan, it's not clear what it is.

The Royals need upgrades in nearly every area. And they have made a lot of moves. Most, though, seem like acts of desperation.

Scott Podsednik to play center field? Jason Kendall to catch? Mark Teahen traded?

On the plus side, "Baseball America" was complimentary to the Royals' farm system in naming KC's top 10 prospects.

Those prospects are the franchise's only salvation, really, after Zack Greinke. It's a long road to recovery and not many miles have been taken on the journey since the end of the 2009 season.

Yost has a lot of "advising" to do.


I see the Chiefs are doing their best to re-create the New England glory years of 2001-04, first by hiring former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, then by bringing in New England's defensive coordinator for three Super Bowl wins, Romeo Crenell.

They join former Patriots front-office guru Scott Pioli. It's an impressive lineup, to be sure.

But since those glory years, Weis has been dumped by Notre Dame, Crenell was a failure as the coach of the Cleveland Browns and Pioli is still trying to prove himself as the leader of an organization.

It'll be fascinating to see how all these guys gel with Kansas City coach Todd Haley, who seems to have a few insecurity issues after just one difficult season as a head coach.

I wonder how Haley feels about his new coordinators? Remember, he got rid of offensive coordinator Chan Gailey shortly before the start of the 2009 regular season. I doubt he has an option to oust either Weis or Crennel. I'm guessing they're Pioli's boys.

Fun times could be straight ahead with the Chiefs.


I had a nice, short visit with Texas A&M basketball coach Mark Turgeon after his Aggies were pounded by Kansas State in Manhattan on Tuesday night.

Turgeon, who coached at Wichita State for seven seasons and led the Shockers to the Sweet 16 in 2006, still has nice things to say about his years at WSU.

He said his son, Will, still wears his P.J. Couisnard jersey from time to time and that he and his family miss Wichita.

Turgeon is getting top money and coaching in a big-time conference. But I wonder what he really thinks about the A&M gig.

Remember, until Billy Gillispie arrived in College Station in 2004, the Aggies had endured 13 losing seasons in the previous 15 years.

They were bad.

Gillispie was 70-26 in three seasons before bolting to Kentucky. Turgeon has been able to sustain a high level of success, with a 61-25 record so far, but hasn't been able to build on what Gillispie started.

That said, Turgeon did win 49 games in his first two seasons and went to the second round of the NCAA Tournament both years.

As I watched A&M on Tuesday, though, I couldn't stop thinking he had better teams than that one at Wichita State.


Nothing is broken worse in sports than college football.

There's the travesty of the BCS. There are too many bowl games, too many mediocre to below average teams being rewarded with postseason play.

And there is what Lane Kiffin did to Tennessee on Tuesday, when he accepted an offer to coach at Southern California after one season with the Volunteers.

It's a free world and there are no NCAA rules against a coach jumping ship after one season.

But Kiffin has left Tennessee in a huge lurch. Who will the Vols get to come to Knoxville at this late date? And if they are able to persuade one of the attractive potential candidates — TCU's Gary Patterson, Boise State's Chris Petersen or someone else of that ilk — what does it do to those programs?

Kiffin is quite a study. He was 5-15 in one-plus season with the Oakland Raiders. He was 7-6 at Tennessee. Yet he's been able to parlay that lack of success into perhaps the best coaching gig in the country.

The guy apparently is willing to do almost anything to be successful, which might be why the NCAA was poking around during Kiffin's short stay in Knoxville.

There is talk that he encouraged his Tennessee recruits not to attend class Wednesday because by doing so it would make it more difficult for them to transfer to USC.

Wow. If that's true... just wow.