* So, the St. Louis Cardinals win 9-1 on Thursday and lose 7-1 on Friday? That’s baseball. It’s the difference in Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn. It’s the difference in facing a pitcher without his best stuff (A.J. Burnett) from one that does (Gerrit Cole). Game 3 in Pittsburgh on Sunday. This is such excruciating stuff.
* Prediction: Lynn will be traded this offseason. His mound presence is terrible and it won’t get better. His demeanor isn’t suited to pitching. It’s suited to MMA.
* David Freese, please catch a pop fly. Jon Jay, please take a good route to a routine fly ball. Yadier Molina, please catch a foul pop. I hesitated to criticize Molina for obvious reasons. He’s above reproach.
* Enough about the Cardinals. Just a few things I needed to get off my chest there. I wonder if the players feel as bad as I do after a playoff loss? I’ll be fine in a few hours. I’m just glad there’s not a game tomorrow so while I’m down covering Kansas State and Oklahoma State in Stillwater, my attention won’t be divided.
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* Does Okie State rebound from its shocking loss at West Virginia last week? Or will two weeks in the lab for Bill Snyder produce a more consistent offense and a better defense for the Wildcats? K-State gets Baylor at home next week and losing both would send K-State to a 2-4 record. But it’s hard to fathom the Cats winning either of these games, especially today against what will be a fired up and angry Oklahoma State team. My prediction: Oklahoma State 34, Kansas State 24.
* Meanwhile, Texas Tech visits Kansas tomorrow morning. The Red Raiders have been an interesting team so far under first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury. Apparently, it’s not all about offense these days in Lubbock. Texas Tech has given up only 53 points in its four wins and has allowed only 30 in the past three against Stephen F. Austin, TCU and Texas State. Kansas is in trouble here. Kansas is in trouble every week. My prediction: Texas Tech 35, Kansas 17.
* Alex Rodriguez is suing Major League Baseball. Good luck with that, Alex. I think you have a strong case. I really hope it turns out well for you because you’re such a likeable guy who has done everything the right way in your career. Of course you thought Tony Bosch was a real doctor. We all did. Everyone is out to get you, Alex. You show them.
* I was kind of pumped to watch young quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and E.J. Manuel oppose one another for Cleveland and Buffalo in the Thursday night game. So what happens? They both get hurt early in the game and turn things over to back-ups. Nobody wants to hear it because the NFL is such a popular league and football is riding high. But the game is in trouble. Injuries, and especially concussions, are a legitimate threat to the long-term health of the game. I was fascinated by what Mike Bell, who played 12 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, had to say in the column I wrote about him for Friday’s paper. Bell, who is being inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame this weekend, admitted that he had suffered multiple concussions during his playing career and described the symptoms. Fortunately, Bell is fine. At least he’s fine now. At 56 and with some former teammates who are struggling with health issues brought about by football injuries, he finds himself wondering how long he’ll be fine. Hoyer, by the way, is out for the year. Manuel will miss a few weeks. What a heavy price to pay for both of those improving teams.
* I loved what Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads had to say during his post-game news conference with reporters after the Cyclones’ 31-30 loss to Texas on Thursday night. Iowa State was ripped off in that game. A fumble that wasn’t ruled a fumble near the goal line cost the Cyclones the game and Rhodes went off about it.
* I finally got around to watching the debut episode of the new Showtime series, Masters of Sex, that I recorded. Wow. I’m no prude, but that show rattled me a little. Don’t get me wrong, it’s well done and interesting. And it’s ground-breaking, much as William Masters and Virginia Johnson were during their studies of human sexuality. My palms are starting to sweat even writing about this series, but I suggest you give it a watch.
* My score for the finale of Breaking Bad? A perfect 10. Yes, Walt White died, but not in a way anyone could have predicted. And Jesse lived, which was good. And those medieval Nazi folks died in a violent, bloody way. That was good, too. It was a great run and it’ll be strange not having Bryan Cranston and Vince Gilligan in my life. I’m eager for Gilligan’s next project.
* I’m ready for college basketball season.
* “Parks and Recreation” is my favorite comedy, followed closely by “The Middle.” I’m tiring of “Modern Family.”
* I hate myself for saying this, but Robin Williams just isn’t that funny. He’s manic, but he’s not funny.
* The cast of Brooklyn Nine-Nine has a chance. Less Andy Samberg, more of the others. Although Samberg is fine.
* Keenan Thompson and Bobby Moynihan make me laugh without doing anything. They’re going to have to carry the Saturday Night Live cast this season. Who are your favorite cast members? And will you tune in to watch Miley Cyrus as host and musical guest Saturday night?
* I wish I was more eclectic. I think eclectic people are cool and I’ve wanted to be one my whole life. But it just doesn’t come naturally. I know a lot about a few things, but not a little about a lot of things. That’s what makes me so boring at parties.
* I love October weather, although I don’t get out much. Strange.
* Monthly, my wife drives to southeast Kansas to meet for dinner with veterans who served with her late father, Richard, as part of the 930th ordnance ammunition company that was deployed to Korea. She organizes those meetings and three or four of the guys and their wives and other family members show up. But the group is dwindling because so many have passed away. Yet Debbie continues to be there month after month, year after year. She impresses me on many levels, but this is pretty high on the list.
* Have a great weekend. I hope you’ve been reading my blogs about the history of affiliated minor league baseball in Wichita. I’m going to do a newspaper column on some of my thoughts early next week. Suffice it to say, this city needs the kind of minor league baseball we used to have.