Lutz Blog

Friday musings

* Since writing about minor-league baseball and Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in my blog and in the newspaper recently, I’ve received a lot of feedback. Which proves to me that both topics are hot-button issues in Wichita, even though Wichita has a spotty record of support for affiliated minor-league baseball.

* Some have reacted to those blogs and columns with an assertion that bringing back Wichita State football should take precedence over trying to entice a major league baseball organization to plant a Double-A or Triple-A team in Wichita. But this isn’t a choice. Why can’t Wichita, if its citizens and university boosters and fans decree, have both?

* I’m on the fence about WSU football. But I’m certainly not against having a team representing the Shockers. It’s been 27 years now since football was dropped at Wichita State. There are a bunch of hoops that would need to be jumped through and hurdles that would need to be jumped over before football could be in the picture. But if there are enough people who want it, and enough people who want to help fund it, then by all means let’s push for WSU football. Trouble is, there’s no evidence that enough people – especially those with deep pockets – are interested.

* Building a new baseball stadium and enticing an MLB franchise to put a team in Wichita are government issues, mostly. Next week, onSports Daily,we’ll be talking to some city leaders and baseball leaders about the state of baseball in Wichita. That show will happen Wednesday and will include, we hope, city manager Robert Layton, city council members Pete Meitzner and Jeff Longwell, Wichita Wingnuts majority owner Steve Ruud and Josh Robertson, general manager of the Wingnuts and National Baseball Congress World Series, which is owned by the city. It should be an interesting day.

* Once again, we have learned how important pitching is in the game of baseball. Thanks to St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright and Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander for the most-recent reminders.

* Are the Oakland Raiders a serious threat to the Chiefs’ 5-0 start? I’d like to think so. I’d love to see the Raiders-Chiefs rivalry approach what it was back in the day, a long, long time before many of you were born. But I just don’t see Oakland rising to the occasion at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs are due for a letdown game. They’re a good team, not a great one despite the record. But I don’t see the Raiders as the team to sneak up on Kansas City.

* I have Baylor scoring at least 45 points against Kansas State on Saturday afternoon in Manhattan. Which means the Wildcats have to score at least 46 to have a chance to win. Don’t see it. Baylor is better on defense this season, though still not a juggernaut. But the Bears have a lot of jugger and naut in their offense and might light the Cats up for 50 or more. I’m thinking more 45-28, though. And I am looking forward to watching the Bears.

* I expect more musical chairs at quarterback for Kansas State, frustrating as that is becoming.

* Kansas will be lucky to score at TCU on Saturday.

* I listened briefly to Charlie Weis’ radio show the other night and was struck by how difficult those things must be to do for a coach whose team is showing no signs of life. Host Bob Davis was doing his best to ask relevant questions, but it has to be difficult. Give Weis credit – he does his best to answer questions and he does have personality. But if there has been progress at KU since he took over from the disastrous two-year reign of Turner Gill, I’m not football-savvy enough to detect it.

* Cardinals vs. Dodgers? Should be a good series. If St. Louis can sweep the first two games at Busch Stadium – a big if, I realize, since the Cardinals will be facing Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw – they might be able to get two more at Dodger Stadium. LA lefty Hyun-Jim Ryu was ineffective in his NLDS start against Atlanta and the buzz is that he’s injured, although that hasn’t been confirmed. And LA manager Don Mattingly skipped Ricky Nolasco in the series against Atlanta, choosing to go with Kershaw on three days rest. It’s big for the Cardinals to open this series in St. Louis, where they’ll have a better chance of beating Greinke and Kershaw.

* I like Detroit’s pitching against the gritty Boston Red Sox. But the Tigers have been a spotty offensive team of late and the Red Sox’s hitters will be more patient than the Oakland hitters were against Detroit’s pitching staff. Having ace (Verlander is a co-ace the way he’s pitching in the playoffs) Max Scherzer ready to go in Game 1 will . . . what? . . . Anibal Sanchez is pitching in Game 1 for Detroit?

* I would go Scherzer, who pitched one inning of relief in the Tigers’ Game 4 win over Oakland on Tuesday. Are you telling me Scherzer isn’t ready for Game 1? He’s the horse. He’s the man. Interesting decision. I’m looking forward to reading and hearing more about this pitching choice today. I wouldn’t be surprised if it changes.

* The Eagles are still the Eagles. Their performance Monday night at Intrust Bank Arena was spectacular. These guys are in their mid-60s and still sound and play great. Now I have to figure out a way to get to Los Angeles in January to see them perform in one of their six dates at the renovated LA Forum.

* Andre Braugher is the reason to watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It’s a good show, even though Andy Samberg gets on my nerves. Not Samberg, really, but the character he plays.

* Claire Danes could easily go over the top with her performance as Carrie on Showtime’s Homeland. And there are times when she steps right up to the cliff. But Danes plays her manic character so well. Well enough, in fact, that as I was watching her the other night I wondered to myself whether she’s the best actress since Meryl Streep? Is that crazy?

* I love the Kapaun Mount Carmel-Bishop Carroll game tonight at Cessna Stadium. It’s great to have a meaningful City League game this deep into the season. That doesn’t happen enough in this league, which has been very top-heavy for a long time now. Too top-heavy.

* Lots of folks believe Kapaun wins this game. And they back up their claims. But I think Carroll answers this challenge the way the Golden Eagles always answer challenges. Until somebody beats BC, how can I pick someone to beat BC? So I’m going with BC.

* Have a great day and weekend. And root for the Cardinals. You’ll be glad you did.