The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

August 4, 2013

Schremmer: Royals, Cardinals briefly switch roles

A quick rant through the week in sports:

• Even though it was the seventh and final fight and the ESPN2 cameras had stopped rolling, junior middleweights Dillon Cook and Joel Vargas easily gave boxing fans the best show of the night during the ESPN Friday Night Fights card at Buffalo Run Casino.

• Cook, a 22-year-old Seneca High School graduate who trains at Heartland Boxing Gym in Galena, Kan., improved to 6-0 as he earned a unanimous decision over Vargas in the six-round bout.

• Vargas is the type of fighter you better pack a lunch for if you’re going to face him. Cook landed at least six clean shots to the head each round on Vargas, but the Dodge City, Kan., fighter seemed undeterred.

• It was a good test for Cook, which he passed with flying colors. The young fighter still hasn’t lost a round as a professional.

• Seeing the Kansas City Royals go on a nine-game winning streak while the St. Louis Cardinals endured a seven-game losing skid seemed surreal.

• For a while, I was wondering if it was like the plot of the Kevin Durant movie “Thunderstruck,” and somehow the two teams swapped powers at the All-Star break. Maybe Royals outfielder Alex Gordon and Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran touched gloves during a lightning strike or something. Or maybe, for some odd reason, the two players wished they could swap places at the exact same time.

• OK, maybe I watched too many 1980s movies growing up. Still, you have to assume the Cardinals will eventually find the Zoltar machine in New York, and the world will soon return to normalcy.

• Seriously, it certainly is refreshing to hear Royals fans talk baseball in August. Hearing ESPN analysts talk about the Kansas City club this time of year is neat as well.

• Being relevant is a tremendous thing.

• Speaking of the Royals, I’m about to start a George Kottaras fan club. We will start each meeting with either a brief walk or a slow jog.

• Kansas City’s backup catcher has got to be my favorite .169 hitter of all time. Kottaras has only 11 hits, but 20 walks and five home runs in 86 plate appearances this season. Despite his horrid batting average, he boasts one of the team’s best on-base percentages at .360. In 29 percent of his plate appearances, he’s either walked or hit a home run. I like those odds.

• Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski signed a four-year contract extension this past week. In doing so, Janikowski vowed to Raiders fans that the once proud organization would soon be back on top.Does someone need to remind him that he’s a kicker?

• Remember when that New York Jets kicker boldly predicted his team would upset the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III? Wait, I believe it was that Namath guy who played quarterback. Apparently, a quarterback has a little more control over the outcome of games than a kicker does.

• What’s next? Is the Kansas City Royals bat boy going to predict a World Series victory?

• I can’t believe the horrible comments made by Bradley Cooper. And I really enjoyed the first “Hangover” movie.

• Check that. I was just informed that the guy who was caught on video saying despicable things at a Kenny Chesney concert was Riley Cooper, a wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles. Apparently, Riley Cooper is a former fifth-round pick who has only 23 catches over three NFL seasons.

• So, tell me again why the Eagles don’t just cut this guy and move on?

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