Kleinsasser writes a column with something for every sports fan

As the seasons change, it’s time to address a number of topics quickly. I probably shouldn’t promise something for everyone, because when I officiated, I cringed when a coach told me, “They’re traveling every time.”

I’d try to say something witty like, “Really, every time?”

To which the coach would usually mutter something like, “Well, maybe not every time.”

So today’s column may be lacking something for everybody. But we’ll touch on enough topics to keep everyone, er, some of you, happy.


Just when you think you’ve seen it all, back-up catcher Drew Butera of the Kansas City Royals hit an inside-the-park home run against the Twins.

As Butera lumbered around third with home plate in his sights, the crowd was already in celebration mode. Manager Ned Yost wasn’t quite as sure.

“I think just like Evel Knievel, he pulled the parachute too early,” Yost said. “As soon as he hit third base, I mean, he looked like he was running underwater to me. And thought, ‘Man, I don’t know if he’s gonna make it or not now.’”

Speaking of the Royals, Salvador Perez has been a deserving All-Star in the past, but this year wasn’t one of them. The Royals representative probably would have been Kelvin Herrera, but he had been traded to the Washington Nationals before the All-Star game.

KC’s best player in the first half of the year was Whit Merrifield, but Perez got the nod by the players and coaches. Such is life sometimes. It isn’t always fair. Of course, if not for the requirement that every team has to be represented, the Royals probably wouldn’t have been.


Did you watch any of the World Cup soccer competition? It’s quite a spectacle, and probably more so since it only comes around every four years.

During one of the Royals’ TV broadcasts, announcer Rex Hudler mentioned that England had won its match earlier that day. After a pause, fellow announcer Ryan Lefebvre asked, “What does that have to do with anything?”

Anyway, as much fun as the World Cup is to watch, I still have issues with how a tie game is decided.

I’ll grant you that having penalty kicks determine the winner is exciting, with a lot of drama, but it’s a less than satisfying way to determine a winner.

I suppose the trouble is that they could play through the day and night and still have a tie score. I counted more than 30 World Cup games in which the two teams combined to score two or fewer goals. One game ended 0-0. The championship game had firepower, though, with a whopping six goals combined.

Looking ahead to football, K-State was picked to finish 6th in the preseason Big 12 football poll. KU was picked 10th, or last.

I was a little surprised by the lack of respect K-State received. I suspect the players will use that as motivation to prove the voters wrong.

I could easily see K-State finishing in the top three or four this year, but that’s why they play the games. Five different teams, including K-State, received first-place votes. KSU got two such votes, but Oklahoma is the odds-on favorite, receiving 46 of the 52 first-place votes cast.

It’s hard to get voters to agree on anything these days, but to the chagrin of KU football fans, assuming there are some, all 52 voters picked KU to finish last. Sooner or later, KU has to find a way to win a few football games, right? They’ve done it before, just not for very long.

While we’re on the subject of football, in the Mike Gardner era at Tabor College, the football team is regularly picked to finish in the top two or three. Such is the case again this year. When you are consistently good and lose only one or two conference games a year, you’ve earned the respect of your peers and sportswriters, along with a big bullseye. It beats being picked last, though. Ask KU.

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