Kansas’ 45-27 loss doesn’t look like progress

Expect a Kansas football victory at your own risk.

College football’s second weekend arrived with the Jayhawks feeling encouraged. An opening game victory followed an offseason of positive talk. This was Coach Dave Beaty’s best team. He had a bona fide star in defensive end Dorance Armstrong and an offensive coordinator with an excellent reputation in Doug Meacham.

Signs pointed to progress, and the second game would be the proof. Central Michigan arrived, and expectation for a victory over a FBS opponent was at the highest point in Beaty’s three years. The mood was penned on a sign held by a fan at Memorial Stadium. “Trust the Process.”

Which makes the level of disappointment in Saturday’s 45-27 loss that much more profound.

This was a gut-punch and, as Beaty said afterwards, a reality check.

“We don’t live on perception, you live in reality, and we’re just not there yet,” Beaty said.

Not even close Saturday. Central Michigan was better prepared, and well, just better. Kansas offered little resistance against quarterback Shane Morris, a Michigan transfer who threw for five touchdowns.

The Jayhawks quarterback, Peyton Bender, set a school record with 62 passing attempts, but didn’t show the ability to escape trouble when the Chippewas brought extra defenders.

The game came crashing down on Kansas in the second quarter when they were outscored 24-0 and stunned by a Central Michigan touchdown with 6 ticks remaining before halftime, a dizzying drive that covered 90 yards in eight plays in 65 seconds.

Football wisdom suggests a team with an 11-point lead runs out the clock there, especially on the road. Instead, Central Michigan applied a dagger.

KU showed life after the break with two quick touchdowns, but the deficit was too large to overcome, especially when the Chippewas passing game proved unstoppable. The visitors responded with two unanswered touchdowns, sealing a dismal outcome for Kansas and perhaps changed the outlook on the season.

This had a look of a Kansas team that could begin to change the program’s narrative, that could remain competitive in the tough games longer and could hold its own against teams that looked similar, especially at home.

A 2-0 start, which hasn’t occurred since 2011, could have gotten the attention and attendance of some of the fan base discouraged by the years of futility.

It would have been a boost for Beaty, who inherited a mess from Charlie Weis, and took a step from a winless first year to a second season that included a victory over Texas.

But Saturday’s loss leaves the Beaty record worse than that of his two predecessors at a similar juncture. Turner Gill was 5-19 in two seasons. Weis was 6-22 when he was ushered out after four games in 2014. Weis’ last victory by the way came in Lawrence over Central Michigan.

Beaty is 3-23 with two victories over FCS opponents. It’s time to do more than trust the process, which early on had to be measured in areas other than the scoreboard.

Three recruiting classes are the work of the current regime. The walk-before-you-can-run non-conference schedule is supposed to yield results. But Saturday marked the second straight year the Jayhawks have lost, rather decisively, to a Mid-American Conference team in the second week.

An opportunity to change the tune presents itself next week when the Jayhawks visit Ohio, the MAC team that handled them in Lawrence last season. Maybe the Jayhawks will respond to the criticism they’ll hear this week and take some momentum into Big 12 play.

If that doesn’t happen, and the type of effort that doomed Kansas on Saturday persists, the program could find itself riding the carousel for a new coach once again.

Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoff

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Break with superstition earns Kansas man $10,000 lottery prize

Robert Burel said he always buys Kansas Lottery scratch-offs with the number "7" or numbers that add up to "7," but on a whim he ditched the superstition and won $10,000. Photo courtesy of the Kansas Lottery

Aug. 28 (UPI) — A Kansas man said a break with his unusual superstition led him to buy a lottery ticket he normally wouldn’t have touched — and it won him $10,000.

Robert Burel told Kansas Lottery officials that he has a rule when it comes to purchasing scratch-off tickets: He only buys tickets that end in "7" or feature numbers that add up to "7."

"This one was #12, so I wasn’t going to get it, but I was feeling lucky so I went ahead and got it," Burel said.

Burel’s break from superstition turned out to be profitable — he won the top prize on the $10,000 Crossword ticket.

"I knew immediately after scratching it that the ticket was a winner," Burel said. "I started counting words and when I got to 11, I got excited. Then there were 12, and finally 13, and I started to get all jittery."

Burel, a truck driver, said the money will go toward buying his own semi so he can go into business for himself.

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Mason City’s Trout still in running for Topeka job

Officials in Topeka narrowed their choice to five candidates, including Trout, a month ago. The finalists went to Topeka in late July for interviews with the selection committee.

That group, made up of the mayor and nine City Council members, met in executive session Friday morning. They emerged saying they wanted more information concerning one or more of the candidates but did not elaborate.

They are scheduled to meet in executive session again Tuesday night. Mayor Larry Wolgast has said there won’t be any announcement about any of the candidates until a contract is in place with whoever is chosen.

Trout has been city administrator in Mason City since 2007. Other finalists are Doug Gerber, former deputy city manager and current interim city manager in Topeka who has worked for the city for three years; Jeffrey Dingman, deputy city administrator in Fort Smith, Ark., since 2011; Jason Gage, Salina, Kan., city manager since 2005; and David Hales, city manager in Bloomington, Ill., since 2008.


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Royals, Vargas face Hellickson in his Orioles debut

Jason Vargas picked up a win in his last outing Friday at Boston.

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles were criticized for not being sellers at the non-waiver trade deadline.

They are determined to prove their detractors wrong and get back in the playoff race.

Baltimore can complete a three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals with a victory Wednesday. While Kansas City (55-50) still holds the second American League wild-card spot, Baltimore (52-54) is only 3 1/2 games behind the Royals.

The Orioles finally are getting some productive starts from their beleaguered rotation. On Monday, Ubaldo Jimenez held the Royals to one run over seven innings in a 2-1 victory. The following day, Dylan Bundy was even more impressive, throwing a career-high eight innings, allowing only one unearned run in a 7-2 win.

“We’ve got a lot of guys with a track record of pitching well,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “A couple more days and I might start looking at the standings again, so we’ll see. So far, so good. Until we take care of our business, it doesn’t matter where we are in the standings. Those are some good signs.”

The Orioles have won four straight, pulling to within two games of .500 for the first time since July 3.

Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson makes his Orioles debut Wednesday after being acquired from Philadelphia on Friday. He went 6-5 with a 4.73 ERA in 20 starts for the Phillies this season.

Hellickson has traditionally struggled at Camden Yards, where he is 3-2 with a 5.01 ERA in nine appearances (eight starts). He allowed nine home runs in those outings.

Nonetheless, he is prepared to help the Orioles make a playoff push.

“I’m ready to help,” said Hellickson, who will be pitching on 10 days of rest. “Didn’t really follow the American League too much over there. So I got traded and looked at the standings and saw we’re only five games back, 5 1/2, whatever. So still two months of baseball to play. I’ve been part of teams that came back from nine back in a month, so it’s definitely doable.

“It is always fun to come back to and do things people say you can’t do. Will be a fun two months.”

Hellickson is 2-2 with a 4.85 ERA in eight career appearances (seven starts) against the Royals.

The addition of Hellickson creates a potential logjam in the rotation. If Showalter doesn’t go with a six-man rotation, then one of the starters might be used out of the bullpen.

The manager is still mulling his options.

“It’s a possibility, but there are some ways,” Showalter said about a six-man rotation. “I’d like to get to a four-man bench. You can’t burn two players with one move with a three-man bench. There are a lot of dynamics involved in that. The game changes how you manage according to your bench.”

Kansas City will look to avoid the sweep behind left-hander Jason Vargas, who had a seven-game winning streak earlier in the season.

Vargas (13-4, 3.00 ERA) picked up a win in his last outing Friday at Boston, allowing only one run and five hits over six innings. It was his only win in four July starts.

“I was just able to command a few more pitches this time,” Vargas said. “I threw some changeups wild early, but then I had better command of it.”

Vargas is 2-3 with a 1.94 ERA in eight career starts against Baltimore. All three of those losses came at Camden Yards, where he has still managed a 2.76 ERA and a complete game in four appearances.

Kennedy on start vs. Orioles: ‘Not what I wanted to do’

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Gordon’s sac fly in 9th gives Royals 4-3 win over Tigers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Everything you need to know about Brandon Moss’s season could be summed up by the way he greeted a pack of reporters that gathered around his locker after a crucial hit in the ninth inning helped lift the Kansas City Royals to a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

"This is really nice," he said, "to talk to you guys about something other than sucking."

Moss was signed in the offseason to provide some punch to the Kansas City lineup, but he’s struggled so mightily that he has hardly played. He came into the game hitting just .188 with 10 homers and 16 RBIs.

All those numbers took a bump up Wednesday night.

Moss homered in the third off Justin Verlander before coming through against Tigers closer Justin Wilson (3-4) in the ninth. The Tigers had gone ahead on Mikie Mahtook’s two-run shot off Kelvin Herrera in the top half when Moss doubled off the wall in center to drive in the tying run.

Moss went to third on the throw to the plate, and Alex Gordon sent a fly ball to center that was just deep enough to give him his sixth career walk-off RBI and the Royals a much-needed win.

They had lost the first two games of the series and seven of eight overall.

"We’ve talked about the importance of getting him hot," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Moss, whose homer was his first since July 1. "He can definitely change the game."

Jason Hammel and three Royals relievers had successfully ushered a 2-1 lead to Herrera, who proceeded to walk Victor Martinez in the ninth. Andrew Romine came in to pinch run and swiped second base, but all it did was shorten his trot home when Mahtook went deep.

Herrera threw one more pitch before summoning the training staff and leaving the game. He had an illness that sidelined him the past couple of games and said he overheated.

"I felt worn out," Herrera said. "No energy."

Kevin McCarthy (1-0) got the final two outs to earn the win.

Verlander scattered six hits and a walk over seven innings while striking out eight, but he was in line for the loss after Mike Moustakas hit an RBI single in the seventh. Bruce Rondon kept Detroit close with a scoreless eighth before Wilson let things get away from him in the ninth.

"I thought Justin was outstanding from the get-go," said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, whose club had won four straight. "I thought it was his best start of the year."

Verlander retired the first seven batters he faced. And after Moss sent an 0-1 pitch off the foul pole in right for a tying home run, Verlander proceeded to breeze through the next couple of innings.

He even helped himself by picking off Jorge Bonifacio at second base to end the sixth.

"A huge step in the right direction," Verlander said. "It felt like me again."

But Hammel matched him inning-for-inning after the first, when he gave up two singles and Miguel Cabrera drove in the game’s first run. Hammel retired the next nine batters he faced, then six more after Nicholas Castellanos managed a single in the fourth.

Hammel gave up another single in the fifth but promptly struck out Cabrera to end the inning, and got a standing ovation when he left after a one-out walk to Martinez in the seventh.


The Royals had lost three straight to Detroit. They also improved to 14-23 against the AL Central this season. … Verlander has gone at least seven innings in seven straight starts against Kansas City. … Hammel is winless in his last five starts dating to June 19.


Tigers LHP Daniel Norris (left groin strain) will likely make another rehab start at Triple-A Toledo, Ausmus said. Norris was hit hard in three innings Tuesday night.


Tigers RHP Michael Fulmer tries to win his fifth straight start when the teams meet in the finale of their four-game series Thursday night. Fulmer allowed one run and two hits in eight innings against the Blue Jays his last time out. He will face Royals LHP Danny Duffy, who surrendered his only run in the ninth inning of a 1-0 loss to the Rangers on Sunday.


For more AP baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Royals beat Mariners 9-6 after 10 innings, sweep the series

Salvador Perez drove the second pitch from reliever James Pazos (2-2) out to right field for his 17th homer of the season.

SEATTLE — Salvador Perez hit a two-run homer in the 10th, Alex Gordon added a two-out RBI single later in the inning and the Kansas City Royals completed a three-game sweep with a 9-6 win over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night.

Perez drove the second pitch from reliever James Pazos (2-2) out to right field for his 17th homer of the season. It was the third home run of the game for Kansas City, adding to earlier two-run shots by Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain.

Mike Minor (5-1) pitched the ninth to get the victory and Kelvin Herrera threw the 10th for his 19th save. Minor had a scare when Mike Zunino led off the ninth with a flyball to deep left field that Gordon caught one step in front of the wall.

Kansas City won for the sixth time in seven games and handed Seattle its seventh straight loss at home.

Nelson Cruz, Jean Segura and Zunino all homered off American League wins leader Jason Vargas for Seattle, but the Mariners were held scoreless for the final seven innings after Cruz’s homer leading off the third.

Headed to the All-Star Game for the first time, Vargas had his worst performance of the season against one of his former teams. He matched a season high by allowing six earned runs, and the three home runs equaled the number Vargas had allowed in his previous six starts combined.

Vargas was headed toward his first loss since May 22 until Cain’s two-out, two-run homer in the fifth inning tied it at 6-all. Cain hit a 3-2 fastball from starter Ariel Miranda off the out-of-town scoreboard for his 11th homer of the season.

Miranda didn’t look like he would make it out of the first inning after allowing a two-run double to Eric Hosmer and the two-run shot to Moustakas. It was the third straight game and sixth time in eight games Moustakas has homered. Miranda quickly settled down, retiring 10 of 11 before a leadoff walk to Gordon opening the fifth. Three batters later, Miranda missed with his 3-2 pitch to Cain and lost out on his chance at an eighth win before the All-Star break.

Cruz hit the 299th home run of his career despite a sore knee that turned his home run trot into glorified speed walking. It was his first long ball since June 4, snapping a string of 87 at-bats without going deep. Cruz also had an RBI groundout in the first inning.


The Royals will skip Travis Wood’s turn in the rotation and have Danny Duffy start on Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the final game before the All-Star break. Duffy will be opposed by Clayton Kershaw.


Seattle 3B Kyle Seager got a rare day off on Wednesday. Seager had started every game since April 27, but in the past 17 games was batting .200 and was hitless in his last 14 at-bats.


Royals: After an off day, the Royals will open a three-game series against the Dodgers on Friday. Jason Hammel (4-7) will start the opener.

Mariners: Seattle opens a four-game series against division foe Oakland on Thursday. Sam Gaviglio (3-3) starts the opener.

WATCH: Salvy’s two-run homer gives Royals lead in tenth inning

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3 Amazing Tourist Attractions In Topeka, Kansas

Topeka is the capital of Kansas. It is also one of the best cities in America and tourists love it here. If you plan on taking a trip to the city, then make sure you visit these three attractions.

1. Gage Park- This park is one of the largest parks in the city. It sits on over 150 acres and it has been around since 1899, so it is a very old park. Some of the things you can do while there is visit the Topeka Zoo, ride a miniature train or roam around the rose garden. Those are only a handful of activities you can do at Gage Park.

2. Kansas Museum Of History- This is the state history museum and you can learn a lot about Kansas while there. The exhibits sits on 30,000 square feet, so expect to spend a few hours here. You’ll have the chance to view many objects, such as a tipi, train, a diner from the 50s and many other objects. If you want to learn about the history of Kansas, then this is the place to go.

3. Topeka Zoo- As previously mentioned, this zoo is located in Gage Park and it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. The zoo houses many animals, including lions, alligators, bears and even bugs to name just a few. This zoo is a great place for all ages, but make sure you arrive early because it can become very busy throughout the day.

Topeka is home to the Topeka Zoo, Kansas Museum of History and Gage Park. Make sure you pay a visit to all of those attractions the next time you’re in the city. After you do that, make sure you take the time to explore all the other wonderful attractions throughout the city.

Kansas City Royals may want to think hard about rebuild ideas

Kansas City Royals Eric Hosmer (35) celebrates with teammate Alex Gordon in a game against the New York Mets. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI

The Kansas City Royals did it again on Friday night. They staged another heart-pounding comeback, this one a 5-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals couldn’t get it going for a long time but, with two on and two out in the ninth, they finally put it together and rallied from a 4-1 deficit.

The last three Kansas City at-bats produced run-scoring hits. Alcides Escobar singled to bring in one. Alex Gordon singled to bring in another. And Whit Merrifield gave them the win with a walk-off two-run double. Down by two runs in the eighth in Boston on Wednesday, Sal Perez lifted the Royals to a 6-4 win with a grand slam.

With this triumph, the Royals climbed back to .500 at 36-36 and became something fascinating to watch for the next five weeks. At the start of the month, Kansas City was dead last in the AL Central and plans were being laid for a serious sell-off. It is a major league-best 14-6 in the month of June now.

At three games back of Cleveland in the division and two games off the pace for the second AL wild card, the Royals can’t be thinking of themselves as sellers right now.

You win when you can and the Royals have a group of players that have demonstrated it can win. The foundation of position players for the 2014 American League champions and 2015 World Series champions is still intact: Perez at catcher, Eric Hosmer at first base, Escobar at shortstop, Mike Moustakas at third base, Lorenzo Cain in center field and Alex Gordon in left field.

That doesn’t mean some tough calls don’t remain for general manager Dayton Moore.

Things looked so simple a month ago when the club was nine games under .500 and 7 1/2 games back in the division. Escobar, Gordon and designated hitter Brandon Moss were hitting under .200 and none of the regulars aside from Perez had an OPS over .800.

Hosmer, Cain, Escobar, Moustakas and suddenly phenomenal starter Jason Vargas will all be free agents at the end of the season. Dealing them away to contenders was an open door to a fast rebuild as each would be worthy of bringing back at least one player of substance in trade.

Now nothing is simple. The Royals could still stick to a rebuild plan, make trades and lay groundwork for the future of the club. Or they could try to ride a group of proven winners and deal away the remaining prospects in the organization to bolster them in their quest for another World Series title. They don’t have the budget to retain all of those free agents to-be, so Kansas City would be a greatly diminished team.

How the Royals play in the weeks leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline is now must-watch. For so many teams, the decisions will be clear. Heck, the Oakland A’s this week punted on the 2017 season and ushered up the best of their prospects. But what if the Royals play well during the rest of June and July?

Vargas, back from Tommy John surgery, is a surprise 10-game winner. Moustakas has 19 home runs and is on pace for the club record of 36 by Steve Balboni. Cain has hit .320 with a 1.000 OPS in the past month. The lineup is averaging 5.5 runs per game in June.

The feeling here is they’d have to take a go-for-it stance.

When Kansas City reached the 2014 World Series, it was making its first postseason appearance since winning it all in 1985. A passionate fan base, long suffering, became inspired. And that team was so close to beating the San Francisco Giants for the crown. When the Royals won it the next year, an entire community celebrated.

Royals fans are sharp enough to know exactly where the franchise is and — if you put it to a vote — they’d surely take a couple more years of suffering for another World Series win.

"We’re playing like we know we can and we’re moving in the right direction," Merrifield, the second baseman, said on Wednesday, "and hopefully we can keep that up and keep making progress."

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Today police identify a young woman killed in an often scandalous Kansas City crime hot spot.

KMBC confirms that a 19-year-old woman was shot to death as the homicide investigation continues today – The 61st for KCMO this year – Meanwhile, the KC Crimefighter shared essential deets on this tragedy yesterday afternoon and continues to work with authorities today.

Now, let’s look at the trend in this tragic neighborhood that’s merely a stone’s throw away from hundreds of millions worth of Kansas City development incentives yet still home to the most squalid conditions in Kansas City proper.

Harlem in Kansas City is mostly an industrial site that’s hosts body shops, light manufacturing and a few warhorses but there are also residences for a diverse group of people mostly living in abject poverty.

A few years ago public radio profiled the swath of land in a very kind report. Here’s a quote:

"In its heyday during the early 1900s, this 50-acre town was home to nearly 600 people but today it looks like a ghost town. Most of its original structures have been torn down leaving just three homes, a handful of businesses, a church and a former Holiday Inn converted into apartments."

The Holiday Apartment Complex has continually been a local hotspot and in 2015 was the site of a murder of a transgender woman who was brutally stabbed to death.

The apartments are secluded, dingy and look exceptionally dangerous. But rather than relying on stereotypes, here are some of the more informative online reviews of this location:

– "This place is in the heart of a once good area … Like 50 years ago. The building is ghetto and is nasty the staff just sucks. The police literally stay outside and wait around for someone to commit a crime. Not too long ago someone was stabbed and killed on the property. Please, people do not go here, it is a health and life risk."

– "Definitely the cheapest in town! C’mon! For the price, no deposit, you can buy your own toilet paper and shower curtain, and bedding. And there’s always "excitement" there! Never a dull moment lol"

– "There really should be a no star rating on here. The place is filthy . . . Had a friend get murdered there. The police are always there for something. So much drugs, prostitution, stolen cars."

– "Just know you get what you pay for; no the place isn’t the Hilton but it’s a roof over your head so many of us have to struggle just to make it day-to-day week-to-week and at least when you move in here you don’t have that deposit you have to worry about paying you can choose to pay weekly for about a month yes there may be criminals and drugs but that’s any and everywhere in this world nowadays just mind who you associate with and if you must. Just keep to yourself."

– "Take care of your biz, stay to yourself & u will b just fine. Keep your head up."

The allegations get worse but we’ve only included the reviews based on opinion and public information crime reporting along with some defense of the place in fairness.

Nevertheless . . .


And so, the reality here is that over a billion in public subsidy along the nearly streetcar line doesn’t really impact the lives of people just across the bridge and living in desperate circumstances. And while we decry the critical lack of affordable and safe low-income housing in Kansas City – This location at least deserves a review and further consideration as an example of blighted and dangerous living conditions that have claimed another life.

You decide . . .

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The Many Different Things You Can Do In Topeka KS

Located in the northeastern part of Kansas, Topeka is a beautiful city. It has a population of about 130,000 people, and tends to have nice weather during the spring, summer and autumn months. There are many attractions that you can visit including the Kansas state capitol building which is one of the more unique structures that you will ever see. It is also the location of the Brown versus Board of Education civil rights building where you can learn a little bit about American history.

Parks That You Should Visit

A couple of the places that people tend to go if they like flowers or bodies of water include Lake Shawnee and Gage Park. These are two of the most beautiful places in all of Topeka, and if you have a few spare hours, you will certainly want to spend some time there. For those that are into military paraphernalia and history, you may want to visit the Combat Air Museum. For those that are bringing their children, the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center is one of the best places to take your kids if they want to have fun and learn interesting information.

Is There A Way To Get Discounts On These Activities?

Although most of the things that you will do while you are in Topeka will be free, some of them will cost money. As you get your reservations for your hotel, you will likely see some of them being advertised. This is the time when you should purchase your access to these events, helping you to save money early on. Topeka is a beautiful location, and if you are going to travel during the spring and summer, it certainly a wonderful place to be for a vacation by yourself or with your family.