The Royals are under .500 for the first time in a month and a half, scoring just five runs in three games with the Red Sox.

Uh-oh---

Kansas City went scoreless after losing 2-1 Saturday night. The Royals have lost three straight, six of seven and nine of 12 and are 9-17 since a 10-game winning streak two months ago.  Fortunately, the Tigers gained only a half of game in the opening series of the second half, unfortunately Cleveland is now a game and a half ahead of them in the division.

I get a kick out of the optimist that tells me; "hey, they're two games better than they were at this time a year ago."  The very claim actually denotes that they actually accomplished something last year, but the fact of the matter is that they won only 86 games.  Yes, a major step forward for a perennial loser, but still five and a half games out of the Wild Card race.  To get to the 92 wins it took to reach the playoffs last year the Royals would have to go 44-21 the rest of the way. They haven't done that since George Brett was still batting in the three hole.

Kansas City plays its next ten games against their brethren in the central division, no team in the American League has lost more games to teams in that division than the Royals.

Rarified Rory---

I loved watching Rory McIlroy win this weekend's British Open. Not only does he join Jack and Tiger (only one name needed) as the only player to have won three of the four majors by the time he's 25, he also made his dad over $300,000 on a bet he made 10 years ago that his son would win the British Open by the time he was 25.

I not only like the way McIlroy plays, I like his confidence and his humility-it's a rare balance.  The Irishman is going to win a bunch more; maybe he's the one who will end up challenging Nicklaus' record for major wins.

As for Tiger, as odd as it sounds, he needs some seasoning in his game before he can challenge for another major title. Not that his game at all warrants it, but it's interesting to watch these 'young guns' who are so totally unimpressed by Woods.  They're the ones which watched him growing up-Woods mystique and intimidation helped sustain him then-but it's lost on this new generation of players who seems to have no fear-largely, I'd imagine, because of watching the way Woods browbeat his opponents back in the day.

Big 12 Media Days---

I voted Baylor, OU and K-State at the top of the conference for this fall.  Oklahoma's getting a lot of run off their Sugar Bowl win over Alabama-but Baylor's the defending champion and has three or four of the league's best players coming back.  Granted, OU has Baylor, KSU and OSU all coming into Norman and they should have the Big 12's best defense.  But there are still a fair amount of questions on the offensive side of scrimmage, questions Baylor doesn't have.

The Chiefs---

The Chiefs convene in St. Joseph's on Wednesday and begin practice on Thursday. Neither Alex Smith nor Justin Houston-two of their three most important players-have been signed to long term deals. Despite wanting them, one wonders how much of a distraction that can be.  Like most, I expect the Chiefs to back up a little this year, .500 seems reasonable nothing less.

I find myself pulling for head coach Andy Reid, who seems so likeable. Odd that that's never been much of a determinant with me, but it is with Reid.