It’s time for another edition of the Saturday Reader. The first edition ran last Saturday and it was a hit. In this weekly piece, I’m bringing you five stories I read on the Internet in the past week that I thought were really interesting and you might too. They will often be stories published in the last week but could be older.
This week I have stories covering several topics. The Chiefs are having a season that reminds some of the Royals World Series seasons in 2014 and 2015. Missouri baseball is light years ahead of some Major League Baseball teams in the use of technology in player development. Philip Rivers can’t forget a trip to Oklahoma Joe’s on a previous trip to Kansas City. Former NBA Commissioner David Stern passed away. And there is a new basketball league starting soon that is trying to compete with college basketball.
How does all of that sound? Well, let’s get to it. Here is this week’s Saturday Reader…
Technology is being used more and more in sports. Baseball is ahead of the other sports in analytics and the use of technology. And one of the most technologically advanced organizations in baseball is… the University of Missouri? Eno Sarris of The Athletic wrote an interesting piece on the technology used for player development at Missouri, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.
It’s not surprising that Vanderbilt might be one of the three programs. Vanderbilt might be the best college baseball program these days. But did you think Missouri would be on the list? I didn’t expect that but apparently it’s true.
If you are a fan of Mizzou or a fan of baseball you should read this story. If you are a fan of Mizzou baseball it is a must-read.
The Royals made back-to-back World Series appearances in 2014 and 2015. They didn’t do it because of the shift. The Royals didn’t shift much at that time. They didn’t do it because of analytics. We know that Ned Yost was not into that. Baseball analytics extremists won’t like it but they did it through the intangibles.
The Chiefs seem to have the same things going for them this season. The players bring out the best in each other. The fun they are having off the field is helping them on the field. Vahe Gregorian wrote about it last Sunday in the Kansas City Star.
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has played against the Chiefs for 16 seasons. He formed a relationship with a Chiefs’ season ticket holder because of an incident at Oklahoma Joe’s. After the Chargers lost to the Chiefs last Sunday, in what might be his final game with the Chargers, Philip Rivers went over to the Chiefs fan and gave him the gloves he used in the game. Daniel Popper wrote about it in The Athletic.
Former NBA Commissioner David Stern led the league for 30 years. He, along with Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, led the growth of the league to what it is today. Stern took a league with a majority of the teams losing money and the championship series being shown on television on tape-delay to being a league that signed a 9-year, $24 billion television rights deal. Chris Ballard told the story of David Stern for Sports Illustrated.
Former NBA player David West is the COO of a new league that tips off in 2021 called the Historical Basketball League. It will try to compete with college basketball. The league will guarantee five-year scholarships for players. The players will be required to study at a two- or four-year college or vocational institution. Players will earn between $50,000 and $150,000 and will be able to profit off of their personal brands. Alex Prewitt wrote for Sports Illustrated about the HBL and the other leagues that have tried to challenge the traditional sports leagues that we are used to watching.
DROP ME A NOTE: You can contact me at email@example.com or on Twitter at @KCSportsMonitor. I would love to hear from you and have a discussion with you. Send me your comments and questions and I might include them in a future column.
STAY INFORMED: If you haven’t already signed up for email updates please consider it. Things are changing a lot right now and I would like to keep you informed of all of the latest changes. Another new weekly piece of content will start soon. I think you will enjoy it.
Thanks for reading…