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At the Mike: Ward back at the helm of the Chiefs
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At the Mike

The Great Bend Chiefs and former Barton Cougar Roger Ward are off to an 8-5 start. Ward, coaching the team this summer, is right at home with a baseball nearby. A star player for Barton he went on to play on a very good Kentucky team in 1992, reaching as high as No. 7 in the nation that season.

Legion baseball was always a favorite of mine – from playing it for Beloit to covering a handful of state tournaments when I was in Pratt. It doesn’t seem to have the same luster as it once did with all the other activities for kids to participate in during the summer now.

There was a time when baseball was about it. But now with nearly full-time summer activities in basketball, swimming, even a larger emphasis on football camps the legion teams around the state have had to adjust.

I like the fact kids have several opportunities to choose from but, in a way, it’s too bad because that is usually when the kids are playing their best baseball.

The high school season in Kansas just doesn’t allow for kids to hit their peak. Weather issues and only 10 playing dates at most for the regular season really limit high school coaches’ ability to get the best from their kids.

Anyway, good to see Roger back at the helm of the Chiefs.

Speaking of baseball the hot topic is the Kansas City Royals and the all-star game. As of now eight Royals would be in the starting lineup – including Omar Infante and his .210 batting average.

Now I have always maintained the all-star game is for the fans and if that is who the fans eventually vote in then more power to them.

I was never a fan of putting the home field for the World Series on the winner. Let it be what it is – an all-star game. No other sport does this. Basketball and hockey both have midseason all-star games with nothing riding on the outcome. Baseball doesn’t need it either.

That being said allowing someone to vote like 35 times a day doesn’t seem quite right. But I am a big believer the game is for the fans and that is who should have the final say in the starting lineups.

Finally, the second of golf’s four majors is upon us. The US Open gets underway tomorrow at Chambers Bay … really, what is Chambers Bay? One of the great things about the US Open is that it is always played at a course casual golf fans recognize.

Apparently it is near Tacoma, Wash. I’ve never heard of it. It is a link-style golf course. I thought that is what the British Open was for. And currently Tiger Woods nor Phil Mickelson are playing that well.

So, should Tiger or Phil neither make a run on a course no one knows look for ratings to be low. Very low. But if either do make a run it really won’t matter since no one know has ever heard of the course. Perhaps Jordan Spieth will soon be a player casual fans will draw to but for now ratings come down to Tiger and Phil.

Happy Father’s Day to all!