The Kirksville High School Tigers boys basketball team picked up a huge victory at home last night as they beat a very good Mexico Bulldogs team in overtime. This is a vastly improved Tigers team from last year who are only going to get better as the season progresses. Beating a quality team like Mexico gives them loads of confidence as they head into their final two games before the Christmas break.
The KHS girls basketball team will be on the road tomorrow night as they head to Fulton to play the Lady Hornets. Both teams play Macon on Saturday afternoon.
The KHS wrestling team easily defeated Moberly last night to remain undefeated in dual action. They head to Harrisonville this weekend for the Harrisonville tournament where I’m sure they will have many first place finishes. This team just keeps getting better year after year.
The Truman State Bulldogs men’s basketball team picked up two easy wins this week as they easily defeated Iowa Wesleyan on Monday night and Faith Baptist last night. They head to Quincy for games Saturday and Sunday afternoon before heading into the holiday break. The Bulldogs are undefeated thus far.
The Truman State Women’s basketball team head to Pittsburg, KS tomorrow night to play Pittsburg State in what has traditionally been a great matchup. The Bulldogs have suffered two close losses this year but both losses were to quality teams and I would not be at all surprised to see Truman come home with a victory.
For some reason Christmas makes me think of baseball. OK, everything makes me think of baseball. Anyway, I have been saying in this blog for a few weeks now that we were going to talk a little baseball and circumstances have not allowed that to happen until now. I want to take a second to get caught up on the off season moves of the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals.
The Cardinals are going to have a little different look to them in 2014 with the departure of Carlos Beltran to the Yankees and the trading of David Freese to the Angels. Added to the team are shortstop Jhonny Peralta who we have talked about before in the blog. He is a quality bat and good defensively but is coming off a season in which he was suspended for fifty games for taking performance enhancing drugs. He never tested positive for a banned substance but his name did appear on a list of an anti aging clinic that was raided. He along with others were all suspended for fifty games. He will have extra scrutiny on him for a while at least until everyone forgets about it and then hopefully this will all pass on into the night as a sad chapter in baseball. He is definitely an upgrade at shortstop and will hopefully be able to contribute ore offensively than Pete Kozma did. No word yet on what Kozma’s role with the team will be but I assume he will be a bench player unless he is traded this winter.
The Cardinals added veteran second baseman Mark Ellis late last week and he is expected to share playing time with rookie Kolton Wong who the Cardinals hope will be their everyday second baseman. I have some doubts about whether Wong is ready to assume that role so the signing of Mark Ellis is an excellent one in my opinion.
The most exciting acquisition came to the Cardinals via the trade with the Angels. Peter Bourjos is the Cardinals new center fielder. Bourjos is not a name that most people know but he is a name that hopefully Cardinals fans will come to know very well. He is an exciting player with outstanding defensive skills and one of the fastest runners in the game. He battled injuries last year but when healthy is a very exciting player to watch and will allow the Cardinals to move Matt Carpenter further down the lineup where he can be even more effective. I’m not sure what they plan to do with John Jay at this point but it is a good problem to have. They can either shift him to right field, move Allen Craig to the outfield and platoon him and Jay depending on the matchup and start Matt Adams at first base or trade Adams or Jay for pitching. It’s better to have too many good players than not enough good players in my estimation.
The Cardinals still have some holes in the bullpen but those are easily filled. They have an outstanding pitching staff and may actually have too many good starting pitchers which is another good problem to have. The future is very bright for the Cardinals in my opinion.
The Kansas City Royals haven’t been quite as active but the two players they have signed are major acquisitions that fill glaring holes in what is shaping into a very good team. The Royals signed Jason Vargas who is a starting pitcher who when healthy is one of the best pitchers in baseball. Hardly anyone has ever heard of him but he pitched great for the Angels last year when he wasn’t on the disabled list. He is an innings eater which is something the Royals really need and a veteran presence that they also need.
The other signing is somewhat of a surprise to me but a good surprise. The Royals signed second baseman Omar Infante over the weekend. He is a veteran player with a lot of post season experience with both the Detroit Tigers and Atlanta Braves. I am very surprised the Tigers let him get away but their loss is the Royals gain. I really think the Royals can build on what they started last year and this could be the year they return to the playoffs for the first time since 1985.
We’ll be back on Friday with a preview of all this weekend’s sports action. Thanks for checking us out and please take the time to read all the other excellent blogs on this site. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter at KDEBlog.
Have a wonderful Wednesday!