A quick rant through the recent weeks in sports:

A quick rant through the recent weeks in sports:

• Pittsburg State fans have to get excited about freshman linebacker Nate Dreiling. Sure, the Gorillas football team finished a second consecutive season below traditional Pitt State standards, but you have to like your chances of turning things around when you have an All-American leading your defense for the next three seasons. Dreiling has the chance to join Brian Moorman and Aaron McConnell as four-time All-Americans for the Gorillas.

• Congratulations to former Pittsburg State coaches Jerry Kill and Gary Patterson and former PSU All-American Chris Brown. Kill became head coach at Minnesota, Patterson is preparing to coach TCU in the Rose Bowl, and Brown was named head coach at Fort Hays State.

•  I’m excited about high school basketball season resuming after the holiday break. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’ve always thought the games before Christmas have a preseason feel. It’s probably that quick transition from football to hoops. Expect a fun and exciting season once games resume.

•  What is the deal with everyone taking their “talents” somewhere these days? We all know how LeBron James took his talents to South Beach, and recently Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton explained how he came to the decision to “take his talents” to Auburn. It made me wonder what outfielder Melky Cabrera said when he signed with the Kansas City Royals. Did he say, “I’ve decided to take my ‘lackluster abilities’ to KC?” And what about outfielder Jeff Francoeur? Did he say, “I’ve decided to take my ‘unfulfilled expectations’ to the City of Fountains?”

•  Speaking of the Royals, I’m still trying to get a read on the Zack Greinke trade to the Milwaukee Brewers. While I understand why the Royals had to deal him, I also understand the sadness in my 7-year-old son Kyler’s eyes when he told me, “But Dad, Zack Greinke is the best picture I’ve ever seen.” From his perspective, Greinke was the Kansas City Royals. When I was his age, I would have been completely shell shocked if George Brett had been traded. Baseball economics and free agency aren’t the easiest things to explain to a 7-year-old baseball fan.

• On the positive side for the Royals, it appears they may have received some legitimate talent in return for the Cy Young winner. Topeka native and former all-star outfielder Ken Berry was quoted in The Topeka Capital-Journal as saying, “The Royals got a heckuva deal.” The reason that’s relevant is because Berry coached in the Brewers’ system and worked extensively with shortstop Alcides Escobar and outfielder Lorenzo Cain. He said Cain can be a Willie Wilson-type talent and that Escobar can be as an exciting player as the Royals have had at shortstop in a long time. In addition to the two position players who figure to compete for starting jobs this season in Kansas City, the Royals also received the Brewers’ top two pitching prospects in right-handers Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress. Odorizzi was a 2008 first-round pick and Jeffress has been clocked at 100 mph.

• For those Royals fans who are tired of hearing about prospects, I will say I think it’s different this time. Instead of pinning their hopes to one or two prospects like Billy Butler and Alex Gordon like the Royals have done in the past, this time around they have at least 12 to 15 legitimate high level prospects. If two or three of those players turn out to be All-Stars and three or four more can be key contributors, the Royals will have something to build around even if the other half dozen don’t pan out.

• If you’re a Kansas City fan who would rather talk about the present than the future, well let’s talk about the Chiefs. I have to admit that Matt Cassel and the Chiefs have made me eat my words this season, and I expect them to make the playoffs.

• However, I do predict a one-and-done for the Arrowhead faithful.

• Merry Christmas to all of The Morning Sun readers. It’s been a thrill writing a sports column for the Sun again, and I appreciate all of the feedback I’ve received since starting in August. I encourage you all to drop me an e-mail — good or bad — and tell me what you think, and provide me any story ideas you may have.
Thanks again, and enjoy the New Year.

Mark Schremmer is a Pittsburg native who has been a journalist in Kansas for more than 10 years. He currently serves as assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal. He can be reached at markschremmer@yahoo.com.