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The Kansas City Chiefs, if they were Royals players instead

What would happen in a cross-sport pollination?

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

With the Kansas City Chiefs looking towards the divisional round of the playoffs for the second consecutive year, proving their athletic excellence. perhaps Kansas City Royals General Manager Dayton Moore should ask Clark Hunt and Andy Reid to see if he can borrow some Chiefs players for the summer. Moore sure isn’t getting actual baseball players to play for him this offseason.

Back in September, Max took a hypothetical gander at what position the Royals players would be if they were Chiefs players. Since then, there has been roughly two pieces of Royals related news and quite a few Chiefs games.

So with this dearth of baseball and the entire city participating in Red Friday, let’s take a look at the reverse: Chiefs, if they were Royals. Now, this isn’t as easy or as interesting as an exercise; American football is predicated on pure athleticism much moreso than baseball, and it’s semi-common to have a basketball star become a legit football player, for instance (Demetrius Harris, Antonio Gates). We know what a football player looks like as a baseball player, and that is Tim Tebow. That is not a good outcome. Baseball is a skills-based game, and though those skills require athleticism, skills must be developed for years.

No Royal is suiting up as a Chief, or vice versa; the Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson era are over. This is just in pure fun, and also because I’m bored to tears of this offseason. Let’s go.

Alex Smith - Starting Pitcher

Smith throws balls for a living, a sentence that, if not for the existence of sports, is a hard double-take. That being said, maybe it should be. Paying to watch a war-painted gladiator-man chuck a pig arrow through the air to get points in order to win arbitrary contests against other war-painted gladiator-men is a bizarre thing that capitalism has invented.


You know who else throws balls for a living? Alright, don’t answer that. The correct answer is pitchers in Major League Baseball. Smith, a ball thrower for one sport, would be an ideal ball thrower for another. Boom. Also, the switch to pitching eliminates his worst tendency: a penchant for short, risk-averse passes. There’s only one distance and one route to the plate, and there is no way to pitch safely.

As for why a starter? Smith is nothing if not smart, calculating, and accurate, all good traits for a starter, and is a good runner that would field his position well. And at 6-4, 217 lbs, Smith is very similar in size to a lot of starters, who tend to be taller and heavier than other players. Danny Duffy is a similar 6-3, 205 lbs, for instance.

Also, Smith can go from a position where ‘winning games’ is apparently part of evaluation to a position where ‘winning games’ is apparently part of evaluation. Perfect!

Travis Kelce - First Base

Look, I tried hard to justify Kelce as a right fielder. He’s a gifted runner, with field vision, efficient route running, and decent speed. He might be pretty good at tracking and catching fly balls, and I’d wager his arm is pretty good, too. Pure athleticism translates best to the outfield.

But Kelce is also 6’5" and 255 lbs. That’s...huge, by position player baseball standards. In 2016, only 28 non-pitchers played a game while weighing 250+ lbs. Four of them logged time in right field. Those names were Miguel Sano, Yasmany Tomas, Aaron Judge, and Stephen Moya. Those are ‘right fielders’ in the same way that a McDonald’s burger is ‘steak.’ If you made me GM of a baseball team and then immediately told me those were my right field options, I think this would be my reaction:

Anyway, just imagine Kelce, gigantic man-child that he is, making full-barrel contact with a baseball. Whew. So, as it is for players of questionable build and/or defensive value, first place he goes. And stays. I don’t want a giant man running around in right field, causing earthquakes, and terrifying children who just want to eat their jello.

Dontari Poe - Third, wait, maybe Designated Hitter...huh...Relief Pitcher perhaps? Um

We’ll get back to you on this one.

Tyreek Hill - Center Field

Let’s be honest: most football players are too huge and too slow to be baseball players. These are two traits that Hill very much does not possess.*

*My colleague Shaun Newkirk would also like to add ‘respecting women’ to that list, and since he’ll do so in the comments anyway, I’m giving you a free bonus by including that punchline here as well. Royals Review: the Debbie Downer of internet blogs.

Hill is fast, Jarrod Dyson (RIP) and Terrance Gore fast. Hill has a knack for reading defenses, so you have to think that he’d be a good basestealer, too.

The big stunner is that Hill is actually a reasonable wide receiver, too. His 591 yards receiving and six touchdowns on 61 receptions are quite productive; all those numbers beat every individual season of Dante Hall’s career, and Devin Hester never matched those single season touchdown or reception numbers.

If that sounds an awful lot like Dyson to you, then you’d be correct. Hill would be a natural center fielder and—have you seen the man’s arms?


He could crack a few dingers with those guns. Nevermind the mixed metaphor.

Eric Berry - Catcher

Despite what you may think from watching Salvador Perez, catchers aren’t usually gigantic. Most catchers are around 6’ tall, in the low 200s for weight. Berry fits that description pretty well, so we’re squared away and don’t have a Dontari Poe situation on our hands.*

*Shortstop? Poe would be the best shorstop in the history of ever if he even played one inning there. Nobody would hit the ball near him because of unadulterated fear.

But, anyway, things that Berry and Perez are both called:

  • Gamer
  • Leader
  • Fighter
  • Tough
  • Edward (they are both as confused as you are, believe me)
  • Field General
  • Heart of the Team

Berry’s used to wearing armor, and he beat cancer to come back and be one of the best safteties in the league. I’ll go out on a limb here and say that, yeah, Berry as catcher would be pretty tonally consistent.

Cairo Santos - Tim Collins Impersonator

Collins - 5’7", 170 lbs

Santos - 5’8", 160 lbs