The past several weeks the Royals have experienced milestones. Not on the baseball field, but in their private lives. I'm talking birthdays, anniversaries, and other pointless celebrations of the passing of time.
Why should you care?
Well, Royales with Cheese has rooted through the clubhouse trashcan and found several discarded greeting cards penned by your favorite movie reviewer and mine, Emil Brown.
That's right, presenting the first part in a 27 part series:
Here are those cards:
This past Saturday, August 26. Runelvys Hernandez's fifth wedding anniversary:
Sunday, August 27th: Buddy Bell's 55th birthday.
Today, August 29: Ryan Shealy's birthday.
Also today, August 29: News of Reggie Sanders' season ending surgery.
Honestly, I think Emil's getting better at the whole writing thing.
(1) The Giants are all over the Chiefs tonight. Good to see KC still has a porous defense. Also, why the hell isn't the Kyle Turley helmet toss on YouTube? Someone get on that.
(2) Luke Hochevar got the start for the Burlington Bees last night. I have a feeling he's going to be an excellent pitcher.
Do you know why?
In fact, he's fugly.
The man has a mullet. His ears make him look like a car driving down the street with its doors open. Whenever he pitches, his cheeks puff out and he squints like he's dropping a five-cornered deuce.
Look at Randy Johnson. Before he had to chop off those glorious locks for the Yankees, Randy was one of the greatest pitchers of all time. But if you saw him on the street, you'd turn and run in terror. He looks like a pedophile or a bad guy in a slasher movie.
And Hochevar has that same ugliness.
Which means big things for the Royals in a year or two.
(3) I'm glad that Adam Bernero got rid of his Abe Lincoln beard. It made him look an awful lot like Hans Klopek from The 'Burbs.
Don't get me wrong. The beard was ugly. And, as previously postulated, like six inches above this, ugly=awesome. However, Adam is ugly enough to be a decent pitcher with or without that thing on his face. Case in point: his last two starts. If he starts to struggle, I'll be the first to suggest he grow it back.
(4) Dougie Fresh isn't likely to return from the DL until September. Which means we must suffer through at least two more weeks of Mike Sweeney's delayed retirement. I love Mike and am sorry to see his career petering out the way it is, but when Mientkiewicz comes back you have to bench the captain in his favor. Mikey grounded into a double play to end the game today. He's been hovering around the Mendoza line before and since his injury. I hope he makes me eat my words and hits ten dingers in the next six weeks, but right now, it looks like his bad back has effectively snuffed out an amazing career.
(5) Mark Grudzielanek signed an extension through next year with an option for 2008. Which means Esteban German's shot at starting next year is, well, shot. Remember, Esteban, the Royals have ways of making you pronounce the letter "G."
(6) God, I hate Joe Buck.
(Royales with Cheese would like to point out that the above image of Mr. Buck is meant as a lampoon and is not meant to insinuate that he does, in fact, have scabies. We're pretty sure, unfortunately, that he doesn't. But if he did, we assume, he would scream "THAT'S DISGUSTING! THAT IS DISGUSTING!" So, it's parody. So it's protected. So there.)
I was poking around the Royals official website and I stumbled upon THE BEST THING EVER.
All summer, Emil Brown has been reviewing movies. You can read them here. I found them to be pretty hilarious, especially his reviews for Saw II, Grizzly Man, and Batman Begins.
But, there just aren't enough reviews. I need more of Emil's opinions. So, I've decided to imagine Emil's reviews for other films. This is the first part in a 39 part series.
Every summer for the past decade, Emil Brown has struggled to make a big league team. To cope, he watched a lot of movies. A lot. Like, more movies than a healthy, well-adjusted, socially functional person would ever watch. Then, last year, he finally got a legitimate shot with the Royals and had a good season. So good he made the team again this year, with a $1.7 million dollar paycheck. With all that moolah, Emil Brown has built a private theater in his house. When he is not on the baseball field, you can find him in his theater, watching anything from You've Got Mail to the little seen Smokey and the Bandit 3: Smokey is the Bandit. Royales with Cheese cornered Emil at a Blockbuster recently and had him scribble down the following reviews for our reading pleasure.
The Tommy Boy (1995) I like this movie a lot! Chris Farley was funny, but he died because he did a speedball. A speedball is heroin and cocaine together at the same time. It'll get you real high! This movie was funny. David Spade and Farley are funny together. The Black Sheep was also good. Brandon Duckworth was in that one as a crazy guy in the woods! Chris Farley sells brake pads and is real real dumb. If you haven't rented it, then rent it! And then once you have rented it, watch it! And then laugh while you are watching the rented movie! I like it because it is FUNNY! The Billy Elliot (2000) This was a good one! Billy is a boy who likes to dance. But the message of the movie is just because you act like a girl doesn't mean you are a gay! But even if he was a gay, it would be a good movie. The Brokeback Mountain was good and there was really lots of gay in it. But I liked this movie. It was a little boring towards the end. There should have been a building blowed up or a car chase! A girl might like this more than a guy, if you are a guy. But I liked it. Don't tell anyone! The Sin City (2005) This should have been called The Freakin' Awesome City because that's what it was: Freakin' Awesome. It had good chases and guns and boobs in it! I wish it was all in color because black and white is for old movies. Like really old! Even movies from the 50's had color! But this only had a little color. The boobs should have been in color, at least! The part with the guy shooting the other guy and then the one where the guy got hit by the car and the girl who dances in the bar were the best parts but the other parts were all good too. This was a comic book and they are going to make more The Sin City's because they made more stories in the comic books. I can't wait for the next one. It will be Freakin' Awesome. Maybe the next one will be in color too! The The Shining (1980) This was scary and I was scared plenty when I watched it. Jack Nicholson is a good actor and he acts real good in this movie. He yells a lot and drinks with a ghost and there is a naked ghost woman who is pretty good looking but she turns green when he kisses her like she was a giant frog or something! That part was SCARY! And there is blood in the hallway and dead twins that made me cover my eyes but I don't want to give it all away. Just gotta say, "Here's Johnny!" Go watch this really scary movie. Oh yeah, Scatman Crothers was in it and he was good too. I like him as The Hong Kong Phooey the best though because it is funny dog who does kung fu and not so scary as haunted house! The March of The Penguins (2005) This movie was boring. The penguins walk in a line and that is about it. They are cute but man they are not cute enough for two hours! Mike Sweeney told me this was really good but he always likes movies like The Bibleman and The Left Behind so he isn't the best guy to rent a movie with. I made him watch The House of The 1000 Corpses with me and he left after like less than two minutes! It was hilarious because there was blood and knives and guts and Mike only likes blood when it is in movies about the Bible times or The Rambo. So watch The House of The 1000 Corpses but don't watch the penguin movie! The The Hours (2002) This movie was good drama. It was confusing because it was in different times a lot. Some parts were back in time in the 50's and one time was real old with Nicole Kidman and a ugly nose. She would be a brown bagger for sure! The movie was sad. The woman in the 1950's made me cry. She was so sad. And I was sad too because it was sad! But I fell asleep before the end so I don't know if they all die or something cool happens like maybe they all get in a time machine and go hang out in the future together like in a space restaurant where the Jetsons go to. I'm gonna watch more of it sometime so don't tell me the end! The Critters 2: The Main Course (1988) Oh man, they named this one The Critters 2 because the 2 stands for twice as good as The Critters which was also real good. But I like this one a lot because it is an Easter movie. There aren't many Easter movies but this is the best one! There is an Easter Bunny who gets ate by The Critters. I used to have nightmares about The Critters because they can shoot quills and roll real fast but now I like them and I keep trying to find one because I want to buy it for a pet. That would be cool! My friend Angel Berroa would come over and be like oh my god there is one of The Critters rolling around in here, holy crap man, that's crazy! And I'd be like, no man. That's just my pet Critter. His name is Mississippi Fred. He is a good Critter. Cool it, man. Oh that would be awesome! If you know where to find one of The Critters, let me know. Or if you have one to sell, I will buy it. I have a lot of money! I like all of The Critter Movies, but this is the best! The Casablanca (1946) Buddy Bell told me that if I was gonna call myself a movie buff I should see this movie. He is the coach so I watched the movie. It sucked ass! I took it out and watched The Happy Gilmore for like the 700th time so I would forget about The Casablanca. The Happy Gilmore was real funny and I laughed so hard I farted! Thanks for reading my reviews. I'm Emil Brown and I watch the movies and tell you whether I like them or not!
I don't have a problem with trading him, and I'll tell you why:
1) Dude was subject to freak injuries.
Remember in 2001 when he came up as a starter? In a game that September, Carlos Beltran swung and missed at a pitch, his bat flew out of his hands and into the dugout, cracking MacDougal's head open. He fractured his skull and lost feeling in his pitching arm for three months.
Then in 2004, he got the flu. Yes, just the flu. And it ruined an entire year of his career. He lost a ton of weight. Considering he was already barely 180 when this happened, his 6' 4" frame was made even weaker, and he lost some major velocity off of his pitches. He couldn't pitch worth a damn that season.
This year, he came into spring training again as the Royals closer, but with only ten days until the season's start, he strained a muscle in his right shoulder and was out for over half the season.
I'm not saying he's injury prone, because he couldn't help the bat to the head and the flu was just weird. But, he's tall and lanky and he has a hurky jerky pitching motion (his hat rarely stays on his head when he's pitching). I would be surprised if he didn't get hurt for one bizarre reason or another in the next couple years with the Sox.
2) He's a good fit for the White Sox.
He'll be the set-up man for Bobby "Bitch Tits" Jenks, making for the first true "Thunder and Lightning" pairing in Major League Baseball history. Good for MacDougal. He'll get on ESPN more regularly, and it won't be just because of his falling hat.
3) His salary is poised to jump a few million next season.
I would assume by then, Burgos (or Sisco or Bautista or somebody) would be the answer in the closer's role. Why spend the coin on the skinny guy who might get injured by a strong gust of wind when you can get someone else to do it on the cheap? MacDougal will be 30 soon and won't fit in as well with a team full of 22-24 year olds. Actually, that's probably not true. I've heard Mikey behaves more like a fourteen-year-old than anyone else on the Royals, so maybe he'd only ever fit in well with the Bad News Bears.
4)His nicknames sucked.
Mac the Ninth? Mac Attack? Mac Tonight? Doogie Howser, McD? McDLT? The Ginger Kid? Royals Pitcher of the Month?
So that's the best anyone can come up with? A pun on a Bobby Darin song that is half a century old? References to crappy McDonald's promos from the 80's? Doogie freakin' Howser?
Lame as hell.
5) The real reason this was a good trade: Kansas City needs starters.
The Royals go from having really no bonafide starting prospects in the minors to having two. Tyler Lumsden projects to be a KC starter in 2007 or 2008 with Daniel Cortes about three years away. And we can only hope that with six days left until the trading deadline, Dayton Moore will have nearly accomplished a complete turnaround of our farm system, adding much more pitching and some more offense to add to the prize pieces of Gordon and Butler.
Word is Scott Elarton's shoulder injury will end his season, which means two very horrible things:
(1) KC doesn't get to trade him for anything.
(2) We'll be subjected to some pitchers even worse than Scotty.
And you know what that means:
That's right. Runelvys is back.
And for his first heavyweight bout tonight, he faces fellow lardbutt Bartolo Colon.
All this matchup needs is Jason Whitlock as the guest umpire and we'd have three of the biggest men on the planet on the same field.
In other news, the trade deadline is only ten days away and the Royals should be involved in several deals. KC is receiving inquiries on Reggie Sanders, Tony Graffanino, Elmer Dessens, Mark Grudzielanek, and Mark Redman. Doubtful that Moore will trade all of these guys, but some will go and we'll have a cavalcade of new prospects to dream about.
Moore wants to unload Angel Berroa on the Rockies.
They sent us Neifi Perez a few years ago. If this deal goes down, I'll be a firm believer in karma.
I haven't mocked Berroa much in this blog. Honestly, there isn't much funny about the way he has played for KC since his Rookie of the Year season. Both offensively and defensively, he is at or near the bottom of the league in most every category. In fact, he currently is no better than a replacement player would be. He doesn't walk. He doesn't hit. He drops pop-ups. What exactly does Angel do well? Um, he gets hit by pitches an awful lot. He's fifth on the Royals all time list in that category. So I guess that's something.
This deal for Ryan Shealy seems too good to be true. Honestly, I'd trade Angel for a warm case of Kokanee.
Whether or not KC gets someone as good as Shealy, let's just hope that very soon we can refer to Berroa as a former Royal.
Let's also hope that at some point, we can refer to Runelvys in that manner too.
A little over halfway through our first season of Royals blogging and we've already started running out of ideas.
Consider this like a clip show of your favorite TV series. There is 12% new content in this edition of Royales with Cheese. The rest, you've already seen. But maybe you'll laugh again. Or maybe for the first time.
So let's flashback to some of our better moments, shall we:
Back on April 14th, we accused Alex Rodriguez of being a werewolf.
On April 19th, with the Royals in the midst of a ten game losing streak, we still boldly predicted a pennant win. As Royals fans, sometimes hope is all we have.
Of course, they'd need a little help from some Angels in the Outfield and a slap hitting chimpanzee (not Johnny Damon).
By April 27, less than a week later, KC was 5-15, and we were drinking heavily.
On May 10, we exposed the truth behind Buddy Bell and Paul Bako's relationship.
NEW CONTENT ALERT!!!!!
Recently, Paulie B. went down on the DL with a torn oblique.
Buddy Bell was visibly upset:
DID I MENTION THAT WAS NEW CONTENT?!?!?
Well, it was.
By May 25, we were suggesting promotions for the lackluster attendance at Kauffman Stadium, including, of course, JEREMY AFFELDT DANCE PARTY.
A week later, the most important moment of the season occurred. On May 31st, David Glass fired Allard Baird in favor of hotshot Braves Assistant GM, Dayton Moore.
In early June, former Royal Jason Grimsley was put in the pokey when he was caught with a buttload of Human Growth Hormone.
Then there was the time Aunt Bea wanted to beat Clara in a homemade pickle contest but we were all too afraid to tell her that her pickles tasted like kerosene.
Oh wait. That was an episode of The Andy Griffith Show.
In the middle of June, Dayton Moore started his own website, RoyalTrader.com. So far, his only trade has been of JP Howell, a player conspicuously missing from the site.
Something strange also happened in June. The Royals started winning. Soon, they were better than the '62 Mets. Then, they were better than the '06 Pirates. What a time to be a Royals fan!
And just a week ago, it came out that Johnny Damon is a pothead.
And then there was today, when I posted a bunch of crap I'd already posted.
And you read it.
To make it worth your while, I've got two bonus pieces of Royales With Cheese trivia.
So Kansas City heads into the All-Star Break with a 31-56 record.
But it could be much, much worse.
Only a month ago, the Royals were on pace to lose more games than the 1962 New York Mets, the worst team in modern history.
Well, now they are still on pace to lose over 100 games. But they aren't all-time bad. They aren't even the worst team of 2006 any longer. Youngsters David DeJesus, Mark Teahen, and John Buck have led the surge in the standings, moving KC past the Pirates and nipping at the Cubs' heels.
So, hey, not the best team in the league or anything.
But, finally, not the worst.
Baby steps, right?
And the team will begin making tremendous strides in the next couple seasons.
Everyone who watched the Futures Game yesterday saw that Wichita Wranglers Alex Gordon and Billy Butler can rake. Gordon had a single, a double and two RBI. Butler had a single and a two run homer. And Billy Boy was named the MVP.
Everyone was abuzz at the prospects of these two Royals prospects.
Gordon will probably be on the Royals' opening day roster next year and Butler will likely follow him to KC sometime during the '07 season.
Add to the 2007 roster Omaha's Justin Huber. He was the Futures Game MVP last year.
With DeJesus, Buck, and Zack Greinke, the Royals should at least be a decent team, if not a contender, over the next several seasons. They'll have to get some more pitching, but with a good offense, Moore should be able to get a few guys. That puts the window of being a winning ballclub at about 2008-2013, with a good shot of keeping it going beyond that, should Dayton Moore make good decisions.
And wouldn't that be weird?
Really, really weird?
After being terrible or, at their best, simply mediocre, for the past twenty years, we could soon see the Royals *gasp* in the playoffs.
And honestly, being a fan through one of the worst eras of any sports team ever will have been worth it.
As Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote, "Fear not for the future, weep not for the past.
Or as Timbuk 3 put it, "The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades."