April 27, 2006

There's A Tear In My Beer: A rant on baseball loyalty

Twenty games in and the Royals are ten games under .500.

That's 5-15.

They are on pace to go about 41-121.

It's only April 27th and already this is what your average Royals fan looks like:



Aah, Malt Liquour.

Eases the pain.

But for one fan, booze isn't enough.

Some jackass has put his loyalty to the Kansas City Royals on eBay.

And he's getting some bids. $66.05 and counting.

Okay, forget that he's selling an abstract concept like loyalty. He throws in some tangible things that prevent this auction from being just an easy cash-in. That's right. You get a signed Willie Wilson bat, signed balls by Angel Berroa, Mike Sweeney, and Bob "The Hammer" Hamelin, a Royals jersey with no name on the back and something he calls "a Mike Sweeney Macfarlane." Not quite sure what that last one is. Maybe an IF THEY MATED CONCEPT for Conan O'Brien.

I dunno. $66.05 seems pretty cheap to give up 25 years of affection for a team.

Hell, the average marriage doesn't last half that long. And this dude is just gonna move onto another team? I don't care if they've treated you bad. I don't care if they've teased you and made you feel like an idiot in front of your friends and you've got more bad memories than good. I don't care if you think this is an unhealthy relationship. If you think the magic is never coming back. If you have problems remembering when there was magic. A baseball team is a lifelong commitment. If you're saddled with the Royals, you're saddled with the Royals. Til Death Do You Part. Shit, you should get a tax break if you're married to a team like this.

And don't deny it. You'll never be able to cheer for the Rangers or Mets or Mariners in the same way.

So just embrace it. Remember the allure. Find the good things. Laugh at the bad things. Think of the future. Because it can never be as bad as you think it is. And when it does become good, and you have to imagine that at some point, before you die, it will be good again, then it will make it that much better that you've endured the rough times.

So I say, grab a bottle of booze. Feed the ulcer. Watch every game, every out, every missed opportunity and blown save and baserunning error and blowout loss and just enjoy it for what it is... your favorite ballclub.

Enjoy the wins sprinkled here and there. The future's bright my friends. And the past was bright, too. And the present, it'll be brighter when you look back on it. Because you watched it and lived it and it was your summer.

That being said, KC needs to shitcan Mark Teahen and Doug Mientkiewicz immediately, get Esteban German more playing time, teach Emil Brown some D, trade Joe Mays to the Chunichi Dragons for as much Yen as they can get, sell the team to an owner who gives a damn, get Buddy Bell to set a consistent lineup and, well, there's about fifteen other suggestions I have.

Hey, I never said you couldn't bitch about the team while you enjoy the game.

I just said loyalty is where it's at.

Now, back to the bottle.

April 19, 2006

Oh for the Road Trip: Hope Springs Eternal or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Assume the Royals Will Win the Pennant

The Royals get a much undeserved day off tomorrow. Undeserved because they haven’t played baseball since the third game of the season.

Buddy Bell decided that an off day tomorrow wasn’t enough for his team, so he benched his five best starters, including Reggie Sanders, Mike Sweeney and Mark Grudzielanek.

Pretty much guaranteeing that the team would lose their 10th straight.

Which they did.

While nearly being no-hit.

When will it end? Won’t somebody please think of the children?

I was going to do a recap of each those ten losses for you today. In fact, I did the first three before deciding to quit.

It was just too painful.

Bullpens imploding, starting pitchers lasting less than three innings, being swept by Tampa, Paul Bako getting starts, almost getting no hit twice….

I think you know where I’m going with this.

The Royals are priming themselves for one of the greatest comebacks in baseball history. Don’t be surprised to see them lose the next twenty or thirty straight. That’s the new plan. Lose a ton of embarrassing games, build an insurmountable deficit, then come together as a team with a little luck and some previously unknown talent and whup some ass.

That’s how these dream seasons go.

Don’t believe me?

Ever seen Major League? The Bad News Bears? Rookie of the Year? Angels in the Outfield? Major League II? The Natural? Mr. 3000? Little Big League? That movie with Matt LeBlanc and the chimpanzee? Major League III?

So here is what I predict happens when the Royals begin making their big push this July:

David Glass kicks the bucket and the team is willed to a teenager with some wacky ideas about how to run the team. Across town, a foster child’s real father promises his son that “we’ll be a family again when the Royals win the pennant.”


 
The child prays and Christopher Lloyd and a bunch of Angels show up to help the team. Mac Suzuki will rejoin the team and yell that Emil Brown has no marbles. A chimpanzee and a golden retriever will play gold glove defense at third base and right field, respectively. The chimp will take the batting title easily.



A kid will snap a tendon in his arm, join KC and throw 100 mph fastballs until the game that decides whether or not the Royals win the division. Then he will “float it.” (A baseball, not a turd.)

C'mon, it's gonna be a fun season. Hidden ball tricks. Walter Matthau. Foul mouthed kids. A bat named Wonderboy. Bernie Mac. A trio of goon brothers who beat the shit out of the other team. Oh wait, that was Slap Shot. Well, it's the same principle. Even if it was hockey.

Anyway, never give up hope Royals fans! When the team is nothing more than a joke on Jimmy Kimmel Live, we'll know it's time.

Time to make our move.

The goofy mishmash of ragtag losers will pull together and win.

And win big.

Oh yes, they will.

Go Royals! You're the Best!


April 14, 2006

Escape from New York

The Royals crawl out of New York after a three game sweep. Overall, that puts their record at 2-6, good for last place in the AL Central.

Playing the Yankees is no longer like playing a baseball team. It's like a gang of asshole superhuman mutants from... uh, hell, I don't know... outer space or 20,000 fathoms or Yucca Flats or something.

Anyway, they aren't human.

We already know Johnny Damon is Mephistopheles Jr. But, what about these other crimes against humanity we call the Yankees?

Well, let's take a look, shall we?

Mild mannered Jason Giambi wasn't cutting it as a minor leaguer, so he bombarded himself with Gamma Rays provided by BALCO Pharmaceuticals. The result is a giant green monster who excels in hitting home runs and striking out.


 
"GIAMBI CRUSH! GIAMBI SMASH! ARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHH!"

Then, of course, there's Hideki Matsui, whom the Yankees openly admit is, in reality, Godzilla from Monster Island.



 
"RARGHHGGHHHRRRRRR!"

Now ARod may seem fairly harmless, because he's not an enormously muscular freak. He even has a weakness... money. But don't be fooled by his pretty-boy good looks and easy going nature.

For when the moon is full...


 
"AWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

And of course, there's Jeter, the killer doll.


 
"Look who's stalking!"

Really, the Royals are lucky they got out of New York alive. This $200 million dollar lineup is literally a Murderer's Row.

Thankfully, they move on to Tampa Bay.

Closest thing they have to a monster is Jorge Cantu.

And that's just because he's ugly.

Go Royals! You're the Best!

April 11, 2006

Damon Demon Damien Duh.

Our beloved Royals have been assigned the unenviable task of playing the Yankees in their home opener this afternoon. KC heads into New York with a 2-3 record, having dropped a pair to the Tiggers and taken two of three from the World Champion White Stockings.

The great Yanks-Royals rivalry was briefly renewed last summer when maybe the worst ever KC team executed a three game sweep of New York. It was one of the hot stories last year, along with the Royals' 19 game losing streak and Barry Bonds' ever-growing melon.

Last night on Letterman, I witnessed a lovefest between Dave, Billy Crystal, and former KC golden boy Johnny Damon. Despite the moussed coif and Abercrombie jeans, he still exhibits the brainpower of his old caveman appearance. It's okay though. You don't need a high IQ to play centerfield for the Yanks. Apparently, a weak throwing arm will get you $52 million.

In case you're wondering, yes, I still hate Johnny Damon. Probably more now than ever before. I had gotten over his well executed escape plan from KC all those years ago. He had turned into something of a joke by growing out his hair and beard, looking more like a sasquatch than a ballplayer. I was even kind of happy to see him help the Red Sox finally win the series, even if it did result in a terrible Jimmy Fallon movie. (Is there any other kind of Jimmy Fallon movie?)

Anywho, as a Royals fan it is my duty to hate all things Yankee. And Johnny Damon is a Yankee. A sell-out. He's gone from unassuming mid-westerner to hairy freak to metrosexual.

What a career.

What a joke.

A man sells his soul to Steinbrenner when he signs a contract with the Yankees.

No lie.

I'm ready to declare Johnny Damon as the son of Lucifer.

Here.

Judge for yourself:




Aw, I can't stay mad at him, you're saying to yourself, he looks so adorable in that graveyard with his intent to destroy all of mankind.

Don't be fooled, I say.

Because if his rag-arm leads the Yankees to a World Series Championship....

May God have mercy on our souls.

Luckily, the Royals have the ability to help divert this catastrophe.

Three games at Yankee Stadium this week. Three wins.

They can do it.

What's more...

They must do it.

Go Royals! 159-3! You're the best!

April 4, 2006

Opening Day: Quotent Quotables

Well, the Royals dropped their opener again this year in a tepid, 3-1 game.

That means they've won just two of their last eight games to start a season.

Big Whoop, right Mark Teahen?

 
"It's one of 162."

One of 162 games, he meant.

Not one of 162 losses.

Aside from a chubby little redhead from Utah, Chris "Shelty" Shelton, smacking a couple of barely gone homers for the Tiggers, there wasn't much excitement yesterday.

Maybe the most excitement for me came in the man throwing the first pitch, Oscar winner Chris Cooper.

Any advice for the new look Royals, Chris?

 
"Adaptation is a profound process."

Unfortunately, adapting to Detroit's pitching wasn't easy yesterday.

David DeJesus, you guys were facing that psycho cameraman assaulter and America's Troubador, Kenny Rogers. You were lucky to hit as well as you did against him.

 
"He was sinking everything and throwing slower and slower and slower."

My roommate in college used the old slow pitch technique on me all the time when we played RBI Baseball on Nintendo.

It was nearly impossible to hit his 32 mph fastball.

Especially after I had been drinking malt liquor all day.

Despite being a temperamental jerk, his outing against the Royals proves Kenny is a very smart pitcher.



"I'm probably the smartest person I know. "

Um, thanks Chris.

After Rogers left the game, Doug Mientkiewicz, you had to face young fireballer Joel Zumaya in his major league debut. Not only was he throwing smoke, the shadows had crept in front of home plate and you had trouble picking up his pitches.



"He was throwing 100 mph in the dark. All you can do is swing early and use Jedi mind tricks.”

Still, we should be encouraged by our own pitching, especially Elmer Des-


 
"Darkness falls. Bad things happen."

Dynamite drop-in, Chris.

As I was saying, the Royals pitching was really-


 
"Proboscis means 'nose,' by the way."

Alright Chris, since you won't leave me alone, do you have any final words of baseball wisdom for the Royals before you head back to Hollywood and I post this blog?


 
"This isn't a pissing contest."

Beautiful, Chris.

Just beautiful.

Go Royals! 161-1! You're the best!


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