March 20, 2008

Natural, eh? I get it...

So I was devasted, simply devastated, last season when the Royals Double A affiliate in Springdale, Arkansas, was christened the Naturals, as opposed to the name for which I was pushing.

That's right, instead of the Springdale Thunder Chickens, we've got The Northwest Arkansas Naturals, or the N.W.A.R.K.N.A.T.S., for those who like to abbreviate ridiculously long names with equally ridiculously long acronyms.

In any case, I got over the lack of a Thunder Chicken mascot in the Royals organization. It would have been nice, but I understand, Springdale. You don't want Tyson Chicken to own your ass after the apocalypse. That's fine.

And Naturals. I guess that isn't so bad.

That means the mascot will be the corpse of Robert Redford, exhumed and displayed in a glass case for anyone and everyone to see.

"That's right, Junior. He played 'Jeremiah Johnson' and 'Brubaker.' He almost looks alive, doesn't he?"

That's okay, I guess. It's no Phillie Phanatic, but it will do.

What's that? The Naturals mascot isn't Redford?

Redford isn't even dead?

I'm pretty sure you're mistaken, but okay.

So the Naturals announced their real mascot the other day.

And get a load of this thing:

(The thing on the right).

Yeah, what the hell is that thing?

A schoolchild in Fayetteville won the naming contest, calling it "Strike."

Okay, not that helpful of a hint.

It's obviously hairy.

And scary.

And angry. So very, very angry.

Look at those pale blue eyes.


But what is it?

And this is wrong, on so very many many levels, but I'm pretty sure there is only one explanation that goes along with a nickname like "Naturals."

Strike is an anthropomorphized pile of ladies' landscaping.

See, you're upset. Even those of you who don't know exactly what I mean.

I'll spell it out for those of you who still don't quite get it, but prepare to be taken aback.

Strike is a walking, talking, pile of pubes. The personification of wild, untamed Wookie bush.

There, I said it in plain English.

Why don't I feel better?

I think I feel maybe worse than I ever have in my life.

But it had to be said.

Just look:

It's pretty obvious now, if it wasn't before.

I hate to be the one to finally point it out, but here we are.

(The depths of offensiveness I'll dredge to regain my lost readership is spellbinding, isn't it?)

Go Royals! 162-0! You're the Best!

March 18, 2008

Don't Call It A Comeback

So yesterday I received an e-mail from faithful reader Alan Hinton, of Chicago, Ill.

Alan writes:

"Dear Casey,

This may seem to be a strange dedication request, but I'm quite sincere, and it'll mean a lot if you play it. Recently there was a death in our family. He was a little dog named Snuggles, but he was most certainly a part of..."

Wait, that's not it. Let me look again...

Okay, here we go. Alan writes:

"Attached is the worst banner I have ever designed. Regardless, if I have time to do this, then you must have time to update the blog. Get your ass in gear."

You're right, Alan.

That is a terrible banner.

And I believe it infringes on a number of copyrights.

But I understand the overall message. My ass, without a doubt, has been stuck in park for quite some time. It's amazing (and sad) how quickly eight months of not mocking Emil Brown can pass you right on by.

I'll be the first to admit that I punted last season. I was in the middle of a job hunt, an upcoming wedding, a house on the market, blah blah blah, and I quit. I quit at a time when the Royals were NOT quitting for the first time in years. Though they still finished with over ninety losses, it was the best season since 2003.

But it was worth it, because I got a job. And a wife. And the house... eh, still on the market. But I've bought a second one about 700 miles away, so that's, uh, well, pretty horrible, to be honest. But I've accepted it.

Anywho, this blog isn't about me. I'm actually not even a real person.

So I now apologize and beg for your renewed confidence in this blog. I'd like it to make a return as one of your few non-porn related bookmarks.

I would have liked to come back with a hilarious post about Trey Hillman or Hideo Nomo (SERIOUSLY, THIS WOULD ONLY HAVE BEEN FUNNIER IF THEY'D SIGNED HIDEKI IRABU OR TANAKA FROM MAJOR LEAGUE 2) or even Bob Davis, but that will have to wait.

Honestly, for most of this spring I've been feeling like the guy who's just been dumped by his first girlfriend. Instead of looking at all the young beautiful babies who want to ride my joint, I've been focused on the past love that I wasn't even compatible with from the start. That's right, instead of crossing my fingers and toes for Huber to finally get a chance or trying to learn everything I can about this Yabuta cat or raising some scratch to buy a new powder blue jersey, I've had my eyes on Mike "Relax the Back" Sweeney and Emil "I like exclamation points!" Brown and their attempted comebacks with the Oakland A's.

This winter, Dayton Moore pulled a Chigurh; he did what he had to do because time has passed right on by for these vets and because it's his job. There was a time when they could have made a difference on this team, but that time is gone. Sweeney basically begged for his Royal life, and Dayton didn't budge. Emil has led the team in RBI for the last three years, but he was knocked off. And not even an on-screen kill, either. Just adios, Emil.

Hell, Dayton even forced Buddy "Sheriff Ed Tom" Bell into retirement, or banishment to the White Sox, or whatever you want to call what happened there.

To steal a line, Dayton's the ultimate badass.

But I cannot stop myself from thinking about these two former Royals.

Brown has been put on the A's roster and looks headed to Japan for the opening series with the Red Sox. I can't wait to see him falling over and misjudging fly balls in left field on a regular basis for another team. And just because he's gone doesn't mean I have to stop making fun of him.

As for Sweeney, he is only signed to a minor league deal, and they keep pushing back the decision date on him. Honestly, I hope he doesn't make the team, because a twenty-hour flight to Japan just may forever destroy his lumbar.

Like I said, we're better off with these guys gone from the Royals, but there's always gonna be a hole in my heart for Mike Sweeney and Emil Brown.

There. Now that I've got that out of the way, I (and this blog) can move on with this year's team. I'm looking forward to a great season.

Go Royals! 162-0! You're the Best!

Special Post-Blog Analysis from Rob Neyer

Not a great first post back. Casey Kasem jokes? No Country For Old Men? These aren't even timely references. And that may be the worst fake movie poster I've ever seen.

But I understand you're easing back into it. And I think you're going to prove that you can still contribute to the Royals blogosphere. Not as well as I have, of course, but I'd rather read you than Dick Kaegel.

I quit the whole Royals blogging thing myself recently, because I can't be bothered to write if there's no money involved. If you want Neyer, you gotta go Insider, bitches.

But you're better than that. You're better than me (not really, of course).

But you've got the right idea, writing about such a bad team. There's always going to be material with this group. I predict plenty of drunken rants and much worse photoshopping to come as the season progresses.

The Royals will always suck, but you won't.

Now I'd like to take a little bit of time to talk about some teams that actually matter. Namely, any of the other twenty-nine teams. They are all more likely to make the playoffs than our beloved Royals.

Now everyone knows how much I hate to talk bad on my favorite team, but the Royals need to be contracted or moved to a bigger market than Kansas City, like say maybe Greensboro or Newport News.

Here are my top fifty-seven reasons why the Royals will never win and why anybody who has any hope for a better tomorrow is a bona fide idiot....

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