June 30, 2013

Au Revoir, Frenchy

It is with heavy hearts that we write to you today. At 7:00 PM on Saturday, June 29, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star tweeted that Jeff Francoeur had been designated for assignment by the Royals. This means his life hangs in the balance for up to ten days. During that time, Francoeur might be traded, placed on waivers, or simply released. It isn't shaping up to be a very pleasant 4th of July for him, but let's hope that by Bastille Day, Monsieur Frenchy will be in a better place.

It's been widely reported that Francoeur is the nicest man in the history of the world. He gives fans pizza and $100 bills. He gives his time and money to charity. He gives anyone with a set of testicles a nut tap. 

Hell, he makes Tom Hanks look like Mephistopheles. 

And those crazy eyes! And that toothy smile! How can anyone not like Frenchy?

Unfortunately, his niceness hasn't translated to much success as a ballplayer. He's not bad hitting against lefties and he can throw a ball from right field to third base or home quicker than most, but otherwise, he's not worth the money Dayton Moore has given him.

In fact, Jeff Francoeur has been very, very bad at baseball for a lot of his career, and downright terrible the last year and a half. 

So why are we sad he's being DFAed? Because, quite frankly, he's given us tons and tons of material. Like roughly a third of our content in the last sixteen months. His downward spiral has coincided with the rebirth of this website. Just check out the posts tagged Jeff Francoeur if you don't believe me.

Now, we normally do something here when bad players, coaches, or front office guys are let go. It's a very subtle, almost artistic depiction of the man's head in a toilet and the word "SHITCANNED" written in 48-point Impact Font.

But we can't do that to Jeff Francoeur. Because even though we've cursed his name in nearly every game he's appeared in as a Royal over the last two years, we do like him and we will miss him.

So, instead of SHITCANNING him, we've instead created this loving tribute to the man.

Au revoir, Frenchy.

I hope you had some tissues nearby for that. 

Go Johnny Giavotella! We're Sorry This Organization is Run By Idiots!

June 28, 2013

Puff, Puff, Pass

A couple of weeks ago we introduced you to the wacky world of Royals Recipes. Today we have a new one for you, the recipe entry for the founder of the Kansas City Royals, Ewing Marion Kauffman.

It's sad that a lot of current Royals fans weren't around (or were but were too young to be aware of him) when Mr. K was the team's owner. Under him, Kansas City won six division titles, two AL pennants, and one World Series. Since he left this mortal coil, the team has won absolutely nothing. Thankfully, the beautiful stadium named in his honor stands as a lasting legacy to the man, even if the product on the field has ranged from godawful to mediocre over the past twenty-plus years.

Mr. K was a great man, but how was his taste in food? Well, his entry in the 1976 Royals Recipe book is something called "Cheese Puff Ring."

Check it out:

That's right, for today we made something called a Cheese Puff Ring. You know it's classy because the French eat it. This is actually true... they call it gougère, though, which doesn't quite have the same (cheese puff) ring to it.

Here are the ingredients:

 And here are some pretty upsetting pictures of the process:


As you can see, making a Cheese Puff Ring is extremely messy. We thought Charley Lau's Hot Milk Cake batter was sticky, but it didn't even come close to how gluey this shit was. Once again, I feel compelled to describe it as resembling dog vomit.

Mmmmm mmmm puke!

We threw it in the oven for 50 minutes and crossed our fingers it would look edible when it came out.

Here's the result:

Good thing we put those smaller dough mounds on top of the bigger dough mounds. I'd hate to see what they would have looked like without them.

My wife and I each picked up a puff before realizing they were so goddamn greasy. Luckily, we had some napkins lying around.

With some apprehension, we each bit into the puffs.

And were horrified at how gooey they were in the middle. Were they not cooked all the way through? They were really salty and crusty on the outside, but almost liquid inside. Our main takeaway-- they tasted really, really, really unhealthy. Perhaps dangerously so. It wasn't all together unlike eating a stick of butter wrapped in American cheese.

My wife quit after a few small bites, but I tried to power through. I got about three-quarters done with my cheese puff before I had to take a knee. Then a few moments later, I found myself lying on the kitchen floor.

"I feel like I'm sweating out grease," I moaned.

After resting for a few minutes, I pulled myself up and muttered, "Oh, fuck."

The thing is, we both could totally see people eating these. Honestly, they aren't that different from something you'd get at Cracker Barrel, but definitely even less healthy. Cracker Barrel doesn't want your heart to stop or your arteries to harden until after you're out the door. These things.... man.

We still thought they might not be completely done, so we threw them into the oven for another half hour.

And when they came out, the center was even gooier than before.


Time for Ratings!

My Rating:

My Wife's Rating:
3.5 Francoeurs out of 5
(keep in mind the more Francoeurs, the worse)

So we tied!

I think.

Hey Mr. K, do you have any final comments for our readers?


Go Cheese Puff Ring! You Gave Me Chest Pains!


June 26, 2013

Pixel Perfect

Last week we showed you the first batch of video games authorized by David Glass to feature Royals players. Unfortunately, Glass's knowledge of video games only goes to the 8-bit era. Since that's the last time the Royals were relevant, though, it seems to work just fine.

Today we have the next group of games given the Royal treatment. It's time for another edition of RPGs!

First we have an update of the Nintendo classic Kung Fu. That's right: Cain Fu!

Lorenzo Cain goes from stage to stage kicking the shit out of purple-vested/purple-haired/purple-shoed dipshits. He's got the moves to do it easily: speed, strength, and agility. However, the major challenge of the game is that every fifth level, Cain has to sit off-screen doing nothing while game players are forced to control Jarrod Dyson, Jeff Francoeur, or David Lough, each with, let's just say, a less complete set of skills. It's sad how often playing one of those other guys can cost you the game.
Oh well! Gotta keep Cain rested, right?

Our next game is based on one of my favorites, Faxanadu.

In Rexanadu, you control a moronic serf named Reximus Huddlington as he travels across a medieval landscape. His mission is to unite the baseball fanatic elves with the casual baseball fan dwarves using rhyming language spells, ecstatic moans and grunts, and magic potions made of bongwater. If those fail, he'll beat his enemies over the head with his blunt sword of obviousness. The game is almost as monotonous and annoying as the real thing!

Next up: Q*Berry!

In Q*Berry, you control recent waiver-wire pickup Quintin Berry. His giant head and tiny little legs jump from cube to cube, attempting to turn them all blue. When he completes enough game boards, he gets another shot at the big leagues. Unfortunately, Q*Berry is nearly impossible to control, and you're much more likely to make him jump right off the side of the game board than do anything remotely worthwhile.

Next, we have the game probably everyone saw coming since last week, Dysonic the Hypehog.

The man does one thing and he does it well: runs. Now you can control his blazing super-speed through multiple levels in which you collect gold rings. Unfortunately, these rings are only the kind you can buy at Jared's, not World Series rings. But get enough, and Dysonic the Hypehog will become the perfect one-tool character to build your sad, go-nowhere franchise around. Because who needs wins when you got wheelz?!

Lastly, we have one of the more bizarre games approved by David Glass:

Hochi's Cookie is the first puzzle game featuring a formerly popular baseball star! What's puzzling about it? How about everything! Luke Hochevar is Hochi, a prehistoric baseball dinosaur who uses his tongue to bake up cookies. Of course, "cookies" is baseball lingo for pitches that are easy to hit, like straight fastballs and hanging breaking balls. Bake up enough of these cookies and you'll somehow still end up getting millions of points and more video game spinoffs because sucking is the new currency! The only winning move is not to play, but these are the Royals, so you know this bearded bitch is playing. A lot.

That's it for this edition of Royal-Playing Games. We'll have some more for you soon.

Go Q*Bert! You're the @!#?@!

June 21, 2013

Blank Cartridges

We're entering the dog days of summer. Well, I guess summer doesn't even technically start until today, but the Royals' May was so interminable that time has lost all meaning for me. In any case, the weather's getting hotter than balls, which means many of us are spending more time inside with the blinds drawn and the A/C cranking. Perfect blogging weather for me, and perfect video game weather for Mike Moustakas. Hey, he's got to do something if he's not going to watch any game film.

Anyway, video games are big business. As the former Prime Minister of Wal-Mart Superstores, David Glass knows this. That's why, as he's done so often, he's chosen to license the Royals beyond just the standard baseball video games. That's right, the video game companies now are allowed to insert any Royals player or property into their games, as long as Glass approves. Unfortunately, the fact that video games make money is about the extent of Glass's knowledge, and he's approving some games with pretty limited appeal.

You'll soon see what I mean, in the first post in our new series, "RPGs: Royal-Playing Games."

The basic issue is that Glass thinks video games haven't changed much since the last and only time he played one. That game was called Choplifter, and he played it on a ColecoVision in 1984. Now, granted, Choplifter was a pretty sweet game, but there's been some progress since then. 

Anywho, let's have a look at our first batch of games!

Thanks, David. Our first game is a ripoff homage to the arcade classic BurgerTime.

Chef Billy Butler is the star of ButlerTime. In the game, he walks over platforms of burger parts: buns, tomatoes, Billy Butler's Hit it a Ton! BBQ Sauce, cheese, lettuce, and beef patties. When Billy's big ass steps on one of these burger parts, it falls under his tremendous weight to the next platform. Do it enough times, and you've made a burger! But watch out for the the evil Ketchup Dogs, Pickle Dudes, and Egg-Men, goo goo g'joob! If you win the game, you're blessed with consistency, a high Zagat rating, and the scorn of casual diners who want your restaurant to be something different than what it is. Oh well!

Our next video game is based on the Atari hit, Pitfall!

In Pitfall 3b, you control Pitfall Mikey as he swings his way through the jungle. Make sure to watch out for Vortex, the spinning Storm Chasers mascot, and the pits that lead to AAA Omaha. Pitfall 3b maintains the spirit of the original game in that there is no way to win. Players will eventually just get tired of the same shit over and over, the stifling, numbing mediocrity of doing just enough to avoid Omaha, that they'll finally just let Pitfall Mikey get caught by Vortex or demote him through the pit on their own.

Next up: Mega Mendoza!

An update of Mega Man, this game posits that Luis Mendoza is part robot/part long-haired Mexican pitcher. Other than Mendoza's pixelated flowing locks, it's not much different than the original game. Mega Mendoza has to fight his way through a throng of competing mediocre robot pitchers to have a chance to be in the rotation. What's surprising is that so many sequels have already been made based on this property.

Then, of course, is Dayton Kong:

In this game, hard-working Italian second-baseman Johnny Giavotella must battle through several levels of insane challenges doled out by the evil GM (Gorilla Manager) Dayton Kong. Jumpman Johnny fights off barrels, springs, fireballs, and more as he attempts to get to the top of the screen so he can steal Chris Getz's spot on the GM's pedestal. Will he ever get there, and even if he does, will the game just start over immediately? I think we all know the answer to that.

And finally, we'll wrap up this post with Frenchy Open Golf:

It's one of the worst kept secrets in baseball: Jeff Francoeur prefers to swing only at pitches in the dirt. Here, Nintendo has taken the idea and run (well, walked leisurely) with it, in Frenchy Open Golf. Use the power meter to time Frenchy's swing and whack the hell out of the ball! If you miss, make Frenchy throw the ball as far as you can with his amazing arm. WARNING: Children who play Frenchy Open Golf have been known to act out the violence it contains, delivering nut taps to others with wreckless abandon.

That's it for this edition of RPGs. Have a great weekend!

Go Video Games! You're the Best!

June 19, 2013

Styling and Profiling

 Every night, we watch Ryan Lefebvre and Rex Hudler advertising goofy Royals promotions like Royals scarves, Sluggerrr Piggybanks, and of course, a set of Bobble Penises with red, yellow, and green hats.

But few fans are aware of a promotion the Royals only extend to a select group of their fans. That's right, I'm talking about the exclusive entry into the Royals Museum of Art. The museum was added last summer as a hidden, underground addition to the Royals Hall of Fame. It can only be accessed, however, if you tell the Hall of Fame tour guide the secret password.

Now, we don't know the password, or we would share it with you. But we have seen most of the art, and we CAN share that with you, one exhibit piece at a time. 

How did we gain such privileged access to the art? Three words: Breaking and entering.

The exhibit we're sharing with you this time is a collection of pieces created by Ida Claxton, owner-operator of the Mercer House Bed and Breakfast in Princeton, MO. In her art, Ida attempts to capture the essence of her subject's personality and preserve the Victorian tradition of psaligraphy, or as you may know it, cutting black paper silhouettes.

Those who stay at Claxton's B & B will be treated to a thick book containing the profiles of nearly every citizen of Princeton from the last two decades. Having run out of people to render, she recently turned her attention to politicians, actors, and yes, professional athletes. Fourteen of her 3" by 5" silhouettes are now featured in the Royals Museum of Art. They evoke an elegant nostalgia while presenting clean, delicate profiles. Despite the limited nature of this work, viewers will find the images to be immediately recognizable, and ironically, even gain some insight into the character of the men.

Royales with Cheese is honored to present to you Finely Cut Men:

Oh, Ida Claxton, you have stolen my heart. Someday, it will be our two silhouettes on the shade.

Go Royals! You're the Best!

June 17, 2013

Management, Generally

Well, this sure seemed like a good idea at the time. Between my work, my music (I’m also a musician!), and my hectic masturbation schedule, it had taken me half-past a fortnight to complete even half of the following piece of soon-to-be famous blogging lore. This is where we were when I started: An 8-20 record in May. The despirational stink of trotting out your franchise GOAT to try to fix the punch-and-judy wondertwins. Losses. To. The. Astros. #Royalling

Well, well, well. Would you look at where we are now? Ever since yours truly turned on the charm and posted on this here site on June 1st, we’re 11-3!! Not a coincidence!! Well, I should have known such things would happen, and this whole ruse now seems irrelevant; a post on whom would take over when the inevitable Dayton shitcanning happens.

Whelp, that’s no reason to scrap thirty whole minutes of work over two weeks, now is it? So I decided to finish up looking at possible future GMs. You might remember seven years ago (!!!) JR looked at GM candidates, but times have changed. I pre-emptively give this post 5 out of a possible 5 Franceours.

Keith Law

Pros: Super nerd-wad stat geek got his start at Baseball Prospectus, and then turned all-around super nerd-wad stat geek for the Toronto Blue Jays dynasty of the mid-2000’s. Since 2006, he’s served as ESPN’s resident baseball super nerd-wad stat geek. He has degrees in economics from Harvard and Carnegie Mellon, which, I guess is cool, if you want to be a super nerd-wad stat geek.

Cons: Klawman is an author whose articles are only available on the ESPN Insider service. That’s a pretty penny for the Glass family. Even with discounts for signing on for multiple years, you’re still charged $2.50/month. We all know how much these guys love their GMs four-five-seven-year plans. Those monthly fees add up quick.

KC Connection: Had burnt ends at Oklahoma Joe’s last year at the All Star Game. Even though it was totally awesome and the greatest BBQ, Law still said it was only average, just to piss off people on twitter.

Marv Levy

Pros: Curveball!! (That’s a baseball term). Remember, this is the organization that once tried out a fast-pitch softball player, or at least that’s what Posnanski’s tells me. So why not? Lots of similarities between baseball and football. Both involve balls. Both involve hits. Both once involved Bo Jackson (omg Bo Jackson). Seems like a logical place to start.

Cons: Levy, despite being a Hall of Fame coach, lost four Super Bowls in-a-row. Still!! You gotta get to the Super Bowls first. But, let’s face it, the AFC in the early 90’s was like the Kansas City Royals of football conferences.

KC Connection: From 1978-1982 Levy coached the Kansas City Chiefs to a 31-42 record. He’s got experience!! At losing!! Right across the parking lot!! I don’t know if the Royals would be able to pass up on somebody with that kind of resume.

Bill Simmons

Pros: The so-called “Sports Guy” has been bringing his every-man schtick to the ESPN internardz since 2001. In 2011, he started Grantland.com, a website read by know-it-all assholes all around the world. Although, he did have the foresight to get everybody’s favorite Royals Eeeyore, Rany Jazayerli, to write for him, whom Simmons will likely hire again, this time to perform monthly séances in the HyVee View Level to raise the ghost of Dan Quisenberry. Like I said: Pros. Simmons is also a notorious Boston honk, which is fine because nobody ever talks about Boston.

Cons: Simmons has notably lobbied incessantly for just about every NBA GM opening over the past decade. He’s also the self-christened “Picasso of the NBA Trade Machine” which means we’d be constantly trying to trade Tim Collins and Yordano Ventura for Chase Utley and Vin Baker’s expiring contract.

KC Connection: Curtis Leskanic pitched for the Royals in the magical 2003 season. He’s also the pitcher of record in game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, credited with the win for the Red Sox in their down-three-to-one series comeback against the Yankees, which Simmons would prolly never shut the fuck up about.

My Vacuum Cleaner

Pros: Trusty, sturdy, durable. It’s stood the test of time. Also, it’s a Dirt Devil, which, I don’t know, is probably some old baseball honkey’s go-to term for a good defensive shortstop. Let’s be honest here. It couldn’t do much worse than what we’ve had the past 25 years...right? RIGHT??

Cons: It sucks (PUN!!).

KC Connection: It was purchased by my mother in Kansas City as a Christmas present. But it is red, and them there's Cardinals colors. We don't take kindly to Cardinals around here.

Harold Reynolds

Pros: In 2006, the former Mariners star (?) was shown the door by ESPN for a, quote, “pattern of sexual harassment,” which, let’s face it, is pretty damn hard to do at ESPN. Well, tradition runs deep at the Bristol fraternity of baseball idiots, as Steve Phillips was shitcanned less than three years later for banging PAs. That’s the type of organizational consistency lacking in KC. (And if you’re scoring at home, yes, I just listed Harold Reynolds’ ‘pattern of sexual harassment’ as a pro).

Cons: Reynolds is the head lieutenant in today’s Anti-Mother’s-Basementers Brigade, dismissing statistics as mere poppycock by deriding newfangled evidence of baseball goodness like OBP and applauding time-honored nonsense like pitcher wins. He should be able to step in day one and not miss a beat.

KC Connection: He was once famously gunned down in a game by Bo Jackson (omg Bo Jackson).

Dayton Moore

Pros: Hey, at least I didn’t say Allard Baird.

Go Dayton!! You're the best!!

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