September 25, 2013


A couple of our most popular posts this year have contributed absolutely nothing to the Royals discussion. 

You're likely saying, "JR, isn't that every post on Royales with Cheese?"

Well, yes.

But I'm talking about two posts that literally are nothing but dumb images.

Again, you're probably saying, "That's every post on Royales with Cheese."

Also true.

Obviously, I should be clearer.

I'm talking about the posts that featured Royals without their teeth and without their eyebrows.

I'm not really sure why, but people love that shit.

So we're continuing our pointless manipulation of Royals players' faces with today's post.




 Look at those foreheads!

It's like a bunch of Ryan Lefebvres!

Go Tiny Faces! You're the Creepiest!

September 20, 2013

I'm Sorry Mr. Jackson, These Are For Real

Last summer, one of our most popular posts focused on a bunch of ridiculous Bo Jackson knockoff baseball cards. Many of them featured unlicensed pictures from Nike ads spliced together with  unlicensed images of Bart Simpson. They were pretty much the most 1990 thing ever.

Well, except for maybe this:

Bo knows silk shirts covered in random letters. Will Smith knows windpants and trying, but failing, to look hard.

While there has been some resurgence in Bo-hysteria the last year with an ESPN 30-for-30 and a Five-Hour Energy commercial that seems to run twenty times a game on, America's desire for all things Bo is nowhere near where it was in the early 90s.

In fact, the oddball cards in the last post were just the tip of the iceberg.

That's right, we have another batch of illegally distributed copyright-infringing cards for your viewing pleasure.

Let's check 'em out!

1990 Bo Knows Baseball, Bo Knows Football (No #):
This is one of the most famous images of Bo. It was used in Nike ads, on magazine covers, and even appeared on a legitimate baseball card in the 1990 Score set.  Here, an unknown company has whited out the background and slapped some gold bars on the top and bottom, which I think we can all agree really classes up this iconic image.

1991 Bart Knows (No #):
So, yeah, this exists for some reason. If you ever wanted to know what Bart Simpson's bellybutton looks like, there it is.

 1990 Bo Knows #4:
Gotta love this mash-up of a giant Wayne Gretzky (minus most of his right leg) apparently committing a tripping penalty against Bo Jackson, backup defenceman for the Montreal Canadiens.

1991 Fun Magazine Giveaway (No #):
 And you think the photoshops I make for this site are bad? Also, I've never seen Wayne Gretzky looking so twee.

1991 Ballstreet Gold #22:
This may be the worst photograph of Bo ever put to cardboard. I guess Ballstreet Gold knows Ballshot Gold.

1990 Classic Update #T26:
"You know what would make a great Bo Jackson baseball card? If the baseball card was a picture of Nolan Ryan holding a Bo Jackson baseball card." SAID NO ONE EVER.

And finally, we have this masterpiece, which I believe requires no snarky commentary...

1991 Lightning Rod (No #):

There you have it.

Go Bo Jackson! Keep Drinking Five-Hour Energy!

September 17, 2013

A Dog in the Manager

Hey gang! School's back in session and you know what that means: kids everywhere are being forced to *gasp* read something other than their Twitter feed. Fortunately, the internet is here to help us cheat our way through the assignment. It's time once again for another Royals book report with this edition of Snarknotes!

Let's see what's on the old reading list this semester...

Ah yes, it's a classic piece of literature, the 630-page epic yarn
Yostromo, A Tale of the C-Word:

Here are some choice quotes from the dust jacket:

"I think Ned's done a terrific job." 
-- Dayton Moore, Royals General Manager

"We never lost respect for him." 
-- Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewer/PED User/Known Liar

"This team has a Yost Infection." 
-- @RoyalesWCheese, Some Jackass on Twitter

Plot Overview:
The novel is set in the fictional country of Kayceetaguana, a war-torn land of intense corruption that's chief export is burnt ends. During many years of darkness, political strife, and two separate Yuniesky Betancourt tenures, Señor Moore, the GM of the local ballclub, entrusts Yostromo to lead his team back to relevance. It's a thankless task, though Yostromo finally coaches the team to its first competitive season in decades. However, this proves to be his undoing. While revolutionaries had been calling for the head of Señor Moore, they now go after Yostromo. Feeling taken for granted and with no contract extension in sight, Yostromo finally gives into corruption, purposely throwing ballgames by pinch hitting a player who can't hit, allowing a pitcher to go eight innings despite giving up twelve hits, and encouraging his players to attempt steals with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Following a winning yet disappointing year, Yostromo loses his job and Señor Moore replaces him with Joey "Ojos Saltones" Cora, plunging the team and Kayceetaguana forever into darkness.

Recurring Themes/Motifs:
Dubya Face
Third-Baseman Trees
Deer Hunting
The "Win" stat
Ever-changing Lineups

Critical Analysis:
I read 620 pages and all I got was this 9th place finish?

Popular Adaptations:
  • Mission Impossible: Yost Protocol. Dir. Brad Bird. Perf. Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, and Simon Pegg. Paramount Pictures, 21 Dec. 2011. Film.
  • "Monroestromo." Episode #56. Too Close For Comfort. Dir. Russ Petranto. Perf. Ted Knight, Jim J. Bullock, and Deborah Van Valkenburgh.14 April 1984. Television.
  • Fun. "We Are Yost." Some Nights. Elektra Records, 20 Sept. 2011. Mp3.

Suggestions for Further Reading:
 David Howard's End
The Call of the Wild Pitch
Juan Gone Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
The Pinch Hitter's Guide to the Galaxy
The Worm Scott Boras
The Turn of the Grounds Crew
The World According to Garth Brooks
Farenheit .151 Average

That's it for this edition of Snarknotes! God willing, things will turn out better these last two weeks than they did in the book.

Go Ned! Stop Listening To Your Gut!

September 10, 2013

Do the Cathode Ray

If you're a Royals fan (and why the hell else would you be reading the garbage on this site if you weren't), the only thing you've looked forward to in recent Septembers is the merciful end to another awful baseball season. But things have been interesting this year. We're pushing mid-September, and the Royals are not yet eliminated from Wild Card contention.

But even if the Royals don't make the playoffs, you can rest assured that you'll see them on TV a lot in the coming months. Why? Because just as he did last fall, David Glass has outsourced his Royals for a number of television programs.

Here are some of the hottest shows premiering in Fall 2013:

Fridays at 9:30/8:30 central on CBS:
Hosmer Pyle, U.S.M.C.

 Eric Hosmer, stud first-baseman of the Royals, decides to give up life in the big leagues when he enlists in the United States Marine Corps. What he doesn't realize is that the same day he joins the military, his former manager Ned Yost decides to also go back to life as a drill sergeant. Every week, you'll see the good-natured but idiotic Private Hosmer drive the ill-tempered Sgt. Yost crazy with his goofy antics. In one episode, Hosmer won't jump out of an airplane because he's scared of heights! In another, he gets recruited for the USO show and to everyone's surprise, delivers a knockout rendition of "Amazing Grace!" And don't miss the very special episode in which Hosmer reunites Yost with his long-lost high-school sweetheart. "Gee whiz, Sgt. Yost," Hosmer grins, "t'weren't nothin! Shazam!"

Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30 central on FOX:
The Mendy Project

Are you a romantic? Are you awkward? Do you have a head full of beautiful black hair? Then this comedy series is for you! Luis Mendoza, a young relief pitcher, struggles to balance his personal and professional life in a Royals bullpen full of wacky co-workers. Will he keep his job? Will he find love? Will this lightweight workplace comedy bring in female viewers age 18-39? You bet your head full of beautiful black hair it will!

Saturdays at 8:30/7:30 AM central on ABC:
The Carroll Bears

Pointless trade acquisition Jamey Carroll finally makes himself useful! In this Saturday morning kids show, he plays a gaggle of adorable bears who live on the roof of a magical supermarket half a mile from Kauffman Stadium named Save-A-Lot. Each week, the ooey-gooey Carroll Bears find themselves battling cold-hearted villains like Professor Win Shares and Lord No Talent, who threaten to end their good times and steady paycheck. Viewer discretion is advised.

Sundays at 1:00/Noon central on SPEED:
The Dayton .500

It's the craziest race ever devised: 43 cars line up at the previously abandoned I-70 Speedway and race for as long as Dayton Moore has been General Manager of a sub-500 team. That means we've got seven-long years (at least) of watching cars go around and around in circles, which sadly, may provide more entertainment than Royals seasons that featured players like Ross Gload, Scott Elarton, Brett Tomko, Vin Mazzaro, and Joey Gathright. The odds of any of the drivers surviving a seven-year race are slim, but you could have said the same thing about Dayton's career with the Royals, and he's still kicking. Even has a race named after him now. What have you ever done with your life?

That's it for this batch of new shows. Don't forget to set your DVR!

Go Carroll Bears! You're Really Creepy!

September 5, 2013

Pride and Joy and Confusion and Sweep Graphic

The Royals are unstoppable. The Royals are invincible. The Royals are the greatest six-games-above-five-hundred-on-September-5th-team that I've seen in decades. The Royals, guys. The Royals.

They just took it to the Seattle Mariners. Four goddamn games in a row. They stuck it in and broke it off. It was something to behold. They lost one of them, but who cares?

These ain't your slightly older brother's Royals, either. These are Royals that weren't even Royals a month or two ago. 

Forget the name Jeff Francoeur, baby. We're talking Justin Maxwell. 

Elliot Johnson? No sir! Now we've got Emilio Motorboatin' Bonifacio.

Wade Davis to the pen. Danny Duffy for the win.

Shitty Mike Moustakas is gone. Unshitty Mike Moustakas is hanging dong.

I'm happy, I'm merry, I'm a rhyming dictionary.

Add in Louis Coleman, Pedro Ciriaco, Donnie Joseph, Brett Hayes, Carlos Pena. 

It seems unreal.

This is what an expanded roster looks like. 

I'd honestly forgotten.

 The Royals are in a playoff push. 



It's bananas, yo.

I still don't think they will make the playoffs. I'm not good at math, but I know when the number of games shrinks but the difference in winning percentage of the Royals and the teams in front of them doesn't change much that it's pretty unlikely they'll make the playoffs.

But they keep pushing.

And that's something we haven't been able to say for years.

Maybe half the American League will collapse over the next three weeks.

KC has six games with Cleveland and six with Detroit over the next two weeks. Should be fun.

Or horribly deflating.


We salute you, six-games-above-five-hundred-on-September-5th Kansas City Royals. You truly are kings among men. Or, at least, kings among Royals teams of recent vintage.

Here's your Mariners sweep graphic, even though it wasn't a sweep.

You deserve it.

Popeye will be crying in his Nu-Joe Special tonight.

Go Royals! Keep Being Relevant!

September 3, 2013

Bellwether's Guide to the Royals on Radio: Part 3

I kind of painted myself into a corner here. When I first came up with the idea of breaking down the Royals on the radio, I really only thought about writing some snarky shit about what I listen to each night and then call it that. But, being the genius I am, I thought “three-part series!” and, well, here we are.

Now, I could still do what I usually do and just list off five or six things, then unleash my acerbic wit for a couple of fart-and-hyphen-filled paragraphs, let JR add some pics & captions and call it a day. (That’s pretty much Bellwether Hamburger Helper, and if you haven’t noticed, there’s not much more than cheap ground beef in these keystrokes.) But you see, doing that would mean that I would have to procure a subject matter, and being that I have already written about Royals radio broadcasts in terms of the announcers and the commercials, I’ve pretty well exhausted the resources at my disposal. So, where does that leave us?

Well, since I’ve discussed the idiots calling the game, and the idiots trying to sell me shit between innings, there’s only one idiot left in the room. So it’s time to turn the keyboard back at myself and -- as if I don’t do so every waking moment of my life -- psychoanalyze a sad, sour Royals fan.

I remember when my mom first told me that we were moving to Kansas City. The first -- and I mean, very first -- thoughts that I had were of the fountains at Kauffman Stadium, the color blue, and George Brett. I don’t really know the reason for that (actually, wait, it was all the hours playing every single title in the RBI Baseball series) but it’s remarkable that, from the first time I knew I’d live there, to this very day, when I think of the city where I spent my most formidable years, I think of a shit-sack franchise of perennial losers. And I couldn’t be happier about it.

I like to think there’s something noble about being a Royals fan; something almost chivalrous about attaching your hopes to a doormat year-after-year. I still have my Carlos Febles game program from 2001. I’m still waiting for Mark Teahan to break out. And I still have a 2005 pocket schedule with every W and L marked and August 9th completely blacked-out with ink. But sure, we all have those things that remind us the the teams we love. With the Royals, you’re a little more sadistic than most, but hell, how can you not be with all that losing?

But, see, that’s nothing new. That’s the Stockholm Syndrome explanation that’s been fed to us for years; we’re pathetic, and we’re just so bad that nobody but Royals fans know what it’s like to be Royals fans. We’re different than the Cubs and Red Sox in the fact that nobody wants to bandwagon on our wretchedness. We’re different from the Pirates and Phillies in the fact that we haven’t been around for over 100 years... and we’re not located in Pennsylvania.

If you want to re-hash that “Aww shucks, we suck again” allegory, read Posnanski. Srsly tho, Poz is the best, and you really should read him, and anyway I don’t ever get that tired of him waxing pathetic on my team. But to me, the Royals are something different. To me the Royals mean something more.

In 2005, my best friend John was diagnosed with cancer. It was very shocking to say the least. He died in January 2008 at the age of 25. It’s tough watching the guy who was supposed to be the best man at your wedding and the godfather to your first kid waste away while you try to navigate your life after college and find your place in the world. It was probably what a psychologist would call a defense mechanism, but we dealt with our relationship and his illness by distracting ourselves with the Royals. There was very little talk of mortality or treatment or the pain he dealt with every day. But goddamn could we bitch about Angel Berroa.

But doing that will wear on you. It wore on us. And one day, I needed to unload; needed to let out what I was feeling about the fact that my best friend wouldn't be around much longer. So I wrote an email to Damon Amendolara. Along with listening to the Royals, we also listened to DA in the morning on 610. We were living in different cities at the time, but had the morning commute’s Stormbot segment to hash over. I kind of told DA -- a guy about whom I knew nothing about other than his voice -- about how me and my best friend couldn't see each other, or hang out all that often, but we were able to connect thru his show and thru the Royals.

To be honest, I didn't think too much of it, but the next morning, John called me as I was just sitting down to my desk at work. DA had not only gotten the email, but he read it on the air, and John had heard it, listening right as he was pulling up to a doctor’s appointment. Over the next couple of days, DA ended up reading more of our emails on the air. To everyone else, it seemed like he was reading two appreciative fans who were acknowledging their gratitude that we could connect thru his show, but to me and John, we were writing to each other; thanking our best friend for his love and courage and support.

Two weeks later I was back in Kansas City and went out to Westport after attending a Royals game with some friends. As I was waiting at the bar for a drink, I glanced over my shoulder -- as one is wont to do in a crowded place -- to see none other than DA standing behind me. We talked for awhile about John and the Royals game -- Buddy Bell had gotten tossed that day -- and other such things. I then called John and, in probably the most excited phone call I've ever made, replayed every minute of the conversation I just had.

I still have the items from the gift package that DA sent John for Christmas that year. I still remember the email he sent me when John passed. And I still in some circles go by the email tag I used, a pun on the city in Iowa where I was then living: “Chris from Death Moines.” And I still remember driving down the highway to work, both the antenna and my ears reaching to hear the radio thru the static 200 miles away.

I don’t know if any of that is possible without the Royals. Shitty season after shitty season, you can still make them whatever you want them to be. You can use them as a crutch. You can use them as a source of animus, or use them to espouse your baseball knowledge. Or you can use them the connect with and encourage you best friend as he’s fighting for his life.

And that’s what I think about when I think about the Royals. I think about distance. I think about struggle and futility. I think about love and hope and ambition. And I think about my best friend.

Go Royals.

You’re the best.

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