May 27, 2014

Fifteen For Fifty

Hello sports fans! Memorial Day has come and gone, the first fifty games are in the books and MLB has introduced its newest line of camoflauge-stars-and-stripes-god-bless-america bullshit merchandise. It’s officially summer! This important benchmark provides a great opportunity for me to opine on the Royals performance thus far.

And what exactly qualifies me to opine on this team? Well, as a displaced Royals fan and loyal mooch of a loyal MLB.TV subscriber, I watch an average of three innings of every Royals game. That’s about 18 innings a week, which is 18 more innings of Royals baseball than any sane person would ever watch.

Anyway, here are my fifteen highlights/lowlights of the 2014 season thus far:

1. How You Say? Ah, Yes…Aoki.

Is it Ah-oakey, Eye-oakey or Long A-oakey? No one, not even the Royals own broadcast team seems to be sure. That’s why I just call him Chica.

2.       Eric Hosmer is Hal Morris

Night in and night out, Eric Hosmer takes violent swings and regularly connects for some scalding line drives. As a result, he is often mistaken in our minds as one of the few home run threats in the Royals lineup. In fact, Hosmer’s stats more closely resemble that of former Royals first baseman, Hal Morris. In his one season with the club, Morris hit .309 with one homer and 40 RBI.

3.       Alex Gordon is God

The way I feel about Mike Moustakas (I loathe him) is the way I used to feel about Alex Gordon. I was ready to give up on Gordo years ago, and I’m fine with saying I was dead wrong about his future. Sure, it would be great if he did more at the plate, but his defense is 100% deserving of all the acclaim it receives. He’s fucking unbelievable in left field. He gets to everything, always hustles, NEVER makes an error and guns down runners like a border patrol agent.

4.       Billy Butler Is A Bumstick

Billy Butler sucks. He has one home run. He is slow as shit. He has a negative WAR. Adam Dunn has struck out over 50 times this year and his OBP is a nearly a full point higher than Billy Ray’s. We would be better off with Jarrod Dyson as our everyday DH, preferably laying down a bunt in every situation.

5.       Royals Pitchers Can’t Field

Royals pitchers are hopelessly unable to field their position. Of the Royals' 31 errors on the season, pitchers account for eleven of them. Last month, Danny Duffy single-handedly lost a game with two awful throwing errors.

Exactly what Royals pitchers work on when they report early to Spring Training remains unclear.

6.       A Royals Broadcast with Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler is Completely Unwatchable

Thank God for MLB.TV premium and their multiple broadcast options. Ryan and Rex I can tolerate, but even with a side of Jeff Montgomery, Fizz and Hud are an audio and video (see photo below) atrocity. I would rather watch an entire season of The Bill Engvall Show.

7.       At Least David Glass Isn’t Racist

With all the hysteria surrounding Donald Sterling and his racist comments, Royals fans can at least be proud that their owner is not a racist. Here he is pictured with his African-American General Manager, Dayton Moore.

8.       What’s On Second?

Even with Omar Infante’s stint on the DL, I’ve had little cause for concern at 2B. Whether we get Infante, Gio, Ciriaco or even Valencia, it’s comforting to know that there is no chance of seeing Chris Getz or Elliot Johnson on the lineup card.

9.       Brett Hayes Is Bad, But It’s Funny

Brett Hayes has not reached base in 2014. He’s 0-for-26, in 26 plate appearances. Do you realize what this means? He’s one at-bat away from committing 27 straight outs. That’s the offensive equivalent of a perfect game. I don’t even know what to call it yet, but this would be the most impressive feat by a Royal this year. I demand a T-Shirt Tuesday design be dedicated to this occasion.

10.   As Usual, The Royals Suck Against the AL Central

The Royals are 6-15 against division opponents this year. That is by far the worst intra-division record in all of baseball. Go Royals! Good luck making the playoffs!

11.   Challenge It!

In case you’re wondering, Ned Yost is 6-4 on replay challenges this year. Overall, less than fifty percent of league-wide challenges have been overturned this season. So I guess that’s good. And, challenges generally come at bench coach Don Wakamatsu’s discretion, so we can happily avoid giving Ned Yost credit for anything. Go Don, You’re The Best!

12.   Blue Jerseys

When the Royals announced their new road alternate jerseys, most of us were like, okay, whatever. They’re not great, they’re not terrible. Thanks to the Uniform Matchup Tracker, we can now verify that the team’s performance while wearing them is equally apathetic. The Royals are 4-5 when wearing the new unis.

13.   Casey W Guy

I still don’t know who/what this is.

14.   Wade Davis…Sucks?

In Wade Davis, we see the flip side of the Eric Hosmer dilemma. When Wade Davis pitches, I only remember the bad. The pitch left up on the zone, the walked batter or the almost $5 million dollars he will be paid this year. There’s no denying when you look at his 2014 stats though (1.61 ERA in 20 appearances), the guy is a baller. Such is the nature of Wade Davis.

15.   Worst Offense Ever

If Jose Abreu hadn’t gotten hurt, I have no doubt that at this moment he would have more home runs than the entire Royals team. Since that fact isn’t available to mock, I’ll use another. The Royals are the only team in the top three for Infield Hits and Bunts for Hits. THAT’S WHAT SPEED DO!

Only 112 Games To Go. A lot can happen. Will the Royals continue to falter and finish 80-82? Or will the bats heat up and power the team to 82-80? Only time will tell!

Go Royals! You're The Third Best In Your Division After Fifty Games Played!

May 26, 2014

Toon Raider

Greetings! It's time once again for Royals vs. Cards. Last summer, we had a lot of fun mocking some cartoons from the backs of Topps baseball cards. We took on cards featuring Royals from 1973 here and here, 1974 here and here, and 1969 here.

The best year for Topps cartoons, however, may be 1970. Get this, they used two colors this time!

Let's check 'em out!

Lou Piniella:
Lou can count to five (if he uses his fingers).

Carl Taylor:
 "Colleting" coins? What the hell does that mean?

Oh... Collating! I get it.

Freddie Patek:
 Freddie was known as "The Flea" because he liked to drink dogs' blood. Also, he once laid over 5,000 eggs on Buck Martinez.

Gail Hopkins:
Gail minored in gardening.

Paul Schaal:
 Paul had a serious head injury, and Topps, for some reason, thought this would make for a hilarious cartoon.

Ellie Rodriguez:
Ellie stopped boxing when the referees would no longer let him wear his catcher's gear in the ring.

Bruce Dal Canton:
Bruce doesn't coach a team, just the basketball itself. "Good job, Basketball. That's some nice bouncing."

Wally Bunker:
Luckily for the rest of the guys in the clubhouse, there are no strings on Wally's guitar.

Bobby Floyd:
In fact, Bobby is responsible for the Royals' Manchurian Shortstop Rich Severson, who lost his roster spot when he tried to assassinate Manager Bob Lemon.

And just for fun, even though he was never a Royal, let's look at Ryan's dad, Jim Lefebvre, and his 1970 Topps cartoon:
Right in the gonads. You can't beat fun at the ol' ballpark.

Go Ryan! Your dad took a baseball to the dick several years before you were born!

May 21, 2014

Bellwether's Guide to the American League Central: Minneapolesota

Whooo-doggies!! Those Royals, heh? It’s like every time they play they're either winning or losing. Man, this baseball’s a funny game. In no other sport do we turn abject mediocrity into an absolute matter of life and death. Except for, you know, every other sport.

So, to again better prepare you for losing your fucking mind over a quote from an inconsequential mid-season off day interview, I present the next in our series of looking at the other members of the American League Central.

And with that, a timely primer on a team that we don’t even play again until July: THE MINNESOTA TWINS

What’s a Minnesota?

Minnesota is the Great White North of America; a land filled with beer, hockey, and thousands of bodies of water with Native American-sounding names like “Lake Mientkiewicz.” Seriously, though, all that fucking state cares about is getting shithammered and playing hockey. They’re like Wisconsin, but with funnier accents and less inbreeding.

Minnesota is a place where everybody owns a boat and goes ice fishing while dressed like Cousin Eddie. The entire state is basically one giant Bass Pro Shop,which means it is a terrible, horrible place to be with screaming children and guns and fishing lures everywhere.

The team is called the “Minnesota” Twins instead of the “Minneapolis” Twins because you don’t want to associate only with Minneapolis, which, as a city, is basically 90% Johnson County. Calling Minneapolis representative of the entire state is like adding a line of dialogue in the Wizard of Oz in which Dorothy explains how great a deal she got on her ruby slippers at the Macy’s at Town Center Plaza.

Can you give us some fun facts?

Minnesota is a very politically active state. Hubert H Humphrey was a presidential candidate, and they’ve elected representatives as diverse as Michele Bachmann and Al Franken. Also, an insane person was the Governor of the state from 1999 - 2003 (I count this as a positive, btw).

Average snowfall in the winter is approximately 267 inches, which is slightly less than the average wingspan of the mosquitos on Lake Mientkiewicz.

Minnesota has produced an insane amount of incredible music. I mean insane. Minnesota is responsible for Bob Dylan, Prince, The Replacements, Hüsker Dü, Atmosphere, the list goes on and on. It’s like Keanu Reeves. You wouldn’t think by looking at him, but nearly every single one of his movies is totally kick ass. I guess that makes The Hold Steady the Johnny Mnemonic of bands.

Ever Been There?

Yep. I went to college with a bunch of south-of-the-border hosers, and as such have made multiple trips to the North Star State. My top three memories of Minneapolis counting down from three to one:

3 - I once saw Daunte Cullpepper at a club called Banana Joe’s.

2 - I watched Cole Aldrich’s triple-double against Dayton in the 2nd round for the 2009 NCAA Tournament.

1 - I witnessed a drunk fat lady wearing viking horns fall down the stairs and eat shit at the Metrodome.

It’s a magical town.

They got a baseball team there, right?

They do!

What are they called?

The Twins!

Yeah!!! I love Twiiiieaoooownnnnnnsssss!!!

God I hate you.

Twins, as in Minneapolis and St. Paul, are the Twin Cities, as in the reason their hat says TC on it. All things considered, St. Paul definitely got the Vincent Benedict end of the stick. St. Paul is a sale on Keds at Sears. It’s a par 3 golf course. It’s a self-help conference at the Radisson next to the airport. It’s an egg white omelet served with cantaloupe and decaf Folgers crystals. I mean, Minneapolis is pretty much the same thing too, I guess, but at least Minneapolis has a big mall?

So, how are they at baseballin’?

The Twins have won two World Series. One in 1987 that nobody remembers and one in 1991 that no one will shut the fuck up about. The 1991 World Series was seriously one of the greatest ever played, and if its memory has done nothing else, it has hypnotized an entire generation of people into thinking that Jack Morris is a Hall of Fame pitcher, and that Kirby Puckett wasn't a one-eyed rapist. (PS - if you find me buried in the woods, impaled by a hockey stick, know that it’s because I just now besmirched the name of Kirby Puckett)

The Twins plan is supposedly the one the Royals have looked at as a rebuilding model. The Twins sucked shit and were on the verge of contraction before they won 94 games in Terry Ryan’s 8th year helming the club. And, would you look at that, it’s Dayton Moore’s 8th year running the Royals and, sure enough, they’re on pace for 94 wins! So congratulations Dayton Moore! You did it!


Jim Thome
Jim Thome is 112 years old and still plays for the Twins, and also every other team in the major leagues

Joe Mauer
A dirty hippie who needs to shave his goddamn sideburns

White Dude
I don’t know. Michael Cuddyer?

Another White Dude
Kent Hrbek, I think? Or is he dead?

White Dude #3
Pretty sure this is Justin Morneau

Fernando Vina
Scrappy 2nd baseman. Former Cardinal. Cat can ball, man

Rob Ford With A Goatee


Go Twins! You're the best!

May 19, 2014

Keeping Up With The Jones Store

Hey gang! The Royals had a great weekend, salvaging the last two games of their series with the Orioles in baller fashion-- Danny Duffy flirted with a perfect game on Saturday, and Alex Gordon finally broke out on Sunday, hitting two homers and knocking in six runs. 

Speaking of "baller fashion," Royales with Cheese is proud to introduce a new series: 

What the hell is Ad Nausea? It's a look at advertisements that in some way feature our beloved Kansas City Royals and the shameless pedaling of shitty merchandise.

For example, I could post a Red Man ad like the one below:

Of course, that's not a real ad, so I would never really post it. But it's a good example.

Got it?

So for our first entry, we'll be looking at some vintage Jones Store ads. A little history: J. Logan Jones founded the first Jones Store in Stafford, Kansas, in 1887. He had great success at first and he quickly expanded his department stores into Kansas City. However, by 1910 he was bankrupt and had to sell the company. That means for the remaining 96 years of its existence, the Jones Store Co. was run by people not named Jones. In 2006, the last few Jones Stores either went out of business or were converted into Macy's.

During most of the Royals' history, the Jones Store was an official sponsor and ads could be found on scoresheets, gameday magazines, team yearbooks, and the like.

Let's check some of those ads out, shall we? Here's a gaggle of Jones Store ads from 1983-1986.

Click to enlarge if you want to explore (and you should):





I like to think of these ads not as the result of a lamely choreographed photo session with local "models" posing, but rather as candid shots of local gang members who happen to get all their gang-related merch from The Jones Store Co. 

As everyone knows, the 80s were a hotbed of gang activity across the country, with many crews adopting Kansas City Royals hats, shirts, and jackets, wearing them to signify "Kill Crips." In these shots, we see them breaking into the stadium, posing in the locker rooms, hanging out in those awesome orange seats, and lastly, meeting with their gang leader Buddy Biancalana, ready to carry out whatever orders he's writing on those headshots of Greg Pryor.

Also, did you see that sweet painter's cap in the 1984 ad? Pretty rad.

Go Jones Store! Moms Everywhere Miss You!

May 14, 2014

Double Take

Clearly we should all be writing more articles about how Mike Moustakas needs sent down. After several days of everyone who covers the Royals writing basically the same article about how Moose sucks, he managed to not suck today, or not suck as hard as Colorado starter Jhoulys Chacin, anyway.

Of course, the media still somehow found a way to stick it to Moustakas. Consider, for instance, this glorious mouth-breathing Moose shot from the recap of the game:

I mean... As a Royals fan, I know there are very few photos featuring Moustakas in which he isn't sporting a gaping maw, but couldn't they have gone with a better image for an article about his redemption?  On top of the Gomer Pyle expression on his face, the headline font is straight out of one of those meme generator websites I use so often.

While Moose's bases-clearing double in the second inning proved to be the difference in the game, the real MVP (and guy who should have grabbed the terribly designed headline graphic) was Royals starter Jason Vargas. So far he's been so much better than we expected (or could have even hoped, I think), but instead we're focusing on the guy whose batting average still sits at .161. 

Here's how the headline would have looked in a more perfect world:

Anywho, the most important thing is that the Royals won this round of The Second-Most Important I-70 Rivalry in Baseball History. 

I mean, think of all the great players who have worn both the blue and the purple over the years: Miguel Olivo, Jorge De La Rosa, Paul Phillips, Jeremy Guthrie, Mark Redman, Scott Elarton, Jamey Carroll, Glendon Rusch, Denny Bautista, Nate Field, Kip Wells, Jeff Francis, Kit Pellow, Scott Dohmann, Stan Belinda, Jonathan Sanchez, Gregg Zaun, Chris Stynes, Adam Bernero, Ross Gload, Neifi Perez, Terry Shumpert, Curt Leskanic, Tom Goodwin, Brent Mayne, Sal Fasano, Jamey Wright... the list goes on and on. 

With that many studs shared between these two teams, you know these games are always circled on the calendar. And the Royals got the better of the Rockies this time. You know those purple-wearing sons of bitches will be out for blood in three-to-five years when they meet up again.

Anywho, a great sweep deserves a great sweep graphic, so here goes:

Suck it, Purple Mountain Majesties. You just got your asses swept.

Go Royals! You're the Best!

May 13, 2014

Mike Drop

If reports are to be believed, the Royals were finally, mercifully, considering demoting Mike Moustakas to Omaha. Just about every outlet that covers the Royals was predicting the roster move. 

Then, of course, Dayton and Ned talked it over and decided they had to put Infante on the DL and call up Pedro Ciriaco. 

Some Royals fans may have been surprised, but I wasn't one of them. Mike Moustakas's good defense and terrible average make him the Royals Shitty/Gritty Player of the Year. Getting rid of a player with that title from a KC roster is next to impossible.

We've watched him flounder for the last two-plus years at the big-league level, a veritable purgatory of popping up and grounding out and flashing dipshit hand-signals a couple times a week when he somehow managed to get on base. We've mocked him in this space repeatedly, but it's not entirely fair to the guy. Really, it's Dayton Moore and Ned Yost's fault he's been on the roster and in the lineup for as long as he has.

It's like Moose is their attempt to prove the Peter Principle wrong. The Peter Principle says that workers will thrive until they get promoted to a position higher than their capabilities. You could argue Dayton Moore and Ned Yost themselves are benefactors of this phenomenon, incompetent dickheads in positions that require competent assholes. They were good enough to earn the gigs they have, but not good enough to actually succeed in those gigs. You could also argue that this is why they've backed Moustakas so unwaveringly-- he represents their own failures, his limitations as a major leaguer parallel their own limitations in their roles-- or maybe they don't realize that because, of course, they are incompetent dickheads.

Really, their support borders on delusional at times. There was Ned's "Third-Baseman Tree" debacle of last year, and then he said earlier today that "[Moustakas is] a guy that’s going to help us win a championship." 

It is true that Moose was a part of four high school baseball championship teams, and he is a proven winner in another area... he and Jeff Francoeur co-managed their fantasy football team, The 69ers, to a league title in 2012. And it goes without saying that Moustakas leads all major leaguers in foam antlers sold bearing his name, so that's pretty fucking impressive.

Read more here:
In any case, Moose needs sent down. He needed sent down a year ago, and things have only gotten worse. A year ago, it might have turned his career around. It still could, but the growing evidence (and his declining confidence) is making any turnaround less likely.

Right now, Moustakas seems fated to be the third-base version of his 69er buddy, which is a fate worse than "Bust."

Go Royals! You're the Most Stubborn!

May 8, 2014

Kooler Bo Dee

Perhaps you've noticed the dearth of posts so far this season. I'd like to say that it's because we've ramped up quality control and are trying to only post hilarious things this year, that this is a commitment to excellence, but that's obviously horseshit.

We've just been awfully busy. 

We're sorry.

That should hopefully change soon.

In the meantime, here's another edition of "WHAT'S IN BO JACKSON?!"

In case you've forgotten, this is a new series in which we stick things in my 1990 Bo Jackson Puppet Kooler, snap a few pics, and throw that shit on this page for our 7 followers.

Before we share what we've put in Bo this week, I wanted to show off a few of the Bo Jackson Puppet Kooler's features, courtesy of the box I kept him in for so many years.

In case you can't figure out what to put in your new weirdass thermos, the good people at Puppet Kooler have some suggestions:

Can you believe it? A can of Shasta soda! A drinking glass! A bunch of pencils and toothbrushes!

How innovative!

You can rest assured we'll never put any of those things in Bo.

Also, who the hell is the dude featured on this Puppet Kooler on the box? My guess is either Mike Schmidt or Tom Selleck.

Other guesses? Let us know.

Anyway, on with the Bo.

Our first post featured Bo loaded up with peanut shells. 

But we're kicking it up a notch this time. 

Here's the second edition of "WHAT'S INSIDE BO JACKSON?!"  

Are you ready?


WIBJ #2: Half a Loaf of Garlic Bread

Dibs on the end that's shoved inside Bo!

Go Puppet Kooler! You're My Best Friend!

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