June 30, 2014

Hunk of Hudler? Yes, Please!

Hello, ladies!

The first Majestic Makeover was such a smashing success, I decided to tackle someone a little more challenging. Today we’re going to give one of the Royals’ announcers, Wonderdog Rex Hudler, a new look. (It’s a beautiful thing!) With a little grooming, any mangy mongrel can be transformed into a polished, pampered pooch!

Here’s what we’re starting with:
Our Wonderhound Hud bubbles over with unbridled enthusiasm about his beloved baseball. This passion, which is a top priority on his plate (home plate!), obviously has taken priority over primping and preening. Rex’s complexion has borne the brunt of years of exposure to the elements. Years of scanning the field with his alert eagle eyes has left him with some fairly significant creasing on his brow and forehead. His hairstyle is outdated, his nails are dull and rough, and don’t even get me started on that hot mess sparkling on his ring finger. (The bling is burning our eyes, Wonderhud!)

So, let’s get to work!

Remember, the higher the SPF, the higher the SSF (Sexy Skin Factor)!Our ruddy Rex has committed the ultimate complexion sin: sun exposure. His naturally red-toned complexion looks parched, and the delicate skin on his neck is crying out for some serious TLC. (Hud may not be a scrub, but we don’t want none of his time without skin intervention, am I right, ladies?) Poikiloderma is a fancy name for sun-damaged neck skin, and it hits people with fair complexions the hardest. The fragile décolletage can’t handle season after season of brutal UV rays. (The epidermis isn’t thick-skinned, and consuming bugs won’t give you exoskeleton power, Rex!) Lasers help, but at home, our Wonderhunk Hud can smooth the skin’s appearance somewhat with regular exfoliation, avoidance of colognes and scented soaps, and a powerful SPF sunscreen. And as we discussed when we made over that hottie Hosmer, Rex needs to follow a strict skin-care regimen formulated for mature skin—more moisture, please! (And no, a cooler full of Gatorade dumped on the head doesn’t count!)

Just don’t wear them out during daylight hours—don’t want to risk THOSE tan lines!While we’re on the subject of the Wonderdog’s damaged dermis, let’s smooth those brow creases. Solutions for wrinkled foreheads abound, and include nifty little hacks like line-plumping creams, botox, and wrinkle filler. (In man speak, wrinkle filler is like spackle for your face! Just don’t apply it with a putty knife!) My personal suggestion for Rex is Frownies, a facial patch system that diminishes wrinkles overnight by relaxing muscle memory. (Don’t worry, Rex’s swoon-worthy arm muscles won’t be affected!) By using Frownies religiously, the creases will miraculously soften over time. Hallelujah! 

 No one ever said Rex the Wonderdog is a bloodhound, 
so let’s ditch the doggone wrinkles!

There are lots of options for the modern, style-savvy stud!
Now let’s address our gentleman’s ginger locks. Rex’s outdated ‘do disguises the most beautiful feature of his locks. Instead of fighting against the natural curl, make the most of it with special hair products formulated for ringlets. Hudler is an ideal candidate for a textured cut, which is designed to work with the natural characteristics of his hair. Also, boys: product, product, product! Gels, pomades, creams—they all work with your waves to provide moisture and definition. 

Oh, Doogie!Rex’s cut is so outdated it reminds me of a certain spunky teenage doctor from the late ‘80s: Doogie Howser, M.D.! I suggest Hud follow Mr. Neil Patrick Harris’s lead in terms of modernizing his voluminous waves. Rex would have to make a serious commitment to correct that receding hairline, but it would be possible. Highlights would freshen the look further (besides, shouldn’t our color commentary guy live up to his title?!). Darkening the brows a bit would bring more definition to our fox’s facial features. (Don’t be afraid of a brow pencil, fellas—they’re designed to make those piercing peepers pop!)

Finally, let’s talk about that massive hunk of metal on the Wonderdog’s ring finger.  I had to do a little Googling to figure out why our commentating cutie wears that ring. Apparently, it’s from Rex’s broadcaster days with the Angels, who won the World Series in 2002. I’m no sports psychology expert, but doesn’t it seem like wearing that ring while working for a new team reveals some loyalty issues? (Just imagine if your new man was still sporting the wedding ring from his previous marriage—it wouldn’t fly, right?) Hud needs to put away that distracting reminder of relationships past, because he’s fallen deep into a new romantic entanglement with the Royals. Not to mention, that ring is just too much. Wonderdog may not be known for his subtlety, but when it comes to male accessories: less is more.

Because Rex is always holding that baseball (I try to think of it as a sexy security blanket), eyes will naturally be landing on his hands and those unkempt nails. Guys, it’s time to wake up: manicures aren’t just for girls! (After all, it IS called a MAN-icure!) If the thought of getting those nails polished publicly is too much for your masculine pride, at least invest in some tools to do the job at home. (Your nail care kit should not be comprised solely of the old pair of nail clippers you swiped from your parents when you moved out!) Take a little pride in the finer aspects of your appearance. Trust me, ladies notice (and appreciate!) the guy with an eye for details.

So, let’s take a look at the final result of our second Majestic Makeover!

Be still, my beating heart! What a transformation! Rex may be a man of a certain age, but who says old dogs can’t learn new tricks? Especially when that dog is none other than our winsome Wonderhud! All the honeys are going to be howling when they see our new and improved handsome hound!

I’d play a rousing game of fetch with this tail-wagger any time!


June 23, 2014

Please Stop "Don't Stop Believin'"

On the afternoon of June 8th, Royals fans voted for the new sixth inning song to replace Garth Brooks's ode to drunken losers. While this seemed like a great idea in theory, democracy has let us down once again.

 Their vote condemned us all to Hell for the remainder of the season (or, at the very least, three-minute bursts of Hell every home game) when they selected Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" as the new song.

Let me just say up front that I don't like Journey. I don't like power ballads. I don't like Steve Perry's voice, face, hair, or moose knuckle.

And I don't like "Don't Stop Believin'" for about a million reasons.

Here are but a few:

1) "Just a city boy raised in South Detroit"

This is stupid: Detroit is in the Royals' division and is the perennial division champ, no less. So yeah, let's make our song one that mentions Detroit, but not Kansas City. 

This is stupid, part two: the city of Detroit contains no area known as South Detroit. Steve Perry didn't like how East, North, or West Detroit sounded when he shrieked them over a keyboard riff, so he went with "South." 

This is stupid, part three: some interpret this to mean he's singing of Windsor, Ontario, the city just to the south of Detroit. However, I think those people are just Canadians who love terrible music and terrible food.

This is stupid, part four: there is actually a place called South Detroit, but it's in rural South Dakota. It has a population of 75 people, with a population density of less than two people for every square mile. Certainly no place for a city boy equipped with only a mullet, tight jeans, and a voice that could destroy the eardrums of field mice.

2) "Streetlight People"

I believe those two words have never been combined anywhere else in the history of language, but they are prominently featured as a line in the song "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey.

It's almost like Steve Perry composed the song in a Mad Libs fashion, but didn't know what an adjective was. Sure, writers (good writers) can come up with phrases like this that have a nice poetic sound and provide instant recognition of what's being discussed, but I don't think "Streetlight People" works in this way. 

Are these people who just hang out under streetlights? Wouldn't they be getting bombarded by moths? Or is this just a cutesy way for Steve Perry to reference street walkers AKA prostitutes AKA hookers AKA whores AKA callgirls AKA ladies of the evening AKA working girls AKA a young Steve Perry's primary source for handjibbers? It's a nonsense phrase that may as well be the title of the song considering how often it appears.


 The line has certainly not entered our lexicon like other made-up song phrases, despite this track being a massively popular piece of shit.

You know what, I take that back. This lyric did inspire a Berkeley improv group with a terrible logo:

3) Vagueness

This doesn't normally bother me in songs, but this one starts off in the first couple of verses like a story. So why does it get so imprecise as it continues? We go from this young man and woman who are lost finding each other to a much broader view of a sidewalk populated by unclear character types motivated by unknown things (the streetlight people lookin' for emotion), then some stuff about how life has ups and downs and some people have good lives and others don't, then we're back to the streetlight people, then after three minutes we finally get the first utterance of the line "Don't Stop Believin'". Just what the hell is going on in the song? Is he still singing about the people from the opening when he gets to the end? Does he even know? At one point, he even switches from third person to first person (working hard to get MY thrill). It's a combination of ideas that don't really congeal in any sort of way. It's sort of like how Journey album covers of rainbow-colored outer space stuff and flying dung beetles never really tie to their terrible ballads about "lovin' touchin' squeezin'".

4) "Don't stop believing believin' / Hold on to the feeling feelin'"

We get it, you're too cool to pronounce words correctly, or even write them correctly. Nothing makes a power ballad stronger than forcing a phonetic decision on your audience. Someone get Weird Al on the phone and tell him to do a song called "Don't Stop Droppin' G's."

5) Follow the bouncing baseball... or don't.

At the games, they have all these ridiculous lyrics on the screen with a bouncing baseball just below shots of the crowd in which nobody is singing. In fact, only a smattering of drunken douchebags in the entire stadium seem to be singing along to the song. As much as I hated it, at least folks actually participated in "Friends in Low Places." Worst of all, the thing I think people would sing (the "Don't Stop Believin'" part) doesn't occur early enough in the song for anyone to be able to sing it. The PA guy inevitably has to fade the song out just when it's getting to the part that people will actually sing along with.

6) It's not really our song

The Pirates were using this JUST LAST YEAR for their run to the playoffs. The Giants used it in 2010. The Dodgers used it in 2008. It was the official song of the Chicago White Sox in 2005 when they won the World Series. Here's a picture of Steve Perry with the freaking trophy:

Just like the song says, it goes on and on and on and on. "Don't Stop Believin'" has been passed around the league more than Matt Stairs.

Beyond baseball, "Don't Stop Believin'" was the track that played when The Sopranos stupidly faded to black. It's been covered by both Alvin and the Chipmunks and the cast of Glee. Why are the Royals jumping on the bandwagon this late?

I know there are people who like this song. I'm glad they get some joy out of it. But I'm not a fan of it and feel like it's a pretty terrible song to be a sing-along tradition at Royals games.

My hope is that next year the Royals go back to the pre-2008 tradition of letting fans pick from a few songs in each game. Inevitably I'd have to endure some Journey, but at least it wouldn't be a daily occurrence.

Go Royals! You're 2-3 At Home Since Making This Change!

June 17, 2014


After the Royals' loss to the Yankees on June 6th, I tweeted the following: 


Obviously, that was a bit premature.

The Royals haven't lost a game since that day.

And, I have to say, feeling like an idiot has never felt better. 

After the first 60 games of this season, I thought there was no way in hell the Royals had a shot at the playoffs. In fact, I was the most apathetic I've been in years. Despite good pitching and good defense and the entertainment of Nori Aoki's ridiculous flopping about, the games were a slog to sit through.

But KC finally started hitting homers and the Tigers (and the rest of the AL Central) continued to flounder and now the freaking Royals are somehow in first place for the first time since April 18 & 19, when they were tied with the Tigers.  Back then, they'd played fewer than 20 games and it was a five game winning streak vs. the Twins and Astros that got them into that brief tie for first. Nothing too exciting and something soon forgotten.

What they've done over the past nine games is pretty amazing, sweeping division rivals Cleveland and Chicago and taking the first two against the Tigers. This is the stretch in which they had to do well if they had any hope of getting back into the race. While I remain dubious about them making the playoffs (hey, it's hard to ignore 29 straight years of NOT making the playoffs), this seems like the best chance they've had in years.

We ran variations on this graphic a lot last year, with much higher numbers, but it never felt as good as it does today. Here's your "Days in First" graphic:

 We aren't counting the two days back in April when the Royals were tied for the lead because they obviously would have been destroyed in any sort of one-game playoff with Detroit at that point.

So we'll go with one. One day (that actually matters) in first. Let's hope that number just keeps growing.

In case you're wondering, up until today the Tigers had spent 87 days in first place, or, to put it another way, every goddamn day of the season.

But now they're in second.


Do you feel good?

I feel great!

In fact, I'm feeling so good, I've got a surprise for you.

It's the third edition of "WHAT'S INSIDE BO JACKSON?!"

Let's take a peek in the Puppet Kooler to see what Bo's got going on during this hot streak.

(DRUM ROLL....) 

WIBJ #3: Candy Canes

Makes sense to me.

Go Royals! 130-32! You're the Best!

June 16, 2014

Yet Another Obligatory Sweep Post

When I started doing sweep graphics in 2008 (here's the inaugural one, for those curious), I never anticipated it being a thing that I would keep doing for six years. For one thing, I didn't think this page would still exist six years later. Secondly, I didn't expect the Royals to sweep too many teams, thereby making the obligation a relatively minor one. And thus far, it really has been pretty painless.

What I didn't anticipate was the Royals sweeping the same teams repeatedly. So far, I've had to make multiple graphics for the Astros, the Twins, the Indians, the Mariners, and the White Sox.

It's kind of annoying. Why can't they ever sweep the Blue Jays or the Angels or the Orioles or any other team for which it would be really easy to make a new sweep graphic?

Why must I find new ways to represent these teams with abstract concepts for names?

And it's happened again. For the second series in a row, I find myself in that bind. The Royals swept the Indians last week, leading me to a crisis of conscience regarding their logo. 

Today, I find myself in a similar situation, for the Royals just shit-housed the White Sox again. 

I've previously represented the White Sox like this:

Not bad. A little on the cute side, but hey, their mascot is a sock. What the hell can you do?

But then, of course, the Royals swept them again.
So I posted this:

Yes, that's Tom Gamboa assaulter William Ligue, Jr., who is pretty representative of White Sox fans, at least those I've encountered. 

He's not necessarily representative, though, of the team. And the attack happened twelve years ago, so maybe I should come up with something better.

So what am I to do?

I could always drag out the bloated corpse of Hawk Harrelson, but I'm starting to feel sorry for him.

I could use Southpaw, Chicago's bizarre furry lizard mascot, but I just made fun of Cleveland's Slider in the last post.

What Chicago White Sox icon is left to mock?

The answer is so obvious, I don't know why I've never thought of it before.

Presenting your newest White Sox sweep graphic:

As if President Obama doesn't have enough on his plate with Iraq, he likely is just as flummoxed by the Kansas City Royals sweeping his beloved Sox into the cellar.

Happy Father's Day, Barack!

Go Royals! You're the Best!

June 13, 2014

Do You Wahoo?


The Royals swept the Cleveland Indians this week. Granted, it was only a two-game series, but we'll take it. Prior to this week, Kansas City was 6-15 vs. the AL Central, which is the main reason our favorite team isn't leading the division. They now find themselves only 2.5 games behind the declining Tigers and one game back in the race for the second wild-card spot.

Now, we typically do an obligatory sweep graphic when this sort of thing happens, but the Royals have swept Cleveland several times in this blog's history, and I'm starting to feel self-conscious about so much negative imagery on this page surrounding American Indians. I mean, most of it is just me using the already-racist Indians logo, but this is a pretty sensitive issue and you can't be too careful. I don't want to be lumped in with Dan Snyder or L. Frank Baum or the United States government.

So, after much soul searching, this is what I came up with:

Yes, it's a caricature. But at least Little Hiawatha is a cute caricature, right? 



That doesn't make it any better, does it?

What was I thinking?

I mean, the cartoon this is from has a running gag in which the kid's pants fall down every time he tries to shoot an arrow...

Actually, that's pretty funny.


It's wrong!

I mean, not as wrong as Chief Wahoo or idiot Cleveland fans:

But still wrong.

I'm so ashamed.

Hey Cleveland, just change your mascot already so I don't have to worry about this shit anymore. 

Or, you know what, I'll change it for you.

From now on, I will not use the name Indians on this page. 

Instead, I'll refer to them as the Cleveland Sliders. That's the name of their real mascot, anyway.


That's the worst yet.

I think that thing is a racist stereotype of a Muppet.

For shame, Cleveland.

For shame.

Go Royals! There's Nothing Racist About You Other Than Your Preference for Shitty White Utility Players!

June 11, 2014

Hoz: The Decent and Occasionally Powerful

It's hard to remember that Eric Hosmer was actually one of the Royals' few bright spots in the first six weeks of 2014-- despite only one homer in that span, he was batting .326 on May 9. Of course, in the month that followed, he hit under .200, dropping his season average by over 60 points. And as recently as last week, he looked completely lost at the plate. He was swinging at every single pitch, whether they were a foot too high, a foot outside, or they hit him in the foot. 

But things appear to be getting back on track. While his average is going to take a while to recover, he's at least had a little power surge, homering twice in his last three games. I think most of us would be fine with him hitting in the .260-.280 range if he could hit for power, especially with the team's DH not pulling his weight in that department. We'll see if Hosmer can keep this up or if it's just an aberration. He's a young player and it's hard to know what to believe.

Now, despite Hosmer's short time in the league, he's already been featured on a number of terrible baseball cards. If you can put up with that terrible segue, you can put up with Royals vs. Cards: Eric Hosmer Edition!

Let's do this!

2010 Topps Debut #13:
I love everything about this card. Eric's doing the awkward underhanded-toss-to-the-pitcher-covering-first move, his mouth agape à la Mike Moustakas. He's got a curly white-boy fro peeking out from either side of his Blue Rocks hat. Perhaps best of all, he's rocking the baseball jersey with a gold chain and no undershirt, which is not a good look for anybody, but especially not a young, chubby Eric Hosmer.

2011 Topps Update Diamond Duos #DD5:
I swear I thought for the longest time this card read "Diamond Duds." 

By the way, if you don't know who Brandon Belt is, he's the first baseman for the San Francisco Giants. 

Here's a picture of him with a baby giraffe:

 Yes, I posted the Diamond Duos card just so I'd have a reason to include this picture. Sue me.

2012 Topps #35 (Variation 1):
Here's Eric getting forty gallons of Gatorade down his asscrack.

2012 Topps #35 (Variation 2):
Here's Eric broing out with his bros.

2012 Topps Archive Combo #58-BH:
Here's Eric traveling back in time to 1991 to decrease the value of a George Brett card.

2014 Donruss Breakout Hitters #2:
Here's Eric pulling a Kool-Aid Man and destroying some masonry. Please note that Donruss no longer has MLB licensing, so this card states that he plays for the "Kansas Baseball Club."

2014 Topps Opening Day Fired Up #UP16:
Here's Eric fleeing in terror from a badly photoshopped fire. Where's Fireman Jeff when you need him?

2012 Panini Triple Play #36:
Here's a cartoon Eric Hosmer wearing the facial expression of a cow. Also, even cartoon Eric Hosmer is shitty at sculpting his facial hair.

But that's not the worst Eric Hosmer cartoon card.

I give you...

2013 Panini Triple Play #34:
Truly disturbing.

We'll just leave you with that last image burned in your brain.

Go Kansas Baseball Club! Keep Winning!

June 5, 2014

E-Greetings and Damnations

The Royals are having a decent week so far, taking two from the Cardinals in St. Louis and nearly stealing another game last night in KC. Of course, they're still in last place in a mediocre AL Central, and they may just be the most boring Royals team in history, but it could be a lot worse. That being said, we're far overdue in mocking the team through the magical combination of pastel colors, weird clip art, and snarky comments. 

Here is the latest batch of Royals e-cards for your viewing pleasure:




That's it for today. Let's hope the Royals take the series from the Cardinals tonight!

Go Scraps! You're the Best!

June 2, 2014

Royales with Cheese Soup

Hey gang! It's time once again for a Royals Recipe! Last season, we had a lot of fun making several recipes from the 1976 Royals Cookbook. As you may recall, stuff we thought we would hate, like Cabbage Casserole and Nu-Joe Special, were actually pretty good. Stuff we thought we would like, such as Banana Pudding and various mixed drinks, were mostly disgusting. 

We'll likely delve back into the '76 cookbook this season, but I recently managed to acquire a NEW (read as "four years newer") Royals cookbook. 

That's right, the 1980 World Series Edition of Royals Recipes:

This edition is one hundred pages longer than the 1976 cookbook, so hopefully we'll find a better ratio of edible-to-non-edible dishes this time. "World Series - Style," baby!

Our first recipe from the 1980 book is from George Brett's older brother Ken. Ken Brett, you may or may not know, was a pretty hot prospect in his day. He was the fourth overall pick in the 1966 draft, and in 1967, after just turning 19 years old, he pitched for the Red Sox in the World Series, giving up no runs in 1 1/3 innings. Though the Cardinals won the Series that year, Ken Brett looked like a future star. In fact, some even called him "the next Lefty Grove."

Of course, it was not to be. Ken Brett realized this, saying, "The worst curse in life is unlimited potential." An arm injury derailed his 1968 season, and he would end up a journeyman, playing for ten teams in his fourteen-year career. Despite some pitching highlights (a couple of near no-hitters and being the winning pitcher in his lone All-Star appearance in 1974), Ken was better known for playing for a lot of teams, giving up Hank Aaron's 700th home run, and being a good hitter himself. 

He'd played centerfield in high school and, based on his ability to swing the bat, probably should have stayed there as a pro. Indeed, if any team other than the Red Sox had drafted him, he likely would have had a great career in the outfield. In 1973, he hit home runs in four consecutive starts, something never done by another pitcher. Unfortunately, he found himself playing mostly for AL teams after the inception of the DH rule, and he rarely was able to bat in the last five years of his career.

He joined the Royals in August of 1980 when his brother George was chasing .400 and the Royals were chasing their first World Series berth. He retired after the 1981 season, with career stats of an 83-85 record, a 3.93 ERA, 51 complete games on the pitching side, and a .262 average with 18 doubles, 10 homers, and 44 RBI on the hitting side. 

Unfortunately in 2003, Ken Brett died of brain cancer, the same illness that took other Royals greats Dan Quisenberry and Dick Howser.

So that's depressing. 

But I know what will cheer us up...

How about we drown our sorrows in a big bowl of Ken Brett's Cheese Soup!

 Cheese? Beer? Croutons? A note about needing to drink copious amounts of water after eating? 

Sign me up!

Here are your ingredients:

We had all of this stuff, minus the Worcestershire Sauce, which we had to buy. Neither my wife nor I remember ever eating the stuff before. Though I know it's a key ingredient in the BOLD variety of Chex Mix, I've never had it in any other situation.

Since we'd never had a bottle of the stuff before, we checked out the Nutrition Facts and Ingredients, and we were lucky we did:

Anchovies? Ugh.

Not only is that gross, anchovies are something my wife can't eat because she has a seafood allergy. So unless I wanted to stab her in the heart with an EpiPen, we were going to have to improvise. 

I started to Google "how to make your own Worcestershire sauce," but got sidetracked very quickly exploring the auto-complete links:

After learning how to make my boobs bigger and my voice deeper, I finally found a page that gave some non-fish substitutions for Worcestershire sauce, and we were off and running.

Here are some nauseating photographs of the cooking process:

Looks delicious, no? Kind of like nacho cheese dip, except it took over four hours to make and smelled of burnt cheese and onions (maybe we should have used Cream of Celery?).

After the chunks melted in better, we dished up a couple of bowls and tossed in a few  croutons:

We each took a bite, and then grunted and made crazy faces.

There was just an overwhelming taste of salt with an aftertaste of salty onion. 

Ken Brett's Cheese Soup may be the most disgusting Royals Recipe we've ever made.

  Here is the discussion that took place while we tried to eat this shit:

"I feel sick."

"How is THIS soup?"

"What a waste of croutons, electricity, cheese, and time."

"I'm sweating. Feel my pits. This shit is making me sweat."

And so on.


Wife: 0/5

Me: 1/5

However, making this recipe wasn't a total loss. We did create the greatest game ever while we were slicing up the blocks of cheese.

I now give you, and the world, Cheese Jenga:

Loser has to reset the stack and eat a cheese cuboid! 

I do recommend keeping a big glass of water by your bed after playing Cheese Jenga,
'cuz it tends to make you VERY thirsty!

Go Royals Recipes! You're the Best!

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