April 29, 2014

Prospect Runway

1992 was a crazy year. The Cold War ended. The Cartoon Network began. George Bush puked on the Japanese Prime Minister. A team from Canada won the World Series. The NBA's "Dream Team" embarrassed some kids from Croatia to win gold in Barcelona. Billy Ray Cyrus unleashed two evils on the world with his hit single "Achy-Breaky Heart" and the birth of his daughter, Miley Cyrus.

And last but not least, baseball cards went bananas, releasing a ridiculous amount of rookie cards, most featuring players that wouldn't make the big leagues for several years, and in some cases, never would.

These cards featured players so fresh, most of them weren't even wearing uniforms. In fact, they look like really shitty senior class photos. Even worse, they look like really shitty senior class photos from 1992.

So let's celebrate the goofiness with a new edition of Royals vs. Cards! Here are some of the worst rookie cards from 1992 featuring Royals players:


1992 Bowman #560:
Smilin' Joe Randa tentatively grabs his wrist as he models a long-sleeve striped shirt tucked into his loosely belted stone-washed jeans.


1992 Topps Stadium Club Dome #74:
Shane Halter is smartly dressed in a fresh-off-the-cardboard-backing pink dress shirt from Van Heusen. Also, he's wearing his mom's watch.


1992 Topps Stadium Club Dome #57:
Dwayne Gerald knows that paisley isn't just for ugly neckties anymore; it's also for ugly dress shirts. However, he redeems himself with his hi-top fade haircut and pinky ring.


1992 Bowman #277:
Doug Linton tries to hide his boner while rocking the white khaki/puffy purple shirt look in this preppy ensemble first worn by Mark-Paul Gosselaar on the hit show Saved by the Bell.


1992 Bowman #349:
Paul Byrd strikes a confident grin as he kneels forward in his denim shirt, his left arm conveniently hiding the Looney Tunes characters embroidered on the front pocket.


1992 Topps Stadium Club Dome #11:
Brian Barber poses as Auguste Rodin's "The Thinker." That is, if "The Thinker" were wearing white jeans, a Bugleboy polo, and a watch on the inside of his wrist.


1992 Topps Stadium Club Dome #152:
Desmond "Desi" Relaford contemplates his future as he leans against a young tree, his hi-top fade complemented by a silk flower-print/vertical-striped shirt, a fashion popularized by Mark Curry on TGIF's Hangin' with Mr. Cooper.


1992 Bowman #155:
Kevin Young has got it goin' on! He sports a double-breasted blazer over a white turtleneck, cuffed loose-fit Jordache Jeans, and black sneakers. Also, he has a giant bat for some reason. The man just oozes
S-M-O-O-T-H.


1992 Topps Stadium Club Dome #182:
Chris Stynes looked in a mirror the morning of this photo shoot and thought, "Goddamn, that's a sweet mustache." He was wrong, of course.


And finally...

1992 Bowman #79:
For this shot, Ryan Long took his cues from Timbuk 3, the band that hit it big with "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades." In 2014, he still takes his cues from Timbuk 3, as nobody remembers that band, and nobody remembers Ryan Long, either.

Well, that's it for this edition of Royals vs. Cards.

We hope you've enjoyed this terrifying trip into the horrors of draft-pick busts, stone-washed jeans, and portrait studio backgrounds.

Go Doug Linton! I Remember Watching You Strike Out Six Consecutive Batters Once! It Was Crazy Because You Weren't Very Good!

April 25, 2014

Iron Oxide German Surname

It's been a rough five days for the Royals. They've lost four games to division rivals Cleveland and Minnesota and fallen back below .500.

But worst of all, they had to spend the last several days without their beacon on the basepaths,
"Trusty" Rusty Kuntz.


During Monday's batting practice at Cleveland's Not-Jacobs-But-Some-Dumb-Corporate-Name Field, Kuntz was struck by a line drive off the bat of Salvador Perez.

For the Royals, this was devastating. Rusty the Frown going down was a shocking, bizarre experience.

First baseman Eric Hosmer, who was in the clubhouse taking a whiz at the time of the incident, stated, "This blindsided us. It's like Bambi's Mom, Fredo Corleone, Edith Bunker, you know? Like Jimi and Janis and Kurt and Otis and that dude from Sublime. This is messed up. It's like every dumbass teenager who ever got creamed by a bus in those Final Destination movies. We're stunned, you know?

Hosmer was then informed that Kuntz had merely broken his arm, and had not died.

"Oh..." he said. "Baller."

Salvador Perez, the Royals star catcher and the man responsible for the ball that hit his coach, was so shaken up that he only played in three of the four games at Cleveland and managed just one hit, a rally-killing home run.

Even Royals manager Ned Yost, never one to overreact, was noticeably distraught. He held back tears as he said, "It could have hit him in the head. That was screaming. You want those things to typically hit you in the butt."

He then went on to say, "Taking a liner to the ol' behind is actually kind of fun. It wakes you up. Makes you feel alive. Jars some stuff loose. But the wrist? No sir. Hell no. But Kuntzy will be fine. He's The Kuntz."

In his place, the Royals had to use Mike Jirschele as the first-base coach. There were some hiccups, to say the least.

In fact, Kansas City players were getting called out right and left for running out of the baseline. On Tuesday, Omar Infante, a veteran in his twelfth season, accidentally ran toward third base after making contact in the top of the sixth.

"Jirsch is a good bench coach," Omar said. "He always knows the perfect time to offer you sunflower seeds or give you a mid-game backrub. But we need Rusty to show us the way."

Jirschele agreed. "Over 30 years in the minors couldn't prepare me for trying to coach in Cleveland. The bright lights, the jeering fans, and the stink coming off the lake... Mother of God. And someone said we're going to Baltimore next! I heard a guy got murdered there once! I'll be the happiest guy on the team when Ol' Rusty Nails is on the field and I'm back in the dugout."

Luckily for Jirschele and the Royals, Kuntz will return to the first-base coach's box tonight against the Orioles. He had a plate and eight screws inserted into his arm during surgery on Wednesday.

While he'll struggle to get through airport security the rest of his life, the Royals coach was upbeat. "They put me in this crazy cast," he said, "and all the guys signed it. I couldn't have asked for a better Secretary's Day present from the team, really."


The cast has the signatures of every current Royals player and coach, making it worth tens of dollars. "It means a lot to me," Kuntz said, "But we already decided it would mean even more to a lucky fan."

That's right. In six-to-eight weeks, Royals Charities will auction off the cast, provided Rusty doesn't funkify it too badly with his back sweat.

And if the Royals go back to their winning ways, a little stink may not even matter.

Go Rusty Kuntz! Keep Distracting Us From Losing!


Editor's Note #1: It's pronounced RUSTY KOONTZ. Grow up, okay?



Editor's Note #2: Yes, we realize we photoshopped his cast with a drawing of a nipple on it. Still, we feel like we have the moral high-ground here because that's art, not a mispronunciation of a word.



Editor's Note #3: As of press time, Dick Pole could not be reached for comment.



Editor's Note #4: It's pronounced DICK POLE.



Editor's Note #5: Why are you still reading this? Go take a Buzzfeed quiz or something.



Editor's Note #6: Go Editor's Note #4! You're the Best!


April 21, 2014

Bellwether's Guide to the American League Central: Cleveland

Hey!! The Royals!! They’re back!! And winning!! Also losing!! Actually a little of both!! Good for them!! 

You can tell I’m pretty excited about baseball. (I mean, Exclamation Point City, amirite?). After last year’s run to Just Short of the Promised Land of a One Game Playoff That Wad (sic) Davis Would Have Probably Started In, all of us Royals faithful are hoping this year’s team will turn the corner from slightly above mediocre to slightly above slightly above mediocre. So, we must prepare. As the great prophet Zach de la Rocha once said, “I have to go to the bathroom.” No, wait...that’s not it. Know Your Enemy!! Know your enemy.

So, here at Royales With Cheese, I will be taking an in-depth look at our Boys in Blue’s division foes one-by-one. First up: CLEVELAND

What’s a Cleveland? 

Cleveland is a gem, affectionately known as “Exclamation Point City of the Cuyahoga River,” and also “Slightly Less of a Butthole Than Toledo.”

Can you give us some fun facts? 

Cleveland is home to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame because some dude in Cleveland coined the term “Rock & Roll” which makes me hold out hope that the “Goggins-esque” Hall of Fame will one day be built on my forehead. The Rock & Roll HOF is a stupid, horrible place, unless your favorite five favorite bands are Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Springsteen, and U2.

Cleveland was once one of the largest five cities in America. This was presumably until people realized they lived in Cleveland. SRSLY THO it was a large manufacturing hub until the Great Depression. Then, to make matters worse, a series of economic miscalculations caused Cleveland’s abandoned factories to stay silent as America experienced the great Dildo Boom of the 1980s. (Why do you think Pittsburgh’s so nice? That’s dildo money)

Cleveland was once home to a professional basketball team that LeBron James played for called “The Cavaliers.” No, seriously. Look it up.

Ever been there?

When I was in college, I went to the national conference of a social organization I belonged to, which was hosted in -- you guessed it -- Cleveland. While there, me and some of my brethren wandered down to West 6th St and proceeded to get 2006 Royals roster shitty. Well, I met a nice young lady down there, and after a night of [redacted] (safe redacted) I slept thru my wake-up call and missed my flight back home, that my dad had paid for. I told him that it was because the light rail system was down, and I had to take the bus to the airport.

About a year later, I’m at my brother’s wedding and me and the other groomsmen are shooting shit and telling war stories and being generally beer’d up jackasses, when I regale them with the tale of Cleveland and [redacted]ing and flight missing. My dad stops the story dead in its tracks and scolds me in front of all my brother’s friends. Don’t lie to your dad. CLEVELAND!!

Also, I got the student run radio station at Cleveland State to play At the Drive In while I was there, so I guess Cleveland’s not all bad.

They got a baseball team there, right?

They do!

What are they called?

The Indians!

Wait, seriously?

Yep! In our modern if-you-don’t-like-something-or-someone-just-call-it-super-racist-until-everyone-hates-it-too culture it’s pretty amazing that there’s still a team called “The Indians” until you realize that “The Redskins” still exist. But, hey, Cleveland, at least this guy is still keeping you in the running for Most Super Racist, right?

via


So, how are they at baseballin’?

Cleveland was pretty much the original Kansas City Royals in that they somehow won a World Series once, and then sucked shit for about thirty years. They hopped off of the carousel of ineptitude in the mid-90’s when they made, but lost, two World Series. They almost made the World Series again in 2007 -- taking the Red Sox to 7 games in the ALCS -- then sucked again, then made the playoffs last year, proving that indeed there are people in baseball who know how to rebuild franchises (hint - doing so doesn't involve Kyle Davies or Yuniesky Betancourt)

COMPREHENSIVE SCOUTING REPORT


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


Kenny Lofton
All time leader in stolen bases


Shin Soo Choo
Look, I know he plays for the Reds or the Rangers or the Isotopes or something. We've reached the just-call-me-super-racist-until-everyone-hates-me portion of the program, but joke's on you. Everyone already hates me. #NoMahbows


Grady Sizemore
#MOOSEDONG I think he also might play for someone else now. Or he might be dead? I don't know.


Jake Taylor
Tough. Steely. Vietnam Vet. He was also great in Inception.


John Axford
The veteran made his bones as a closer for the Milwaukee Brewers, saving 46 games in 2011. He also fucked Roger Dorn's wife.


Tito Francona
Manager

Go Major League! You're The Best!

April 18, 2014

Kick Some Astro

HEY

HEY HEY HEY HEY

HEY HEY HEY

HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY

HEY

 The Royals!

The Mother-Scratching

The Mother-Scratching

The Mother-Scatching Royals

HEY

THE ROYALS BASEBALL CLUB

SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEPPPPPPPPPTTTTTTT

The Houston Astros.

Yep.

The Astros.

The worst team in baseball since 2011.

REJOICE.

REEEEEEEEEEEE

JOICE.

They beat this shitty team.

And that makes it all good.

Five Hundy, y'all!

Five Mother-Scratchin' Hundy!

WE BUILT THIS CITY ON ROCK 'N ROYALS!

Sigh.

This means very little, right?

Here's how we previously celebrated a Royals sweep over the holy-shit-is-this-a-pro-team-or-did-the-Royals-just-play-some-kids-from-a-Parks-and-Rec-Soccer-league Houston Astros:


So we can't just post that again.

I mean...

We just did.

But, you guys deserve something more.

So...

Well, maybe this isn't more.

It's probably less.

It's... yeah.

It's definitely less.

Anyway, here goes:


WE JUST BEAT THE MOTHER-SCRATCHING CHEVY ASTRO-VANS.

Totals from this series--

3
Royals Wins

2
Hits by Billy Ray Butler

 1 
 Lorenzo Cain DL Appearance

 Rex Hudler Accidental Racist Comment

SO...

Yeah.

We're good.

We're good.

We

Are

Good.

Go Royals! Now beat the shitty Twins, okay?

April 14, 2014

Take the Bitter with the Sweep

Well, that was depressing.

How many times do you think I've started a post that way?

It's got to be at least forty or fifty times.

Sigh.

Anyway, totally depressing weekend.

Bad hitting. Bad pitching. Bad defense.

Just awful, awful baseball.

Three straight losses to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Twins of Minnesota.

A team that has averaged only 65 wins over the last three seasons.

Led, of course, by this guy:


We probably should mark this occasion somehow beyond just my uninspiring prose.

So let's do something we should have done a long time ago.

A Royals Sweep Graphic For The Royals.

It's so obvious, I don't know why we've never done it before.

We've been good about celebrating every time the Royals have swept another team over the last six or so years with a dumb graphic, yet every time the Royals have been swept during that span, we've met the occasion with complete and utter apathy.

I think we can rectify that today. Getting swept by the Twins deserves some additional public shaming.

So we came up with THREE new sweep graphics.

And just as we fail to understand what other teams' nicknames mean when we do this, get ready to be annoyed by how the Royals are represented.

Here goes:




#NeverBeRoyal

Up next, KC has a series in Houston and then another three-game set with the Twins next weekend at home.

If they get swept again in either of those series, you can bet your ass we'll be doing this again.

Go Japan Women's Soccer! Ron Gardenhire Hearts You!

April 11, 2014

Bo is the Warmest Kooler

One of my favorite things I own is a 1990 Bo Jackson Puppet Kooler.

Of all the Royals memorabilia I have, it may be the dumbest.

But I love it.

All the rest of my Royals shit is displayed on shelves in the least occupied room of the house or packed away in boxes in the basement, only to be seen when I'm feeling drunk and sentimental, or when I've decided to randomly take inventory of things I didn't lose in a flood seven years prior.

But the Bo Jackson Puppet Kooler is special.

It's on permanent display in the kitchen on top of the fridge, lording over anyone who dare come in for a snack or a drink.

But you're in luck.

I decided it was finally time to bring him down to the counter, take some snapshots, and share him with you guys.

Just what is the Bo Jackson Puppet Kooler?

Basically, he's a thermos with a face, arms, legs, and a hat.

Seriously.

Have a look:





I'm not quite sure which is my favorite aspect of the Bo Jackson 1990 Puppet Kooler.

There's the open right palm with a ball somehow attached.

The weird two-striped Adidas knockoff sneakers.

And, of course, the hat that says in Arial font, "Bo Jackson."

If you're thinking that's a copyright issue to avoid paying any royalties to MLB, you're wrong. Here's the back of the thermos:


Fully licensed, bitches!

This thing is a...

Well...

It's a miracle. 

That's what it is.

I'm never going to have a son, but I'll always have this goofy-ass thermos.

And because he's such a part of my family, I thought I'd go beyond just this random one-and-done post.

He deserves better than that.

That's why this is actually the first in a series of posts titled, "WHAT'S IN BO JACKSON?!"

Yep.

Every so often, I will randomly fill my beloved Bo Jackson Puppet Kooler with some random shit, and share it on the website.

It could be coffee, it could be soup, it could be George Brett's Fine Wine...

You never know!

So please enjoy the first of many ridiculous episodes of "WHAT'S IN BO JACKSON?!"

This week...

(DRUM ROLL)




WIBJ #1: Peanut Shells

There you go.

They can't all be winners, folks.

Go Bo! You make a baller thermos!

April 9, 2014

Pop-up Books

Mike Moustakas has been awful to start off 2014.

It took him seven games to get one hit.

One goddamn hit.

In twenty-two at bats.

Fans on Twitter were calling him M.000se.

It's embarrassing.

But not shocking.

Moustakas also started off 2013 playing like hot garbage. And he kept playing like hot garbage for months.

We were critical of him on the blog and on Twitter, calling for him to be sent to Omaha or Wichita or Lexington or Siberia.

It didn't happen.

This year, he tied the Royals record for futility starting a season. In 1985, Lynn Jones started the season 0-21. However, he had the advantage of looking like Lieutenant Arcot "Thorny" Ramathorn from Super Troopers, while Moose looks like your textbook mouthbreather.


 Will Mike Moustakas ever be worth where he was chosen in the draft? Will he ever be worth more than a league-minimum salary? Will he ever be worth the ridiculous leash this organization has given him?

I hope so. 

But just like Mike Moustakas is biologically incapable of doing, I won't hold my breath.

However, you don't have to take *my* word for it...

Let's take a look, in some books, through the magic of Royals Reading Rainbow!


Butterfly in the sky! Mike's pop-ups go twice as high!

The following books are appropriate for children ages 8 and up, as they likely have already come to grips with the pain of being a Royals fan.


The Third Baseman Tree:


As Ned Yost so eloquently stated last May, when Moose had been scuffling for the first seven weeks of 2013, third-basemen don't just grow on trees. He went on an epic rant that has now been printed in this wonderfully illustrated book:

"Maybe when we get home, I can go to the third base tree and pick another third baseman. Obviously, third basemen who can hit and hit with power, they must grow on trees. They’ve got to. Like relief pitchers. And starting pitchers. Right fielders. Left fielders. First basemen. All of these guys must grow on trees, and you must be able to just go get another good one. A ripe one. Make sure it’s ripe. Those trees are at a hidden location but, obviously, they’re somewhere. Because that’s what everyone wants to do. Let’s just go pluck another one out of the tree."

Tell me that wouldn't make for an amazing piece of children's literature. That's some Narnia-level shit right there.


If You Give a Moose a Cookie:


In Rex Hudler's vernacular, a cookie is a bad pitch-- one that should be a no-doubter home run when served up to a decent hitter. And that's what this book is all about. 

Spoiler Alert: When you give a Moose a cookie, he pops it up.


Goodnight Moose:


Lull your child to sleep with this incredibly boring pitch-by-pitch breakdown of Mike Moustakas's first 21 at-bats of the 2014 season!

Goodnight Ned.

Goodnight Dayton.

Goodnight Moose.

Goodnight Competitive Window.


Just Get a Hit:


The first and only entry in the Little Shitter series of books. This is the perfect present for your own young ballplayer who sports an .045 average. This book emphasizes that the one hit is what you should focus on, not the 21 straight outs leading up to it.

If your kid gets bored with the story, show him the spider and mouse on each page. They symbolize the fun you can have at a Royals game, provided you focus on the mascot, the hot dog race, the merry-go-round, and the junk food, instead of the moribund offense on the field.


And lastly:


This book is the same four lines repeated over and over and over and over and over.

Yep.

Don't forget to check out these and other fake Royals books at your local library.

Go Mike Moustakas! You're finally batting higher than my blood alcohol content!

April 4, 2014

Second Chances

Hello Sports Fans! The Royals are into the fifth day of the 2014 season and they are winless. Their two losses to the Tigers haven’t exactly provided cause to punch holes in the wall or consume excessive amounts of alcohol, but we are all very, very disappointed.

Many of you may already be thinking that Ned Yost should be fired. Of course he should. He let the worst hitter in the Major Leagues bat in a critical situation and then insensitively referred to his head as a dome.

The question is not if (Yes) or when (Now), but who? Who should replace Ned Yost?

Many of you are undoubtedly thinking that the Royals should follow the Cardinals and Tigers lead and hire a young, former catcher with no previous managerial experience to lead their club. It’s the cool new thing to do, right?

Wrong.

It’s not new. And it’s not cool. Even the Royals have done this before.

 

Don’t you remember Bob Boone? Don’t you remember three straight losing seasons?

Don’t you remember John Wathan? The poor guy managed the Royals back when second place finishes (in a two division league) weren’t considered good enough.

No, the Royals have been there and done that. It’s time for a different approach. An approach that is quite logical when you consider the position that yields the most successful managers: Second base! And guess who played himself some second base? None other than Dick Howser!

Now that I’ve got you, let’s review the formula. The Royals need to hire a former second baseman of theirs to manage the club and return them to glory. And now, the candidates:


Jose Offerman


Jose Offerman was a great ballplayer and has proven managerial experience. Plus, he’s not afraid to stick up for his team. See for yourself:



To say the least, Jose has some anger management issues. And he’s in legal trouble. Maybe he’s not the best fit for the Royals.


Cookie Rojas


Cookie was an All-Star four times playing second for the Royals in the 1970s. He spent ensuing years coaching and scouting for various clubs and logged time as a big league manager. He currently works in broadcasting for the Miami Marlins. Disappointingly, he never developed with his own brand of Cuban Sugar Cookies which would have been a smash hit in Miami-area 7-Eleven convenience stores.
Cookie would make a great Royals manager, but he’s 75 years old. That’s old. We might as well come full circle and bring Jack McKeon back to manage if we’re gonna go that route.


Yuniesky Betancourt

  



Frank White


Well, this is awkward. Frank certainly fits the profile and he is currently coaching with the T-Bones in West Kansas City, KS but last I checked he hates the Royals. And by the rules of feuding, the Royals hate him. In fact, if he ever comes near The K, stadium operations team members have been instructed to unretire his number and remove his outfield statue immediately. In case you’re wondering, Justin Maxwell has been granted dibs on No. 20. Sorry fans, this one’s not going to happen.

Mark Grudzielanek


During his playing career, Mark proved himself to be an intelligent, hard-working, dependable and encouraging teammate. In other words, everything Ned Yost isn’t. I would love to have Grudz manage the Royals. Someone call this guy!

Jeff Reboulet


Given the need to offer the Royals a budget-friendly option, we arrive at our final candidate, Jeff Reboulet. Thank goodness I found this unlicensed Getty image or you guys wouldn't even know who I'm talking about. But why the hell not? Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog, the final word on all things ever, says that managers don’t even matter. If that’s the case, J-Reb is an even better option. Plus, the Royals get built in marketing opportunities when the right field stands get rebranded as The Cajun Corner. Perhaps the best part of this is the fact that Jeff Reboulet’s agent has indicated that his client can be had in exchange for the following compensation package:

-          League minimum salary
-          Chiefs Gold Reserve parking pass
-          2014 Toyota Tacoma
-          Season tickets to Missouri Mavericks hockey
-          Two purebred Chow Chows
-           The return of the Lemonade Guy, who will now be required to roam the K yelling,
 "REBOULET REBOULET REBOULET WHOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

Let’s get this deal done!


Happy Home Opener! Go Second Basemen! You’re The Best!


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