For me, the day was July 25, 2001, a day that will live in infamy. A friend, with a voice half sympathetic and half sarcastic said to me: "Neifi Perez? Nice." I had no idea what he was talking about. I was in law school in San Diego, following the Royals but not yet obsessing. I was on my way to class and didn't ask my friend for details.
Later that night, I hit ESPN.com, as I did about 3,000 times every day back then. There I saw the news that we traded Jermaine Dye for Neifi Perez, a trade Retro ranks as the #1 worst trade in Royals history:
The....absolute.....worst. It wasn't even a salary dump because the Royals didn't save that much money in the deal. Nor did they get any high upside players. For an All-Star Gold Glove slugger they got....a light hitting shortstop. Except they already had a slick fielding, light-hitting shortstop named Rey Sanchez. And another one in the minors named Angel Berroa. And Neifi's defense wasn't even that good.
I was unhappy about the trade, but not outraged. Then I went to Yahoo! to do an internet search on the trade. I came across RoyalBoard.com, a pretty good Royals message board. As I read various posts with titles like "Allard Baird is a moron!" and "Glass is running the Royals like Wal-Mart!!", and the dozens of responses to each post, all cascading down and to the right across my computer screen, I discovered a bunch of other nuts willing to spend hours venting their frustrations to random strangers on the internet. I was hooked. Learning all the posters' personalities and baseball philosophies was great. Go Internet!
My favorite RoyalBoard "discussion" was when a theological debate broke out regarding whether or not Jesus really served alcoholic wine at the Wedding of Canaan. One poster (RoyalinLenexa, I think), was a holy roller and argued that Jesus, as a Christian, just couldn't have served alcohol to anyone. I reponded that as a Catholic, I'm pretty sure Jesus thinks acohol is great. Then someone accused me of supporting pedophiles. And so on. Those were great times.
My screenname was PowderBlue. I remember that I almost always agreed with a guy named PatTabler. Are any of you guys RoyalBoard alumns? Surely.
RoyalBoard changed its format to its current one some time in 2004 (maybe?), which was actually a good thing, since the message board format suffers from irreparable flaws, namely the most recent post and its comments pushes previous posts down and, eventually, off the page. An example of what I'm talking about:
Glass thinks the Royals are WalMart!-posted at 03:24:15 on 7/25/09 by BaboniRulz
God Baird is a jackass!-posted at 03:24:49 on 7/25/09 by Denkingerwasright
You are so right my friend.-posted at 03:25:31 on 7/25/09 by Neyerstoocynical
This is worse than the Damon Trade.-posted at 03:26:29 on 7/25/09 by FoffStLouis
Always low prices at The Royals, but beer still costs $8!-posted at 03:25:09 on 7/25/09 by Glassmakesmepuke
Wait a minute, what is OBP? - posted by PowderBlue at 03:21:43 on 7/25/09
I think you get the point.
I think I discovered Royals Review some time in 2006. Needless to say, I'm a big fan. The format allows for excellent discussions, and I've learned a ton about baseball and the Royals from the people on here. Lots of nuts on the internets.
So, any RoyalBoard veterans on here? Other sites you came from?