The Kansas City Royals won the 2015 World Series. We run the gamut of emotions throughout this community from a sense of pride to lingering incredulity when we see or hear that phrase. However, I'm not here to give you perspective on what that phrase should mean to you; what it means for me and my tiny recurring role here on this site is that I should be navel deep in Royals novelty items to put into another edition of "Hey! Give the
Royals MLB more of your money!" Sadly I'm not though, as this World Series Champions thing apparently ushered in a new era of classy items in the "Official Online Store of the Kansas City Royals". Unlike every other year, ninety percent of what you see on there right now is something you could justify in one manner or another in having in your house. Perhaps that means someone competent was finally placed in the marketing department and this particular brand of fun has run its course. I'll be reactionary and assume that's the case so I can announce my retirement from trinket blogging. But that's likely only until something interesting happens in the Royals Online Store again, whereupon I can un-retire and re-retire again for self aggrandizement purposes a la Rany on the Royals. For now, we'll have to dig a little deeper to fill the garden gnome-sized hole of ridiculousness that used to be in the Royals store.
Warning: Gratuitous ball analysis forthcoming
Let's start off with some of the obvious ones. First up, the World Series Champs alternate jerseys, which I personally loved when they were announced. A one-night-only Opening Night jersey with the tongue-in-cheek "no seriously guys, gold is just part of our color scheme" silent commentary that our team got to wear in front of their vanquished foes while forcing them to watch a flag being raised and a high definition montage of their saddest moments of last year? And then they won the game to boot? Sign me up, I don't care that I don't have $300, I need to self-identify with the type of smugness that only that jersey can afford me. I was actually disheartened when the Royals announced that they would be wearing these jerseys on Friday home games for the rest of the year, enough so to save me the $300. Wearing these jerseys on anything but Opening Night 2016 just became the Wizards-era Michael Jordan to me.
So we have to look elsewhere if we want a single game special edition jersey, and this is this year's Mother's Day edition. I actually like the pink on gray look and wouldn't mind having one in my jersey rotation that I no longer wear because adulthood snuck up on me, but what amounts to an early season away game in Cleveland is just extremely unlikely to carry the same spiteful weight that a single game Opening Night jersey does. The only way I can envision justifying $270 on a jersey would be if the Royals were finishing a sweep of the second place White Sox in such a brutal manner that Hawk Harrelson audibly broke down crying on air and Moose cold-cocked Ed Farmer after charging the field for "disrespecting the game" while wearing these . We'll have to try again later.
Well this had to be on here of course. Fear not overzealous Royals fans who gratuitously use the word "we" when talking about your boys in blue, championship rings are not only something earned, they are also something that can be bought - a concept likely to make Lee Judge's head explode. Pair this with a personalized jersey that reads "THAT GUY" on the back and you are good to go.
Now let's get into the aforementioned analysis about commemorative baseballs. I really don't know where I'm going with this yet, but there are a bunch of variations of them in the store now and I wanted to compare and contrast a few and see if we can come to any logical conclusions because that's about as sabermetrically creative as I know how to be. We'll use this one as a baseline since it seems pretty standard; $230 for an Eric Hosmer ball that he scratched "15 ws champs" onto. Fair enough I suppose.
Perhaps a ballpoint pen just doesn't get the magnitude of the CHAMPS! message across in the way that it deserves. If that's the case, you can get a gold-plated ball signed in Sharpie, because GOLD! Is there $130 worth of gold on this ball? I doubt it, so there are some other economic factors going on here.
So now if you really want to up the ante, you can add "WS GM5 Tying Run" and "CROWNED" to your Eric Hosmer World Series autographed ball for $170! That's $8.50 per character that poor, hand-cramped Hoz had to manually scrawl on this particular ball in case you were wondering. And though his mad dash was arguably the most memorable moment of the Series, does writing about it on a random ball (rather than, say, the actual baseball Lucas Duda airmailed) really add anything to your recollection of that moment? Eric Hosmer has a lifetime of beers in the KC area to look forward to for the low cost of hearing about where some excited fan was in life when he scampered down that line; I'd say it's pretty crystallized in everyone's minds by now. So I choose to go the cynical route here and will conclude that despite Eric Hosmer already being a millionaire, he picked up on this loophole that he can charge people $8.50 for every single character he writes and is going to ride that pony into the ground. Just like I would.
Yordano, yeesh... I'm not sure what's pulling the value of this one down south of $200 more: the fact that "14 ALCS champs" is now the lesser of the team's achievements for the past two years, or the fact that the added words look like they were scribbled in crayon. And not a new crayon. One of those grimy disgusting community crayons that are put in the sugar caddies at restaurants that use butcher paper on the tables so your kids can hopefully refrain from screeching for 20 minutes.
Alright, this one just skews everything about the economics of baseball signatures. I don't know how to account for this being a game-used ball with a variable amount of (but no less than 10) signatures, especially with Ned's being the most prominent and everyone else trying to squish theirs together. I think I was hoping to develop some sort of metric where we could reasonably calculate how much it would set a person back to have a Royal hand write out the "Release Thine Otters" poem onto various things, but I guess I didn't learn anything.
Whichever baseball you choose to cough up the equivalent of some unemployed kid's student loan payment to procure, you'll be sure you want to protect your investment. However, no matter how great the temptation may be, I'd advise against using Royals-themed security measures, as this lock looks like it could be bypassed in less time than it takes to solve a Rubik's cube or have the bolt cut by dental floss.
One more piece of World Series Champs memorabilia before we move on to the more eccentric stuff. Now that's a pretty picture. And a great rebuttal to have hanging on the wall for whenever an errant Cardinals fan roams into your domicile and uses the phrase "baseball town." Just kidding. Don't ever let Cardinals fans into your home.
So this is a thing now? I'm almost certain I've never heard the term "Lady Cave" mentioned before, but if I have, it was definitely not in this sort of context. What's funny is the little capsule of game-used dirt in the lower right corner, presumably used to legitimize the whole thing. Pink can be gritty too! Maybe we could just squash the whole gender-specific cave thing altogether and start moving the human race forward from our neolithic origins again, agreed?
And then we create things like this to try to drag us right back into the Stone Age. A foot pillow? So it's like, a slipper for both of your feet at the same time? Great idea, I for one hate the restriction-free environment created by being a biped in my home, let's up the difficulty and decibel levels a bit by purchasing one of these. I hope they come with a disclaimer.
Not only does this item seem to be just a little too specific in filling a perceived need, it also seems a little passive-aggressive when considering the sanitary conditions of food vendors at the K recently. But if you did feel the urge to buy these...
...I'm betting that $300 I don't have that I saved earlier that you're pulling them out of one of these to wipe cotton candy off of an over exuberant grandchild.
It's good to see things like this on the website, I think it's an indication that we're now ready to move past the dark ages of wondering if it was cruel and unusual to force Royals fanhood upon our children. It's a good time to be a Royals fan... said my Dad during the 1990 offseason.
I was struggling to see the purpose of a Royals-specific manicure, but if there's one thing I've learned from television and movies about nail care, it's that whipping one of these bad boys out is the perfect way to demonstrate ennui and disdain. Take one to a road game and buff those nails while Wade Davis plays cat and mouse with the opposition during the 9th inning, you're sure to get the respect you deserve.
Now that's a pretty cool repurposing of something that the Royals are sure to have ample supplies of - broken Alex Gordon bats. With that in mind, $125 seems a little steep for a conversation piece, especially when I already have lingering doubts about the quality of the lumber Alex is toting up to the plate - a stiff Double IPA might crack it again.
Now we're classing it up! Legitimate question here, unless you work for the Royals organization, what circumstances would necessitate incorporating the Royals logo into professional business attire? Unless you're jockeying for Dayton Moore's job (probably most of this community once upon a time), I just can't think of one. Dress for the job you want, I guess.
I mean ironically, these babies are likely to have more function in the real world, right? Hipsters and such.
Nothing to see here, moving right along...
* BAH dum cha *
Ok, I know this is Bo's official game, and I realize that being a two-sport game (which kind of sucked if memory serves) is what justifies its inclusion in the Royals store. But any real Bo Jackson fan knows that a copy of Tecmo Super Bowl is what you'd like to have Bo's John Hancock on, not this.
We need to go in depth about the ridiculousness of this one a little bit, because on the surface, I think it's a reasonable assumption that most people on this site would not object to having a Royals pool table somewhere in their house. Here are my credentials:
1. I'm married.
2. The Royals are the first team that ever caused youthful tears.
3. I once had a pool table in 3 different residences because its owner and a former roommate of mine "gifted" it to me because they are the most onerous things in existence to have moved.
While I am constantly looking for a reason to hang something Royals related in my house and nearly always getting shot down, stylized pool table felt is one of about three things (and I have no idea what the other two would be off the top of my head) in all of existence that I could get likely get approved by the boss. And there's no way I'd go for it. Why? Because any guy who has brought a pool table into a marriage can tell you what its post-nuptial function is: laundry gatherer. And please don't mistake this for some outdated attempt at man humor about women and laundry; regardless of who does how much laundry in the household, I can promise you your wife will pile laundry on it and your "man cave" or whatever you want to call the place where your Royals-themed pool table resides will always be in disarray and begging you to pick the world's dumbest fight with your beloved. So forgive me if I can't pencil out $630 for that drama.
I feel like I need to explain what "lenticular" means, because at the ripe old age of 34, I've finally come to the realization that I've experienced things that following generations never will. For some context, I feel like 1989 was the year that holograms really entered my consciousness. Silver-backed rainbow-ish three-dimensional illusions, they adorned the back of every Upper Deck baseball card that year, and every pack you bought also came with a full card-sized holographic sticker of a random team. This was cutting-edge stuff. Mostly because before that, our three-dimensional illusions came through lenticular devices, and I think the coinciding sports card company for this analogy was called Sportflix. Anyway, my too-lazy-to-Wiki-it basic understanding is that you can put several different images on a single piece of stock, place a ridged piece of plastic on top of those images, and the light will refract it to your eye in ways that can simulate motion and/or three dimensions. It not only looked as terrible and washed out as you can imagine, those micro-ridged pieces of plastic that constituted those lenticular cards would release the single-most irritating sound I can fathom when you ran your thumbnail over them. Seriously, I'm cringing here just typing about it. If you bought one of these and did that while sitting by me, I might stab you and I'd make sure it would be with something dull rather than sharp.
On the plus side, at least it isn't Baby Sluggerr hitting the home run.