For every cherry, there is a pit. For every melody, there is an out of tune piano. For every Eric Hosmer, there is an Eduardo Villacis.
For every list highlighting the greatest players and moments of the Kansas City Royals over the past 50 years, there must, by definition, be a list of the worst players and moments in Kansas City Royals history over the past 50 years. This is that list.
50 Years is a long time for a franchise with only two World Series Trophies, nine playoff appearances and four pennants. It’s also a long time for a team who has finished last in the division eight times; finished fifth or worse twelve times, and lost 95 or more games nine times.
For every rainbow, there is a dark cloud. Welcome, friends, to the Worst of the Kansas City Royals – 1969-2018.
The criteria for these is, admittedly, subjective. Over the past 50 years, there have been a TON of awful moments – terrible moments – gut-wrenching moments. But this, my friends, is the curdle under the cream of the crop. This, my friends, is the stain in your Saturday night “get some” underpants. This, my friends, are the worst moments in the 50 year history of our beloved Kansas City Royals. I’ll publish a couple a week throughout the season and summarize them as I can.
Feel free to argue, comment, laugh, disagree. I don’t care. It’s not my franchise.
First up in the list of the 50 Worst Royals Moments, we present… Sluggerrr.
It was Opening Day, 1996. Sluggerrr, the lion mascot that has as much to do with the Royals as the Phillie Phanatic has to do with gynecology, was born. And oh, what a life he has led. At first, the silliness was just that his tail would flap around when he walked through the crowd. He once hit my mom in the back of the head with that phallic thing. But then, in recent years, things took a dark turn for Sluggerrr.
In 2014, there was a photograph on Twitter that heavily implied that there was some unsanctioned fornication going on with none other than Mrs. Met. The better half (sphere?) or Mr. Met, the mascot for the Mets. It got fairly awkward when the two teams would meet up in the World Series a year later.
— Sluggerrr (@Sluggerrr) March 10, 2014
Now we know that Sluggerrr rrreally earrrns those extrrra rrrrrrrr’s in his name. We know that because Sluggerrr is dtf. A year earlier, a photo surfaced of Sluggerrr (or, and the Royals want to be very clear about this, a Sluggerrr COSTUME), appeared at a bachelor or bachelorette party doing… um… getting… eh… getting… well, Sluggerrr was riding the pink pony to paradise.So we know that Sluggerrr has a track record on the bad side of the tracks. But this may be graduating from a misdimeanor to a felony. Our nomination for 50th worst moment in Royals history happened on September 8, 2009. Royals fan John Coomer had just changed seats – likely because it was rainy that night, the Royals were winning and there were maybe 30 people left in the stands because the lineup featured David DeJesus hitting leadoff and Mitch Maier batting second. Oh and Yunieski Betancourt went 0-3 with a walk and a strikeout. Anyway, Coomer went over to the visitors dugout and it so happened that was the same time as the popular* hot dog toss.
*popular with seven year olds only
Sluggerrr wound back and heaved his wiener toward the crowd striking Mr. Coomer in the eye causing him permanent damage. According to “Foundations of Law: Cases, Commentary and Ethics” (it’s available on Amazon if you can’t sleep) Coomer suffered “a ‘traumatic’ cataract’ in the eye” and would require surgery. He would describe the blow of the hot dog to his eye as “pretty forceful” which any seven year old would immediately begin to giggle at.
Coomer sued the Royals. It made the news. It was silly. They even made the guy who was Sluggerrr (the real one, not the lap dance one) testify in court. It was flopping around the courts for over five years, but Coomer would eventually lose with a judge stating that Mr. Coomer was 100% at fault since, during the incident, he was watching the 4,000,000 foot high television screen in centerfield instead of the performer dressed as a cartoon lion flinging processed meats in his direction. (I’m paraphrasing here.)
Still, it’s never usually good news when your mascot makes the news. Mariner Moose broke his leg. Tommy Lasorda and Phillie Phanatic get into a fight. Sluggerrr likes to get down at pound town and fling dongs at fans. Not good, indeed.
Congratulations, Sluggerrr. You’ve eaRRRRRRRRned the 50th spot on the 50th Worst Royals Moments.
Up next… #49.