Bonus Baseball: Richard Christy on the 2016 Kansas City Royals

Decibel horror film columnist, Charred Walls of the Damned drummer and Howard Stern Show cast member/writer Richard Christy is a lifelong fan of the 2015 World Champion Kansas City Royals. So, it only makes sense to have him pen their write-up in our 12th annual Extreme MLB Preview, right? Only problem is we ran out of space and forgot to post this, like, a month ago at the start of the 2016 season. In light of the Royal’s 9th inning come-from-behind victory over the FOREVER FUCKING CHOKING Washington Nations last night, today seemed like the prefect day to share Richard’s teary-eyed ode to the blue and white. 

As a wise, portly, wheelchair-bound man in a huge mansion containing beautiful rugs and a wife with a penchant for giving $1,000 blowjobs once said, “Strong men also cry. Strong men … also cry.” That was, of course, a quote from The Big Lebowski, which applies perfectly to my situation throughout the fall of 2014 and 2015. If you were to watch the Kansas City Royals alongside me during all of the playoffs and World Series games I saw at John Brown Smokehouse (my favorite Kansas City BBQ in Long Island City), then chances are you witnessed this 41-year-old die-hard lifelong Royals fan and metalhead shedding tears of joy. 

To say that it has been a magical two seasons is an understatement. Growing up in southeast Kansas, I’ve been going to Royals games since the late ‘70s, when I was a wee young lad. I even waited in line at a local Wendy’s in Fort Scott, Kansas in 1983 to meet two of my favorite classic Royals players, Willie Wilson and Willie Aikens! I was 11years old the year the Royals won their first World Series in 1985, and it’s something I’ll never forget. My parents were not only super cool for letting me start listening to metal and play drums when I was 10 years old, but also for taking me to several Royals games every summer starting when I was about six years old. 

So, when the Royals entered the playoffs for the first time in 29 years in 2014, needless to say, I was freakin’ pumped! After witnessing what quite possibly is the best baseball game I’ve ever seen in my life, the 2014 Wild Card game between the Royals and the Oakland A’s, the Royals took me on a wild ride through October, only to end in absolute heartbreak when the San Francisco Giants won the World Series in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and Alex Gordon on third base. 

Shit, I’m crying as I write this. My metal cred is quickly fading—time to think of something happy. Oh yes, the 2015 season! From that Royals home opening day, sitting at John Brown Smokehouse on a Monday afternoon with my diehard Royals fan buddies, sharing a Boulevard Crown Town beer, until November 1 sitting at the exact same spot, shedding champagne-soaked tears with all of my NYC-by-way-of-the-midwest comrades, the Royals took me on a roller coaster ride through the best year as a sports fan ever!

Now on to the future. The Royals have retained many of their star players, including just recently the current face of the franchise, left fielder Alex Gordon. When I heard the news that he re-signed with the Royals for what looks like the remainder of his career, it brought me to tears again. Johnny Cueto is gone, which I’m fine with, because although he left a lot to be desired during the regular season, he was there when it counted last year, during the playoffs (except for that game in Toronto) and the World Series. Thanks in part to Johnny, the Royals are World Champions. Ben Zobrist is gone, which I’m not fine with; I would have loved to see him play a few more years for the Royals. He seems like a genuinely good guy, and the fact that he can play any position is extremely valuable, which seems to be the reason the Royals weren’t able to afford to keep him. I wish him the best with the Cubs, and I will be watching him and cheering him on for my mom, who is a Royals and Chicago Cubs fan. To say that I expect the Royals to make the playoffs in 2016 is something that I never would have uttered just a mere two years ago, but now with a possible baseball dynasty brewing in the great town of Kansas City, this season and the next several seasons promise to put a hurting on my liver, but it will be well worth it. Thank you, Kansas City Royals. Forever Royal.

Richard with Royals' OF Willie Aikens in 1984.
Richard with Royals’ OF Willie Aikens in 1984.