Monday, July 25, 2005

That's Ironic!

Today on the highway, the far right lane was closed. When I reached the spot of closure, I saw that two men were shoveling a bunch of debris back into a trailer behind a truck marked "Dependable Hauling."


Randa heads west

I just heard that former Royal and fan favorite Joe Randa was traded to the San Diego Padres. It's good to see that he'll finally play for a contender, though the contending may be short lived as illustrated recently by Dan.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Dumb pup

Okay, I know this has nothing to do with anything significant, but it is pretty dang funny.

After living in our house for 7 months, our bichon puppy just noticed his reflection in the stereo cabinet doors. He just sits there barking at himself. We've tried to show him that there's no dog behind the glass, but he still barks and barks and barks.

What a great watch dog we have...

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Baby Royals

Last night’s Royals game gave us a potentially positive glimpse at the future. The Royals beat the Indians 4-0, and did so with good performances from their young players who are now developing on the big league level.

Zack Greinke finally seems to be breaking out of his funk. He pitched 7 strong shut out innings and was followed by Ambiorix Burgos and Mike MacDougal.

On the offensive side, Mark Teahen and David DeJesus both had a good game. DeJesus was 2-5 with a double and an RBI, and Teahen was 2-4 with a triple and an RBI. The other two runs game on Emil Brown’s homerun. While Brown isn’t necessarily a young kid, he is fairly new to the majors and is emerging as a solid offensive “veteran.”

It was nice to see the Royals win, but even as they lose, we fans should keep an eye to the future as these younger players continue to develop. Hopefully by 2007 we will have a solid, contending team to root for.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Checking out the 810 Zone

The other night, my wife and I made the trek out to Leawood, KS to check out the new 810 Zone restaurant. The 810 Zone is a new sports-themed restaurant and bar co-owned by KC Hopps, a local restaurateur, and Sports Radio 810 WHB, the local sports talk radio station.

The 810 Zone borrows many ideas from the more famous ESPN Zone restaurants. Beside the name, the 810 Zone also features televisions galore throughout the restaurant, including one for each booth.

When we arrived, it didn’t look too crowded, but we were informed that the wait for a non-smoking table was about 50 minutes. We accepted our buzzer and entered the bar for a few drinks while we waited.

The bar is a large horseshoe shaped bar with a large project TV above it. Behind the bar is a radio booth where WHB can do live shows from the restaurant. Around the bar are many televisions, all tuned to various sporting events. I ordered a beer and an apple martini and was shocked that the total for those two drinks was over $10. The martini tasted fine and the beer was cold.

Our buzzer went off about 45 minutes later and we were escorted to a table in the middle of the dining room. When we asked if we could have a booth, we were told that booths had their own waiting list and that it would be an additional 10 minutes. It would have been nice to know this when we first arrived.

After another minute or so, a booth opened up and we were finally seated. Each booth features a different theme. We were seated a the Tom Watson booth, which featured a few autographed magazine covers as well as an autographed golf club hanging on the wall.

We ordered an appetizer of spinach dip (The Lin Elliot Spin and Choke Dip), and my wife ordered a tenderloin steak and I ordered the Cajun pasta.

While we waited for our food, we started playing around with the TV monitor mounted in the booth. The monitors allow guests to watch television, access the internet, or play games. We tried it all. We played a game of Bejeweled, watched a little MTV as well as the Royals game, and we access the Kansas City Star online.

The appetizer arrived and we were both unimpressed. The dip tasted okay, but the chips seemed stale. There was not enough dip to keep up with the amount of chips they provided.

When the dinner arrived, my wife’s steak was cooked to order and looked delicious. She started eating it and commented that she wished she knew how much it was going to cost. I remembered seeing that the steaks on the menu were prices “Market Price.” That’s the first time I’ve seen that for beef. I didn’t realize the beef market was that volatile.

I tried the steak and agreed with her that it just didn’t have much flavor. It was tender and had good steak flavor, but it didn’t seem to have any seasoning.

My Cajun pasta seemed very salty and not very spicy. It had 3 shrimps on. I couldn’t eat all of it because of the strong salty flavor.

When the check arrived, we found out that her steak was about $22.00. The total bill was over $50 for the two of us.

Overall, I’d say the 810 Zone is a great place to go after work for some beers and to watch a game in the bar, but find someplace else when it gets to dinner time.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Royals All Stars

It’s tough being a Royals fan. It has been for years. The team’s struggles are well documented, of course.

But the agony of being a fan becomes apparent every year around this time. I’m sure Rockies fans, Devil Rays fans, and Diamondback fans know this feeling as well. You know the feeling. You’re watching the All Star game, hoping to see your one player on the screen at some time.

Every time there’s a shot of the dugout, you’re looking past all the Yankees and Red Sox jerseys trying to find your guy. I got really excited last night when I saw a blue helmet with the “KC” logo on a shelf behind AL manager Terry Francona.

But then I blinked. I had to step away for a bit, and when I returned to watching the game, I had already missed Sweeney’s one at bat. I checked the box score and saw that he struck out. Figures.

2003 was one of the best All Star games for Royals fans. They Royals actually had two – that’s right, two! – players in the All Star game. My memory was fuzzy, but after checking the box score, I see that Sweeney never got an at bat and Mike MacDougal never pitched. Like I said, it’s tough to be a fan of the Royals.

I’m trying to determine why fans in Kansas City or Tampa might watch the All Star game. The obvious reason to watch is to see your players, of course, but that doesn’t really work when your team gets only one player in and he’s a late inning substitution. Maybe it’s to see the National League players go against the American League players. No, Bud Selig took away the allure of that when he forced interleague play down our throats. Or, maybe we watch to see the stars of all the other teams play. But then, we only need to watch Sportscenter or Baseball Tonight for that.

So, I guess we Royals fans watch on the edge of our seats to see if the Yankees (or Red Sox) will have home field advantage in the World Series. “I live for this.”