The Kansas City Royals victory celebrations have turned sticky. In baseball, we're used to a walk-off hit meaning a guy gets a Gatorade bath. The whipped cream or shaving cream pie to the face has become to the norm too.
Leave it to Kansas City of all places to introduce baseball to barbecue saucing. Yes, it's what you're thinking: The Royals have started hitting guys in the face with barbecue sauce. It happened Wednesday to Eric Hosmer, who hit a game-winning single against the Detroit Tigers and then got sauced afterward.
Opening the door to condiments as a celebration tool could get messy fast, but in Kansas City, the Royals have really gotten behind their "rally sauce." Specifically, designated hitter Billy Butler's new Hit-It-A-Ton barbecue sauce, which is helping raise funds for needy families in the Kansas City area. It's also helping the Royals.
After losing 11 straight in May and looking to be on the brink of total collapse, the Royals recently anointed Butler's sauce their good luck charm and have won seven of their last eight games, including a streak of six in a row that ended Tuesday. George Brett, the Royals new hitting coach, has gotta feel great that the team is rallying around barbecue sauce and not one of the best hitters that ever played the game. (Or maybe he's wondering how much sauce you can legally put on a bat).
The rally sauce story goes like this: Pitcher Jeremy Guthrie saw the sauce when it was delivered to the Royals clubhouse and told his teammates they needed to "hit it a ton" too. Since then, the Royals have been seen stroking the barbecue sauce for good luck. Guthrie even tweeted a picture of himself "sleeping" with it. Things sound might cozy in K.C. these days.
Here's more on the rally sauce:
Worshipping a bottle of barbecue sauce is one thing. It's strange, but this is sports — strange happens. Smearing barbecue sauce on a guy's face when he hits a game-winner? That's on a different level. That's a step closer to splashing buffalo sauce in a player's face or hitting him with a pie made of ranch dressing. It's sets the precedent for taking post-game celebrations into stickier, smellier territory. Let's just hope the Mariners don't start pouring coffee on people.
Here's the good thing in Kansas City, though: If the Royals go through cases of barbecue sauce in future celebrations, that's more money for Butler's charity — and more wins for the Royals.
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