Bringing the Heat: 1986 Toronto Blue Jays

The baseball offseason is a long, lonely and chilly period. Baseball fans are forced to obsess over the minutiae of Hot Stove baseball: whether the third-best middle reliever on your team will file for free agency, the theoretical pros and cons of a six-man rotation, how many different teams will diss A-Rod before he goes crawling back to the Yankees.

So when the folks over at The Sporting News approached us with the opportunity to participate in a Strat-O-Matic recreation of the 1986 baseball season (1986: Take Two), we naturally grabbed ahold of that opportunity like a drowning man to a liferaft. We didn’t even really care what team we got (there is enough baseball love amongst the Ladies… to go around for just about every team)- so when we were given the Toronto Blue Jays, we were quite tickled. They’re so plucky! And so Canadian! And they have RANCE MULLINIKS- with a guy named that on our roster, we were bound to win.

Now we don’t have to obsess over that Hot Stove stuff, we can obsess over what Dave Stieb’s WHIP was against left-handed batters in June of 1986, or whether we should carry an extra DH or outfielder, or just how many ridiculous trades we can propose to Curt Schilling (who is managing the Red Sox against us in the AL East) before he blocks our email address. And we have a baseball project that will require daily management right up until May- when real-life baseball will be in full swing again (hallelujah). I would disclose how many hours and hours and hours we’ve spent researching stats and tweaking lineups and reviewing recordbooks… but it’s just too frightening. J-Money and I are co-piloting this crazy ship- but never fear, we’re dragging the other baseball-fanatic Ladies… along with us for the ride.

Our season officially kicked off last Tuesday, and we’re off to a rousing 5-3 start (damn you, Kansas City Royals!) — and to celebrate, we’re doing a run-down of the hotties on the 1986 Blue Jays. So get ready- put on your retro ’86 Jays cap (I have one) or jersey (J-Money has that)- because after the jump you’re about to behold Rance Mulliniks and the rest of the mustachioed Blue Jays in all their glory…

Last Thursday, in a bunker deep beneath the old foundation of Exhibition Stadium…

Texas Gal: Oh, Rance Mulliniks- you’re such a looker
J-Money: He is my favorite. And he DID hit the big HR in our first game!
J-Money: Also, I’m pretty sure he knows his way around a table saw…if you know what I’m saying.
Texas Gal: Rance Mulliniks sounds like a porn star name
Texas Gal: It’s worse than “Colt McCoy”
J-Money: Rance sounds too much like “rancid”.
Texas Gal: It sounds like “Lance” to me – and that makes me think of Lance Broadway, another ballplayer/porn star name
J-Money: Do you guys have Lance snack crackers? Because I went to high school with a guy whose dad drove the Lance truck and, of course, named his son Lance.
Texas Gal: Yes, we do- those shitty cardboard tasting, radioactive orange crackers with peanut butter, right?
J-Money: EXACTLY.

J-Money: Also, please tell me what is going on in the Tom Henke card and why it looks like Willie Upshaw has a flipper for a hand.
Texas Gal: I’m still transfixed by the horror of Rance.
Texas Gal: Hold on, let me shake it loose…
Texas Gal: Henke’s actually pretty hot – but I don’t understand why he’s pulling disembodied hands out of the wall. Also, he’s clearly scaring that other guy in the picture.
J-Money: I think it’s Willie Upshaw. With the flipper hand.
Texas Gal: Is it just me, or with those glasses does Tom Henke look a helluva lot like Rowdy Kyle Farnsworth?
Texas Gal: Except with less crazy.
Texas Gal: And better pitching
J-Money: He’s Diet Farnsworth.
Texas Gal: All of the taste none of the calories
Texas Gal: or the crazy
J-Money: Yes, all of the taste, none of the crazy

J-Money: Also studly? Mark Eichhorn, even though he was born without ears.
Texas Gal: Here’s what I have to do with these guys: I literally have to cover the bottom of their faces, so I don’t see the ridiculous facial hair. Only then can I judge whether they were good looking.
J-Money: Yes, the ’86 Jays were two-baggers.
Texas Gal: The ’92 Jays, on the other hand… yummy.
Texas Gal: Eichhorn has pretty eyes, and he got us a W– though he also blew the save for Key first… so we should not reward that behavior

Texas Gal: Tony Fernandez stole Tom Glavine’s ballcap style
Texas Gal: and George Bell stole Lionel Richie’s hairdo
J-Money: I actually think that the blind woman in the “Hello” video mistakenly sculpted George Bell. And yes, I will try to find a picture to prove it.

Texas Gal: That sculpture frightens me to this day. CREEPY
Texas Gal: Maybe she was two-timing Lionel with ol’ Georgie boy?
J-Money: Could’ve been…especially since she sees with her hands. She obviously saw George’s hair. And mustache.

J-Money: The most majestic hat/mustache combo is Cliff Johnson. It’s like there’s too much awesome for his hat to contain it
J-Money: He looks like a train conductor.
Texas Gal: Cliff’s hat is not touching any part of his head. It’s just casually resting on the top of his hair.
Texas Gal: It makes me wonder how it stays in place- like that guy from that Showtime show Oz, that wore the tiny beanie cap cocked on one side of his bald head
J-Money: Much like Ernie Whitt, although he looks more like he’s playing dress-up than he’s holding in his awesome. His hair is neatly feathered though.
Texas Gal: Ernie Whitt has no friends. The other guys clearly give him the old “nah, man, we’re not going out tonight” treatment, so he doesn’t tag along.
J-Money: Actually, I think an unwillingness to actually put the cap on your head is a prerequisite for playing on this team.
Texas Gal: Except No-Ears Eichhorn – he removed his ears so the cap could be jammed further down on his head.
J-Money: Shut your mouth! It’s a birth defect. Either that or he’s Mr. Potato Head and his ears are actually tucked in the compartment in his back, along with the big red lips and a jaunty hat.
Texas Gal: I would like to know what else can be found in Eichhorn’s back compartment.
J-Money: If he had a dollar for every time he’s heard that.

Texas Gal: Dave Steib looks like he tells dirty jokes at the most inappropriate times
Texas Gal: like you can tell he’s thinking of one right when that picture was taken

J-Money: And the part of Jim Clancy will be played by Skeet Ulrich.
Texas Gal: I think Jim Clancy looks like 1986’s answer to Kevin Federline
J-Money: The “P” stands for Papozao.

Texas Gal: Has anyone ever seen Bill Caudill and John Smoltz in the same room together? Twinsies!
J-Money: Also, Bill Caudill may have been forgotten as a ballplayer, but he’ll always be remembered as Kip Dynamite.
J-Money: We’re just jealous because he’s been chatting online with hot babes all day.
Texas Gal: He does have skills. Nunchuck skills.
J-Money: Bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills…

Texas Gal: Is Lloyd Moseby so horrific to look at that he broke the camera lens? We just get a portrait rendering of him.
J-Money: I think he can live in both our world and the cartoon world, like the guy from the “Take On Me” video. Or Roger Rabbit.
Texas Gal: Except instead of vaguely Nazi-ish soldier villains chasing him, it’s the Yankees.
J-Money: I thought they were the same?
Texas Gal: Po-tay-to, Po-tah-to

J-Money: Did you ever see “Return to Oz”? If so, do you remember the Wheelers? Because Doyle Alexander had to be the prototype for those things. He looks like a coathanger with a mustache.

Texas Gal: Please excuse me for saying so, but Jim Acker‘s ass is lovely.
J-Money: I always get Jim Acker and Jim Abbott confused. Which is the one with one hand? Abbott?
Texas Gal: Jim Abbott had no arm. Jim Acker presumably now has no lower jaw. You know, because of the dip. (ARE YOU LISTENING, JOSH BECKETT??)
J-Money: There’s a horrifying PSA that airs here with a dude with no lower jaw who travels to high schools telling kids to stop chewing tobacco. Of course, they have to start drinking to forget what he looks like.
Texas Gal: Trying to tell kids in the Carolinas not to do tobacco is hilariously futile.
J-Money: Especially kids that attend RJ Reynolds high school.
J-Money: WHICH ACTUALLY EXISTS
Texas Gal: Nice. There’s surely a Kenneth Lay high school somewhere outside Houston.
J-Money: That will later be known as Minute Maid High School.

J-Money: I so want to photoshop Rance Mulliniks’ head onto this picture:

Texas Gal: Oh – PLEASE do
J-Money: Oh yeah. That’s on the to-do list for tomorrow a.m.
Texas Gal: Rance Mulliniks is our unlikely stud
Texas Gal: He’s Zach Braff
Texas Gal: (disclaimer: I do not find Zach Braff hot – but I hear other people do)
J-Money: I don’t either. He looks like someone secretly replaced his nose with a Bartlett pear.
J-Money: Rance may also be this:

Texas Gal: Why don’t we put up a new Rance photoshop every so often
Texas Gal: Rance of the Fortnight
J-Money: YES! This will be hours of fun.
J-Money: Rance the Barbarian.

J-Money: I think I see where our TSN posts may be heading…
Texas Gal: Poor Rance- we’re about to bring it on, and he doesn’t even know it’s been broughten
J-Money: Nope. But it will be teh awesome

Texas Gal: Buck Martinez is very happy to see you. If you know what I mean.
J-Money: I thought that too! I think he’s been, um, grabbing the ol’ rosin bag, if you know what I mean.

J-Money: I’m going to throw the smoldering Damaso Garcia into the mix. Behold.

Texas Gal: That look reminds me of the ones David Wright tried to throw down in that photo shoot with Jose Reyes. They both just look silly.
J-Money: Sigh. I know. Like when a baby kind of looks mad and then you realize it’s just gas.
Texas Gal: Poopypants Face. That’s it.
J-Money: Exaaactly.
J-Money: The “Change Me” face.
Texas Gal: Garcia is trying to give us the “Sex Me” face. It’s not working.
J-Money: That’s what happens when I try to look seductive. Instead of “sultry”, I come out more “confused”.
Texas Gal: You and Damaso Garcia are meant to be together. Like George Bell and that girl from the Hello video. Or like Rance Mulliniks and a clip-on tie.
J-Money: I wonder if a woman has ever approached him and just said “DAM!…aso”. Anyone? Anyone? Just me? God, I’m so lonely.
Texas Gal: No, you have lifesize Curt Schilling.
J-Money: Very true.
J-Money: If Curt meets all of his weigh-ins, it will be Larger than Lifesize.

Texas Gal: So my personal Hottie Top 3:
Texas Gal: 3. Jesse Barfield
Texas Gal: 2. Jimmy Key
Texas Gal: 1. Tom Henke
Texas Gal: honorable mention to Acker’s ass
J-Money: And I enjoy the Seth Rogen-ness of Dave Stieb.
Texas Gal: He’s a “lanceur” – because they’re in CANADA, SEE?
J-Money: We also have a “Ranceur”.


Our home sweet home, Exhibition Stadium – circa 1986

J-Money: We make quite the team. Which is why we own the Jays.
J-Money: The 2-0 Jays.
Texas Gal: UNDEFEATED
J-Money: UNCONQUERED
Texas Gal: UNSULLIED
J-Money: UNTAINTED
Texas Gal: UNVANQUISHED
J-Money: UNRANCED
J-Money: Our team has won more games than Notre Dame.
Texas Gal: That’s not really saying much.
J-Money: True. But still worth noting. The Jays play like Champions today.
Texas Gal: They mustache like Champions today.
J-Money: If they shave their ‘staches, they lose their power. Like Samson. Or Tom Selleck.
J-Money: The Jays one true rival is the Mach 3. Except they didn’t have those in ’86. What did people shave with back then?
Texas Gal: Straight razors. But they didn’t shave themselves, they had to go to the barber shop. Those were dark times.
J-Money: Back when barbers were also surgeons.
Texas Gal: And bled you with leeches
J-Money: That seems about right.
Texas Gal: And…….. SCENE.
J-Money: Here’s the part where, if we were Bill and Ted, we would do that air guitar thing.
Texas Gal: WYLD STALLYNS
J-Money: Ted “Theodore” Logan
Texas Gal: Bill S. Preston Esquire
J-Money: Now I want to watch that.

OR BUST!

 

BONUS RANCE COVERAGE:

23 thoughts on “Bringing the Heat: 1986 Toronto Blue Jays

  1. I have “Take on me” stuck in my head now. I can’t decide if that’s a good or bad thing. There are definitely more annoying songs.

  2. I love the olden days. I wonder how many of the ’86 Jays wore their pants right (a la Christopher Trot Nixon)? I bet it’s all of them. Although now I see that Lloyd Moseby did not so maybe that’s why he only warranted an artist’s rendering.

  3. The facial hair here is glorious, glorious I say!

    My Uncle Mark was quite the hottie in his young pitching days (Gubicza, he played for the Royals in ’86), he sort of reminds me of my beloved Cole Hamels.

  4. For the last couple of years we here in Vancouver have had the pleasure of having Mr. Steven Rance Mulliniks as the West Coast Colour man for all the Jays games. He offers an insight into the game that only a man who once made SI’s dream team as “Utility Infielder” can….For a time, he was baseball commentating’s best kept secret. Sure he was really only seen and heard by the 25 or so Blue Jays fans in BC, but it didn’t matter to him nor to us. He was ours and we were his…. But alas, the secret is out. As of 2007 Rance has gone NATIONWIDE. An entire country is now privy to his smooth stylings and enviable anecdotes. So if ever any of you find yourselves up North for a visit take a minute and turn on the TV to channel 3….. Rance will be waiting… with a warm smile and keen observation

    And Ladies……. He still has the moustache

  5. OMG Julie – I was so in love with your uncle!! So hot. I had pictures of him on my wall! We got to see him inducted into the Royals hall of fame last year – so cool!

    I heart Dave Steib!

  6. I am overjoyed to find out Rance is a broadcaster for Toronto. That is marvelous. I must take a road trip up there for a Jays game this year… I know the Sox play there 3 times in 2008.

  7. AWESOME! I went to the last game in Exhibition stadium in May of 89 – before they opened SkyDome (or whatever they call it now). The last baseball team I followed were the 93 Jays (well, technically the 94 Jays until the strike). Now baseball can burn in hell for all I care. But this was great!

  8. I must agree with the Damaso Garcia comment he was/is hott especially in person. I should know he’s my fathers little brother ;) Im not being bias when we would walk (years ago) ladies used to stop and stare at all 6 foot 3 inches of him.

  9. Pingback: You Decide: George Bell or Lionel Richie? | NotGraphs Baseball

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