Anticipating another tough season, Royals management emphasized giveaways when it put together its 2006 marketing plan. Hence, Bat Day got a promotional billboard; manager Buddy Bell did not. In June, the team threw a 10th birthday party for its mascot, Sluggerrr, a leonine figure with a fabric crown, a furry mullet and blue fingernails. The bane of spelling teachers, Sluggerrr delights the kiddies with a live-wire tail and dance moves that other potbellied mascots can't match. Sluggerrr's popularity is such that Royals players who make appearances with the furry mute expect not to be the center of attention. The Royals haven't done many things right in the past 15 years, but Sluggerrr is a bona fide star. And if you promise to turn your children's heads, we'll tell you that the guy inside the costume is Byron Shores, a married father of three who lives in Lee's Summit.