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Game Thread #78: Oakland Athletics vs. Kansas City Royals

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Jesse Chavez takes on Jeremy Guthrie in today's showdown that has Lawrie sitting out, Sogard at short, Max Muncy at 3rd and Sam Fuld in left. Talk about a new lineup!

Sam Fuld mixing it up with KC yesterday, 6/27/15
Sam Fuld mixing it up with KC yesterday, 6/27/15
Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

What I love about baseball is that it's a lesson in moral compass. [Wait for it, wait for it...] Baseball is the epitome of sportsmanship. There are written rules. There are unwritten rules. And there are actions you take when rules are broken, most of those actions being unwritten. And, like chaos theory in science, everything eventually comes back into balance on its own—to a peaceful, balanced state.

This is the case even when you are on a tear and winning everyday (nice problem, wish we had it). Fans caution themselves to not "jinx." Players do the same and stay away from pitchers in the dugout who have a no-no in progress. (Mad-Max Scherzer is getting lonely these days.) No one wants to disrupt physics, disrupt the energy. No matter how chaotic the internal action is at a given time, physics tells us that energy circles round to come to a resting, peaceful place. When this happens, our moral compass is headed due north, and we feel better about ourselves. [Stay with me folks, it's Sunday, which—in my tradition—is a spiritual day.]

So what do we do when we are just downright angry and want to rip the "Straight outta Kauffman" shirts right off KC fans' non-PC backs? What do we do when there's been a bean-ball war that violated the Code in April and we still want revenge, even though if we really think about it we know that the April weekend is ‘done' according to the Code? What do we do when we see Vogter take a shot to the wrist area on Friday night, imagine a fracture, flash to Phegley running the base paths and flashback to 240+ pound Jeremy Brown and emotionally wonder if it's intentional? [Even though we know deep in our gut that it wasn't intentional, but we want to think it is so we can retaliate against the KC Strut.] What do we do?

We breathe. We refrain from trying to castrate Sogard for going 0-4 in the leadoff role Friday night; we trust that Melvin had a good reason for putting him there even though it didn't work out. We remember a lot didn't work Friday night. We also refrain from unleashing the mean "Country Breakfast" jokes because Billy Butler is 0-10 in the last 7 days. We don't start ringing our hands over the potential trade of Scott Kazmir. We don't go to the rulebook on balks and try to write a Dear-Mr.-Hampton letter (movie reference: White Chicks, Wayan brothers at their best). We breathe.

We align our moral compass and if we can't find that compass, we align ourselves with the stars. We look at the stats to keep calm: Vogt (53RBI's), Lawrie (16 doubles and 7 homeruns), Gray (9-3 with a 2.09 ERA and an SO9 of 8.1), Burns (.322 BA and 15 stolen bases), Reddick (SLG of 4.67 and 45 RBI's).

And worse case scenario, we say, "Ah what the hell, it's baseball, it's Sunday, and winter is a long way off." We align our compass to the love of the game. Get a beer or a Pepsi and think life-is-good-cause-it's-baseball-season! Here's to baseball. Here's to June. Here's to us having each other to get through the season and swirl to a resting place of non-chaos and peace. Here's to our boys in green and gold! Go A's. Kick some KC fanny.

This is praunlinde kickin' it off and now handing it over to the top-notch baseball girl: Baseballgirl. See you in a few weeks!

Today's Lineups

KANSAS CITY ROYALS OAKLAND A'S
Alcides Escobar - SS Billy Burns - CF
Mike Moustakas - 3B Eric Sogard - SS
Kendrys Morales - 1B Stephen Vogt - C
Eric Hosmer - DH Ben Zobrist - 2B
Salvador Perez - C Josh Reddick - RF
Alex Gordon - LF Billy Butler - DH
Alex Rios - RF Ike Davis - 1B
Omar Infante - 2B Max Muncy - 3B
Jarrod Dyson - CF Sam Fuld - LF
Jeremy Guthrie - RHP Jesse Chavez - RHP

LET'S GO OAK-LAND