This week, A’s fans saw the first shots fired during a pitstop at heir old hometown in K.C. — one slide from Brett Lawrie (who conducted himself surprising poise & professionalism in its aftermath) completely derailed a Billy Butler homecoming, and exposed a nasty, heated rivalry with the underpinnings of an all-out A.L. Civil War. Nothing wrong with the sort of excitement produced when benches clear & managers get tossed out along with their F-Bombs, but when it comes to a 100-MPH fastball being at an opposing player’s head? The game of baseball begins to lose its magic:

A little machismo is fine I think, and in fact makes baseball more attractive all around. But the game has historically, and never will be a blood sport — even in the dark ages of the Steroid Era, batting cages weren’t left on the field for two guys to claw each other’s eyes out; nay, the game’s fundamentals makes baseball a peaceful spectacle to be enjoyed at leisure by The People, with every crack of the bat bringing a man back to his happy place in Summer; a home far away, an old MLB Cathedral, his first game along with a son. So it’s a little alarming that fans of the Royals would be clamoring for more misbehavior like Hererra displayed, who was was ejected immediately and suspended by a sober MLB front office.

For the fascists out there, and the cold-blooded, there is always the octagon MMA.

“You’ve got to throw the ball over the goddamn plate and give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game of them all.” — Earl Weaver

  • The A’s (8-9) sit a game back from the Astros and at second place in the AL West race after going 1-2 against the Angels in Orange County, where they continued this strange early season 1-1-1 trend of trading off a barrage of scoring with silent bats. The Angels and A’s are both 5-5 in their last ten.
  • Oakland’s pitching situation is still not stable, but their bi-polar offensive counterparts are as much to blame as anything else: Jesse Chavez allowed one hit over six innings in a spot start vs. LAA on Thursday, but they lost 2-0.  The A’s let one slip in K.C. on Sunday as well, after a solid 7+ innings by Scott Kazmir that were overshadowed by five Royals getting ejected and one player suspended.
  • Jarrod Parker’s pitching a 93-MPH fastball for Class-A Stockton right now, and in his first professional game since TJ surgery he went 3 2/3 IP, 4 H (1 HR), 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K. And in an attempt to bolster their bullpen, right-hander Chris Bassitt joined the A’s in time for the start of the series vs. the Astros.
  • The A’s made three transactions this week. RHP Jarrod Parker was sent to Stockton for assignment, RHP Arnold Leon was sent to Nashville when they called up Chris Bassitt, and RHP R.J. Alvarez was also optioned to Nashville.
  • Here’s a fun fact: The A’s recorded the most double plays in a season, and the first baseman who recorded all those outs? 2x A.L. Batting Champ Ferris Fain (’51, ’52), who set an the record with them in Philly — 194 in ’49, and then an almost-record breaking 192 in ’50.

White Elephant Weekly is edited by Emily Thompson, who translates, writes, and processes archives in Seattle, WA.