Tonight the A’s square off against the reigning A.L. Champions in Kansas City — no doubt an emotional affair for Billy “Country Breakfast” Butler, as he rides a 10-game hitting streak back into the stadium that made him a household name. But also for the entire Athletics’ organization, who got knocked out of the playoffs in last year’s Wild Card matchup after 12 innings against K.C..

Revenge. It’s one of the more common themes within the conservative idiom of Sports. And it does burn in the hearts of fans at the Oakland Mausoleum, with every cheer of “Let’s Go Oakland!” getting more rabid as multiple seasons of Moneyball persist without another championship. Players come, and players go. But the ambiance surrounding the A’s stays the same: We’re not the greatest team anymore. But we can be.

And thus the 2015 campaign continues for a team only one year removed from the best run differential in the majors, yet still exited the postseason early, exited early at the hands of a Royals team who defied Logic with Miracles.

I say ban that Lorde song here, forever.


  • The Athletic’s hottest hitter is Ike Davis (.333) believe it or not, whose 1.074 OPS over the course of the week made the decision to move Mark Canha to the outfield look genius. With an artful infield that Ike only makes better, why not move the youngster back in the yard?
  • The A’s (5-5) have a .5 game lead and sit at first place in the AL West race. After they visit Kansas City, they go head-to-head with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Orange County. That series should give us better insight into the division, and whether or not Mike Trout figured out how to hit high fastballs.
  • Oakland’s pitching situation could use some stabilizingbut the Good News is that Kendall Graveman looked awesome in his second MLB outing, as did Jesse Hahn, and the A’s collectively have the fourth best rotation in the majors with a 2.54 ERA with 78 K’s and a 0.96 WHIP. They’ve also given up 12 long balls, two shy of the league’s worst.
  • The Chicago Cubs promoted Kris Bryant to hit cleanup & start 3B, so why shouldn’t the A’s call up Billy Burns? He’s got a .424 AVG with a 1.109 OPS and has crossed Home ten times already.
  • The A’s made two transactions this week. Josh Reddick was brought back to the lineup (who had a woeful swinging bunt against the Astros in Game 9), and they sent Tyler Ladendorf back down to the minors in a correlating move.

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