Tonight, the rematch that so many Kansas City Royals fans have been waiting for will take place. The Oakland A’s, who managed to become Public Enemy Number One in Kansas City during their previous three game series, will play host to the Royals as they continue their West Coast trek.
We all remember what happened during that weekend back in April. Brett Lawrie ignited the fireworks with his cheap takeout slide targeting Alcides Escobar, who fortunately managed to avoid serious injury. Then, after giving up a home run to Josh Reddick the following day, Vordano Ventura drilled Lawrie with a retaliatory fastball. Ventura was ejected, and everything appeared to be over.
Except for the next day, when Scott Kazmir hit Lorenzo Cain. While this happened on a pitch with two out in the first, and did not seem to be even close to intentional, this led to Lawrie having a Kelvin Herrera fastball fired behind his head later in the game. Herrera was subsequently suspended for five games, and likely not allowed within 100 miles of the city of Oakland. Meanwhile, the Royals got to embrace the idea of being the villains of baseball, just months after being that scrappy team that America loved.
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Now, two months later, these same teams meet again. Obviously, after that time frame, one would have to hope that cooler heads would prevail, and that the wars from their previous series would not rear their heads. However, it does not seem as though the A’s are willing to let things go, especially given the inflammatory remarks that Reddick had to say about the Kansas City Royals fanbase.
It is hard to imagine that the bad blood from two months ago will still be boiling as the Royals make their annual trek into Oakland. Yet, that may still be the case. The feud from April may have been exacerbated by those players who are not yet ready to let things go.
On the Royals side, these events may have served their purpose. Since then, when the Royals were leading the American League in times hit by a pitch, they have been much less privy to being target practice for an annoyed hurler. Maybe that beanball war, where the Royals stood up for themselves and took aim at Lawrie, served purpose.
Hopefully, this time when the Kansas City Royals and the Oakland A’s meet up, this can all be in the past. Otherwise, if a member of the Royals gets hit by a pitch, Brett Lawrie may need to hope there is a suit of armor somewhere in the bowels of O.Co Coliseum.