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Game 82 Open Thread- Sox (34-43) at Royals (34-47)

With a chance to sneak into fourth place waiting in front of them, the Royals stumbled and fell last night, betrayed by Octavio Dotel's inability to retire hactastic hitters in the 10th inning.

Chalk another one up to veteran presence, experience, and grittiness.

Dotel: 4.20 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 9.00 K/9, 2.80 K/BB
Soria: 2.41 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 10.16 K/9, 2.71 K/BB

Granted, nine times out of ten, since these two are going to be pitching in consecutive innings, it doesn't much matter which inning they appear in, and who is setting up who. Its become quite common for teams to unwittingly have an 8th inning guy who is markedly better than the supposedly fire-breathing, moxie-emitting, bravery-seeping scarlet C "Closer" who handles the ninth. In the twentieth-century, its probably an acceptable payoff to give up some tactical advantages at the margin if it avoids a clubhouse controversy and angry columns from the press.

Of course, the joke is on me, because 2007 is merely the Dotel Trade Showcase Tour and its important that we get that C- prospect for him that we've all been waiting for.

Today the Royals entrust John Thompson (1-0, 2.57 ERA) to reverse the tide of failure and return the boys in blue to winning ways. In his Royal debut Thomson went seven innings, allowing just six hits alongside zero walks. Of course, he didn't strike out a man, but we've never been the sort to quibble.

Taking the ball for the White Sox is Jon Garland (5-5, 3.36), now in his 20th year as the Sox #3 starter.

Both teams will honor the Negro Leagues and Buck O'Neil before the game and the first 20,000 fans (aka, all but maybe 3,000 people) will receive a Monarchs hat. Royaldaddy has a nice diary posted about this.

I've opened up a diary for All-Star Game Roster thoughts and commentary. Fire away!

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This Week at Royals Review

• NHZ breaks down the ASG fan voting and proposes who really should make the team.

• Rusty Meachem, the 98th Greatest Royal of All-Time.

• Marbotty's talks about the direction of the Royals with Sam Mellinger of the KC Star.

• In the first ever instance of Royals Review karma, I wax philosophic on the strangeness of Shane Costa, only to watch as Buddismo decides to bat him cleanup for a day. Costa rewards Buddy with two key hits in a Royals victory.