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Game 126 Open Thread- Royals (55-70) at Sox (56-69)

Day game!

The Royals look to avoid a sweep in Chicago. The easy line would be to suggest that this won't be difficult, as the Royals send blossoming ROY candidate Brian Bannister (9-7, 3.31 ERA) to the mound, while the ChiSox counter with Jose Contreras, who has simply been one of the worst pitchers on the planet for the last four months.

Flares:

• If individual Royals were summer movies, they'd be... Hampton Stevens at Bugs and Cranks investigates. My favorite selection is Reggie Sanders as I Know Who Killed Me.

• Meanwhile, Home Run Derby points out that the Royals team card for 2007 Topps is missing one key feature...

• Last night's batting order -- which featured DeJesus #3 and Gathright leading off -- was Bell's 106th unique batting order of the season. While Bell has been remarkably flexible in how he's slotted the bottom of the order (14 players have batted 7th, for example) his relative rigidity at the top of the lineup card was beginning to strain his ability to come up with a brand spankin' new batting order each and every night. After 120 or so games, you've got to be bold and creative, and Bell was. Well done.