A’s 3, Twins 2

Imagine how well Billy Beane’s shit might’ve worked in playoffs past if he’d had the benefit of Frank Thomas’ bat? Or even better, Frank Thomas swinging said bat.

I realize Executive Of The Year honors usually go to someone whose club improved crazily after eons of hopelessness but consider the following :

a) Oakland’s acquisition of Thomas on the cheap.

b) bringing in Milton Bradley and keeping the unpleasant incidents to a relative minimum (or at least covering them up really well)

c) hanging on to Zito for the entire year, despite the tantilizing option of obtaining future Hall Of Famer Lastings Milledge.

If the Twins can’t win on a day when Johan Santana only made a couple of mistakes, it’s hard to imagine this series going the distance. On the flipside, Barry Zito (8 IP, 1 run, 4 hits) won’t be taking the mound again until Game 5 or a possible ALCS game one.

Minnesota’s Nick Punto made a terrific, nearly face-mangling catch of a pop foul down the left field line by Mark Kotsay. I’ve yet to hear anyone describe the grab as Jeter-esque, but then again, I did have the TV muted.

Dan Haren will start Friday’s 3rd game for Oakland. Apparently, Vida Blue isn’t feeling so hot.

I’m not sure what to make of Chevy’s new Mellancamped Out advertisement showing MLK, a disgraced Nixon and (presumably) rows of homes flooed from Katrina. For the socially consicous former John Cougar, this is one heck of a way to keep up with the Steve Earles (though in fairness, Mellancamp might have almost as many wives).