Thursday, April 24, 2008
Big Hurt Baseball is back in the Bay Area
The Oakland Athletics signed Frank Thomas off waivers today, so the Big Hurt is back in Oakland where he tore up the league (39 home runs and 114 RBIs) and led the A's to the playoffs a couple of years ago. The A's picked Thomas up for a bargain after a few injury-plagued seasons with the White Sox, then he signed with Toronto as a free agent after his monster year in 2006.
Thomas had another good year with the Blue Jays in 2007, but after a slow start they released him on Sunday. Toronto is still holding the bag for most of his salary, so the A's can take a flier on him for a pro-rated league minimum. Has any team ever acquired the same Hall of Fame player at a bargain price, twice in two years?
This also hints that the A's are aiming to win this year, since teams in rebuilding mode won't sign a 40 year old designated hitter with his own video game (Big Hurt Baseball -- buy it now for Super NES and MS/DOS -- works with Windows 95!).
Even if Thomas is only a shadow of his former Big Hurtness, his presence is exactly what the A's need. Even though they're 13-9 so far this year, they've hit just nine home runs and need someone who can bring some power to the table. I was at the game on Sunday against the Royals, and they scored seven runs with one extra-base hit.
Thomas was in the Oakland lineup today, and didn't do a whole lot (0-3 with 2 walks and a run scored) but the A's still beat up on the Twins 11-2. And Donnie Murphy hit two home runs today, so now the A's have eleven for the year!