So Frank Thomas in an A’s uniform? Whadda ya think? You intrigued?
Haven’t had a chance to talk to any of the A’s management about this topic yet (not that they’d tell me what they’re thinking anyway), but my extreme first instinct is to say, “Sorry, let’s pass.” I love Thomas, and his bat was huge for the A’s in their run to the 2006 American League Championship Series. I’m just not so sure he’s the greatest fit on this team at this time.
That’s the problem with baseball in April. It’s impossible to draw definitive conclusions. But one of the things I’ve liked about the A’s so far is the youthful energy, and their legs. This A’s team runs the bases with an aggression I haven’t seen in years, and that has a tangible effect both on energy and the chemistry of a lineup.
I’m fully the A’s aren’t hitting home runs, and Thomas (and even Barry Bonds) would help that cause. But Thomas would clog the bases, requiring an extra hit to score a run most times through the lineup. This A’s team will have a tough enough time scoring runs without needing an extra hit now and then.
My other concern would in the clubhouse. Thomas fit in well there two years ago, but this is a young club in search of its own identity and I’m just not sure how a 40-year-old with a “me-first” attitude that’s entrenched in stone helps. Mike Sweeney, the team’s right-handed DH, has assumed a leadership role, and to see how he interacts with his teammates everyday is to understand just how much he’s impacting this team even when he doesn’t play. Now, this is just a personal bias, but I prefer guys like that over guys like Thomas, who again, is not a bad guy but also isn’t any sort of leader.
Last thing: I’m not sure Thomas views the A’s as a decent fit for himself. But he would be a huge help for a team such as the Mariners.
It’ll be fun to keep an eye on it. Tell me what you think.