Will The Big Hurt Hurt The A's?

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I've been sitting here muttering to myself for about 10 minutes, so I've decided to put my thoughts on paper...er..computer screen...Whatever.

So the A's are bringing back Frank Thomas. And call me crazy, but I don't know if it's a good idea...

When Thomas was with the A's in 2006, he turned out to be a real asset to the team. He batted .270 with 39 home runs and 114 RBIs, and he helped the A's reach the ALCS. And from what I can remember reading, he was pretty good in the clubhouse. But then again, how can you be cranky in a clubhouse with Nick Swisher?

Here's where my problem comes in with bringing Thomas back: If the A's are doing well, why mess with what you've got? The A's are off to a great start, especially considering the fact that this was supposed to be a "rebuilding year." They're 13-9, and as of right now (I'm writing this before today's game against the Twins), they're tied with the Angels for 1st place in the AL west. The A's have only hit 9 home runs this year as a team, but so far, they've managed to hit the ball well with runners in scoring position (at one point, they were batting over .300, but that could've changed over the last few games). And the pitching staff has been amazing - going into today's game, the team has a 3.24 ERA. And that's without having Harden and Duke in the rotation. And although there's no one in the A's lineup that makes pitchers shake in their boots, they're still managing to score runs. Bobby Crosby's batting average is around .300 for Pete's sake! And let's not forget Eric Chavez hasn't returned to the lineup yet - after recovering from his off-season surgeries, he could feel great and have a productive year (if the A's don't end up trading him).

Now, enter the Big Hurt. I understand that the A's could use some power at the plate - Cust isn't really getting it done, and I think Sweeney only has one home run. But Thomas hasn't really been getting it done in Toronto, either, this season - he was batting .167 with three homers (I've heard he's a slow starter, but still...). And although I have read that Thomas was pretty good in the A's clubhouse in 2006, he has been known to be a little - how can I say this - cranky. He threw a hissy fit when Toronto benched him, and I don't think I've heard him referred to as the "Big Skirt" for no reason. And there's a chance Thomas could be sharing at-bats with Sweeney and Cust. So how do we know he's not going to start whining in Oakland? Yes, Cust can play in the outfield, but does that mean Sweeney will be out of a job? He's currently batting over .300, which is bigger than .167 last time I checked (although Thomas may have had more plate appearances since Sweeney shares the DH role). And although the A's got Thomas for cheap, he doesn't really fit into the whole "rebuilding" project.

Bottom line: I don't know if this was a good idea. I'm guessing this happened because the A's think they might be able to compete this season, but if things are going well with your young guys, why mess with it? Look at the Diamondbacks: They're young, and they went deep into the playoffs last year, and they look dangerous again this year. And the A's may not be hitting home runs, but if they're scoring runs, isn't that what really counts in the end?

I guess I'll just have to trust Billy Beane.