Cindi's all excited about FanFest because she's "hoping that Thomas Franks will be there!" and I've given up on correcting her. Regarding FanFest, I don't think there is any sort of official plan for members of AN to meet up, but...If AN members identify themselves by wearing their AN t-shirt (if they have one and if aren't wearing their Bill King t-shirt instead), the odds of AN users spotting or meeting one another will go up. I'm a definite probably; hope to see some of you there (unless I don't make it, in which case I hope I don't see you there because that would be weird, wouldn't it?).
Meanwhile, on the heels--ooh, bad choice of words--of the Frank Thomas signing, here are my personal "Top 5 reasons to be confident" and "Top 5 reasons to be worried" about the 2006 Oakland A's (unless, of course, they age two years overnight and become the 2008 Oakland A's):
1. The A's could easily field a lineup in which the #8 hitter (Swisher/Payton) has 20+ HRs and the #9 hitter has a career batting average over .300.
But...The #8 hitter has yet to prove he can hit .240, and Ken Macha has yet to prove he is willing to bat Kendall 9th.
2. The A's could easily field a starting rotation in which our #5 starter would be in running as the #2 starter for several teams.
But...The A's have a #2 starter who is in the running for the Tim Hudson award for "best pitcher you can't hit--because he's hurt right now".
3. The A's depth is such that players as key as Calero, Duke, Swisher, Kotsay, Harden, Bradley, and Thomas could go down with the A's arguably remaining favorites in the division.
But...They all did go down, in 2005 no less.
4. Between Zito and Harden's BAA and Haren, Blanton, and Loaiza's BB/9IP, the opposing team will not have a lot of baserunners.
But...Those who do reach base will run at will (actually at Mark or Bobby).
5. So far, the Angels appear committed to a youth movement, with more of an eye on reloading for 2007.
But...It's only January.
Got any cute "opposite pairs" to add? OK, boys: Let's win FanFest and go from there!