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Tonight's theme, ladies and gentlemen of Athletics Nation, is "stung."

The following happened at opening night for our boys in green and gold. The A's stung the ball repeatedly and were not often fooled by the Gustavo Chacin, who looked like bizarro Bobby Kielty or at least his ugly, younger sibling upon further review. Believe it or not, the A's seemed to swing the bats pretty well tonight. They hit the ball hard repeatedly, but it almost always seemed to be right at a fielder.

Our Captain Kirk was stung himself by some hard-hit balls and some shoddy defense. Both Eric Chavez and Eric Byrnes made crucial mistakes on defense tonight.

Everyone sitting in the upper deck at the Coliseum, including yours truly, was stung by both the cold East Bay wind and the disappointment in watching our boys go down to an uncontested, rather demoralizing defeat (sorry, opening night is an important night to capture the casual fan).

The seasonal A's fan, who goes into hibernation during the winter months, also seemed stung by the realization that this team doesn't have Mulder and Hudson any more. I heard several times while waiting in lines and in my seating area people were groaning and saying, "This is what we gave Hudson and Mulder up for?"

But here is the icing on the cake:

"They were patient, they got what they were looking for, and they didn't miss it," Macha said.

Toronto manager Jay Gibbons (actually that's John Gibbons - Jay plays for Baltimore) couldn't resist pointing out that his team's approach at the plate was similar to something you'll find detailed in a certain best-seller.

"In the land of 'Moneyball,' we did it tonight," Gibbons said. "We had some good at-bats and made them work."

And that, ladies and gentlemen of AN, is what stings the most.