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Open Thread: Game 73 - A's vs. Giants

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Well happy birthday to me. Last year, on my birthday, I got exactly what I wanted: a closer. It was a year ago today that Beane pulled the trigger and brought Octavio Dotel to the A's--and say what you want about Dotel, but without him joining the bullpen in 2004 it would not have been the A's division to lose in September.

So what am I hoping for, asking for--nee begging for--on my birthday this year? Hmm...what would I like...well, maybe, I suppose...a Mark Kotsay contract extension? Please, Billy, pleeeeeeeeeease? I swear I'll walk him every day, I promise I will! Please? Ok, I'm going to stop before I lose my dignity.

Oakland starts a three-game series tonight, playing host to their cross-bay rivals from San Francisco. The A's are 1-0 against the Giants so far this year. That is correct--they were, however, 0-2 against the Gigantes. Joe Blanton, 3-1 with a 2.60 ERA his last 4 starts, matches up against another young guy, Jeff Fassero. The starting lineups are as follows.

Ellison
Vizquel
Snow
Alou
Niekro
Tucker
Feliz
Cruz
Matheny

Kendall
Kotsay
Crosby
Chavez
Kielty
Byrnes
Ginter
Swisher
Ellis