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Open Thread: Game 92 - A's at LAA

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The A's are at a longitude and latitude often associated by geographers with the Anaheim region, taking on the Angels in the first of three. Tonight is a battle of the back-end of each rotation, with A's 5th starter Kirk Saarloos (5-5, 3.87) opposed by Angels' 5th starter Ervin Santana (3-4, 6.20). It should be noted that in Santana's 3 wins, he has a 0.87 ERA (20.2 IP, 2 ER), while in his 4 losses, Santana's ERA stands at 16.46 (13.2 IP, 25 ER).

As promised, for a series preview I have selected 5 Angels-related questions for Halos Heaven's blogmaster to answer. In choosing from among the questions submitted by AN members, I tried to make sure that all 5 topics were different and that some of the most commonly asked themes were reflected.

Enjoy the Q&A, and thanks for keeping any comments respectful to Halos Heaven and the Angels. The A's are a classy organization and AN aims to be a classy blog.

1. How does the fan base feel about the new team name?

There is a vocal minority who are passionately against it; if we were ten games out it would be a majority. 3 million people walk through the gates, maybe three thousand are wearing the "we are not L.A." gear. Most Angel fans cue Al Davis: Just win, baby.

2. You have a time machine and you go back to the beginning of 2005. What one thing do you tell Stoneman to do or not do?

Have Kelvim Escobar's aching elbow checked out more thoroughly and disallow Francisco Rodriguez to play in the Venezuelan Winter League.

3. What specific thing about your team are you most worried about, going down the stretch?

We have no DH. We haven't had one all season and it is like having an alcoholic in the family--we are just beginning to admit that there may be a little problem here.

4. Does Mike Scioscia ever embarrass you, or do you feel like he's just trying to give his team every advantage?

Never. Mike can do no wrong. Mike's following among Angel fans is more secure than the Pope's among Catholics. They'll fire Vlad before they fire Mike.

5. Both teams are powerful now and well known to be deep in both double and triple A ball. What does your 2007/2008 team look like? How does it stack up against Nick Swisher/Dan Johnson/Kurt Suzuki/Dan Meyer and the A's other top prospects?

We've got arms in Jered Weaver and Chris Bootcheck, an embarrassment of riches in our glut of middle infielders (Wood, Aybar, Kendrick, Callaspo) a future Pudge in Jeff Mathis. We'll be in the thick of the AL West for seasons to come.

Thanks, Halos Heaven, for the cool Q&A exchange. Here's hoping the Angels fire Vlad. Tonight's starting lineups:

Kendall
Kotsay
Crosby
Chavez
Hatteberg
Kielty
Johnson
Swisher
Scutaro

Figgins
Erstad
Guerrero
Anderson
Finley
B. Molina
DaVanon
Cabrera
Kennedy