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Power Outage + Power Outage = Second Place

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Milton Obelle Bradley! Terrible, terrible decision to not play it safe and allow the single instead of letting the go-ahead run get into scoring position.

Same description applies to Macha?s slow hook tonight. Loaiza, who did not pitch badly at all, was done after that error. I called for the bullpen, but apparently my direct link to the clubhouse is not working. I had that familiar sinking feeling when Calero finally came into the game. You know the one...?barn door, horses?... all that. If you are using Kiko anyway, why not bring him in with a chance to shut down the opposition while you are ahead, or even tied, or as a last resort, down by only one run? By the time Calero came in to pitch lights-out baseball, the damage had already been done, and for all intents and purposes, it was a wasted appearance.

That brings me to the offense. Great to see Chavez back. I have missed him. And Thomas, of course, is Frank Thomas, but he was pretty much a solo act tonight. But kudos to Milton Bradley for the patient at-bat with two outs in the ninth that brought Thomas back to the plate. If you?re going to go down, at least go down with your best chance to win at the plate.

Don?t get me wrong. I love our defense, but let?s be honest: We cannot continue to start players in the lineup who are simply defensive pluses. We don?t have the offense to absorb them. The prime example of this is Bobby Crosby. I don?t even know what to say about Crosby anymore, not that I need to say anything at all. The ?boos? at the Coliseum pretty much speak for all of us these days. When I don?t want to strangle him, I feel sorry for him, because it?s not for lack of trying, or ?heart?, or ?grit? that he?s not doing well. He wants to succeed, it seems as if he has the physical tools to succeed, but I?m really questioning whether or not he has the overall makeup to continue to be a major league baseball player.

That being said, Toronto?s manager should deserve more of a beatdown than Oakland?s tonight. I would never have IBB?d Crosby, ever. I would say that the likelihood of Crosby K?ing was MUCH higher than Ellis DP?ing, but when things aren?t going your way, they aren?t going your way, and Mark Ellis, who had two really good at-bats tonight, probably should have exercised better pitch selection on the 2-0 count.

Chalk it up to a tough loss, one that emergency threads all over the place couldn?t salvage. And maybe second place is a silver lining. The Athletics? status quo is not good enough. Some decisions need to be made. I just hope someone?s listening.