Todd Linden's two-run single with two-out in the bottom of the ninth gave the A's a come from behind 7-6 victory over the Chicago Cubs. The hit left Linden 9 for 13 so far in the Cactus League. Oakland swept its split squad games with a 5-2 win over Seattle in Peoria.
Today there were several indications that this is simply the A's year. Soon after the game began, while going through linen in the closet I actually found a sock the dryer had eaten weeks ago. Then the A's didn't leave the bases loaded as Linden, who I've always believed was legitimately a .692 hitter, snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and left Oakland 8-3 in the Cactus League. It's well known that right around March 8th you can usually gauge how good a team is, and if Bobby Crosby can still remember to face the pitcher with both eyes, and if Rich Harden is still healthy (if wobbly - 3 innings, 7 hits, 4 ER today), and if Jack Cust and Kurt Suzuki can get hit by pitches and not be dead (as far as we know), well then: It's simply the A's year.
There does not appear to be a spot for Linden to win on the Opening Day roster, which raises the question: How well does a player have to play to simply override all of the organization's plans? Could Linden hit .714 and still be cut at the end of March? Or could a Linden, or a Chris Gissell, force their way onto the roster at the expense of a Ryan Sweeney (who made a sensational catch today) or a Santiago Casilla (who pitched a scoreless inning today)?
We shall see - just nice to see so many guys playing well enough to create these interesting dilemmas.