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Open Thread: I'll Take One Partridge In a Pear Tree, Please

Just a reminder: As a California blog, we're running a giveaway.

Ahem, anyway, it looks like the last three years of complaining has paid off; we can't have core players, but apparently, we can have FanFest. According to, the A's will be bringing FanFest back for the first time in three years. It will be held on January 29th; here is the description:

"Fans will have unique access to their favorite A's players and the chance to meet some of the new additions to the 2012 club," said Jim Leahey, A's vice president of sales and marketing. "We're excited to be holding the event in the Oracle Arena for the first time, which will provide a wonderful environment for interacting with our players and legends as we kick off a season in which we will be celebrating some of the greatest moments in A's history."

In other news, Josh Willingham seems to have no hard feelings against the A's:

"Talks of an extension were there for a while," Willingham told by phone from his Alabama home. "But I can say [A's general manager] Billy Beane's always been real honest with me, and he didn't know what they were going to do, so he pretty much told me they were going to offer me a one-year arbitration contract and that was probably going to be it."

And in case you haven't heard, the Texas Rangers have won negotiating rights to Yu Darvish, the best pitcher in the Japanese professional leagues. Hey, no big deal. How about a six-man starting rotation with all aces from our division rivals and the best player in baseball starting for our other division rivals? I think any A's baseball package should come with a lot of wine this year.

On a happier baseball-related note, I was watching MLB Network last night, and they ran a program of the best games of 2011. The top 1, 2, and 3 games were all the last of the season; the Braves collapse, the Red Sox collapse, and Tampa Bay's comeback against the Yankees. I knew that was a good day of baseball, even while I was watching it live, but seeing the replays just reminded me of how amazing that hour of baseball truly was. I couldn't tear myself away from the TV during the replay, and I had watched all three games live!

Stay tuned; we'll have all of the latest A's news right here on AN.