Morning Juice: A's, Thomas getting the band back together?

This and every weekday a.m., let's rise and shine together with the most recent and decent major league happenings. Today's AL roll call starts in the East Bay, where the Oakland Athletics might be looking for a DH. Why, say, the best DH ever just happens to be available. Should we make an appointment? Take a business card at least.

Game of the Day: Athletics 3, Twins 0

Hit or miss: Mike Sweeney was designated to do some hitting for the A's, and he played along — finally — with a solo blast that broke a 39-game homerless streak. He has 198 career homers (doesn't it seem like it should be more?) to go with a .300 career average. He's no Jack Cust, sputtering along at .161. And he's no Frank Thomas, who just whined his way out of Toronto. Sweeney is a bigger injury risk than Ben Sheets rolled into Curt Schilling's bloody sock, which is then lighted and smoked like Ken Griffey.

Blame Canada: Thomas, who turns 40 in a month (born the same DAY as Jeff Bagwell — strange) said the Jays didn't want to play him because they didn't want to pay him. The Jays said Thomas wasn't hitting, so they benched him. Maybe they're both right, but he hit .250 in April and .193 in May before finishing at .277/.377./.480 a season ago. He's got 516 career homers, nearly 2,500 hits and nearly 1,500 runs scored. Our own Tim Brown reports the A's were close to signing Thomas on Wednesday before an undisclosed team stepped in with another offer. Now it's wait and see.

He's your buddy: Despite a reputation for being a bad teammate, Thomas was liked during his previous pass with the A's, as Scott Ostler points out. Thomas should be liked not for his personality, but for his production. Maybe his bat has dulled, but at least he'll get on base for someone to strand.


Feelin' Rundown (Wednesday's other games)

Tigers 19, Rangers 6 — Texas led at one point, 5-0. The Alamo didn't hold, either, after Santa Anna used an 11-run sixth to beat Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett and Co. Carlos Guillen remained at first base and Miguel Cabrera was the DH a day after grumpy Leyland said Guillen would move to third and Cabrera would play first for undisclosed reasons. The two players celebrated staying put by going a combined 4-for-9 with 8 RBIs. Kenny Rogers combined with himself to allow 6 runs and 9 hits over 3 1/3.

Angels 6, Red Sox 4 — Boston reports flu-like symptoms going around clubhouse because Yankees staff buried vaccine under David Ortiz's jersey in concrete at New Steinbrenner Coliseum.

Rays 5, Blue Jays 3Roy Halladay can't hold a 3-run lead against Tampa. It's not like Matt Stairs hits 2 homers every day, ya' know? The Rays are a win from .500, which is not quite the Washington Generals beating the Harlem Globetrotters, but it's up there. Longoria has big 2-run single in comeback. Check her out.

Yankees 6, White Sox 4Mike Mussina in his career has amassed 252 wins, is creeping up on 2,700 strikeouts, and his ERA is 4/5ths of the league average. Maybe not a first-ballot Hall of Famer (for no good reason) but, as Chicago announcer Ken Harrelson pointed out, he's better than a bunch of guys already in Cooperstown.

Orioles 3, Mariners 2 — The guy with two last names surrendered a tie-breaking home run to Nick Markakis, who has one of the best relatively new names in baseball. You know why it's so good? Because it has a Greek ring to it.

Indians at Royals, ppd. (rain) - This is why the Royals had artificial turf all of those years. And yet, some called Kansas City's George Toma sport's most respected groundskeeper. Hand my crew a fleet of Orecks and we'll go to town on the carpet, too.


Photo of the Day: Has Hideki Matsui had his break today?

A woman enters the Japanese fast food chain, Yoshinoya D.C. & Co., which is endorsed by none other than Godzilla himself.


Big Talker

“People always doubt you. When you’re past 35 years old, every time you give up two hits in an inning, they doubt you. That’s just how it is.” — Mike Mussina, age 39


Fantasy Freaks

Curtis Granderson (Tigers) 2-4, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB

Carlos Guillen (Tigers) 3-5, R, 5 RBI, BB, SB

Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) 1-5, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, BB

Jacque Jones (Tigers) 2-5, 3 R, HR

Ramon Santiago (Tigers) 0-3, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB

Gary Matthews (Angels) 2-4, 2 HR

Torii Hunter (Angels) 4-5, RBI

Matt Stairs (Blue Jays) 2-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI

Troy Percival (Rays) IP, K, SV

Jorge Posada (Yankees) 4-5, 2 RBI

Mike Mussina (Yankees) 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, BB, 3 K, 2 HR, Win

Mariano Rivera (Yankees) 1 2/3 IP, SV, 0.00 ERA

Chad Gaudin (A's) 7 IP, 4 H, 4 K

Daniel Cabrera (Orioles) 8 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 5 K, Win

Jason Hammel (Rays) 6 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2K, 2 HR, Win

* * *

Fantasy Flakes

Javier Vazquez (White Sox) 5 1/3 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, Loss

Richie Sexson (Mariners) 0-4, K, .205 BA

Chone Figgins (Angels) 0-5, K