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03-28-2006, 09:28 PM
Clubhouse manager forgets bats


Tucson -- Mike Thalblum, the A's visiting clubhouse manager, was dozing on the team bus to Tucson when he got a call from Billy Beane.

"Hey, Mikey, I'm just wondering if you forgot anything,'' the A's GM said.

"I said, 'No, Billy, I didn't forget anything,' '' Thalblum recounted before Oakland 8-2 loss to Arizona. "I was thinking, 'I want to go back to sleep. ... are you done?' Then I saw I'd missed a call from Cliffy (Claven, the clubhouse assistant) and I was like, 'Uh oh, what DID I forget?' ''

After spending the morning concentrating on packing the team's truck back to the Bay Area, Thalblum had jumped onto the bus for Tucson without loading a fairly important bit of equipment: the bats.

So the A's arrived at Tucson Electric Park for batting practice with just nine bats, a motley assortment of lesser models and castoffs. Bobby Kielty was one of the few with his own bat on hand - until Dan Johnson borrowed it and broke it.

Assistant general manager David Forst and baseball operations analyst Farhan Zaidi arrived less than an hour before game time with a full supply of bats. Until then, the team was good humored about it.

"I figure this is the same group that (was no-hit into the 10th inning) at Mesa the other day,'' manager Ken Macha said. "So we don't need any bats here.''

The A's scored almost immediately, as Freddie Bynum hit his third triple of the spring and came in on a sacrifice fly by Marco Scutaro.