The Oakland A's aren't a good baseball team. They don't hit the ball well -- and the rest of their game suffers from flaws that look a bit familiar to fans of the local professional team, albeit without expensive talent like Mauer, Morneau and some of the others.

In fact, you can do the math this way:

M1 + M2 + P + W +$300,000 = OTP

In narrative form: Salaries for Mauer, Morneau, Pavano and Willingham (plus $300,000) equals the entire Oakland team payroll.

Keep in mind that Oakland did come within an eighth-inning rally (Monday) and a Willingham walk-off homer (Tuesday) of taking two of the three games from the Twins.

Still, there was enough distress for an Oakland team meeting after Wednesday's loss. And A's manager Bob Melvin wasn't exactly heaping praise on the conquerors.

Melvin told the San Jose Mercury News: "You've gotta give credit to a guy who pitches well, but (Twins starter Francisco Liriano) was 0-5 with an 8 or 9 ERA. The night before, we got a guy making his second career start. (Cole De Vries) So you tell me. We just lose a lot of our fight when things don't go our way."

Apparently, Melvin didn't see his guys battling their tails off.

Jonny Gomes, one of Oakland's few veterans, backed up his manager: "Thirty teams are going to have a losing streak this year. The ones that come out if it are the ones that separate themselves, and that has nothing to do with payroll. It has nothing to do with big market/small market. It's the 25 guys inside."

To read the rest of the Mercury-News game report, click here.


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