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October 2, 2006

Frank Thomas


Q. How important was it for you to make the playoffs two years in a row?
FRANK THOMAS: It feels better this year just to be back on the field for the first time in a long time, and just feels good to be back playing baseball.

Q. Frank, Gardenhire was talking this morning about how they had some interest in you in the winter meetings, and they talked with you, and he spoke real highly of you as a person and a player. How close were you to coming to Minnesota?
FRANK THOMAS: We had a few conversations. They were final three, just all of us had big reservations about the turf, we were all concerned about playing on that turf coming back from this major injury, but things worked out perfectly, both teams, and we're here for the playoffs and that's what it's all about.

Q. Frank, do you think teams -- there is any different qualities for a team that wins in the post-season as opposed to winning in the regular season?
FRANK THOMAS: Yeah. Just come down, each game means something. The games through the season, they just say, hey, we need to win 2 out of 3 and move on. It's not like that anymore, you need to win every ball game, but this is the time of the year you put out or shut up and go home.

Q. Frank, can you talk about a few of the things from last year's World Series championship team that might be the same as what the A's have in '06?
FRANK THOMAS: I think so, their defense, their pitching, the whole team, guys have fun together, and guys that look forward to playing together. This is the first time in a long time I have been with a team that guys look forward to coming to the clubhouse every day and being around each other throughout the day, so we got a great mix.

Q. Frank, could you kind of talk about the 10 games against the Twins this year. You guys were fairly even in games, I think 6-4, but how did they pitch to you? Specifically, did they pitch around you?
FRANK THOMAS: I am not concerned of them pitching around me. They have always been aggressive with me. We have had a lot of series against each other. The Twins are one of those teams that are never out of it. They play great fundamental baseball and they are good at that, so it's going to be a great series and I am not really concerned about that, especially.

Q. Frank, how about going up against Johann tomorrow, especially in the dome, it just seems like he is as close to unbeatable as there has been in the last year or so.
FRANK THOMAS: He is a great pitcher. Right now he is the best pitcher in the game, best starter in the game. We just gotta hope he makes mistakes. Typically, he never makes many mistakes, but hopefully he will make a few mistakes early because he is a touch pitcher to beat, so hopefully we can get something going early in the ball game.
It will be a long afternoon for us. Challenge is left. We got to do our best so hopefully we can make it tough on him tomorrow.

Q. You were there every step of the day with the White Sox last year, but how tough is it not being able to be out there, even though you were their clubhouse presence, but not be able to be out there and play?
FRANK THOMAS: Hey, I felt that was there in spirit last year so I wanted to say I can make a difference this time around, and it just feels good. I tell people last year I was happy to get a great ending leaving there with a ring, but this time it's a little different, different situation, different team, different area of the country. Just a different spirit I have right now.

End of FastScripts...

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