Without looking into the minutae of the stat sheets, but thinking globally instead, I think it is very clear that if the A's go on to win this division it can be chalked up to one big difference: Frank Thomas.
The irony of this, of course, is that Billy Beane was widely derided on this blog for pinning his hopes on Thomas. I didn't search back to find the actual words of those who snickered at the A's knuckleheadedness, but I am sure that there were some strong words used to criticise our rivals from the North.
I didn't say anything in dissent at the time because I don't fancy myself as being as knowledgeable of some of our great Halos Heaven pundits; I just hoped they were right even though I really thought it was a no-risk move on their part. Obviously their minor gamble has paid off big time.
Can you imagine if we had made that move and were the recipients of those 37 HRs and 101 RBIs?