Emil with an "L"

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Whenever a big league team decides that the moment has come to change direction, they sign an old-timer who can take them to the next level.

This weekend the Oakland A's took that step when they signed Royals reject Emil Brown to a contract for 2008.

Brown knows losing!

For five years, Emil the Real Deal has trolled last place with the Pittsburgh Pirates - the losingest team in the National League - and has played the last three with Kansas City, losing 100 games a year, who made the Pirates look like some sort of dynasty.

Who better to guide the A's in the direction they're heading this season, than a veteran who knows the art of the muffed fly ball, the called third strike, and the nine-game losing streak?

With a decade of winning, and a minor league system that just wrapped up the triple-A crown, the Athletics haven't had a lot of experience being down and out, Brown will provide that.

The A's have little experience with cellar dwelling, but Brown has attained depths the Green and Gold have never seen. A sixth-place finish in Pittsburgh and fifth in Kansas City will be tough to match. Not even Emil can sink that far this season - there are only four teams in Oakland's division.

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