kiki loves baseball

i love baseball in general, the White Sox in particular, and if i could just hibernate through the off-season, i would.

22 January 2006

hurtful goodbye

As much as I wish otherwise, this has to be done:

Goodbye, Frank.

In early November, the White Sox bought out 1B/DH Frank Thomas' contract, effectively ending his career with the Sox. He was drafted by them in '89; in sixteen Hall of Fame-caliber years, his line was .307/.427/.568, with a mind-boggling 447 doubles, 448 homers, and 1466 walks. He won MVPs and division races. He even got to share in last year's World Series championship, though he didn't play after July 20 due to injury.

And now he's gone. I guess I can see why some people thought he had to go, though I'm not sure I agree. He was a temperamental man, perhaps grouchy, certainly difficult for management. And he's been broken down in the last few years. The 2005 White Sox hit a lot of home runs, but their offense was mediocre (no regular hit even .300 -- so here are deserved shout-outs to great defense and pitching), and they couldn't really afford an injury-prone DH in 2006. Alleged disagreements with GM Kenny Williams didn't improve things. So the Sox snagged Jim Thome from Philadelphia and let Frank go.

Frank was the best player ever to wear a White Sox uniform. He has a ring now; he should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. I wish he were still with the Sox; I'll miss him awfully. I wish he didn't have to go. But I hope like hell that he can enjoy a few more productive years in the bigs.

Thanks for the memories, Frank, and good luck!


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