Big Hurt Speaks Candidly on Dye, Steroids, Sosa

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Big Hurt Speaks Candidly on Dye, Steroids, Sosa

Friday, Feb. 12, 2010
4:42 PM

On the day that Frank Thomas announced his retirement from baseball, he almost overshadowed himself by disclosing the stunning news of another former White Sox player who might retire right behind him.

Jermaine Dye.

Thomas spent time with Dye last week in Las Vegas, and during our interview following his retirement press conference, Thomas revealed to Comcast SportsNet that Dye is pretty sad about still being unsigned, and said Jermaine is prepared to retire if the right opportunity doesnt present itself.

Thats what he told me and I told him he was crazy, Thomas said. Hes 36 years-old, but hes at peace. If he has to retire, hes going to retire, because he cant see himself going somewhere where he wont be happy and not get what he deserves.

Dye, who made 11.5 million with the White Sox in 2009, reportedly turned down a 3.3 million offer from the Cubs last month to be their fourth outfielder. His name has been attached to the Braves, Indians, and Tigers. But his age, terrible second half in 09 (.179 batting average), plus the perception that his skills have diminished in the outfield are proving to be quite an obstacle.

Before making his own decision to retire, Thomas told CSN on Friday that the only team I really wanted to play for (in 2010) was the White Sox again. That was it. And now that Thomas has officially closed that door, hed like to see the Sox open it for Dye.

To be honest, I wish the White Sox would bring him back because I still think hed be a great asset to the team. Hes such a lovable guy. Hopefully, hell be back in this organization before he has to go someplace where he really doesnt want to go.

Big Franks frank comments werent limited to Dye. He also opened up on a more controversial topic:

Steroids.

When I asked if it made him angry watching guys like McGwire and Bonds shatter the record books with their bloated bodies during the height of the steroid era, Thomas chose a different word.

Im not going to call it anger. It was more like Aha! Im killing myself in the weight room and these guys are hitting the ball further than me. Now I know. Im not going to hold it against anyone, but man I did a hell of a job keeping up with those guys. Thats the way I look at it. What would Frank Thomas have been like if he was on that stuff? Its one of those things that Im damn proud of. I did it the right way and I dont have to worry about cameras or the media looking for me, asking me questions because Im here to answer them all.

One player who hasnt been as forthcoming is Thomas former White Sox teammate Sammy Sosa, whose career happened to explode at the same time that his body did while playing for the Cubs.

Do you think Sosa is doing an injustice by not coming forward?

Im going to leave that up to Sammy, Thomas said. Ive got respect for him. He was a teammate of mine for three-and-a-half years, but we all know something wasnt right. Hes a hell of a guy, and I hope one day that we all get the truth.
Chuck Garfien hosts White Sox Pregame and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet with former Sox slugger Bill Melton. Follow Chuck @ChuckGarfien on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox news and views.

Preview: Jose Quintana, White Sox look to win sixth straight game on CSN

Preview: Jose Quintana, White Sox look to win sixth straight game on CSN

The White Sox take on the Kansas City Royals on Monday, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: Jose Quintana (13-11, 3.21 ERA) vs. Chris Archer (8-19, 4.02 ERA)

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Todd Frazier, Miguel Gonzalez propel White Sox past Rays

Todd Frazier, Miguel Gonzalez propel White Sox past Rays

Todd Frazier reached the 40-home run plateau on Wednesday night and now his eyes are trained on 100 RBIs.

Frazier’s seventh-inning solo home run not only extended his hitting streak to 12 games, it provided the game’s only offense in a 1-0 White Sox victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in front of 12,976 at U.S. Cellular Field. Frazier became only the seventh player in franchise history to hit 40 homers in a season with his 394-foot drive off Rays pitcher Eddie Gamboa. The blast offered Miguel Gonzalez and David Robertson just enough support as they combined on a three-hit shutout. Robertson recorded his 37th save in 44 tries.

“It’s a big deal any time a guy rounds off that number,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “It’s always a big deal for you. He’s been wanting to get there for a while. I don’t know if you guys know, but he’s been talking about it for a while. I know I’ve heard it a lot. He’s been aiming for that. He wants to get 40 and 100 and especially if it counts like it did tonight and gets a guy a win.”

Frazier entered the game hitting .305/.374/.568 with six homers and 14 RBIs in September, easily his best month of the season. His homer came on a cold, windy night in which offense was at a premium.

The game was delayed for 21 minutes by rain, which continued through the first inning. The rains came again in the bottom of the third inning and delayed the contest for another 76 minutes.

Tampa’s third pitcher of the night, Gamboa’s 76-mph knuckleball caught too much of the plate and Frazier planted it about eight rows beyond the left-field bullpen with two outs in the seventh.

“Not many people have hit 40 home runs in a year so it’s a good feat to have,” Frazier said.

“It’s a great feat to have. I had a bunch of people text me ‘It’s coming. Today is the day.’ It wasn’t that much pressure. It was just a matter of knowing that it’s there and I’m glad to get it over with and now it’s on to another goal of mine.”

Frazier has never driven in 100 runs in a season. His 98 RBIs this season are nine more than his previous career high of 89 that he set in 2015.

Gonzalez hadn’t pitched into the ninth inning since he threw a four-hit shutout on Sept. 3, 2014. To get there he had to stay loose and sharp throughout the second delay of the night. Gonzalez threw twice during the delay, a total of 25 pitches in the indoor cage, and stretched to stay loose.

But being his final start, Gonzalez wanted to take advantage of the opportunity. He returned after the delay and was remarkable. He had stretches where he retired eight in a row in the middle and nine straight into the ninth before he yielded a one-out single to Logan Forsythe.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

He allowed three hits, walked none and struck out five. Gonzalez threw strikes on 71 of 102 pitches.

Robertson took over and needed only one pitch to record the save as Kevin Kiermaier grounded into a game-ending double play.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been out there for the ninth inning,” Gonzalez said. “It took me two years to get there, but they were swinging early. I made some good pitches early on. Got some quick outs, that’s what you got me to the ninth inning.

“Staying loose was really the most important thing for it.

“I was mentally prepared. Obviously you can’t get away with it. It was my last start. I was going out no matter what and didn’t give in and the results were there.”