Friday, Feb. 12, 2010
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.
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:
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.