As a player, Frank Thomas was widely known as somebody who knew his own statistics, because he used them as motivation. Plus, if I had his numbers, I'd probably want to look at them all the time, too.
As Thomas' production dropped off in the late 90s, a few members of the Chicago media held it against him. So as I read reports of Thomas stating his Hall of Fame case to the media, I cringed -- not because he's wrong, but because the BBWAA doesn't like being told what to do:
"I think three of us have resumes that should be in there on the first ballot," said Thomas, speaking to a group of reporters at the Palmer House Hilton during Saturday's SoxFest festivities, and including Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine in his off-the-cuff 2014 Hall of Fame class. "I spent my whole career working my butt off and hopefully I get what I deserve.
"My resume speaks for itself. Losing a third MVP to a guy who admitted he was [using] PED. I think that would have put me at another level that only a couple of guys have enjoyed ever in this game. The 12-year-run I had was incredible, very historical. So, I think I've done enough to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer."
On the other hand, Thomas was smart to play up his clean record. When asked about the unimpressive vote totals for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, Thomas said:
"I wouldn't say I feel bad for them. I respected them on the field, but they chose this. They made their own decisions off the field and they have to live with it," Thomas said. "Watching all the nonsense unfold and not really knowing what was going on, it makes me feel much more proud of my career. I competed in that era and I played at a high level in that era.
"There were a lot of great players, but as it unfolds, a lot of it was not the real deal. I know 100 percent of mine was the real deal. These guys did put up some incredible numbers, but they are fake."
Now he's speaking the BBWAA's language. Although here he might have gone a little too far...
"Any time you look at the PED situation and the situation with Lance Armstrong, you look at stuff like that and it's serious out there," Thomas said. "I just thank God I'm blessed I did it the right way and have a good family base that made me outwork everyone else, because that's the only way I made it to the big leagues. I was never that blue chip prospect."
As the eighth overall pick of the 1988 draft, and Baseball America's No. 29 prospect in 1990, Thomas is not exactly a Mark Buehrle story.
Elsewhere around SoxFest:
- Robin Ventura had to explain to a fan that adults don't always throw stuff when they're unhappy.
- Paul Konerko is OK with blood testing, although he says drawing blood from some players drains them (figuratively, although also literally).
- We know nobody believes in Jared Mitchell more than Buddy Bell, and we know it even more now.
- FLOWERS BLOOM SONIC BOOM