The Tigers certainly seem in it to win it. Victor Martinez out for the season? No problem, let’s spend $214 million on Prince Fielder to replace him.
With yesterday’s signing, Detroit should unquestionably be the heavy favorites to win the A.L. Central. But we all know that the winners in the offseason aren’t always the winners when all is said and done.
The combination of Fielder and Miguel Cabrera hitting back to back in scary. And add Justin Verlander heading up a solid pitching staff, it’s pretty hard to think the Sox, Indians, Royals or Twins could outlast the rivals from Motown.
That said, stranger things have happened and it would be foolish to just give up and hand over the division title to Detroit. From a White Sox perspective, let’s just hope Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham rebound and our newly-formed pitching staff delivers. If they do, the South Siders certainly could be as big a pleasant surprise as we were a disappointing one a year ago.
When I heard the Fielder announcement, all I could think of was that the Sox once had Frank Thomas and Albert Belle hitting back to back–a duo even more formidable than the Fielder/Cabrera duo. And the record shows that it didn’t produce a championship team. In fact, the Sox finished around .500 in both seasons Thomas and Belle played together.
So, keep the faith.
There is little doubt that Frank will be honored in Cooperstown, hopefully on the first ballot, and his outspokeness against PEDs will only accelerate his election. So, the Sunday celebration is richly deserved.
Frank Thomas, who will have his No. 35 retired by the White Sox in August, rejoined Chicago as a team ambassador, the club announced in a press release Tuesday.
“Frank Thomas is one of the greatest offensive players in Major League Baseball history and, without question, one of the greatest players in our franchise’s long history,” said White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. “It is with great pleasure that we formally welcome Frank back to the White Sox family.”
On Aug. 29, the two-time American League Most Valuable Player will be honored at U.S. Cellular Field, an event the team will call “Frank Thomas Day,” the White Sox announced in February.
Moving forward as an ambassador, the 42-year-old will be making appearances for the team by joining its speaking bureau, which consists of Carlton Fisk, Minnie Minoso, Ron Kittle, Bill Melton and Bill Skowron.
Thomas will be the 10th player to have his number retired by the White Sox, joining Nellie Fox (2), Harold Baines (3), Luke Appling (4), Minoso (9), Luis Aparicio (11), Ted Lyons (16), Billy Pierce (19), Jackie Robinson (42) and Fisk (72).
Thomas finished his career with the South Siders as the team’s all-time leader in home runs (448) and RBIs (1,465) while ranking third in hits (2,136).