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Big Hurtin' the Ball

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jul 6, 2005 4:19PM

2005_07_sports_frank_thomas.jpgChicagoist remembers when, back in march, Jimmy Greenfield didn't include Frank Thomas on his Top 10 Players in Chicago list. At the time, Chicagoist questioned this exclusion.

Frank Thomas came off the disabled list on May 30, missing most of the first two months of the season. Last night, Big Frank hit his 10th home run, putting the Sox ahead for good at 6-4. Yes, Frank Thomas has already hit 10 home runs this year -- and he's done so in only 69 at bats. That's about pace with Barry Bonds' record 73 homer season. Thomas' .246 batting average is good bit below his career .308 average, but with so few at bats even a small slump is magnified. Like his 1-12 streak during last week's Detroit series. But what was that one hit? a 13th innning game-winning home run!

Is Thomas the player he was a decade ago? Probably not. But will he be critical to the White Sox's success this season? Absolutely. The early part of the season saw the Sox succeed with their "small ball" philosophy, but there were time where the game runs out before ehough runs can be manufactured. Having that big bat in the lineup sure helps put runs on the board quickly. And while some feared his personality might shake up the team's chemistry, he seems to have fit in just fine.