That's Gotta Hurt
It's always hard to watch the playoffs when your team is out, but watching one of your erstwhile stars win games for a new team makes it sting a little bit more. Now, any time the Twins lose is a good thing, but White Sox fans had to feel a little twinge of regret yesterday when a rejuvenated Frank Thomas hit two home runs in Oakland's 3-2 win over Minnesota, including the eventual game-winner in the ninth.
This phenomenon is nothing new for Cubs fans, who are used to watching their alumni go on to bigger and better things. Greg Maddux will probably go out and put up a Don Larsen-esque performance this week, and Nomar is sure to hit a few game-winning grand slams. Other former Cubs likely to star in the playoffs this year include Phil Nevin, Rondell White (a home run yesterday), Kyle Farnsworth, Steve Trachsel, Michael Tucker, Bill Meuller, Kenny Lofton, and Todd Walker. But hey, wasn't that Mark Bellhorn striking out at a crucial moment in the Padres' loss to the Cards yesterday?
We're not saying that the Sox should have kept Big Frank and all his attitude, not when they replaced him with Jim Thome. Thome essentially had the same numbers as Thomas this year, minus all the bitching. But watching Thomas break the Sox's back in a crucial September series in Oakland with two homers and seven RBI while Thome was busy going 0-9 with one RBI didn't help, especially when Thomas is playing for a mere $500,000 this year. It's not a matter of overall production you see, it's about timing. And that had to make Kenny Williams grind his teeth a little yesterday.