Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Hurt's So Good

The Chicago White Sox threw Frank Thomas away like so much dirty laundry, much the way baseball threw away The Big Hurt's era when it ratcheted up its home-run love affair and turned its fancy to the chemically-induced.

Well, the two-time American League Mvp who was cast aside and demonized in his final days in Chicago, is finally is enjoying the last laugh, and new life with the Oakland A's.

The big man - and he's always been that, even before doctors and juicers pumped the biceps full of steroids - started his first playoff series in xx years by hitting two home runs off Minnesota Twins ace Johan Santana yesterday.

Because he did, the Oakland A's won the first game of an American League Division Series, on the road, 3-2.

Talk about dividends.

All the A's had guaranteed Thomas only $500,000 and a chance. He cashed in on both, using 39 home runs, 144 RBI and a bucketful of incentive clauses to gather in $3.1 million this season.

The man who once vied with Ken Griffey Jr. for title of most feared slugger in baseball - before Barry Bonds and Big Mac - healthy and happy, again, had restored his self-worth, and place in the game.

Now comes the gravy.

So, for those keeping score at home, it's Thomas 1, bloated home run kings 0.

And the White Sox? Not even in the game. Alas, they're home, watching the postseason on TV.

Now that hurts.

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