Sunday, 20 April 2008

The Roundup

"You're Schmoopy."
"No, you're Schmoopy!"

Have you heard that Frank Thomas was totally benched yesterday? No?

Here's what the pros have to say:

Dick Griffin is saying that this is a "pivotal" year for JP, Gibby and the team, sympathizing (seriously!) with the decision to bench the unproductive veteran. It's simply not in the organization's interest for his '09 option to kick in, so he speculates that an outright release might be in the cards.

On a somewhat positive note, if the Big Hurt is released and AJ opts out, we're going to have some serious money to play with in the offseason. $20 million + of serious money. You get lemons and you turn them into lemonade, ok?

Wilner's taking the weekend off for Passover, but figures the Frank Thomas era is going to come to a close sooner rather than later.

Mike Rutsey at the Sun pretty much concurs, but adds some profanity-filled quotes that illustrate that this is not simply a philosophical disagreement. Excuse the plagarism, but it was a good article:

"They told me that I'm not playing," said Thomas, 39, who in 16 games (60 at-bats) is hitting .167 with three homers and 11 RBIs. "Gibby told me that he can't guarantee that I'll be in the lineup.

"They do that after 16 games, after 60 at-bats. That's bulls---. We all know what's behind this. What else could be behind this but the money?"

Getting back to Thomas, smoke was coming out of his ears prior to the game.

"What the f--- is that, with my track record, they know what I can do," Thomas said. "I tried to be the nice guy, the gentleman. I've kept my mouth shut.

"But I know I can hit. One good week and I'd be back on top. I know I haven't hit the ball that well but I'm not the only f---ing player. Look at (Gary) Sheffield with Detroit, (David) Ortiz with Boston. I know I can hit, that I can get on fire."

Thomas added that he thought something may be up back in spring training when they bumped him back to fifth in the lineup after hitting cleanup last year.

"But I didn't expect this at all," he said. "This is a shocker. It's terrible. Don't tell me I can't help this team win."

"If they don't want me here, then why not just cut me and then they wouldn't have to worry about the $10 million next year?"

Rutsey also extracted a "no comment"--not a denial--from JP when asked if he was planning on releasing Thomas. Dun dun dunnnnn...

And now the money shot: TSN has just reported that Thomas HAS been released.

No pressure, Adam Lind, just get started on YOUR Hall of Fame career tomorrow, mkay?

And nobody gets to accuse JP of letting this fester at least...

Other notes of a random nature:

* Even though it's as morally unpleasant as allying with an evil regime in the Soviet Union for the greater good of defeating a slightly more evil Nazi Germany, I do think we should now at least start talking about signing Barry Bonds. After the way it all played out with his friend Thomas I think he'd tell JP to fornicate himself, but still...

* Cathal Kelly impresses me with this blog post that employs graphs, charts and hard numbers. You, sir, are a credit to your race, whichever one that might be.

-- Johnny Was

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