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  • Frank Thomas Benching?/Frank Thomas released

    Slumping Blue Jays DH Frank Thomas angry after being benched
    1 hour, 6 minutes ago

    Buzz Up PrintTORONTO (AP)—Blue Jays designated hitter Frank Thomas was livid Saturday after getting benched in favor of Matt Stairs and being told by manager John Gibbons he can expect further cuts to his playing time.

    Thomas was hitless in his past 13 at-bats and has gone 4-for-35 since homering in three straight games April 5-8.

    The 39-year-old Thomas signed a two-year, $18-million contract with Toronto in November 2006. The deal includes a $10 million option for 2009, but only if Thomas makes 376 plate appearances this season.

    Thomas, who is batting .167 with three homers and 11 RBIs in 60 at-bats, said the Blue Jays are cutting his playing time to prevent the option from kicking in.

    “It’s pretty obvious,” Thomas said. “Sixty at bats isn’t enough to make that decision. I’m angry, I know I can help this team. My career isn’t going to end like this.”

    Thomas batted .277 for Toronto last season, leading the team with 26 home runs and 95 RBIs.

    He eclipsed the 500-homer plateau on June 28 against Minnesota’s Carlos Silva.

    Thomas has 516 career homers, placing him 18th on baseball’s career list. In addition, he has hit 264 career home runs as a designated hitter, the most in baseball history.

    With a career average of .302, Thomas is one of four players in baseball history to record at least a .300 average, 500 home runs, 1,500 RBIs, 1,000 runs and 1,500 walks. The others are Mel Ott, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams.



    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_yl...v=ap&type=lgns

    I have to agree that 60 AB's isn't enough to warrant this mans benching. Not with his 2007 year. Same thing the Rangers done with Sosa last year to save money. At least that was in the 2nd half of the season with the Rangers out of contention.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Old Sweater View Post
    I have to agree that 60 AB's isn't enough to warrant this mans benching.
    I disagree.. If a guy is hitting .167 he should be benched a game or 2.. He may get benched in future games but to avoid that, all he has to do is put up better #'s... In my opinion a guy should not play just because of the year he had last year... Put up or shut up IMO

    btw, Stairs is hitting over .300 thus far... Put the guy in that gives your team the best chance to win...
    "There are three things in my life which I really love: God, my family, and baseball. The only problem - once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Baseball Guru View Post
      I disagree.. If a guy is hitting .167 he should be benched a game or 2.. He may get benched in future games but to avoid that, all he has to do is put up better #'s... In my opinion a guy should not play just because of the year he had last year... Put up or shut up IMO

      btw, Stairs is hitting over .300 thus far... Put the guy in that gives your team the best chance to win...

      Yeah, as long as it isn't a pure money saving move by team at the expense of hurting your teams chances to win. Stairs was with the Blue Jays last year and is the same age with about the same RBI production(per game) last year. Time will tell if it's a money saving move or not, Stairs played 30 less games last year but only a few as the DH. Marco Scutaro is only hitting .200 with 3 RBI's at a power position(3rd). Thomas is 3rd on the team in RBI's with 11 compared to Stairs 3 in 5 or so less games.

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      • #4
        I am watching the Detroit at Toronto game as I type this reply. The Detroit commentators have made mention of this situation and noted that Frank Thomas' career numbers against starting pitcher Jeremy Bonderman are very poor, where Matt Stairs has always done well against Bonderman.

        You don't suppose that Frank is over-reacting.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ryors View Post
          I am watching the Detroit at Toronto game as I type this reply. The Detroit commentators have made mention of this situation and noted that Frank Thomas' career numbers against starting pitcher Jeremy Bonderman are very poor, where Matt Stairs has always done well against Bonderman.

          You don't suppose that Frank is over-reacting.

          For just this game, yes. If he winds up at the end of the season with 350 PA's, no. I just find it odd that Gibbons told Thomas to expect further cuts in his playing time after 60 AB's. He led the team in RBI's in 2007.

          Matt Stairs does pound Bonderman, counting today he has 16 hits in 31 AB's against him. Frank Thomas has only had 2 hits in 16 AB's against Bonderman. Plus Stairs bats lefty. Blue Jays must not have another reserve infielder better then Marco Scutaro who is hitting under .200 with a whopping 3 RBI's.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Old Sweater View Post
            Yeah, as long as it isn't a pure money saving move by team at the expense of hurting your teams chances to win.
            That I completely agree with... Hard to imagine they are already thinking about his AB's in April though, isnt it?
            "There are three things in my life which I really love: God, my family, and baseball. The only problem - once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit.
            ~~Al Gallagher


            God Bless America!

            Click here to see my baseball tribute site!

            Click here to see the best pitcher NOT in the HOF!

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            • #7
              Why would you bench a future Hall of Famer? Everybody has slumps, I think the Blue Jays are the ones overreacting.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by wardawg View Post
                Why would you bench a future Hall of Famer? Everybody has slumps, I think the Blue Jays are the ones overreacting.
                He is a future Hall of Famer, but he's also nearing 40. Maybe it'll take the pressure off a bit.
                46 wins to match last year's total

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                • #9
                  This time it's legitimate. Stairs is htiting much better than Frank, so he deserves the time in there. It would be odd if Frank doesn't DH tomorrow though, considering it's a lefty (Nate Robertson) on the mound, however maybe he needs to be benched for a couple games to light a fire under him. Just because he's a futre HOF'er doesn't mean he has the right to play no matter the circumstances.

                  I can see this being a bigger issue later in the year, however. As the season progresses and the playoff picture becomes clearer, the Jays may choose to bench Frank even when he's not slumping. For the integrity of the organization I hope that they don't, but $10 million next year is an awful lot to spend on a 40+ DH.
                  WAMCO!

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                  • #10
                    Frank Thomas dh
                    2 years/$18.12M (2007-08), plus $10M 2009 vesting option

                    signed as a free agent 11/06
                    $9.12M signing bonus
                    07:$1M, 08:$8M, 09:$10M vesting option
                    2009 option guaranteed with 1,000 PAs 2007-08 or 525 PAs 2008
                    no-trade protection

                    performance bonuses: $0.2M each for 500, 525, 550, 575 & 600 PAs
                    award bonuses: $0.1M for MVP, $50,000 each for Silver Slugger, WS MVP, LCS MVP or All Star ($25,000 All Star selection)


                    2007 PA/624

                    2008 PA/72

                    Total/696

                    Thomas needs 304 more PA

                    The Blue Jays would have to bench Thomas 76(@4 PA game) games out of the 144 games left for 2008.

                    That would be a pretty obvious money saving move if the Blue Jays done that.

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                    • #11
                      Thomas did not shake hands with his teammates after the game and left the clubhouse without speaking to reporters.


                      http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/recap;_y...419114&prov=ap


                      Didn't shake hands with his teammates! I'm always all for a player but suddenly I don't give a rats a$$ if Thomas gets his PA's.

                      Team first, Thomas second, Frankie.

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                      • #12
                        Anyone know just how long this benching is for? I didn't see that in the original article.

                        I think it's reasonable that if someone is struggling at any sport, then a few days off would serve to cool that person off mentally, and allow them to not concentrate so much about what's going wrong.

                        I think that if Frank picks up a bat again on Wednesday, he should be fine. Either case, if his game was going downhill, I think that a few days off helps.

                        We'll see how the Jays handle this over the course of the season, and I'm not worried right now about the 376 AB requirement for his $10m option for 2009 to kick in.
                        Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting. 2007-11 CBA
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mattingly View Post
                          Anyone know just how long this benching is for? I didn't see that in the original article.
                          I think it's still up in the air, Mattingly.

                          Gibbons would not specify how frequently he planned to use Thomas.

                          "I'm going to put the team out there that gives us the best chance to win," Gibbons said. "I feel for the guy, but right now we need more production."

                          General manager J.P. Ricciardi denied that Thomas' contract factored into the move.

                          "I think the decision is the manager's based on what he thinks is best for the team," Ricciardi said. "As a team we're struggling offensively and I just think Gibby is trying to spark our offense a little bit."


                          http://sports.myway.com/news/04192008/v6873.html

                          It didn't help his cause any by refusing to shake hands with his teammates after they won a tight game. All that accomplished was showing that he put his personal issues above the team. A managers decision has nothing to do with your teammates.

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                          • #14
                            Stairs went 2-3 with a walk in yesterdays game
                            "There are three things in my life which I really love: God, my family, and baseball. The only problem - once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit.
                            ~~Al Gallagher


                            God Bless America!

                            Click here to see my baseball tribute site!

                            Click here to see the best pitcher NOT in the HOF!

                            sigpic

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Frank Thomas released

                              I think this deserves its own thread, but if mods disagree, it can be merged with the other Thomas thread.

                              http://www.tsn.ca/mlb/story/?id=2347...s=topStory_mlb

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