CHICAGO – Frank Thomas said his retirement has afforded him the opportunity to watch more baseball than he ever, including as many White Sox games as he can.
That means he has watched plenty of bad at-bats from Adam Dunn and Alex Rios.
Never shy to tell it like it is, Thomas said he spoke to both struggling White Sox hitters and offered some advice.
“I've talked to Adam a lot and he's a good guy, very, very good guy,” Thomas said on the day he had a statue of his likeness unveiled on the left-field concourse. “He's going through a tremendous slump. It's part of the game. It won't be his last slump if he continues to play this game a long time. But he's never seen anything like, no one else has. He’s going to come out of it. Sooner or later, if it's not this year, next year he'll come out of it.”
Part of Thomas’ success came from the fact that he was able to limit his slumps. He had his approach at the plate and stuck to it, tweaking it only slightly.
For Rios, on the other hand, Thomas suggested an entire overhaul of his plate approach.
“Right now, he's fighting himself,” Thomas said. “For me, I would change that stance. We talked about it the other day. There's nothing wrong with going in the cage and messing around with it. We saw one of the most successful players to ever play this game, Cal Ripken, he had a new stance every week. I told Alex, the bottom line is hitting the baseball. Go in the cage and figure something out, Get comfortable, because he's not comfortable right now.”
If it sounds like Thomas has designs on being a hitting coach one day it’s because he might be interested in that role down the road. He isn’t in a hurry to do it now, though.
“Who knows? I'm not saying what I want to do or would like to do,” Thomas said. “Right now I'm just happy to be a part of this organization. It's always great to come down and go into the locker room and see the guys. It just brings back so many memories.
“I can see the look in the guys' eyes. I can see the guys who are doing well. I can look at the guys and tell who's struggling. That's just a part of my life. I like to come in and say hello and help guys out because we had older guys who came in and helped us out throughout my years.”