Toronto Blue Jays Frank Thomas: Released or Booted?

Joel KochSenior Analyst IApril 20, 2008

     Hello again everyone. I hope everyone is enjoying the season at hand. We're officially two weeks into the new season, and my fantasy teams are lacking. Gotta love it.

     Anyway, there really hasn't been much to report on the baseball front. You could make a case that the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees rivalry took another step forward. I'd make that case, except I think that this isn't a rivalry, they just hate each other. No good sportsmanship leads to nothing. The Diamondbacks and the Rockies, the Cubs and the Cardinals - those are rivalries.

     Ok, another step off the point. This article is about Frank Thomas, the Big Hurt, or right now, the Big Baby. Thomas is struggling and isn't hitting like a middle of the order bat like he's suppose to be. He's slumping and John Gibbons (the manager of the Blue Jays) benched him like he should. You bench a struggling player and let them figure it out for a week, then plug them back in. What does Thomas do? "They just don't want the option to kick in."

     Yeah, that's it. They want you to leave since you are the only legitimate power threat in that lineup. vernon Wells and Alex Rios are good, but they don't scale to Thomas a tiny bit. For God's sake, Thomas is one of four people in history with a .300 average, 500 homeruns, 1500 runs batted in, 1000 runs scored and 1500 walks. He is a force and everyone knows it. So yes, they wanted to make sure he wouldn't reach 376 plate appearances so the Blue Jays could get out of his option. There is no sense to be made in that. It's two weeks into April, and you get over 700 plate appearances a year.

     As you can tell, this doesn't sit well with me, and probably not with other people as well. The Blue Jays said they split on mutual terms, but we all know that isn't true. One day after a player blows up, he gets released. Someone's unhappy about the split, and I guarantee you it's the Blue Jays. They lose that force in the middle of the lineup and are stuck with Matt Stairs as their designated hitter. Thomas is still getting paid by the Blue Jays, and if he signs elsewhere, he'll get that money too (though I highly doubt it would be a lot since he's getting close to $9 million from the Blue Jays).

     Was there really a point to this? Yes, there was, miraculously. Here's the point: don't mouth off to your employer because in the real world, you don't get paid your full contract when you get fired. Also, no one is above the game to the point where they can mouth off and get away with it. Enjoy this Disney ending.