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WSI News - News Watch

Manuel mad Thomas didn't slide

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla -- To slide or not to slide?

That was the question posed Saturday to White Sox slugger Frank Thomas after he was thrown out on a close play at the plate in the fifth inning of the Sox's 6-2 loss to Tampa Bay.

Thomas suspended his media boycott to defend his actions, saying everyone was making a big deal out of nothing.

"The bottom line is, I was safe," Thomas said. "I just got deked."

The Sox were trailing 6-0 in the fifth when Thomas tried to score from second on Royce Clayton's single to right. Right fielder Jason Conti's throw to the plate was on target, but Thomas tried to score standing up and was tagged in the groin by catcher John Flaherty.

Replays appeared to show Thomas was safe, though plate umpire Steve Rippley called him out.

Should Thomas have slid?

"There's no doubt he should've slid if he stands up and gets tagged out," said manager Jerry Manuel. "The on-deck hitter (Mark Johnson) was there to tell him to get down. Mark said he told him to get down."

Thomas said Johnson was not in his view, and if Johnson did tell him to slide it was not loud enough to hear.

Manuel, who did not argue the call, wasn't buying it.

"He's been playing baseball for [a long time]," Manuel said. "He knows you've got to slide when you come home."

For complete story, click here.

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