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Lip Man 1
11-20-2002, 08:46 PM
Gang:

I'm doing something I shouldn't but because Frank Thomas has been in the news on this board a LOT over the past few weeks (and figures to remain on it until December 7th), I think those of you for or against Frank might want to see this.

I spoke with Jack McDowell today (Wednesday) at his home in San Diego. Jack is going to be the featured Q & A on WSI in December (although in the spirit of the holiday season, I'm going to try to do two interviews...my gift to the good fans at WSI!)

Jack has some things to say about Frank that may change some opinions so I post it without comment:

First off, I asked Jack what he thought of Frank and mentioned all the troubles he's had the past few seasons. Here's what he said. "A lot of guys have taken him the wrong way. Players have different personalities. If you have 25 guys on a team, they're not all going to think the same or act the same. And you don't want that anyway. Frank has had to answer a lot of charges against him the past few years. Maybe he'll give some thought to what's being said and try to change a little to keep his legacy as a great player intact."

Then as part of a different question, Jack said something that absolutely staggered me. I have NEVER heard this anywhere.

Jack said that Mark McGwire told him he wanted to come to the Sox when he was a free agent (I assume this was after the 91 season when Mark had the bad foot and was a free agent, but I'll go back over the subject again when I speak with McDowell on Thursday). Jack said McGwire told him the Sox asked Frank if he'd be willing to move full time to DH so that Mark could play first base and Thomas said NO.

What might have been eh? Jack also had some other "interesting" things to say but you'll just have to wait for December! Merry Christmas!!

Lip

Ol Aches & Pains
11-20-2002, 08:55 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Jack said McGwire told him the Sox asked Frank if he'd be willing to move full time to DH so that Mark could play first base and Thomas said NO.Lip

So after the 1991 season, after one year and one month in the big leagues, Thomas was already running the club? Unbelievable.

WinningUgly!
11-20-2002, 09:15 PM
Originally posted by Ol Aches & Pains
So after the 1991 season, after one year and one month in the big leagues, Thomas was already running the club? Unbelievable.
Even if this was the case, I can't say I blame Thomas for not wanting to be a full time DH following his 2nd full season in the majors. How would Frank win this one? On one hand he's selfish for not giving up his spot at 1st...on the other he'd get ripped for being too lazy to play the field. Kinda ironic that McGwire supposedly wanted in at the same time SamME was getting traded out. If Big Mac had been signed, there would have been no need to deal Sosa for George Bell. Imagine a line up with Thomas, Sosa & McGwire in it.http://www.themorlocks.com/talk/images/smiles/gene.gif

Iguana775
11-20-2002, 09:16 PM
holy crap!!! i get goose bumps thinking about him and big mac in the lineup. DAMN!!!!

Ol Aches & Pains
11-20-2002, 09:26 PM
Originally posted by WinningUgly!
Even if this was the case, I can't say I blame Thomas for not wanting to be a full time DH following his 2nd full season in the majors. How would Frank win this one? On one hand he's selfish for not giving up his spot at 1st...on the other he'd get ripped for being too lazy to play the field. Kinda ironic that McGwire supposedly wanted in at the same time SamME was getting traded out. If Big Mac had been signed, there would have been no need to deal Sosa for George Bell. Imagine a line up with Thomas, Sosa & McGwire in it.http://www.themorlocks.com/talk/images/smiles/gene.gif

If this was after the '91 season, it was after Thomas' first full season in the majors, a little too soon to be dictating to management where he was going to play, in my opinion. I don't blame Thomas so much, I already knew he was a selfish player, I blame the nitwits in management who caved in to him.

WinningUgly!
11-20-2002, 09:43 PM
Originally posted by Ol Aches & Pains
If this was after the '91 season, it was after Thomas' first full season in the majors, a little too soon to be dictating to management where he was going to play, in my opinion. I don't blame Thomas so much, I already knew he was a selfish player, I blame the nitwits in management who caved in to him.

Maybe McGwire wanted to come here, but I have a hard time believing Sox management was seriously considering moving Thomas to fulltime DH that early in his career...even for McGwire.
Remember, in 1991-in 154 games, McGwire hit .201 with 22 HRs. He did have a good year in '92 (.268-42-104), then was bit by the injury bug & didn't play a full season again until '97. He would have been long gone by then anyway. Thank god it didn't happen!

RKMeibalane
11-20-2002, 09:58 PM
This would have made the Sosa-Bell trade unecessary. If I remember correctly, the primary reason Bell was accquired was because the Sox needed a cleanup hitter. Thomas, at the time, was opposed to being moved out of the third spot. McGwire would have been able to hit behind him, and Ventura would have been in the five slot.

The only concern I might have had about having Thomas and McGwire on the same team is defense. McGwire actually won a Gold Glove in 1991, but he battled injuries for the next few years, and I think it limited his range. He was an adequate first baseman with the Cardinals.

MisterB
11-20-2002, 10:19 PM
Originally posted by Iguana775
holy crap!!! i get goose bumps thinking about him and big mac in the lineup. DAMN!!!!

Ahh. 20-20 hindsight. If this was after the '91 season, then this was the years McGwire & Sosa were coming off of:

McGwire - .201/.330/.383 22 hr, 75 rbi, 62 runs in 483 ab
Sosa - .203/.240/.335 10 hr, 33 rbi, 39 runs in 316 ab

McGwire had a good season in '92 but played only 74 games over the '93-'94 seasons. Sosa spent '92 as a part-time player before being given the Flubs' starting job in '93. But also remember that Sosa's big problem with the Sox was that he couldn't/wouldn't work with Hriniak's system, so he probably wouldn't have improved unless the Sox let Hriniak go.

Considering the poor seasons McGwire was coming off of, would you really want to screw with your best offensive player (which Thomas was by that time already) for what at the time looked like reclamation project? Thomas had spent most of '91 at DH due to a shoulder problem and it was already becoming apparent that he hit better when playing the field (which as near as anyone can tell still applies today). Also note that Thomas' unwillingness to move to DH was the reason Sox management gave McGwire for not signing him, whether this was their actual reason is open to debate (although Thomas is on the record as not wanting to DH at that stage of his career).

My take: The Sox do sign McGwire before the '92 season. Sosa still can't get his swing to work and platoons with Pasqua in RF, then is let go / traded before the '93 season due to the signing of Ellis Burks. McGwire has a good '92, but when he goes down with his injury in '93 (assuming Scheuler actually signed him for more than 1 year - see the aforementioned Burks), the Sox have to trade for another bat to replace him. Who they might have given up and who they would have got is anyone's guess.




p.s. And also remember, this was about 5 years before Sosa & McGwire's 'suppliments' reached their full effect :smile:

Huisj
11-20-2002, 10:25 PM
i think it's absurd to be mad at thomas for not wanting to become a dh at age 24 or whatever he was back then. he was beginning to establish himself already as a potential super star, and they wanted to move him aside for a guy who had reached basically a low point in his career, and you blame him for wanting to keep his job? gee, give the guy some credit. I wouldn't call that dictating the team; they asked him the question, so he told them his answer.

guillen4life13
11-20-2002, 10:33 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Gang:

I'm doing something I shouldn't but because Frank Thomas has been in the news on this board a LOT over the past few weeks (and figures to remain on it until December 7th), I think those of you for or against Frank might want to see this.

I spoke with Jack McDowell today (Wednesday) at his home in San Diego. Jack is going to be the featured Q & A on WSI in December (although in the spirit of the holiday season, I'm going to try to do two interviews...my gift to the good fans at WSI!)

Jack has some things to say about Frank that may change some opinions so I post it without comment:

First off, I asked Jack what he thought of Frank and mentioned all the troubles he's had the past few seasons. Here's what he said. "A lot of guys have taken him the wrong way. Players have different personalities. If you have 25 guys on a team, they're not all going to think the same or act the same. And you don't want that anyway. Frank has had to answer a lot of charges against him the past few years. Maybe he'll give some thought to what's being said and try to change a little to keep his legacy as a great player intact."

Then as part of a different question, Jack said something that absolutely staggered me. I have NEVER heard this anywhere.

Jack said that Mark McGwire told him he wanted to come to the Sox when he was a free agent (I assume this was after the 91 season when Mark had the bad foot and was a free agent, but I'll go back over the subject again when I speak with McDowell on Thursday). Jack said McGwire told him the Sox asked Frank if he'd be willing to move full time to DH so that Mark could play first base and Thomas said NO.

What might have been eh? Jack also had some other "interesting" things to say but you'll just have to wait for December! Merry Christmas!!

Lip

and early, but heartfelt merry christmas to you too! :D: :D:

thanks lip for interviewing jack. i'm really looking forward to what else he had to say.

Kilroy
11-21-2002, 12:09 AM
Originally posted by Ol Aches & Pains
If this was after the '91 season, it was after Thomas' first full season in the majors, a little too soon to be dictating to management where he was going to play, in my opinion. I don't blame Thomas so much, I already knew he was a selfish player, I blame the nitwits in management who caved in to him.

Hey, you can't call a guy selfish for wanting to play. Don't you think it could have been worked out to have both on the team splitting time at DH/1B?

They didn't wanna make it happen.

As for Frank dictating, I guess you can look at it that way. But on the other hand, why is Sox management making personell decisions based on opinions of a player that has 1 full season under his belt?? If I'm GM, I don't even think to ask him. Maybe after a bunch of years, he'd have earned that courtesy, but not after one full season...

Lip Man 1
11-21-2002, 03:08 AM
Keep in mind one other historical note about Thomas' influence with Sox management.

According to Jerry Reinsdorf he went to speak with Thomas before the Albert Belle signing. Reinsdorf asked Thomas if he could have any one player in MLB for the Sox, who would that be...

Thomas told him Belle and according to Reinsdorf he made sure to ask Thomas the question again because Reinsdorf knew (so he said) that Barry Bonds was being made available by the Giants.

Thomas got what he wanted.

20 / 20 hindsight does bring up some interesting possibilities if the Sox traded for Bonds instead doesn't it?

Lip

RKMeibalane
11-21-2002, 08:28 AM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Keep in mind one other historical note about Thomas' influence with Sox management.

According to Jerry Reinsdorf he went to speak with Thomas before the Albert Belle signing. Reinsdorf asked Thomas if he could have any one player in MLB for the Sox, who would that be...

Thomas told him Belle and according to Reinsdorf he made sure to ask Thomas the question again because Reinsdorf knew (so he said) that Barry Bonds was being made available by the Giants.

Thomas got what he wanted.

20 / 20 hindsight does bring up some interesting possibilities if the Sox traded for Bonds instead doesn't it?

Lip

Did Reinsdorf actually say anyting to Thomas about Bonds being availible, or was he acting like a weasel again?

harwar
11-21-2002, 08:43 AM
I remember the signing of Belle like it was yesterday and how sick i felt.Also,i don't blame BIG FRANK for not wanting to be DH in his second year,especially when some people consider the DH spot in baseball to be redundant and anyone playing DH full time a lock to never reach the hall of fame.

Dadawg_77
11-21-2002, 10:21 AM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Keep in mind one other historical note about Thomas' influence with Sox management.

According to Jerry Reinsdorf he went to speak with Thomas before the Albert Belle signing. Reinsdorf asked Thomas if he could have any one player in MLB for the Sox, who would that be...

Thomas told him Belle and according to Reinsdorf he made sure to ask Thomas the question again because Reinsdorf knew (so he said) that Barry Bonds was being made available by the Giants.

Thomas got what he wanted.

20 / 20 hindsight does bring up some interesting possibilities if the Sox traded for Bonds instead doesn't it?

Lip

One thing that puzzles me is JR operations with his other team. Maybe Krause was stronger then Himes/RS but MJ reporting always made demands on who the Bulls should sign and not sign. And it seemed Krause always went with who he like best. Now if JR owns both teams is the difference in operations caused by JR himself or a lack of a strong Sox GM?

RKMeibalane
11-21-2002, 11:02 AM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
One thing that puzzles me is JR operations with his other team. Maybe Krause was stronger then Himes/RS but MJ reporting always made demands on who the Bulls should sign and not sign. And it seemed Krause always went with who he like best. Now if JR owns both teams is the difference in operations caused by JR himself or a lack of a strong Sox GM?

That's hard to say. I think Reinsdorf has an indirect effect on how the Sox are run, because he was the one who put Ken Williams in place. Williams seems to do whatever Reinsdorf tells him. For example, KW will only go after a big-name pitcher if JR gives him the okay. If Williams tries to pursue Tom Glavine or Greg Maddux without the Chairman's permission, I think KW would be in trouble.

As far as Krause is concerned, you are correct that he usually went with the player he liked the most. One example goes back to 1990, I believe. Walter Davis, Danny Ainge, and Roy Hinson were free-agents. All were good players, capable of scoring when called upon, something the Bulls needed. Davis was the most talented of the three, and Jordan originally wanted him, but his wife didn't want to move to Chicago, so the deal was off.

Jordan then pushed for Ainge, because Danny had played with Larry Bird for years, and Jordan knew that he would work hard, and he wouldn't be intimidated by the Detroit Pistons. But Krause wanted Hinson. Hinson had talent, but he wasn't as strong mentally as the other two players. Yet, Krause still signed him. Jordan was furious.

Lip Man 1
11-21-2002, 12:21 PM
A few points:

RK, I don't know if JR told Thomas that Bonds was available all I know is that JR said that he was told the Giants were making Barry available because of the size of his contract. (At that time, the Giants were still playing in Candlestick)

According to the Chicago Bulls Encyclopedia (Alex Sachare-1999) Roy Hinson never was signed by the Bulls and of course never played a minute for them

Lip

RKMeibalane
11-21-2002, 12:25 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
A few points:

RK, I don't know if JR told Thomas that Bonds was available all I know is that JR said that he was told the Giants were making Barry available because of the size of his contract. (At that time, the Giants were still playing in Candlestick)

According to the Chicago Bulls Encyclopedia (Alex Sachare-1999) Roy Hinson never was signed by the Bulls and of course never played a minute for them

Lip

You're right about Hinson. I forgot about what happened next. Krause did want to sign him, but Hinson ended up in Philadelphia, where he was criticized by Charles Barkley for his inconsistent play.

Dadawg_77
11-21-2002, 02:32 PM
A better example would Oakley for Cartwright. MJ and Oak Tree were close, but Krause felt the Bulls needed a good center to win, thus he traded for Bill. MJ was furious his friend left that he froze out Bill on the basketball court at certain points.

hold2dibber
11-21-2002, 03:31 PM
Originally posted by RKMeibalane
Williams seems to do whatever Reinsdorf tells him. For example, KW will only go after a big-name pitcher if JR gives him the okay. If Williams tries to pursue Tom Glavine or Greg Maddux without the Chairman's permission, I think KW would be in trouble.



I don't think this is untrue for any other owner/GM relationship in the league. GMs can only go after FAs if they have the budgetary room as alloted by the ownership. KW can't just go sign any player he wants. Neither can Billy Beane or Brian Sabean or even, I would guess, Brian Cashman.

Lip Man 1
11-21-2002, 08:39 PM
Gang:

I had the pleasure of speaking with "Black" Jack McDowell for a second hour today as he was driving from San Diego to Los Angeles.

You won't find a more real, down to earth, positive type guy anywhere.

Just wanted to pass along a few points. As part of the conversation Jack told me that when I type and complete the final format of the Q & A (and it's published at WSI) to make sure I give out his e-mail address to the fans.

Jack said that he always tries to answer questions from fans be they regarding his baseball days or his music days as leader of Stickfigure. So when that interview comes out next month, I'll be sure to let you know how you can contact him with your thoughts and questions. (and if you do, make sure you let him know that you read the interview on WSI, it might lead to being able to get ahold of some of his former teammates!!!)

Now as far as Jack's comments on Mark McGwire I read back to him what I recorded yesterday (and posted to start this thread) and Jack said that I quoted him correctly.

Not only that he said that McGwire called him three times in ten days (after the 1991 season) to ask about the guys on the club, about Jeff Torborg and the coaching staff and about the city of Chicago. McDowell said he thought the Sox were going to get Big Mac and called Robin Ventura to let him know. Jack told me, Ventura told him "allright, we're going to kick ass..."

Obviously the Sox also had interest or they wouldn't have gone to Frank Thomas to ask him if he'd switch full time to DH.

Like I say, I think you're going to enjoy Jack's interview next month, he says a lot of stuff and has a bunch of great and funny stories about stuff that took place on the field, and in the clubhouse (and the time he met Goldie Hawn close up...)

Lip

guillen4life13
11-21-2002, 08:52 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Gang:

I had the pleasure of speaking with "Black" Jack McDowell for a second hour today as he was driving from San Diego to Los Angeles.

You won't find a more real, down to earth, positive type guy anywhere.

Just wanted to pass along a few points. As part of the conversation Jack told me that when I type and complete the final format of the Q & A (and it's published at WSI) to make sure I give out his e-mail address to the fans.

Jack said that he always tries to answer questions from fans be they regarding his baseball days or his music days as leader of Stickfigure. So when that interview comes out next month, I'll be sure to let you know how you can contact him with your thoughts and questions. (and if you do, make sure you let him know that you read the interview on WSI, it might lead to being able to get ahold of some of his former teammates!!!)

Now as far as Jack's comments on Mark McGwire I read back to him what I recorded yesterday (and posted to start this thread) and Jack said that I quoted him correctly.

Not only that he said that McGwire called him three times in ten days (after the 1991 season) to ask about the guys on the club, about Jeff Torborg and the coaching staff and about the city of Chicago. McDowell said he thought the Sox were going to get Big Mac and called Robin Ventura to let him know. Jack told me, Ventura told him "allright, we're going to kick ass..."

Obviously the Sox also had interest or they wouldn't have gone to Frank Thomas to ask him if he'd switch full time to DH.

Like I say, I think you're going to enjoy Jack's interview next month, he says a lot of stuff and has a bunch of great and funny stories about stuff that took place on the field, and in the clubhouse (and the time he met Goldie Hahn close up...)

Lip

yea. I already talk to him now. he's given me some good advice regarding being a young musician and what to do with the resources I have, etc. :gulp: :gulp: :gulp:

(no, Jack McDowell did not tell guillen4life13 to drink his way through high school... seriously, he didn't).

RichH55
11-21-2002, 11:34 PM
Originally posted by guillen4life13
yea. I already talk to him now. he's given me some good advice regarding being a young musician and what to do with the resources I have, etc. :gulp: :gulp: :gulp:

(no, Jack McDowell did not tell guillen4life13 to drink his way through high school... seriously, he didn't).



Came up with that idea all on your own eh?> :cool:

DVG
11-22-2002, 01:40 AM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Gang:

I'm doing something I shouldn't but because Frank Thomas has been in the news on this board a LOT over the past few weeks (and figures to remain on it until December 7th), I think those of you for or against Frank might want to see this.

I spoke with Jack McDowell today (Wednesday) at his home in San Diego. Jack is going to be the featured Q & A on WSI in December (although in the spirit of the holiday season, I'm going to try to do two interviews...my gift to the good fans at WSI!)

Jack has some things to say about Frank that may change some opinions so I post it without comment:

First off, I asked Jack what he thought of Frank and mentioned all the troubles he's had the past few seasons. Here's what he said. "A lot of guys have taken him the wrong way. Players have different personalities. If you have 25 guys on a team, they're not all going to think the same or act the same. And you don't want that anyway. Frank has had to answer a lot of charges against him the past few years. Maybe he'll give some thought to what's being said and try to change a little to keep his legacy as a great player intact."

Then as part of a different question, Jack said something that absolutely staggered me. I have NEVER heard this anywhere.

Jack said that Mark McGwire told him he wanted to come to the Sox when he was a free agent (I assume this was after the 91 season when Mark had the bad foot and was a free agent, but I'll go back over the subject again when I speak with McDowell on Thursday). Jack said McGwire told him the Sox asked Frank if he'd be willing to move full time to DH so that Mark could play first base and Thomas said NO.

What might have been eh? Jack also had some other "interesting" things to say but you'll just have to wait for December! Merry Christmas!!

Lip

I'd like to chip in what a couple of others have said; that McGwire
had injury-plauged seasons from 1991-94. Keep in mind that he
could've signed a big contract with the Sox, had a couple of un-
productive seasons due to injuries and then been cut loose and
considered a bust. Now if he had wanted to come here in 1997
and told no, I'd have a lot more angst over that.

I also don't blame Thomas for wanting to DH after 1991, IF that
is indeed the case. DH is considered a position for old sluggers
on the downside of their careers. A guy just entering into his
breakout years shouldn't have to play it.

I also seem to remember when Mark Grace became a free agent
in 1994 or 1995, Frank Thomas put it out that he'd be willing to
DH full-time if the team signed Grace. Can anybody remember
that?

RKMeibalane
11-22-2002, 12:10 PM
Originally posted by DVG
I'd like to chip in what a couple of others have said; that McGwire
had injury-plauged seasons from 1991-94. Keep in mind that he
could've signed a big contract with the Sox, had a couple of un-
productive seasons due to injuries and then been cut loose and
considered a bust. Now if he had wanted to come here in 1997
and told no, I'd have a lot more angst over that.

I also don't blame Thomas for wanting to DH after 1991, IF that
is indeed the case. DH is considered a position for old sluggers
on the downside of their careers. A guy just entering into his
breakout years shouldn't have to play it.

I also seem to remember when Mark Grace became a free agent
in 1994 or 1995, Frank Thomas put it out that he'd be willing to
DH full-time if the team signed Grace. Can anybody remember
that?

I wasn't aware the Sox were looking to sign Grace. I do remember Tony LaRussa showing some interest in him after he took the Cardinals job, prior to the 1996 season.