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Man Soo Lee
01-02-2004, 01:13 AM
From beat writer Scot Gregor in a Daily Herald year-in-review piece:

This story was never reported, but enough details have emerged and enough time has passed to reveal a minor scrap between White Sox designated hitter Frank Thomas and relief pitcher Billy Koch.

On a late July bus ride to the team hotel in Kansas City, Koch was acting like, well, Koch. Even though he was in the midst of a horrible season, the reliever continued his incessant poking and jabbing. Problem was, he picked the wrong time to pick on Thomas.

Some heated words were exchanged and some punches were thrown, but Koch and Thomas finally cooled off by the time they reached the hotel lobby.

"I was just trying to get him fired up,'' Koch said. "I didn't think he'd get that mad.''

Not a big deal, but maybe incidents like this led to Ozzie's comments about needing Frank to be a better teammate next year.

SluggersAway
01-02-2004, 02:32 AM
Does anyone else have stories like this of Koch "poking and jabbing" other folks on the team or the opposing side?

(Maybe he ain't so bad after all)

gosox41
01-02-2004, 06:15 AM
Originally posted by SluggersAway
Does anyone else have stories like this of Koch "poking and jabbing" other folks on the team or the opposing side?

(Maybe he ain't so bad after all)

Or maybe Koch should shut up and pitch better. That's great that he hasn't lost his personality that everyone claims makes him so great in the clubhouse, but one thing I believe is that if you're unable to walk the walk, then don't talk the talk. Last year the only person Koch should have been taking jabs at was himself. He needs to shut up and correct why his fastball lost 10MPH and is straight as an arrow.

Any Frank bashers going to blame Frank for this?

Bob

Tragg
01-02-2004, 08:23 AM
The Sox should just give Koch to the Mets. We would never sign him at his salary, so just consider him a free agent.
Send Maggs to the Mariners in the deal in another string.
Sign a starter and find 2 more relievers.
Competitive team, on budget

jshanahanjr
01-02-2004, 09:18 AM
Did Frank cry when Koch slapped him? Remember when Davey Martinez pinned him down at Yankee Stadium when Frank was going after Ventura?

jeremyb1
01-02-2004, 09:22 AM
Originally posted by gosox41
Or maybe Koch should shut up and pitch better. That's great that he hasn't lost his personality that everyone claims makes him so great in the clubhouse, but one thing I believe is that if you're unable to walk the walk, then don't talk the talk. Last year the only person Koch should have been taking jabs at was himself. He needs to shut up and correct why his fastball lost 10MPH and is straight as an arrow.

Any Frank bashers going to blame Frank for this?

Bob

If Koch was playing around and Frank threw punches at him I'm certainly going to place a lot of the blame with Frank and I'm not a Frank basher. I have no problem with a guy that likes to poke fun and lighten things up. How well he's pitching is a seperate issue in my opinion. If Frank is that uptight in the clubhouse and is causing tension then I do have a problem with that.

boog_alou
01-02-2004, 09:46 AM
What is up with a pitcher having one of the worst seasons in baseball "poking and jabbing" verbally with another player? When you stink that bad, it is time to shut the hell up. I think Billy needs to try leading by example, by playing well on the field. I certainly wouldn't respond well to a horrible pitcher trying to "fire me up" with his verbal BS.

Brian26
01-02-2004, 09:51 AM
Originally posted by jshanahanjr
Did Frank cry when Koch slapped him? Remember when Davey Martinez pinned him down at Yankee Stadium when Frank was going after Ventura?

Actually, I'm not sure I remember this story. This had to have been in '95 or '96 if Martinez was on the team. Any other details?

poorme
01-02-2004, 09:58 AM
Wonder if Frank got in any good hits. Funny.

jshanahanjr
01-02-2004, 09:59 AM
It was August 1996 and Frank was yelling @ the ump about a called third strike. Ventura told Frank to cool it because the team couldn't afford him thrown out of the game. Frank went after Ventura and Martinez put Frank in a leg lock and sat him on the bench.

boog_alou
01-02-2004, 10:01 AM
Originally posted by poorme
Wonder if Frank got in any good hits. Funny.
He's lost some fist speed in recent years, and can't handle the inside jab. But, he's still got a good power right hook.

jabrch
01-02-2004, 10:15 AM
Originally posted by gosox41
Any Frank bashers going to blame Frank for this?

For throwing a hissyfit when a teammate is making fun of you? Yes Bob, I do. Part of being in a MLB clubhouse is the regular poking and jabs that men make at eachother. If Thomas can't handle it and has to get in a physical confrontation with someone over that, then yes, he should be blamed for it?

Any Frank-Blowers want to give him a free pass for poor behaviour cuz he can hit?

Deadguy
01-02-2004, 10:17 AM
Originally posted by jshanahanjr
It was August 1996 and Frank was yelling @ the ump about a called third strike. Ventura told Frank to cool it because the team couldn't afford him thrown out of the game. Frank went after Ventura and Martinez put Frank in a leg lock and sat him on the bench.

I remember that game at Yankee Stadium, but I don't remember Martinez pinning Frank down. The cameras did pick up the altercation, and I did see Thomas shove Ventura. It was kind of reminiscent of the altercation between Bonds and Kent in 2002.

BTW, Koch should just ****. Show some respect to one of the veterans on the team with the longest tenure. He should have a feel for who to poke fun at, and who doesn't like joking around.

Deadguy
01-02-2004, 10:20 AM
Originally posted by jabrch


Any Frank-Blowers want to give him a free pass for poor behaviour cuz he can hit?

I'd give a free pass to Aaron Rowand, Willie Harris, Miguel Olivo, Joe Crede, Jose Valentin, etc. Koch was in the clubhouse for months, and he should have gotten a feel for the personalities of the players, and who likes to joke around and who doesn't.

Frank obviously doesn't take criticism too well, and if it's coming from someone who was having as terrible a season as Koch was, I don't blame him for getting upset.

hold2dibber
01-02-2004, 10:56 AM
Originally posted by jabrch
For throwing a hissyfit when a teammate is making fun of you? Yes Bob, I do. Part of being in a MLB clubhouse is the regular poking and jabs that men make at eachother. If Thomas can't handle it and has to get in a physical confrontation with someone over that, then yes, he should be blamed for it?

Any Frank-Blowers want to give him a free pass for poor behaviour cuz he can hit?

Ha! What a crock. You have no idea what Koch said, how offensive it was or how it escalated, yet it's all Frank's fault? Just about everyone on earth has a boiling point when verbal "jabbing" becomes so irritating that you lose your cool. Does Frank have a low "boiling point"? I don't know and neither do you. It sounds obvious to me that Koch was the instigator. Did Frank overreact? Again, I don't know and neither do you. We weren't there. So simply saying its Frank's fault seems absurd to me (as does simply saying it's Koch's fault).

hillbilly
01-02-2004, 11:26 AM
Originally posted by jabrch


For throwing a hissyfit when a teammate is making fun of you? Yes Bob, I do. Part of being in a MLB clubhouse is the regular poking and jabs that men make at eachother. If Thomas can't handle it and has to get in a physical confrontation with someone over that, then yes, he should be blamed for it?

Any Frank-Blowers want to give him a free pass for poor behaviour cuz he can hit?

And you know what goes on with a baseball team (any competitive organized team, not just MLB) how and why? Yea, I've played two years of college ball so far and when someone rips another player, nobody takes it lightly nor should they. BS to do that to someone.

boog_alou
01-02-2004, 11:27 AM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
Does Frank have a low "boiling point"? I don't know and neither do you.
Isn't it pretty well established that Frank has a low boiling point?

Deadguy
01-02-2004, 11:40 AM
Originally posted by boog_alou
Isn't it pretty well established that Frank has a low boiling point?

Very true, and if Koch couldn't figure this out after being a teammate of his for a few months, then his perception is as poor as the velocity of his fastball.

Soxdude
01-02-2004, 12:01 PM
I heard that Thomas and Koch fought...any word to that???

Iwritecode
01-02-2004, 12:08 PM
Originally posted by Soxdude
I heard that Thomas and Koch fought...any word to that???

Check the Frank vs. Koch thread about 3 below this one...

Brian26
01-02-2004, 01:28 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
So simply saying its Frank's fault seems absurd to me (as does simply saying it's Koch's fault).

Same here. I'm blown away that anyone could side so vehemently against Frank. I have all the respect in the world for a guy who minds his own business. If he wants to take a serious approach to the game, I respect that. It appears Koch was out of line.

boog_alou
01-02-2004, 02:00 PM
Originally posted by Brian26
If he wants to take a serious approach to the game, I respect that. It appears Koch was out of line.
Of course we don't know all the details, but it looks to me like both of them were out of line. Koch had no business getting on Frank's case about anything, regardless of what his motivation was. And, Frank had no business reacting to Koch's words with punches. Basically, these are two hot heads who think a whole lot of themselves. No one should be surprised that they both ****ed up and got in a fight with each other.

jeremyb1
01-02-2004, 02:24 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
Ha! What a crock. You have no idea what Koch said, how offensive it was or how it escalated, yet it's all Frank's fault? Just about everyone on earth has a boiling point when verbal "jabbing" becomes so irritating that you lose your cool. Does Frank have a low "boiling point"? I don't know and neither do you. It sounds obvious to me that Koch was the instigator. Did Frank overreact? Again, I don't know and neither do you. We weren't there. So simply saying its Frank's fault seems absurd to me (as does simply saying it's Koch's fault).

Assuming that Koch's intent was clearly not malicious and Frank was responsible for the physical escalation of the fight, both of which are implied by the article, I think you have the place the majority of the blame with Frank. You're not supposed to physically fight your own teammates and Frank should respect the fact that Koch was not trying to make him angry even if he did cross a line with his comments.

RKMeibalane
01-02-2004, 02:54 PM
Three things:

1. I think Frank overreacted by throwing punches.

2. Having said that, Koch should have known better than to risk saying something that would provoke Frank.

3. Given how horrible Koch pitched last season, I hope Frank beat the **** out of him.

hold2dibber
01-02-2004, 03:17 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
Assuming that Koch's intent was clearly not malicious and Frank was responsible for the physical escalation of the fight, both of which are implied by the article, I think you have the place the majority of the blame with Frank. You're not supposed to physically fight your own teammates and Frank should respect the fact that Koch was not trying to make him angry even if he did cross a line with his comments.

I didn't read the article and I can't find it online. Obviously, if Koch was engaged in some light hearted joking and Frank just came out swinging, that would be b.s. on Frank's part. My point is that if you weren't actually there it's hard to say who's fault it was. My guess is that, like most of these kinds of things, they were both responsible to some extent and that it escalated because they were both being bone heads. But who knows for sure.

And in any event, I'm not sure that I really care. Team chemistry is overrated. Unless Frank punched Koch smack dab in the rotator cuff causing his velocity and command to diminish, or if Koch so hurt Frank's feelings that he couldn't concentrate on hitting, I doubt that the scuffle had any effect on the diamond.

Man Soo Lee
01-02-2004, 03:59 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
I didn't read the article and I can't find it online.

Here (http://www.dailyherald.com/search/main_story.asp?intID=37987267) is the link. The only bit about Frank and Koch is included in the original post, but there are also anecdotes about Paniagua and Loaiza.

I'd agree that we don't know enough to say one guy or the other was more at fault and that it likely had no effect on the field.

Some people were upset by Ozzie's comments about Frank, which included that he had "heard things" about problems in the clubhouse. Maybe Ozzie's criticism wasn't baseless. Whether he should have said anything publically is another issue...

Deadguy
01-02-2004, 04:55 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
Assuming that Koch's intent was clearly not malicious and Frank was responsible for the physical escalation of the fight, both of which are implied by the article, I think you have the place the majority of the blame with Frank. You're not supposed to physically fight your own teammates and Frank should respect the fact that Koch was not trying to make him angry even if he did cross a line with his comments.

Regardless of Koch's intent, he should have had the foresight to realize that some players like to joke around and can take some ribbing, while others don't.

It's no secret that Thomas is extremely sensitive to criticism, and that is a character flaw on his part. However, after being a teammate of Thomas' for a few months, Koch should have realized that Thomas doesn't like to take personal jabs, especially about his production. If this had happened in March or April, then it might be a bit more understandable.

Since this altercation occurred in late July, I'm guessing it occurred sometime when Thomas was stuck in an 0 for 16 slump while sitting on 1,999 hits. Koch probably made a crack that had something to do with this, and Thomas took offense to it.

I wonder if this was also around the time when Koch was placed on the 15 day disabled list?

hftrex
01-02-2004, 05:23 PM
Originally posted by Deadguy
I wonder if this was also around the time when Koch was placed on the 15 day disabled list?

If so, then Koch got his just desserts.

Daver
01-02-2004, 06:05 PM
Originally posted by hftrex
If so, then Koch got his just desserts.

Hey welcome aboard! :redneck

gosox41
01-03-2004, 07:13 AM
Originally posted by jabrch
For throwing a hissyfit when a teammate is making fun of you? Yes Bob, I do. Part of being in a MLB clubhouse is the regular poking and jabs that men make at eachother. If Thomas can't handle it and has to get in a physical confrontation with someone over that, then yes, he should be blamed for it?

Any Frank-Blowers want to give him a free pass for poor behaviour cuz he can hit?

At least he's doing his part to earn his money and help the team win. All I care about is winning. Perform on the field, and as long as you don't hurt anyone or do anything illegal off the field I'm happy. But if a player continuously blows (games) then I think it's in his best interest to keep his trap shut and figure out ways to help the team win. Going after the team's best player who evveryone knows is moody to begin with just for a few chuckles from other underperforming teammates is hardly the way to do it.

As far as I'm concerned Koch is going to be awful again next year. If he wants to be the class clown then maybe he should just wear Frank's dirty jockstrap around his head and walk aroung the field that way i nfront of the fans. :D:

Bob

Jjav829
01-03-2004, 04:20 PM
Originally posted by Deadguy
Regardless of Koch's intent, he should have had the foresight to realize that some players like to joke around and can take some ribbing, while others don't.

It's no secret that Thomas is extremely sensitive to criticism, and that is a character flaw on his part. However, after being a teammate of Thomas' for a few months, Koch should have realized that Thomas doesn't like to take personal jabs, especially about his production. If this had happened in March or April, then it might be a bit more understandable.

Since this altercation occurred in late July, I'm guessing it occurred sometime when Thomas was stuck in an 0 for 16 slump while sitting on 1,999 hits. Koch probably made a crack that had something to do with this, and Thomas took offense to it.

I wonder if this was also around the time when Koch was placed on the 15 day disabled list?

I don't really have a side either way. I think both were out of line. But for the sake of playing devils advocate, I'll ask you this. If you believe that Koch should have known how Frank is and stayed off him, shouldn't Frank have known how Koch is? In other words, shouldn't Frank have realized it wasn't anything personal just Billy being Billy and either returned the jabs or just ignored him? Just wondering what you think about that view.

jabrch
01-03-2004, 04:33 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
Ha! What a crock. You have no idea what Koch said, how offensive it was or how it escalated, yet it's all Frank's fault? Just about everyone on earth has a boiling point when verbal "jabbing" becomes so irritating that you lose your cool. Does Frank have a low "boiling point"? I don't know and neither do you. It sounds obvious to me that Koch was the instigator. Did Frank overreact? Again, I don't know and neither do you. We weren't there. So simply saying its Frank's fault seems absurd to me (as does simply saying it's Koch's fault).

I never said "it is all Frank's fault"

In response to the question, "any Frank Haters want to blame Frank" I said, "For throwing a hissyfit when a teammate is making fun of you? Yes" I'd stand by that. Put 40 men in a room together and you are going to get you share of pokes and jabs. If it gets to a physical confrontation because of one person - then that person is to blame.

jabrch
01-03-2004, 04:34 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
Assuming that Koch's intent was clearly not malicious and Frank was responsible for the physical escalation of the fight, both of which are implied by the article, I think you have the place the majority of the blame with Frank. You're not supposed to physically fight your own teammates and Frank should respect the fact that Koch was not trying to make him angry even if he did cross a line with his comments.

BINGO

CubKilla
01-03-2004, 04:48 PM
I wonder if Botch rid himself of his unlucky stone columns before or after this reported confrontation?

surfdudes
01-04-2004, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
Ha! What a crock. You have no idea what Koch said, how offensive it was or how it escalated, yet it's all Frank's fault? Just about everyone on earth has a boiling point when verbal "jabbing" becomes so irritating that you lose your cool. Does Frank have a low "boiling point"? I don't know and neither do you. It sounds obvious to me that Koch was the instigator. Did Frank overreact? Again, I don't know and neither do you. We weren't there. So simply saying its Frank's fault seems absurd to me (as does simply saying it's Koch's fault).

Exactly, just another opportunity for Frank Bashers to misunderstand him one more time.
New guy, smart azz, making a few million, not doing ANYTHING for the team, poking fun at misunderstood, serious about playing well and winning, in the middle of a comeback year, coming back on the bus after a loss. Enough said.
Frank is back, Koch has never been there long enough to have a comeback.

CubKilla
01-04-2004, 01:35 PM
Originally posted by surfdudes
New guy, smart azz, making a few million, not doing ANYTHING for the team, poking fun at misunderstood, serious about playing well and winning, in the middle of a comeback year, coming back on the bus after a loss. Enough said.
Frank is back, Koch has never been there long enough to have a comeback.

While I back Frank and bash Frank when the specific opportunity presents itself based on what I know, if you think the '02 and '03 Frank "is back" to being the 90's Frank, I'd say you're sorely mistaken.

surfdudes
01-04-2004, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by CubKilla
While I back Frank and bash Frank when the specific opportunity presents itself based on what I know, if you think the '02 and '03 Frank "is back" to being the 90's Frank, I'd say you're sorely mistaken.

No, not to early 90's levels, but yes, back to producing. It will be interesting to see if Frank can bring the average up this year and keep the HR's over 40. And Frank's produced well for at least 10 seasons in his career, and Koch has had, maybe, one effective year. After his performance last year, He not only doesn't deserve to carry Frank's piss bucket, he probably should ask permission to speak to him.

CubKilla
01-04-2004, 02:39 PM
Originally posted by surfdudes
After his performance last year, He not only doesn't deserve to carry Frank's piss bucket, he probably should ask permission to speak to him.

I agree 100%. I was just commenting on the "back" part. It's cool. I'll take 9 Frank's over 9 Botch's anyday..... don't get me wrong.

BeerHandle
01-05-2004, 12:04 PM
Originally posted by Man Soo Lee
From beat writer Scot Gregor in a Daily Herald year-in-review piece:



Not a big deal, but maybe incidents like this led to Ozzie's comments about needing Frank to be a better teammate next year.
Is Koch a professional pitcher? NO! Maybe he should stop joking and figure out why his fastball lost 6-7mph. Trade the bum!!

KingXerxes
01-05-2004, 12:14 PM
Thomas should have taken a swing at Koch if for no other reason than that stupid tuft of "beard" that he has.

PaulDrake
01-05-2004, 12:17 PM
Maybe Koch was thinking about a comedy routine. It appears his days as a MLB pitcher are numbered.