PDA

View Full Version : Frank Thomas pondering ankle-fusion surgery?


Aidan
10-04-2004, 05:35 PM
I just heard this on the local ABC Channel 7 news in Chicago. Mark Giangreco reported that Frank Thomas is pondering ankle-fusion surgery. This surgery would require 5 to 6 months of healing time. Has anyone else heard more news on this?

RKMeibalane
10-04-2004, 05:42 PM
I just heard this on the local ABC Channel 7 news in Chicago. Mark Giangreco reported that Frank Thomas is pondering ankle-fusion surgery. This surgery would require 5 to 6 months of healing time. Has anyone else heard more news on this?
I would rather Frank not have that procedure done. Five to six months would put his return in March or April of 2005, and given how badly the Sox played without him this season, it's imperative that he is with the team every day next season, especially since Maggs probably won't be back.

Get well soon, Big Frank!

Jjav829
10-04-2004, 05:43 PM
Yes it was reported by KW earlier today. Frank will decide by Wednesday whether to have surgery or not. KW said that if Frank has it, he might miss the first half of Spring Training. Not good news.

SoxxoS
10-04-2004, 05:57 PM
I hope Frank does it. We need him 100% healthy, not healthy and then on the DL in August when the ankle becomes a problem.

RKMeibalane
10-04-2004, 06:07 PM
Yes it was reported by KW earlier today. Frank will decide by Wednesday whether to have surgery or not. KW said that if Frank has it, he might miss the first half of Spring Training. Not good news.
Now that I've had time to think about it, it might be better if he does have the surgery. This looks like a no-win situation for both Frank and the Sox. Someone needs to find the snakes and get them out of the Sox clubhouse. They've caused more than enough trouble as it is.

Jurr
10-04-2004, 06:09 PM
I would have to say that an ankle fusion surgical procedure would be a terrible idea.

The surgery is good to stabilize the joint, and in fact makes it very durable. However, what usually happens is the joint, because it is totally fixed in a locked position from that point on, transfers stresses to the bones of the foot.

Ankle fusion is great for people that walk around, jog, and stuff like that. It's also great for arthritic folks.

If Frank has this done, he's the type of guy that puts a tremendous amount of pressure on that foot when he's swinging, and I would fear that he's in big time danger of just transfering all of that stress and damage to his feet.

Daver
10-04-2004, 06:09 PM
Bone fusion surgery is a fairly iffy procedure, and something that might cost him the rest of a career as a ballplayer.

Lip Man 1
10-04-2004, 06:10 PM
I'm assuming Dr. Beckett can weigh in on this, the pro's and con's and the risks.

However it appears that like with Magglio complications are setting in with what was 'supposedly' a 'simple' injury.

Lip

he_gone_89
10-04-2004, 06:42 PM
Ankle fusion is great for people that walk around, jog, and stuff like that. It's also great for arthritic folks.

If Frank has this done, he's the type of guy that puts a tremendous amount of pressure on that foot when he's swinging, and I would fear that he's in big time danger of just transfering all of that stress and damage to his feet.
jogging? well that eliminates frank:D:

yea,he always lifts his foot on every swing,he would just screw it up again in a few months.

bring out the "babe ruth runner" and start voting for the HOF:(:

PavanoBeltran'05
10-04-2004, 06:43 PM
I would have to say that an ankle fusion surgical procedure would be a terrible idea.

The surgery is good to stabilize the joint, and in fact makes it very durable. However, what usually happens is the joint, because it is totally fixed in a locked position from that point on, transfers stresses to the bones of the foot.

Ankle fusion is great for people that walk around, jog, and stuff like that. It's also great for arthritic folks.

If Frank has this done, he's the type of guy that puts a tremendous amount of pressure on that foot when he's swinging, and I would fear that he's in big time danger of just transfering all of that stress and damage to his feet.Very true! He plants that front foot down, and he'd tear those foot bones to shreds.

minastirith67
10-04-2004, 07:09 PM
Would love to hear from Beckett on this one...

I must say though, that it would be absolutely heartbreaking if Frank's career was over...

:(:

PavanoBeltran'05
10-04-2004, 07:23 PM
Would love to hear from Beckett on this one...

I must say though, that it would be absolutely heartbreaking if Frank's career was over...

:(:No kidding. I talked to an orthopod in the ER about the bone marrow edema thing, and he said that sounded like bad surgical technique. Shouldn't happen in a meniscal case, and he also said that the kid may be in for a LONG rehab. I'll get his opinions on fusion tomorrow.
We need Frank in the lineup.

CarlosMay'sThumb
10-04-2004, 07:34 PM
Either way, Williams should assume that Frank will not be playing next year and sign players accordingly. Even if he actually plays, it seems likely that he'll be subpar or will re-injure the ankle. If Frank returns to pre 2000 form, it'll be a great plus, but with his recent history with injuries and his age and size, I would assume he's done.

Huisj
10-04-2004, 07:52 PM
Either way, Williams should assume that Frank will not be playing next year and sign players accordingly. Even if he actually plays, it seems likely that he'll be subpar or will re-injure the ankle. If Frank returns to pre 2000 form, it'll be a great plus, but with his recent history with injuries and his age and size, I would assume he's done.
I wonder if any team has ever actually had two superstars that both had career ending injuries in the same same season, let alone the same month. I'm not saying that these two injuries are necessarily career ending, but it seems that the rumors are starting to point toward that a little bit.

PavanoBeltran'05
10-04-2004, 07:53 PM
I wonder if any team has ever actually had two superstars that both had career ending injuries in the same same season, let alone the same month. I'm not saying that these two injuries are necessarily career ending, but it seems that the rumors are starting to point toward that a little bit.God wasn't a Sox fan this year.

shagar69
10-04-2004, 07:54 PM
God wasn't a Sox fan this year.
he has never been a sox fan

PavanoBeltran'05
10-04-2004, 07:58 PM
I resent that comment. He was all about some Sox before they screwed baseball over. I'm tired of hearing about the Red Sox and Cubs' curses. Nothing is worse than throwing a series.

beckett21
10-04-2004, 08:31 PM
Bone fusion surgery is a fairly iffy procedure, and something that might cost him the rest of a career as a ballplayer.Right you are Daver.

This is the first I have heard of any of this, BTW.

As Jurr and others intimated, ankle fusion surgery IMO would be devastating from a career standpoint. There are no active professional athletes playing with such a fusion to my knowledge. It is hard for me to imagine him being able to play after such a procedure.

Have you ever tried to run without bending your ankle? Not too easy, is it? And the stress on the other joints of his foot would be tremendous, ultimately leading to their breakdown as well. (Like the navicular for example).

And to Lip, as far as another injury gone awry, this would be a totally independent event from the navicular stress fracture. The ankle fusion would be due to degenerative arthritis of his ankle joint, of which the navicular is not directly involved. Now if the navicular stress fracture were caused by him placing undue stress on his foot due to his ankle pain, in that sense it could have been related as a secondary problem. But ankle fusion surgery would not necessarily relieve this. On the contrary it would cause arthritis of his midtarsal joints, of which the navicular is involved.

If Frank has this done, my guess is his career would be as good as over. Take that for what it's worth. That is just my personal opinion and I do not want to sound like the final authority (so please everyone please climb back in off the ledge now).

Clean it up and tough it out a few more years, or hang 'em up forever would be my advice if he came to my office. The fusion sounds like a foregone conclusion at this point, and I have no doubt he will need it eventually, but I would put it off as long as possible if I were Frank. Easy for me to say since I have no idea what kind of pain he is in from day to day. But this is no routine, 6 months and you are healed surgery. Fusion is permanent. He will never move his ankle again. Ever.

I just performed a similar but more extensive procedure on a patient last week, interestingly enough. I fused an ankle along with three joints in the hindfoot. It is not something I do frequently, because it is an absolute last-resort salvage procedure. Before anyone asks, an implant is not a viable option either because they have yet to design an ankle implant to withstand the rigors of walking/running.

My personal opinion, without knowing any intimate details of the situation, would be to clean out the joint/spurs and try to make do with a brace until his career is officially over. Fusion is the best alternative for a severely arthritic ankle; but I do not think it is a procedure that is compatible with a professional baseball career.

Let me reiterate that I have no details of the situation, only what I have read on this board up to this point. So take my opinions with a grain of salt. (Typical medical disclaimer! :redneck )

PavanoBeltran'05
10-04-2004, 09:09 PM
That's great insight, Beckett. Good stuff. How many docs do we have on staff here?

We've probably got every angle covered, though nobody gets many comebackers in the face to talk about.

Soxzilla
10-04-2004, 09:13 PM
...The end of a frickin era...


I hope frank doesn't go out like this, he deservers much better.:dunno:

Anyways, in case frank doesn't come back, thanks for the memories big guy! Frank = The man!

:Rocker: :worship: :worship: :nod: He should do whats best for himself.

MRKARNO
10-04-2004, 09:23 PM
I've read a lot of sad news on this board, but this might just be among the saddest I've read. Thomas is the best thing that this franchise has had going for it the past 15 years and I've never known a White Sox team without Frank Thomas. I really really hope this isn't as serious as it sounds, but things work this way sometimes.

PavanoBeltran'05
10-04-2004, 09:35 PM
Right you are Daver.

This is the first I have heard of any of this, BTW.

As Jurr and others intimated, ankle fusion surgery IMO would be devastating from a career standpoint. There are no active professional athletes playing with such a fusion to my knowledge. It is hard for me to imagine him being able to play after such a procedure.

Have you ever tried to run without bending your ankle? Not too easy, is it? And the stress on the other joints of his foot would be tremendous, ultimately leading to their breakdown as well. (Like the navicular for example).

And to Lip, as far as another injury gone awry, this would be a totally independent event from the navicular stress fracture. The ankle fusion would be due to degenerative arthritis of his ankle joint, of which the navicular is not directly involved. Now if the navicular stress fracture were caused by him placing undue stress on his foot due to his ankle pain, in that sense it could have been related as a secondary problem. But ankle fusion surgery would not necessarily relieve this. On the contrary it would cause arthritis of his midtarsal joints, of which the navicular is involved.

If Frank has this done, my guess is his career would be as good as over. Take that for what it's worth. That is just my personal opinion and I do not want to sound like the final authority (so please everyone please climb back in off the ledge now).

Clean it up and tough it out a few more years, or hang 'em up forever would be my advice if he came to my office. The fusion sounds like a foregone conclusion at this point, and I have no doubt he will need it eventually, but I would put it off as long as possible if I were Frank. Easy for me to say since I have no idea what kind of pain he is in from day to day. But this is no routine, 6 months and you are healed surgery. Fusion is permanent. He will never move his ankle again. Ever.

I just performed a similar but more extensive procedure on a patient last week, interestingly enough. I fused an ankle along with three joints in the hindfoot. It is not something I do frequently, because it is an absolute last-resort salvage procedure. Before anyone asks, an implant is not a viable option either because they have yet to design an ankle implant to withstand the rigors of walking/running.

My personal opinion, without knowing any intimate details of the situation, would be to clean out the joint/spurs and try to make do with a brace until his career is officially over. Fusion is the best alternative for a severely arthritic ankle; but I do not think it is a procedure that is compatible with a professional baseball career.

Let me reiterate that I have no details of the situation, only what I have read on this board up to this point. So take my opinions with a grain of salt. (Typical medical disclaimer! :redneck )I was about to say...do you think that the fusion was just something taken by media or the team in the wrong context? It had to be.
Maybe Levine heard that fusion was just one of the options.
There doesn't seem any way that a team doc, with interests on Frank possibly playing, would've made a conclusion to ankylose a joint like that.
I would figure that if Levine was really given a report that there was a definite possiblity of this procedure being done, he would've reported also that this procedure could be career ending.
That's one reason why I'm questioning the validity of the report.

Daver
10-04-2004, 09:43 PM
I was about to say...do you think that the fusion was just something taken by media or the team in the wrong context? It had to be.
Maybe Levine heard that fusion was just one of the options.
There doesn't seem any way that a team doc, with interests on Frank possibly playing, would've made a conclusion to ankylose a joint like that.
I would figure that if Levine was really given a report that there was a definite possiblity of this procedure being done, he would've reported also that this procedure could be career ending.
That's one reason why I'm questioning the validity of the report.
Levine did report that it could be career ending, and made it a point to emphasize that Frank's swing,which relies on the front foot for power, makes it even worse.

beckett21
10-04-2004, 09:43 PM
I was about to say...do you think that the fusion was just something taken by media or the team in the wrong context? It had to be.
Maybe Levine heard that fusion was just one of the options.
There doesn't seem any way that a team doc, with interests on Frank possibly playing, would've made a conclusion to ankylose a joint like that.
I would figure that if Levine was really given a report that there was a definite possiblity of this procedure being done, he would've reported also that this procedure could be career ending.
That's one reason why I'm questioning the validity of the report.Certainly a possibility.

Wouldn't be the first time Levine was wrong, wouldn't be the last either.

There was a lot of misinformation floating around after his first injury as to whether it was his foot or his ankle. Sometimes it can just be a matter of semantics which can be misinterpreted if taken literally. His chronic ankle problems have been well documented, so it is not entirely out of the realm of possibility. But on the other hand, it could actually be something completely different.

For that reason alone my comments certainly come with a disclaimer. I personally have not heard any reports, nor would I hang my hat or my credibility on anything Bruce Levine said. Seems unlikely to me, but again I am not close to the situation. If more comes out, I will be happy to lend my expertise to the best of my ability. But for now, all that can be done is wait for some *official* news. And hope for the best. *crosses fingers*

DickAllen72
10-04-2004, 09:43 PM
I was about to say...do you think that the fusion was just something taken by media or the team in the wrong context? It had to be.
Maybe Levine heard that fusion was just one of the options.
There doesn't seem any way that a team doc, with interests on Frank possibly playing, would've made a conclusion to ankylose a joint like that.
I would figure that if Levine was really given a report that there was a definite possiblity of this procedure being done, he would've reported also that this procedure could be career ending.
That's one reason why I'm questioning the validity of the report.

I tend to agree with you.

This makes about as much sense as Maggs supposedly flying to Austria to have his miniscus repaired. Repairing a torn miniscus is a simple procedure and I can't believe it wasn't taken care of the first time. Even if it wasn't, nobody flies all the way to Austria to have a torn miniscus repaired.

Frank getting his ankle fused would mean the end of his career. Maggs having surgery secretly in Vienna would be on something much more critical than a torn miniscus.

I question the validity of both of these reports.

beckett21
10-04-2004, 09:44 PM
Levine did report that it could be career ending, and made it a point to emphasize that Frank's swing,which relies on the front foot for power, makes it even worse.
Didn't see your post Daver. Thanks for the clarification.

If indeed it is true, this is not good news.

PavanoBeltran'05
10-04-2004, 09:51 PM
Well, that sucks.

The years of swinging off that foot may have caught up to the Big Hurt.
Frank, our hopes and prayers are with you, big dawg.

Frankfan4life
10-04-2004, 09:55 PM
I'm trying to stay optimistic, but I'm so bummed out about this, I feel like crying.

Obviously, Frank is desiring to come back next year, not end his career. Fortunately, he has the advantage of having the best medical opinions and specialists at his disposal. I know all this talk sounds grim but maybe there is some new type of surgical technique that will allow him to play. I don't think he would do anything to end his career prematurely or cause himself a crippling-type injury.
I want the big guy to do what is best for him but I'm praying and hoping that it results in him coming back to the Sox fully healthy.

Jjav829
10-04-2004, 10:02 PM
Another thing to consider on this is what this news does to the Sox potential offseason plans. It seemed like one of either Lee or Konerko was going to go this offseason. Konerko obviously making a little more sense as Gload could step in. But if Frank is done, can we really afford to trade Konerko. Also, if Frank is done, I would say that means we should step up the pursuit of Carlos Beltran. Not only is losing Maggs and Frank crucial to our offense, but it also takes away 2 definite fan favorites. As much as I think Sox fans care more about going to see a winning team than going to see a player, I do think it's more beneficial to have a superstar caliber player to sell to more casual observers. This news can really throw a monkey-wrench in the offseason plans. As was suggested earlier, at this point it might be better to plan as if Frank is done.

beckett21
10-04-2004, 10:06 PM
Well, that sucks.

The years of swinging off that foot may have caught up to the Big Hurt.
Frank, our hopes and prayers are with you, big dawg.I haven't seen any links yet. I'll believe it when I see it and not before.

I'm not saying Bruce Levine is wrong here, he obviously has connections that very few have. But there were a lot of conflicting reports the first go-round this season with Frank --first it was his ankle, then it was a tendon, then it was a stress fracture in his foot--so I tend to be cautious in believing what is reported.

That said, I would not be surprised if there is some ankle surgery on tap for Big Frank--actually I would be more surprised if there weren't. But fusion sounds pretty drastic to me if he still intends on playing for a few more years.

No need to get ourselves all in a tizzy just yet, at least not until there is some more credible information available. We could all drive ourselves crazy for no reason. :wired:

hose
10-04-2004, 10:17 PM
Another thing to consider on this is what this news does to the Sox potential offseason plans. It seemed like one of either Lee or Konerko was going to go this offseason. Konerko obviously making a little more sense as Gload could step in. But if Frank is done, can we really afford to trade Konerko. Also, if Frank is done, I would say that means we should step up the pursuit of Carlos Beltran. Not only is losing Maggs and Frank crucial to our offense, but it also takes away 2 definite fan favorites. As much as I think Sox fans care more about going to see a winning team than going to see a player, I do think it's more beneficial to have a superstar caliber player to sell to more casual observers. This news can really throw a monkey-wrench in the offseason plans. As was suggested earlier, at this point it might be better to plan as if Frank is done.
I agree with you jav , if the Big Hurt is not in the line up I don't think the Sox could afford to move Konerko or Lee.

Most fans just assumed Thomas would be all healed up by spring training......who knows may be he will.

beckett21
10-04-2004, 10:23 PM
I'm trying to stay optimistic, but I'm so bummed out about this, I feel like crying.

Obviously, Frank is desiring to come back next year, not end his career. Fortunately, he has the advantage of having the best medical opinions and specialists at his disposal. I know all this talk sounds grim but maybe there is some new type of surgical technique that will allow him to play. I don't think he would do anything to end his career prematurely or cause himself a crippling-type injury.
I want the big guy to do what is best for him but I'm praying and hoping that it results in him coming back to the Sox fully healthy.There is a technique where cartilage can be harvested from the femoral condyles in the non-articulating part of the knee joint and transplanted into the ankle. However, this works best for small defects. If the majority of the cartilage in his ankle is destroyed, this is probably not a consideration as there would be too much surface area to cover and it would not be a feasible option. If they are talking about a fusion, then I would gather that he is far beyond the stage of cartilage transplantation.

An implant is not an option for someone of his size, either, IMO. It would not be able to withstand the pounding he would give it. As I mentioned earlier, ankle implants have been very poor historically. They are working on some new ones, but they are not there yet. And even if they were, an implant would still be a career-ender, albeit a much more preferable option for life after baseball than a fusion. As far as I can see, his best option to keep playing would be to have the joint cleaned out and wear a supportive brace. But again that is just my opinion. And he would still most likely have pain after that, it would be a question of how much pain. Unfortunately the ankle will always be an issue, it's not just going to go away. Arthritis is for keeps, and it only gets worse over time.

Personally I wish him the best and hope that he is able to prolong his career somehow. All we can really do now is wait and see what happens.

PavanoBeltran'05
10-04-2004, 11:02 PM
As far as the ankle joint goes, how is the vascularity down there? Well, duh...you have an ATF sprain and it goes into a balloon. Can any of the pain and inflammation be controlled by a cortisone injection? Like you said, we really don't know what's going on, but if there is even talk of a fusion, we're talking about possibly an arthritic condition. Something chronic. Could it be controlled?? Beckett, what kind of pain control could one expect from cortisone after having the joint cleaned up? Hypothetically, of course, because we don't know exactly what's going on?

beckett21
10-04-2004, 11:21 PM
As far as the ankle joint goes, how is the vascularity down there? Well, duh...you have an ATF sprain and it goes into a balloon. Can any of the pain and inflammation be controlled by a cortisone injection? Like you said, we really don't know what's going on, but if there is even talk of a fusion, we're talking about possibly an arthritic condition. Something chronic. Could it be controlled?? Beckett, what kind of pain control could one expect from cortisone after having the joint cleaned up? Hypothetically, of course, because we don't know exactly what's going on?Cortisone shots would most likely be an integral part of his pain control. The problem with just cleaning out the ankle joint would be that by increasing the motion of the joint, the pain could actually become worse depending upon the extent of the damage. Motion=Pain where degenerative arthritis is concerned, which is why fusion of an arthritic joint is an option for pain relief. No motion=no pain. However, you sacrifice function and put a greater strain on the surrounding joints. So there are many factors to consider.

As far as how well would cortisone shots work, hard to say. They would probably work for awhile. They may last a week, maybe a month or more depending on the medication used. Injection therapy is better for short term relief and not really for chronic pain control, so hopefully he would not have to rely on the injections. Crystalline-type cortisone injections, (depo-medrol, kenalog for example) which are usually longer acting, will leave a chalky residue within the joint and actually may be deleterious in the long run. But if the joint is already shot, there isn't much to lose anymore anyway.

Considering the surgery he has had in the past on his ankle, I think it is safe to say the condition is chronic and degenerative. After a few years, bone spurs (osteophytes) will form again as is the nature of degenerative joint disease. Hence restricted motion, hence pain, etc. A vicious cycle, only a matter of time. That is probably what has happened here, and the articular cartilage has most likely progressively eroded as well to the point of no return. He may be at the point where cortisone injections have no effect whatsoever. Just bone grinding on bone. Not fun.

PavanoBeltran'05
10-04-2004, 11:32 PM
That wouldn't be so bad--he could be back by May--but he'd have to have it done right now. As I understand it that would prevent the injury from recurring?Please read the posts above this one. Lots of insight.

Soxzilla
10-04-2004, 11:40 PM
I think his choice will also reside with the fact on whether or not JR is going to dish out the cash to make this team a serious contender for a championship. If I were Frank, knowing he desperately wants a WS, that if I were to grit out the pain of another season or so, I want support behind me.

I think JR owes Frank that much...

Win1ForMe
10-04-2004, 11:43 PM
So is Frank's contract insured?

As someone mentioned, this really puts KW in a pickle. He can't possibly make a move with Konerko with Frank's status uncertain.

PavanoBeltran'05
10-04-2004, 11:47 PM
I think his choice will also reside with the fact on whether or not JR is going to dish out the cash to make this team a serious contender for a championship. If I were Frank, knowing he desperately wants a WS, that if I were to grit out the pain of another season or so, I want support behind me.

I think JR owes Frank that much...With the amount of pain we're talking about, also considering Frank absolutely unloads on that foot and his body weight, we're talking about something that may be too excruciating to play.
I hope they have an injury clause that can protect them from getting boned on an empty salary.

Lip Man 1
10-05-2004, 12:21 AM
Some non medical facts to consider:

1. Thomas is 35 not 22.
2. Thomas is a very very big man
3. Thomas places all that weight and his momentum on the front (injured) foot when he swings.
4. Thomas has had foot problems before most noticeably in 1996 when he missed time with I think, a hairline fracture in that same ankle.

I hope Frank does what's best for Frank in this case. It's his foot and he has to be able to walk and get around on it twenty years from now. Frankly (no pun intended) unless the Sox make drastic changes they aren't going to win squat with him anyway. Why risk being able to walk, or play golf or play with your kids for a longshot at best. Maybe it's time that Frank says enough. His numbers are still going to get him in Cooperstown even if he doesn't have 500 home runs.

Lip

Aidan
10-05-2004, 12:27 AM
So is Frank's contract insured?

As someone mentioned, this really puts KW in a pickle. He can't possibly make a move with Konerko with Frank's status uncertain.I wouldn't put my money on that. You know Jerry is just iching to dump Konerko's salary regardless of Frank's injury status. He would love to just throw Ross Gload at first base full-time and he could justify it by Gload's great season in a limited role this year.

TommyJohn
10-05-2004, 01:26 AM
There is a technique where cartilage can be harvested from the femoral condyles in the non-articulating part of the knee joint and transplanted into the ankle. However, this works best for small defects. If the majority of the cartilage in his ankle is destroyed, this is probably not a consideration as there would be too much surface area to cover and it would not be a feasible option. If they are talking about a fusion, then I would gather that he is far beyond the stage of cartilage transplantation.

An implant is not an option for someone of his size, either, IMO. It would not be able to withstand the pounding he would give it. As I mentioned earlier, ankle implants have been very poor historically. They are working on some new ones, but they are not there yet. And even if they were, an implant would still be a career-ender, albeit a much more preferable option for life after baseball than a fusion. As far as I can see, his best option to keep playing would be to have the joint cleaned out and wear a supportive brace. But again that is just my opinion. And he would still most likely have pain after that, it would be a question of how much pain. Unfortunately the ankle will always be an issue, it's not just going to go away. Arthritis is for keeps, and it only gets worse over time.

Personally I wish him the best and hope that he is able to prolong his career somehow. All we can really do now is wait and see what happens.
Mmmmm. Sounds to me like what you're saying is that the injury could
possibly force him to retire? Or at the very least it is something that will
continue to dog him when he gets back.

beckett21
10-05-2004, 09:48 AM
Mmmmm. Sounds to me like what you're saying is that the injury could
possibly force him to retire? Or at the very least it is something that will
continue to dog him when he gets back.
Yup. :(:

Sounds to me that at the very least it will be an ongoing issue. One way or another.

Deadguy
10-05-2004, 10:23 AM
If Frank's career is over, it will feel like a part of me has been amputated. I can't imagine an opening day without him in the lineup. At any rate, barring a miracle, 2005 would probably be his last year in a Sox uniform, anyway.

Frank needs to shed some pounds if he wants to play until he's 40. Of course, the problem is, with relative immobility, there's little he can do to shed that weight via excercise. It's not like he can jog on a treadmill for 30 minutes a day or even ride a stationary bike. This of course means, to lose weight, he's going to have to cutdown his intake of calories per day by around 1,000 or so. Highly unlikely.

I hope Thomas is motivated. I know he works hard in the off season, but he may need to take a different approach now that he is getting close to the end of his career. I'm torn between seeing him just tough it out, like Jeff Bagwell, and run the risk of embarassing himself and further tarnishing his image, or just calling it a day and take care of this injury once and for all. There's 11.5 million dollars left on the table for him to take.

At any rate the Sox need to move forward, but none of us wants to see a rebuilding plan with this farm system. We need to go outside the organization to soften the blows of potential losses to Thomas and Ordonez.

Flight #24
10-05-2004, 12:31 PM
What's next for the Sox, huh? I mean you take an offensive juggernaut, and figure "I can afford to lose some of my offensive prospects to improve my pitching both for now and the future". So you trade Reed, who'd probably be the best OBP guy if/when we need to replace Frank. If you had told KW at the time "hey, you probably wont have Frank & Maggs for the rest of this year....or ever again", I'm not sure he does that trade since obviously, the team without those 2 isn't a solid playoff contender.

The Sox may be on a forced rebuilding program, regardless of the best laid plans of management. At least for another year or so until KW's initial crop of kids is ready.

Flight #24
10-05-2004, 12:34 PM
With the amount of pain we're talking about, also considering Frank absolutely unloads on that foot and his body weight, we're talking about something that may be too excruciating to play.
I hope they have an injury clause that can protect them from getting boned on an empty salary.
That's a very important point. I'm assuming that they do since the contract was signed way back when, before insurance companies started pulling out of long term deals. And even the restructured one wasn't that long term or high dollar. So hopefully we get some or all of it in relief.

But that would be typical Sox luck, to have your franchise player, HOF hitter end up retiring and getting stuck with the salary at a point when you were hoping to be able to retool a bit and make another run.

RKMeibalane
10-05-2004, 09:55 PM
I agree with several of Jjav's points. The best way for the Sox to prepare for next season to approach this situation as though they will not have either Frank or Maggs back when 2005 rolls around. Taking into consideration that the Sox would permenently be without Thomas and Ordonez, they would need to make upgrades at the following positons:

Centerfield/Rightfield: I think just about everyone here agrees that Aaron Rowand has what it takes to play everday at the Major League level. MLB doesn't award a Most Improved Player Award, but if they did, Rowand would win it easily. I don't think anyone else in baseball has shown as much improvement as he has.

That said, Rowand can only play one outfield position at a time. Depending on where the Sox play him next season, they will need to find a replacement for Maggs. Carl Everett has said that he intends to exercise his option for next season, but I'm not convinced he can provide adequate production offensively. He was badly out of shape this season, as evidenced by his poor power numbers and his lack of mobility and range in the outfield.

Carlos Beltran is a possibility for the Sox, which would allow Rowand to shift over to RF to fill the void left by Maggs' absence. Then again, it remains to be seen whether JR will spend the money needed to bring Beltran to Chicago.

Another Bat: Thomas was the DH the majority of the time last season. This has been the case since 1998. Thus, if Frank isn't around for next season, the Sox need to find a way to replace his bat. There are several good hitters who may be availible during the off-season; however, it's unlikely that the Sox will find anyone who can combine hitting for power with a good knowledge of opposing pitchers and the strike zone. Let's face it, aside from Barry Bonds, nobody in baseball knows the strike better than Frank Thomas.

The Sox need to find a well-rounded hitter to replace Big Frank. They don't necesarily need to find anyone who will hit around forty home runs, but they do need someone who is capable of getting on base regularly, as well as someone who provides good run production. If you'd like an example, the type of hitter I'm thinking about is an Ellis-Burks type, someone who is capable of solid offensive production, but also someone who won't break the bank if the Sox go after him.

Note: I am not saying that the Sox should sign Ellis Burks himself. Burks has already gone on record as saying that he plans to retire following the conclusion of the Red Sox post-season run. Besides, his knees are in even worse shape than Frank's ankle, and so it's unlikley he would be able to play anyway.

Are you listening, KW? Don't make any stupid trades.

:KW

"When RKM said he wanted a Burks-type player, I didn't hear him say the word type."

samram
10-05-2004, 10:17 PM
I agree with several of Jjav's points. The best way for the Sox to prepare for next season to approach this situation as though they will not have either Frank or Maggs back when 2005 rolls around. Taking into consideration that the Sox would permenently be without Thomas and Ordonez, they would need to make upgrades at the following positons:

Centerfield/Rightfield: I think just about everyone here agrees that Aaron Rowand has what it takes to play everday at the Major League level. MLB doesn't award a Most Improved Player Award, but if they did, Rowand would win it easily. I don't think anyone else in baseball has shown as much improvement as he has.

That said, Rowand can only play one outfield position at a time. Depending on where the Sox play him next season, they will need to find a replacement for Maggs. Carl Everett has said that he intends to exercise his option for next season, but I'm not convinced he can provide adequate production offensively. He was badly out of shape this season, as evidenced by his poor power numbers and his lack of mobility and range in the outfield.

Carlos Beltran is a possibility for the Sox, which would allow Rowand to shift over to RF to fill the void left by Maggs' absence. Then again, it remains to be seen whether JR will spend the money needed to bring Beltran to Chicago.

Another Bat: Thomas was the DH the majority of the time last season. This has been the case since 1998. Thus, if Frank isn't around for next season, the Sox need to find a way to replace his bat. There are several good hitters who may be availible during the off-season; however, it's unlikely that the Sox will find anyone who can combine hitting for power with a good knowledge of opposing pitchers and the strike zone. Let's face it, aside from Barry Bonds, nobody in baseball knows the strike better than Frank Thomas.

The Sox need to find a well-rounded hitter to replace Big Frank. They don't necesarily need to find anyone who will hit around forty home runs, but they do need someone who is capable of getting on base regularly, as well as someone who provides good run production. If you'd like an example, the type of hitter I'm thinking about is an Ellis-Burks type, someone who is capable of solid offensive production, but also someone who won't break the bank if the Sox go after him.

Note: I am not saying that the Sox should sign Ellis Burks himself. Burks has already gone on record as saying that he plans to retire following the conclusion of the Red Sox post-season run. Besides, his knees are in even worse shape than Frank's ankle, and so it's unlikley he would be able to play anyway.

Are you listening, KW? Don't make any stupid trades.

:KW

"When RKM said he wanted a Burks-type player, I didn't hear him say the word type."
Well, Everett can be that type of guy, if healthy, and he will definitely be on the team. The FA market doesn't have a lot of those types of guys who will come at moderate prices. Juan Gone, if healthy, could fit that role. I would love to see the Sox go after Varitek. They need help at catcher (I'm not happy with Burke or Davis) and that guy seems to be a great leader.