Originally Posted by Mr. Jinx
It isn't fair, but it is the reality due to the era he played in.
Or more accurately, the ignorance of Frank Thomas as a player, which is going to happen when people only look at numbers. He had these numbers, this is when he played so he is suspect. The numbers posted in the steroids era don't constitute Hall of Fame qualifications any more than Barry Bonds is beloved by fans as the all-time home run champ. And, sadly, players overshadowed by the performance-enhancers are forgotten.
Baseball writers are supposed to know better, but many of them don't even cover the games anymore. There was a columnist in Costra County, California (A's country, and, of course, the Oakland was ground zero for steroid use for a very long time) who wrote a column alleging that Frank Thomas was a 'roider. I think the whole diminished-sills thing was where he made his numbers-based argument. That was before Thomas signed with the A's.
I used to believe that Frank Thomas wouldn't get into the Hall of Fame n his first year of eligibility. Outside of Chicago and even among many White Sox fans, he was considered something of a whiner. He wasn't respected enough to win the MVP in 2000, which he deserved even before Jason Giambi's secret came out. And Thomas was considered a whiney DH to boot.
But I think Thomas is more respected now than when he finished his career, a bit later than he should have. At the end with Oakland, he didn't have much left. Fans do care about performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. They didn't when it was most prevalent, but that is because they really weren't aware of it. I think Thomas will stand out as the anti-'roider when he appears on the ballot. I think he will be appreciated for that and his accomplishments, what he meant for the game.