FOX Sports baseball genius Frank Thomas jams your mind full of all you need to know about the 2021 MLB season the way he used to CRUSH 3-2 dongs out of Comisky Park.
I-80 Sports Blog: What was your ABSOLUTE, #1 favorite MLB game of 2021?
Frank Thomas: IT HAS TO BE THE FIELD OF DREAMS GAME BETWEEN THE WHITE SOX AND YANKEES. IT WAS A WELL PLAYED GAME AND AN AMAZING FINISH WITH TIM ANDERSON’S WALK OFF HOME RUN.
I-80 Sports Blog: What was the biggest SUPRISE? Be it a player, team, trade, off-field development – what made you think twice about it/rub your “eyes” to make sure you were seeing it correctly?
Frank Thomas: IT WAS FUN WATCHING VLAD GUERRERO JR CHASE THE TRIPLE CROWN ALL SEASON LONG. COMING SO CLOSE FOR A YOUNG PLAYER!
I-80 Sports Blog: Speaking of “seeing,” what was your vision score pre-Varilux, compared to now/after you started using? Could you “see” the difference right away? Please explain.
Frank Thomas: I ALWAYS HAD EXCELLENT VISION. AS I GOT OLDER AND MY VISION SLOWLY DETERIORATED, I STARTED HAVING ISSUES SEEING THINGS UP CLOSE AND BEGAN DOING THINGS LIKE HOLDING MY PHONE AT ARM’S LENGTH TO READ A TEXT, WHICH WAS FRUSTRATING. I RECENTLY VISITED AN EYE DOCTOR AGAIN WHO TOLD ME I HAD PRESBYOPIA AND PRESCRIBED VARILUX, THE #1 RECOMMENDED PROGRESSIVE LENS. I COULD SEE AND FEEL THE DIFFERENCE IMMEDIATELY AND NOW HAVE EXCELLENT VISION ONCE AGAIN. VARILUX’S SUPERIOR TECHNOLOGY ALLOWS ME TO HAVE A GREATER AND CLEARER FIELD OF VISION SO I DON’T MISS THE SMALLEST DETAILS OF ANY GAME.
I-80 Sports Blog: If you had to pick an overall 2021 MLB MVP, overall Cy Young, and overall Manager of the Year, regardless of ML/AL leagues, who would each be and why?
Frank Thomas: OVERALL MVP HAS TO BE SHOHEI OHTANI. WHAT HE DID AS A TWO-WAY PLAYER WAS AMAZING, IT’S SOMETHING WE HAVEN’T SEEN SINCE BABE RUTH. BABE RUTH! THAT WAS 100 YEARS AGO. OVERALL, HE WAS SO GREAT FOR THE GAME OF BASEBALL BOTH DOMESTICALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY. FOR THE CY YOUNG I’D PROBABLY GO ROBBIE RAY FROM TORONTO, HE REALLY PUT IT ALL TOGETHER THIS YEAR.MANAGER OF THE YEAR I’D GO WITH GABE KAPLER FOR SURE BECAUSE HE DID AN INCREDIBLE JOB WITH THE GIANTS WHO WERE PICKED TO FINISH 4TH IN THE NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST AND WOUND UP WINNING 107 GAMES AND BEATING OUT THE DODGERS TO WIN THE DIVISION. THAT WAS VERY IMPRESSIVE.
I-80 Sports Blog: What is something one of your parents told you when you were young that you still think about today? That still influences you?
Frank Thomas: MY PARENTS ALWAYS INSTILLED A TIRELESS WORK ETHIC IN ME, THAT WILL NEVER WANE OR GO BY THE WAYSIDE. THEY ALSO DRILLED IN ME TO STAY HUMBLE, AND THAT’S SOMETHING I INSTILL INTO MY CHILDREN AS WELL. BEING HUMBLE IS SO IMPORTANT IN ALL ASPECTS OF LIFE, ESPECIALLY ONCE YOU’VE FOUND SUCCESS AS AN ADULT.
I-80 Sports Blog: Which of your MLB seasons are you most proud of and why?
Frank Thomas: STATISTICALLY THE 1993 SEASON MADE ME PROUD. I BEAT OUT PAUL MOLITOR AND JOHN OLERUD AND KEN GRIFFEY, JR. TO WIN MY FIRST AMERICAN LEAGUE MVP, I HIT 42 HOME RUNS AND THAT WAS MY FIRST TIME WINNING A DIVISION. THAT FELT GOOD ALL AROUND. CONVERSELY, THE 2006 SEASON WAS SATISFYING BECAUSE WHEN I LEFT THE WHITE SOX AFTER THE 2005 SEASON EVERYONE THOUGHT I WAS DONE BUT I PROVED THEM WRONG AND HAD AN MVP CALLIBER SEASON IN OAKLAND THAT NEXT SEASON AT AGE 38.
I-80 Sports Blog: What year was the most fun?
Frank Thomas: THAT 2006 SEASON WAS THE MOST FUN I EVER HAD IN BASEBALL. I REIGNITED MY CAREER WITH THE OAKLAND ATHLETICS. BEING THE ELDER STATESMAN ON A YOUNG TEAM THAT MADE A PLAYOFF RUN WAS SO MUCH FUN AND REMINDED ME OF BEING ON A COLLEGE TEAM.
I-80 Sports Blog: Did baseball ever STOP being fun and it became a job like every schlub has and takes for granted/dislikes?
Frank Thomas: NO NEVER. I DID HAVE A FEW YEARS WHERE I ALLOWED THE MEDIA TO TAKE AWAY SOME OF MY JOY, BUT THAT KIND OF COMES WITH SUCCESS. SOME OF THE INJURIES I SUSTANIED OVER MY CAREER TOOK AWAY JOY, BUT AT THE SAME TIME I’M PROUD I WAS ABLE TO WORK HARD, RETURN TO FORM AND PERSEVERE.
I-80 Sports Blog: What’s your #1 piece of advice for managing business relationships – agents, PR people, managers, employees, vendors, lawyers?
Frank Thomas: IT’S CRITICAL FOR ME TO HAVE PEOPLE IN MY CIRCLES THAT I CAN TRUST AND RELY ON. WITHOUT MY SUPPORT SYSTEM I DON’T THINK I WOULD HAVE FOUND THE SUCCESS THAT I DID. I KNOW IT’S CORNY BUT TEAM WORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK, AND HAVING A STRONG TEAM HELPS BREED SUCCESS.