Perhaps the Blue Jays’ struggling Frank Thomas showed his crude side last night, but we can’t all be as witty as Vernon Wells. From The Province’s John Lott (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory) :
The heckler sitting a few rows behind the first-base dugout had targeted Frank Thomas all night. His message was that Thomas is too expensive, too old and too timorous in the batter’s box.
After Thomas grounded into a double play in his final at-bat, the big, loud man hurled a few more choice words as Thomas trotted, head down, toward the dugout.
“F— you,” he said. Then he disappeared down the dugout steps as the heckler and his friends erupted in laughter.
“When they start screaming over the dugout, then you’re in my domain,” he said.
There were kids in the vicinity when Thomas addressed his tormentor. Thomas makes no apologies. The fan got too close and was too “nasty,” he said.
“He walked down, like right over the dugout, right down to the last row, screaming,” Thomas recalled two days after the incident. “And I just told him basically what he needed to hear.”
And then, Thomas continued saying what he needed to say.
“I’m doing everything I can possibly do right now. Sorry, I’m not something where you can just press the back, like a machine. Things aren’t going well, and Friday night, I got one strike in five at-bats. You can only do what you’re capable of doing out there.
“And for people to say what they were saying, after I hadn’t played in six days … I’m not a child. I’m not a rude man, but when you engage me in that type of act, you’d better be ready for a response.”
Thomas went 0 for 4 tonight in Toronto’s 10-1 loss to the Dodgers, as LA starter Brad Penny ran his record to 9-1 with a 7 inning, 1 earned run, 5 K performance.
Earlier today, the Dodgers confirmed right hander Jason Schmidt is scheduled for shoulder surgery tomorrow, and he’s hardly the only All-Star hurler with serious health concerns. The Red Sox sent Curt Schilling home from Atlanta for an MRI tomorrow, and the Diamondbacks’ Randy Johnson is apparently suffering from a herniated disc in his chronically aching back. Full credit to WFAN’s Howie Rose (trying to find anything to focus on besides the Mets being rendered impotent by Johan Santana), who scoffed at Arizona granting the 43-year-old Big Unit a two year contract extension as part of the deal to bring him back from the Bronx.