Frank Thomas is one of the most beloved figures in the land of the Chicago White Sox. He is also one of the greatest players in the history of the team. You can even argue that he is one of the best hitters in the history of the sport in general. His first-ballot induction into the Hall of Fame is all the proof you need. When he says something, White Sox people are always going to listen.
Something happened in Tuesday’s White Sox victory over the Oakland Athletics that caused a rant on the White Sox postgame show. Jose Abreu hit a three-run home run which tied him with Rafael Devers of the Boston Red Sox for the Major League Baseball lead at 89. He has a legit chance to win the RBI title for the third season in a row. It has been a remarkable run for the league’s best run producer.
On the postgame show, Frank Thomas, Ozzie Guillen, and Chuck Garfien had an interesting conversation. Chuck mentioned the Abreu stat and the fact that some people don’t believe that runs batted in are a valuable stat. Thomas did not like hearing that. Ozzie didn’t really either.
Thomas had some strong words against people who think that RBIs don’t matter. He was quick to point out that if you’ve never stood in a Major League batter’s box if you don’t consider RBIs important. He knows as good as anyone how much that stat means to players. According to him, being a legit RBI man makes you want to get as many as you can.
Frank Thomas loves the Chicago White Sox RBI machine that is Jose Abreu.
Ozzie Guillen went on to have a rant of his own as well. He names a bunch of all-time great players that were RBI machines. Frank then followed it up again talking about players who are good when nobody is on base and how it takes a special player to be elite in situations where there are men in scoring position. It makes a lot of sense to hear a former player like him have this stance.
Of course, in all reality, there are a lot of stats that help us evaluate baseball players. WAR, OPS, and on-base percentage have become good tools to measure position players but acting like driving in runs isn’t important is not smart.
Abreu has a chance to win an RBI title for the third year in a row. The White Sox are benefiting because of it. Frank Thomas and Ozzie Guillen were passionate about that fact and it makes sense why. Hopefully, regardless of winning the RBI title or not, he continues putting up RBIs at this pace so that the White Sox can keep winning lots of games.