White Sox

Big Hurt Speaks Candidly on Dye, Steroids, Sosa

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Big Hurt Speaks Candidly on Dye, Steroids, Sosa

Friday, Feb. 12, 2010
4:42 PM

On the day that Frank Thomas announced his retirement from baseball, he almost overshadowed himself by disclosing the stunning news of another former White Sox player who might retire right behind him.

Jermaine Dye.

Thomas spent time with Dye last week in Las Vegas, and during our interview following his retirement press conference, Thomas revealed to Comcast SportsNet that Dye is pretty sad about still being unsigned, and said Jermaine is prepared to retire if the right opportunity doesnt present itself.

Thats what he told me and I told him he was crazy, Thomas said. Hes 36 years-old, but hes at peace. If he has to retire, hes going to retire, because he cant see himself going somewhere where he wont be happy and not get what he deserves.

Dye, who made 11.5 million with the White Sox in 2009, reportedly turned down a 3.3 million offer from the Cubs last month to be their fourth outfielder. His name has been attached to the Braves, Indians, and Tigers. But his age, terrible second half in 09 (.179 batting average), plus the perception that his skills have diminished in the outfield are proving to be quite an obstacle.

Before making his own decision to retire, Thomas told CSN on Friday that the only team I really wanted to play for (in 2010) was the White Sox again. That was it. And now that Thomas has officially closed that door, hed like to see the Sox open it for Dye.

To be honest, I wish the White Sox would bring him back because I still think hed be a great asset to the team. Hes such a lovable guy. Hopefully, hell be back in this organization before he has to go someplace where he really doesnt want to go.

Big Franks frank comments werent limited to Dye. He also opened up on a more controversial topic:

Steroids.

When I asked if it made him angry watching guys like McGwire and Bonds shatter the record books with their bloated bodies during the height of the steroid era, Thomas chose a different word.

Im not going to call it anger. It was more like Aha! Im killing myself in the weight room and these guys are hitting the ball further than me. Now I know. Im not going to hold it against anyone, but man I did a hell of a job keeping up with those guys. Thats the way I look at it. What would Frank Thomas have been like if he was on that stuff? Its one of those things that Im damn proud of. I did it the right way and I dont have to worry about cameras or the media looking for me, asking me questions because Im here to answer them all.

One player who hasnt been as forthcoming is Thomas former White Sox teammate Sammy Sosa, whose career happened to explode at the same time that his body did while playing for the Cubs.

Do you think Sosa is doing an injustice by not coming forward?

Im going to leave that up to Sammy, Thomas said. Ive got respect for him. He was a teammate of mine for three-and-a-half years, but we all know something wasnt right. Hes a hell of a guy, and I hope one day that we all get the truth.
Chuck Garfien hosts White Sox Pregame and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet with former Sox slugger Bill Melton. Follow Chuck @ChuckGarfien on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox news and views.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Class A manager Justin Jirschele, youngest manager in professional baseball

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Class A manager Justin Jirschele, youngest manager in professional baseball

27-year-old Justin Jirschele made quite an impression in his first season as manager of the White Sox Class-A affiliate in Kannapolis. He helped lead the Intimidators to the South Atlantic League championship, and was named White Sox Minor League Coach of the Year. Jirschele came on the podcast to speak with Chuck Garfien about how he went from playing minor league baseball with the White Sox to coaching in their system. He talks about how growing up with a dad who was coaching minor league baseball helped mold him as a manager who is wise beyond his years. Jirschele also gives a report on some of the top White Sox prospects he managed last season such as Jake Burger, Alec Hansen, Dane Dunning and Miker Adolfo.

After baseball punishes Braves, one ranker says White Sox have game's best farm system

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USA TODAY

After baseball punishes Braves, one ranker says White Sox have game's best farm system

The White Sox farm system is baseball's best, according to one of the people making those rankings.

In the wake of Major League Baseball's punishment of the Atlanta Braves for breaking rules regarding the signing of international players — which included the removal of 12 illegally signed prospects from the Braves' organization — MLB.com's Jim Callis tweeted out his updated top 10, and the White Sox are back in first place.

Now obviously there are circumstances that weakened the Braves' system, allowing the White Sox to look stronger by comparison. But this is still an impressive thing considering that three of the White Sox highest-rated prospects from the past year are now full-time big leaguers.

Yoan Moncada used to be baseball's No. 1 prospect, and pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez weren't too far behind. That trio helped bolster the highly ranked White Sox system. Without them, despite plenty of other highly touted prospects, common sense would say that the White Sox would slide down the rankings.

But the White Sox still being capable of having baseball's top-ranked system is a testament to the organizational depth Rick Hahn has built in such a short period of time.

While prospect rankings are sure to be refreshed throughout the offseason, here's how MLB Pipeline's rankings look right now in regards to the White Sox:

4. Eloy Jimenez
9. Michael Kopech
22. Luis Robert
39. Blake Rutherford
57. Dylan Cease
90. Alec Hansen