Thome suspended, fined for actions
Day off planned, so slugger forgoes appeal process
CHICAGO -- The White Sox already had planned to give Jim Thome a day off during Tuesday's day game after Monday's night game against the A's. Major League Baseball just made Thome's absence a bit more official.
Thome was suspended for one game and fined an undisclosed amount for his inappropriate actions during the White Sox 5-2 loss to Detroit on Friday. He chose not to appeal the suspension and served the one game in the Oakland series finale.
Home-plate umpire James Hoye ejected Thome in the fifth inning of Friday's contest, after the White Sox designated hitter, as good-natured an individual as there is in the game, disputed a called third strike. Although Thome's argument was quite heated, he never made contact with Hoye. He did apparently make contact with his manager.
"He bumped me," said Guillen with a laugh of Thome. "He wasn't touching anybody. I got chest pains because he was hitting me so hard.
"They don't want, this is my opinion, Major League Baseball, to let this get out of their hands and let the players do what they want to do with the umpires. They see that very well and they see something wrong there.
"I think it's a good call and we get to the point to appeal, but there's not too much of a gap to appeal," Guillen added. "That's why we made the decision. That's what I think. They don't want players to run out of hand and get crazy."
This particular suspension surprised Thome, who remembers getting a two- or three-game suspension once previously in his career when he charged the mound with Cleveland on April 23, 1999, against Boston. Rheal Cormier hit Thome to start the sixth, one inning after Jaret Wright hit Darren Lewis, and Thome put an official end to the rounds of bean ball.
Getting a break from action actually might help Thome, who entered Tuesday hitting .156. He has not hit a home run since his first two at-bats of the season against C.C. Sabathia.
But taking a mental health day is not exactly high on the list of Thome's on-field agenda.
"I'm one of those guys where it's never good to take a mental day off, because that means you're not doing well," Thome said. "It's a long haul and you never want to start the year off bad.
"I pulled a couple balls foul for homers. I think what's happening is I'm just a little too quick right now, and I need to get back to going to center field and left-center, and then those balls that I hooked foul, those balls will be to right-center. Again, you put the time in, you put the work in and hopefully, you'll be rewarded later on."
For Tuesday's game, Thome took in the action from general manager Ken Williams' suite with the other team executives.
"With the day off today they were giving me, instead of taking the day later on, it was best just to get it over with and move on," Thome said. "Move forward and not look back."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.