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Steroids and Frank Thomas's lost MVP Awards

Jonathan Daniel

Sometimes you still read things and you just have to check. This is one of those things:

January is around the corner.

Frank Thomas is that close to becoming a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer.

Regardless of the criteria, the White Sox legend ranks among the best right-handed hitters of all time.

And, the "Big Hurt" was clean. Imagine if he had not been robbed by steroid users.

"I was the one player who was hurt the most," said Thomas, who won back-to-back American League MVP awards in 1993 and ’94. "All those years I finished second, third, fourth behind those guys, I probably could have won four more MVPs."

When I read all those years I'm thinking there must have been a lot of years.

Well, there definitely were some years. Thomas finished second once, third twice, fourth once, and otherwise never higher than eighth. So let's look at those four second-, third-, and fourth-place finishes, and the drugged-up 'roidmonsters who cost The Big Hurt another few trophies.

In 1991, Thomas finished behind Cal Ripken (Jr.) and Cecil Fielder.

In 1997, Thomas finished behind Ken Griffey (Jr.) and Tino Martinez.

In 2000, Thomas finished just a shade behind Jason Giambi.

In 2006, Thomas finished behind Justin Morneau, Derek Jeter, and David Ortiz. (Also in 2006, Thomas probably wasn't one of the 15 or 20 best players in the league, but that's another issue entirely.)

Frank Thomas seems like a stand-up sort of fellow, and I'm inclined to trust him when he says he didn't use sports drugs illegally. But unless he knows some things that nobody else has even suggested, he seems way off-base about all those extra awards he might have won. Yes, maybe Jason Giambi owes Thomas an apology. But maybe Thomas owes a few other guys some apologies now.