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Thomas doesn't take a shot a steroid users
By Scot Gregor | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 2/12/2010 3:43 PM

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Frank Thomas fielded a wide range of questions Friday morning during his retirement news conference at U.S. Cellular Field.

Best memory?

"Too many memories," Thomas said. "My favorite memory - I didn't get to play in the (2005) World Series, but I was there. I was there in spirit. I got to play a month and a half that season."

Toughest pitchers he ever faced?

"Randy Johnson. Pedro (Martinez) in his prime. Roger Clemens in his prime," Thomas said. "Those guys were very dominant. The toughest reliever I ever faced was Jeff Nelson."

Best manager he played for?

"I think Gene Lamont was the one manager I saw eye to eye with," Thomas said. "Ozzie (Guillen) was the funnest manager. Spending 10 years with Ozzie as a teammate, I got to know him personally. Terry Bevington was a great friend of mine. Jerry Manuel, we had our ups and downs but we worked things out.

"Jeff Torborg was a great manager coming up because he seemed more like a college manager who was more like a father. I was lucky to play for some great managers throughout my time here."

Favorite teammate?

"I had over 850 different teammates," Thomas said. "I guess my favorite teammate of all time was Tim Raines. He really pulled me under his wing and we're still great friends today."

On baseball's black eye ...

Thomas was chipper and chatty after officially ending his career, but he refused to take a swing at Mark McGwire or any other of his peers who have come out and admitted using steroids.

"You can't be bitter about it," Thomas said. "I'm happy and proud because I competed and competed at a high level with all of that stuff going on. It definitely shows the career I did have because I had no clue this stuff was going on."

Considering he was an outspoken critic of steroid use toward the end of his career, Thomas' "no clue" stance was puzzling.

"People pointed out guys, (Jose) Canseco, they talked about McGwire," Thomas said. "But as whole, there were a few guys that came through and it was like, 'Woah, where did that come from?' But I never spent enough time worrying about it.

"I spent countless hours in the weight room trying to be the biggest, strongest guy in the league. So I tip my hat to the hard work. But I'm not here to talk other people down.

"Things are coming out now, we're all not happy about it. A lot of embarrassment, but life goes on."