Thomas close to retirement

Updated: June 25, 2009, 5:50 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Frank Thomas said he's getting close to announcing his retirement, and the 41-year-old slugger said he's having fun being a member of the media.

The Chicago White Sox's all-time leader in home runs, RBI and runs, finished last season with the Oakland A's and hasn't been picked up this season.

"That percent right now [that I'll play again] is probably about five percent, since we're so deep into the season now," Thomas said on ESPN 1000. "But I'm still in shape, ready to go, if anything happens.

"But I'm getting close to announcing my retirement because I just turned 41. I just want to make sure that it's the move I really want to make. I don't want to be one of those guys that keeps coming back and keeps saying, 'I'm unretiring, I'm coming back.' I want to make sure it's out of my system."

Thomas, who was interviewed on the "Waddle & Silvy" show, said he believes he can come back and contribute, but he knows there's a perception among teams because of his age.

"There's probably 25 percent in me that's saying I could still get this done, and to be honest, I know I can get it done," he said. "But at 41 years old, it's just one of those things now that teams look at me as an old player."

Despite leaving the White Sox in a contentious manner after the 2005 season, a thawing appears to have taken place. And Thomas, who spent his first 16 seasons with the White Sox, is looking forward to having his No. 35 retired on the South Side.

"I hope so," he said. "This is family. The South Side made me who I am, and I had such a great career there, so I would love for that to happen.

"Right now, I haven't officially retired. Once I officially retire, we can sit down and talk about what we want to do."

Thomas has been working as an analyst and reporter for Comcast SportsNet's coverage of the White Sox-Chicago Cubs series.

"I'm just having fun with it right now," Thomas said. "I really like interviewing guys ... And I think so far the guys have felt comfortable talking to me, because they know I can relate."

Thomas likely is a future Hall of Famer with 521 home runs, a .310 batting average and two MVP awards.

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