Thomas takes high road in response to Williams
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Former White Sox star Frank Thomas and Chicago general manager Kenny Williams talked by phone for 20 minutes to discuss their escalated verbal feud.
Williams called Thomas "an idiot" and "selfish" Sunday after reading the ex-slugger's comments in a newspaper interview in which he reiterated that he wasn't happy with his send-off from the team after 16 years.
Now with the Oakland Athletics, Thomas called Williams on Sunday night, left a message, and Williams returned the call.
"I'm going to tell you this. As long as I don't hear another word about this organization or the members of this organization, I won't have another thought about this. And we'll move on," Williams said Monday.
Thomas, speaking to reporters at the A's complex in Phoenix on Monday, didn't go into details about the conversation with Williams.
"You know, it was a heated discussion. Lasted for a while. But, I think everything that needs to be said was said," Thomas said.
"We're finished talking. I mean, there's nothing else to talk about. Actual love lost -- I mean, basically there's not much love there over the last five years," Thomas said. "So, you know, we're just moving forward."
That doesn't mean the rift has been mended.
"Patch it up?" Williams said. "There is no patching up."
"There doesn't need to be anything patched up. We're men. We can handle it over the phone. I wished we had handled it over the phone before it became national," he said.
"And it's over. It really is."
Williams said Thomas feels he has been misquoted, misrepresented and taken out of context by his comments since the White Sox bought him out for $3.5 million in the offseason. Earlier, Thomas said he thought he was coming back to the White Sox and would not have participated in a couple of postseason ceremonial duties while he was injured if he were not.
"This talk could have been had way back when if he'd returned my initial phone call," Williams said.
Thomas was not happy when Williams said he should never criticize chairman Jerry Reinsdorf for an improper send-off. Williams said Reinsdorf had done numerous things for Thomas, including loaning him money.
"You know, I went through a very public divorce. He helped me out in a spot there, of course. But it was nothing loaned. It was more of my contract," Thomas said.
"I think that was very immature on [Williams'] part even bringing that up. Jerry's done a lot of wonderful things over years. I have a great relationship with Jerry Reinsdorf," Thomas said.
Thomas' new team took his feud with his former team in stride.
"We've got controversy in camp," manager Ken Macha said. "It was a quiet camp until today. I think it's funny."
A's general manager Billy Beane said Thomas and Williams are "both competitive and successful," adding, "it's temporary noise."
Thomas' workouts Monday were confined to a batting cage with hitting coach Gerald Perry soft-tossing to him for the second day.
"The bottom line is that I had a wonderful time in Chicago for 16 years," Thomas said after his workout. "This is a totally new situation. I'm with a new great organization. I'm on a great new ballclub. We don't need these types of distractions. We won't have these types of distractions."
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press