Old rep a bad rap

I landed in Arizona on Sunday, and so the blogs soon will regard teams that train in the land of the cactus. But just wanted to relay a story that’s made the rounds in Florida, one that makes you wonder why Frank Thomas ever got such a bad reputation in Toronto.

Seems Thomas was hoping to procure his No. 35 from teammate Lyle Overbay, who wore it last season. Overbay, apparently, was all too willing to give up the number, but before the subject was even broached, Thomas called Overbay’s wife to see if Overbay would be interested in having a painting done of him.

Told that, yes, he would, Thomas then commissioned the painting from Vernon Wells Sr., the father of the Blue Jays center fielder and a highly respected portrait artist. The gift floored Overbay, who told the Toronto Globe and Mail “… it just tells you the kind of person he is.”

The A’s saw it last season. I saw it on Friday, when he sat down with me for 45 mins, and spent at least 20 of them discussing topics he knew would never see the light of day in a paper. Maybe he was at immature at times with the White Sox, but don’t we all regret things we did at a younger age? Seems to me he got a really bum steer.