Chicago White Sox first baseman Frank Thomas had a disappointing season (.265) at the plate in 1998, but he appears to be compensating quite nicely during the early weeks of the new season.
He entered Friday's game batting .577 (15-for-26) with five doubles, two home runs and seven RBI. He has walked eight times and struck out just once in 34 plate appearances.
Thomas has talked cryptically about the departure of some negative influences in the White Sox clubhouse, but manager Jerry Manuel says it has more to do with a mechanical adjustment Thomas has made at the plate.
"It looks as though he's made an adjustment to the inside pitch," Manuel said. "It seems like he knows they might call it a strike, and he's adjusted to that."
Thomas says it has more to do with the location of pitches.
"I'm not doing anything different," he said recently. "It's just a question of getting pitches to hit, and lately I've been getting them."