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Friday, May 4
 
Wells says Thomas should play with injury

ESPN.com news services

Frank Thomas
Thomas

David Wells
Wells

CHICAGO – It's the battle of the All-Stars -- the Big Hurt vs. the Big Mouth.

Frank Thomas and David Wells, the Chicago White Sox' two biggest personalities -- in both size and stature -- are feuding after just a month into the season.

Thomas' father dies
Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas left the team Friday following his father's death in Georgia.

Frank Thomas Sr. died in Columbus, Ga., after a long illness, team spokesman Bob Beghtol said after the White Sox's game against Texas was postponed because of rain in Arlington.

Thomas, who left before the game started, missed the previous five games because of a strained triceps in his right arm.

– Associated Press

With the White Sox at a dismal 8-18 after winning the AL Central last year, Wells is doubting whether Thomas has the backbone to play hurt for the good of the team.

Thomas sat out his fifth straight game Thursday because of strained triceps in his right arm. He has said he didn't want to embarrass himself by playing through the injury.

Earlier on Thursday, Wells was asked about Thomas' decision not to play with the injury on his weekly radio show on Chicago's ESPN 1000 and he blasted the slugger.

"If he is afraid to embarrass himself, then he is embarrassing himself right there with that comment," Wells said from California, where the White Sox were playing the Anaheim Angels. "If you don't have the guts to be out there, you know what, you don't need to be here. You need to be somewhere else and learn to play the game with guts and glory."

In the clubhouse before the game in Anaheim, Thomas lashed back.

"He ain't no ... doctor," Thomas told reporters. "If I could be out there, I'd be out there."

With Thursday night's 3-1 loss, Chicago was swept by the Angels and fell 11 games out of first place.

Wells has tried to light a fire under some other teammates this season but he knows the key to the White Sox success is Thomas.

"He is an outstanding player, a good athlete," Wells said on ESPN 1000. "Playing hurt will get you a lot more respect from you fellow players."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.




 More from ESPN...

AUDIO/VIDEO
 Wells on Big Hurt's aches
On his weekly radio show on ESPNRadio 1000 in Chicago, White Sox pitcher David Wells comments on Frank Thomas' apparent inability to play hurt.
wav: 230 k | Listen

 The Morning Show
ESPN's Peter Gammons is interested to see how the White Sox respond to David Wells' comments.
wav: 1425 k | Listen



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