“I tell people that honestly,’ Thomas said. “Getting to the World Series, I’ve been watching it year in and year out. I’m just going to take it all in and really help do my part in the clubhouse. “If I didn’t play this year, it’d be different,’ he added. “But I played this year, I had an impact. I was able to help the team win some games. I helped do my part.’ AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Thomas has spent his entire career with the White Sox, and the two-time AL MVP was the only thing the team had going during many lean years. Even at 37, he hit 10 homers in his first 69 at-bats this year. His power alone wasn’t enough to carry the White Sox, though, and he’s only played in the postseason twice. The White Sox were beaten by Toronto 4-2 in the 1993 AL championship series, a loss Thomas said Friday was the “most bitter feeling’ he’s ever had. Chicago also was swept by Seattle in the first round of the 2000 playoffs. “It’s a little empty. I fought so hard my whole career to get here, and the year I’m not able to play we’re here,’ Thomas said. “I’m just really happy for the team, though. This is a special moment in the game and you can always cherish this moment because you never know when it’s going to happen again.’ Now that his White Sox are in the World Series, owner Jerry Reinsdorf has rethought the remark he once made that he would trade the six NBA titles won by his Chicago Bulls for one World Series ring. “I should never have made that statement,’ he said Friday. “The reason I made that statement at that time was because the Sox weren’t doing particularly well, the Bulls were on top of the world, people were sending me letters saying, `You’re not paying attention to the White Sox; you’re spending too much time on the Bulls.’ So I figured one way to put it to rest it is to make a stupid statement like that, and so I did, and now it’s been haunting me.’ CHICAGO — Everyone knows Frank Thomas can hit. Turns out, he’s a pretty good cheerleader, too. The best slugger in Chicago White Sox history is missing the team’s first World Series appearance since 1959 due to a broken left foot. But he was smiling Friday as he watched his teammates work out, insisting he’s happy just to see the White Sox in the World Series. Houston Astros closer Brad Lidge didn’t win any points with White Sox fans when he talked about his boyhood team. Though he lived outside of Denver, Lidge grew up a Chicago Cubs fan. He has family that lives in suburban Chicago, and after seeing his first game at Wrigley Field, he was hooked. “I was probably five or six,’ he said Friday. “I just remember going to a big league baseball game. I remember eating hot dogs and thinking it was awesome.’ Lidge has at least six relatives coming to Game 1 tonight at U.S. Cellular Field, including his grandparents. One of the most popular guys in the clubhouse Friday was White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper. He has been mentioned as a possible replacement for former Yankees pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre, who retired after New York was eliminated from the playoffs. “I’m aware of it. What do I think? Flattering, interesting,’ Cooper said. “George Steinbrenner and the Yankees there’s no more winning organization.’ Cooper grew up in New York, went to college at New York Tech and was drafted by the Yankees in 1978. His brief big league career ended after he pitched in seven games for New York in 1985. “It’s flattering, but right now to me it’s all words,’ Cooper said. “I’ve been here 19 years. My loyalty, my focus, my passion is here.’ Still, New York writers were lining up to talk to him. Paul Konerko is having quite a month. His Chicago White Sox are in the World Series for the first time since 1959, he was named MVP of the AL championship series and, on Tuesday night, he and his wife had their first child, Nicholas. “I don’t see it being a problem,’ Konerko said Friday when asked if he’ll be distracted at all during Game 1 tonight. “Hopefully we play well over the weekend and take that to Houston. Because I wouldn’t rule out both my wife and son going to Houston.’ The White Sox won the AL pennant on Sunday night, but had to wait until Wednesday to find out who their opponent would be. So Konerko flew home to Phoenix on Tuesday morning to be with his wife, Jennifer. She had the baby that night, and Konerko stayed with his newly expanded family until Thursday morning. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!