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Old 05-29-2006, 06:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Thome bracing for Round 2 in Cleveland

White Sox designated hitter Jim Thome has been doing his best to forget the negative reception he received in Cleveland in early May.

At the same time, having spent his first 12 major-league seasons as a member of the Indians -- and in a city he had so much love for -- makes that hard to do.

Especially when Thome had to sit and watch the reception the South Side gave Frank Thomas last week. Thomas, who signed a free-agent contract with the Oakland Athletics after 16 years in a Sox uniform, received standing ovations throughout the three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field, even though he took numerous shots at the Sox organization over the winter.

''My feelings about Cleveland don't change just because of a reaction,'' Thome said Sunday, a day before the Sox return to Cleveland for a four-game series. ''It's just a different feel going back there this time than there was the first time because there's closure now, and not in a bad way. In a way, yeah, there's a lot of good memories there, but it's time to move on.''

While Thome feels he now has that closure, it still doesn't sit well with him that he has been portrayed as the bad guy in Cleveland. That portrayal was made clear when he was greeted for every at-bat with boos and chants of ''Thome sucks.''

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