Blog Entry

Pepper: Thome's silver hammer

Posted on: August 5, 2011 10:20 am
Jim Thome

By C. Trent Rosecrans

I know this may seem like a dead horse, but I'm still dismayed at the relative silence around Jim Thome's impending 600th home run. He hit homer No. 598 last night and it seems like it was greeted by crickets. My colleague Matt Snyder wrote about this a couple of weeks ago after I touched on it, so it may seem redundant, but is it any more redundant that the constant (and deserved) fawning over Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit?

I've said all this before, but it just feels like it needs repeating -- Thome will soon become just the eighth player in baseball history to hit 600 home runs. So why is it being overlooked?

Is it because the steroid era has devalued home run totals?

Is it because the next guys on the list are Sammy Sosa and Alex Rodriguez? And the guy atop the list is Barry Bonds?

Is it because Thome isn't a Yankee?

Is it because after 12 years in Cleveland, he's moved around, playing for the Phillies, White Sox, Dodgers and Twins?

Is it because the bulk of his productive years were in Cleveland?

Is it because he's no longer an everyday player?

Is it because there were two weeks between homer No. 595 and 596 and then another two weeks until No. 597? 

Is it because Thome has done it relatively quietly, not drawing a lot of attention to himself, therefore not receiving a lot of attention?

Or am I totally off base and blowing this out of proportion?

It could be any one of those reasons or a good combination of all of them. It just seems to me, it's something that could and should be celebrated not just in Minnesota, but all over baseball. Thome now has 598 home runs and will soon have 600 -- I'm not saying they need to dig out the dirt from the batter's box after his 600th and sell the dirt in keychains (like they did for Jeter), but it should be something we watch, anticipate and celebrate.

The long and winding road: If you don't read every word that comes out of Chris Jones' computer, you're missing out. Canada's finest's most recent piece is on the strange journey of Giants pitcher Barry Zito. I can't recommend it enough. [Grantland]

Here today: Most are assuming that Jose Reyes will re-sign with the Mets this offseason, but not so fast say Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Martino says the Mets are unlikely to give him the "Carl Crawford money" he is assumed to desire (and should be able to command). Apparently it's not just the money that the Mets are worried about, but also the number of years. The Mets aren't excited about giving the injury-prone Reyes seven years.

Get back: Ryan Zimmerman is back to his old form, even though he's been back on the field for nearly two months. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes that it took a while to break up the scar tissue that resulted from his abdominal tear and is no longer experiencing the soreness that had him skipping his post game workouts. 

Let 'em in: Ozzie Guillen's time in Chicago just seems to be at a natural end -- the team has underperformed and everyone seems to be tired of the marriage. Guillen sounds like he's over managing the White Sox in this interview with's Scott Merkin, while he tells Yahoo! (via the Miami Herald) that he'd go to the Marlins "with a lot of class," and that it'd be "an honor to manage the Marlins." With Florida moving into a new park next year, it seems like the natural fit -- and he could manage there until Jeffrey Loria loses his patience at the All-Star break next year.

Here today: Red Sox minor leaguer Brandon Jacobs has no regrets about his choice to bypass a football scholarship at Auburn to sign with the Red Sox. Jacobs was a prized running back at Parkview High School in suburban Atlanta, but was drafted by MLB -- and a $750,000 signing bonus later, he found himself on the diamond instead of the gridiron. The 20-year-old has 14 homers and 26 stolen bases at Class A Greenville (S.C.). Even though Auburn won the national championship last season, Jacobs said he watched the game and didn't feel a twinge of regret. An interesting note, Parkview is the alma mater of another prominent football player who skipped a scholarship to play baseball, the Royals' Jeff Francoeur. [Boston Globe]

It was 10 years ago tonight: The Hardball Times looks back at the Indians' rally from an 11-run deficit to beat the Marienrs on Aug. 5, 2001. One thing to keep in mind about that, the Mariners won 116 games -- if they hold a lead, it's 117, a record number of wins. The 1906 Cubs also won 116 (in 10 fewer games).

I've just seen a face: Can't get enough of of Kenta Imamura, the Ichiro impersonator? Well, you're in luck. Apparently Imamurua is a professional Ichiro impersonator and is nicknamed "Nicchiro" -- "ni" is Japanese for two. [Super Ichiro Crazy]

Maybe I'm amazed: A baseball signed by Joe DiMaggio and kissed by Marilyn Monroe sold for $59,750 on Thursday. The bidding started at $17,000 and quickly escalated. [New York Daily News]

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 21, 2011 10:37 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 5:41 pm

Pepper: Thome's silver hammer

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Since: Jan 26, 2011
Posted on: August 10, 2011 9:39 am

Pepper: Thome's silver hammer

Jim Thome goes about baseball quitely hitting home runs.  He doesn't stir up the media, did not desire to be Yankee. Yes the steroid issues has devauled the 600 home run goal, but you can't that away from any player even if on steriods, my thoughts.  Jim Thome was a quite a player with Cleveland hit for average, played 3b and 1b better than average. Yes probably because Jim Thome is only a DH now that he is not seen as great ball player reaching a great goal.  So yes some of your ideas have merit, and you are correct as Baseball fans we should anticipate and celebrate that a mile stone will be reached.  Remember Frank Robinson was old and not player he was in when shooting for 600 homeruns.

Since: Sep 6, 2010
Posted on: August 5, 2011 11:43 pm

Pepper: Thome's silver hammer

It is sad to see that such a stand-up guy is not getting the credit/publicity that he deserves!  It would be great it he hits 2 out this weekend in Chi town against his old club.

Since: Jan 26, 2011
Posted on: August 5, 2011 8:09 pm

Pepper: Thome's silver hammer

Honestly Jim Thome is my Favorite Clevleand Indian.  As a ballplayer he a throw back.  As a team Jim Thome that I know of never talked bad about his teamates.  He and Jeter are so much a like in honor the game.  I know he will be a HoFer just a matter of when.  Good Luck Jim Thome.

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: August 5, 2011 4:27 pm

Pepper: Thome's silver hammer

Maybe because he's a DH and so doesn't have the same wear and tear a position player has (and the potential for injury)?  I'm sorry, but I just don't have the same respect for DH's as a I do position players.

Since: Nov 25, 2007
Posted on: August 5, 2011 3:43 pm

Because he is likely too old to be a threat...?

Maybe because he likely will not get too much further.  People look at age, too; and he will not be around long enough to seriously push the record. 

Since: Apr 4, 2007
Posted on: August 5, 2011 12:44 pm

Pepper: Thome's silver hammer

I choose (A), totals are devalued in the steroid era. Thome, like Aaron and a dozen others are victims of Bonds, McGuire, and Sosa's cheating. The good guys are losing in this country.That said, if he was playing in NY or Boston, the media would beat us over the head with it until we capitulate to their agenda. I cant stand the fact that Boston and the yankees are on TV all weekend. They are very good, but I just cant stand having it forced down my throat. That and the fact that they use the DH and the games will last 6 hours.

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