Blog Entry

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

Posted on: August 17, 2011 1:00 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 1:09 pm
  •  
 
Jim ThomeBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Jim Thome's now the eighth member of the 600 home run club, but as we've discussed many times, that club is less celebrated now than it used to be because it includes the likes of Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Sosa.

All three of those players have been attached to allegations of performance-enhancing drugs, while Thome hasn't. But Thome, along with Ken Girffey Jr., have achieved their 600 home runs during the so-called steroid era. Thome, speaking on the Dan Patrick Show (via SportsRadioInterviews.com), said all players from this era will live with a cloud of suspicion, including himself.

"I've said this and I've been very open about this, I think what has happened is there have been a lot of guys to pay the price," Thome said. "My thing was not every guy in that era did it and not every guy has done it. There were guys in our time that did it the right way. I think that has maybe been the effect on today's game as far as people have a hard time saying 'did this guy do it? Did this guy do it?' There's always going to be that question mark no question."

Thome was then asked if he would question Jim Thome and his accomplishments.

"Sure. I mean yeah absolutely," Thome said. "Again you're kinda guilty by association in an era, in a time when guys did it. That's what feels so good. I talk to you about the journey, the journey to get there and what it took to get there and the people that worked with you and how hard you worked to get there."

And Thome's right. Look at any accomplishment these days and they will be questioned -- whether it's Thome's 600 home runs or Jose Bautista's turnaround -- people are going to start talking about steroids or HGH. Thome's smart enough to know that and smart enough to acknowledge it. 

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
  •  
Comments

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 11:17 pm
 

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

I mentioned Chipper Jones, because when he hangs it up eventually people are going to question his numbers. Personally I don't think Chipper's done them. But because he's played in the steroid era, his name will always get mentioned in the conversation, just as Thome's name will. Etc. Guilty by association. And I find it sad, because when you look at Jones' numbers they aren't mind-boggling or anything, but because they were really good the question is going to be put out there: was he really that good? Or was it the help that made him better?

I'm surprised more people don't question Cal Ripken, Jr. Maybe it's because he's considered "sacred" or something, but let's be honest - HGH does help players recover faster. Who's to say during the last few years of his game streak he wasn't using it to ensure he'd be able to recover quicker and get out there? And because it was before ANY testing there's no way anyone could say differently with the old "He never got caught" routine.



Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 10:49 pm
 

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

i honestly think that Thome should never even be mentioned in the same breath as the other recent homerun hitters, the biggest thing about all the other players is the seemingly overnight transition into a bigger and harder hitting player that most steroid era players made. Thome was a consistant threat at the plate to hit homeruns even inthe beginning of his career in cleveland.
that's not completely true.  Rodriguez was hitting 40 HR's consistently early his career before any type of link to PED's.  Not to knock Thome but to compare the two, once Thome started playing fulltime, it took Jim 6 seasons to hit over 40 HR's twice.  Yes, some of Rodriguez's numbers are bogus, but I don't question that he wouldn't have made it to the 600 club anyways.  I'll question that he would make it to the 700 club which he'll likely reach. 

you can't say Griffey is in question, because he is just like Thome.  And Griffey took 5 fulltime seasons to hit over 40 twice, but that second 40 HR season was in the shortened '94 season when he only played 111 games.

As for McGwire, I'll always question him.  Same with Sosa. 

And Bonds?  I don't think he's the homerun king, but I do think he's argubly the best overall hitter of all time in the last 40 years, and still top5 all time.  I don't question he could have hit 600 on his own, and I have only a little doubt he would have hit 700.  He was just too consistent as a hitter and player. 

One thing is for sure, Jim Thome was his own class of player.  He was a class act that nobody could reasonably hate, he was always open and honest, and commanded the respect of players, managers, front office, and ownership alike.  There is a special class of player for guys like him where the combination of talent and legacy do not hinder the positive role model that he was, do not change his ways where the fame gets to his head, and never remove his sense of humility and keep him firmly grounded in reality that he can relate to the fans. 



Since: Jan 12, 2008
Posted on: August 17, 2011 10:40 pm
 

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

Being from central Illinois, I've been lucky enough to meet and have conversations with Jim Thome over the years.  The first time I met him was in February, 1995 - the middle of the strike/lockout.  He was a 24-year old kid who cranked out 20 HR in 98 games in 1994.

I asked him what his thoughts were on the work stoppage.  His answer was along the line of: "I can't stand this, all I want to do is get back on the field and play ball."  That gave me good idea of what kind of a person he was/is.

Plus, from what I've heard, he's incredibly generous with causes in his hometown and never seeks the spotlight.

Jim Thome is both a Hall of Fame player and a Hall of Fame person.  If he's not enshrined on the first ballot, the Hall of Fame will be diminished for it.



Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 10:06 pm
 

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

@ firstand last

ifyou do not know what the term "guilty by association means" then you should take a remedial reading course before you post on a website. 

This is for grown ups, kid



Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2011 9:46 pm
 

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

Thome hit nearly 500 HRs before he was a DH. 
Don't discount his feat over the DH position he's played the last five years out of 20 in the league!



Since: Oct 6, 2009
Posted on: August 17, 2011 8:45 pm
 

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

Jim Thome flat out gets it.  He understands that everyone in this era will be linked to PEDs one way or another.  He definitely hits the nail on the head when he says that everyone will be questioned about it and the stats show that they should.  Thome is a big guy but nobody but him really knows if he has been fully clean his whole career.  I think he has and what like to hope that he hasn't dabbled in anything.  I'm a big Pujols fan and I'm holpeful that he hasn't used anything in his career too.  It's sad to see the comic book numbers the "sluggers" of the McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds era put up.  They were popping 50+ homers like guys back in the early 80's and before would hit 30.



Since: Apr 23, 2010
Posted on: August 17, 2011 8:38 pm
 

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

Thome is going to be a first ballort Hall of Famer is a Cleveland Indian.



Since: Sep 3, 2010
Posted on: August 17, 2011 8:04 pm
 

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

After taking a day off Yesterday, on the first pitch of his very next AB, Thome hits another opposite field shot, #601.



Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2011 8:01 pm
 

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

At least he understands where the world is today.  When it turned out non muscle pitchers were using help then you would be crazy to say a power hitter didn't .  The fact that HGH has such a short detectable life means testing can't determine people haven't touched the stuff.  The stuff has been around since the seventies so the smear goes back at least that far.



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 7:21 pm
 

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

Yep, I sure did.  In 56 less games, Mantle had a better OPS, better OBP, better BA, 700 less K's, more steals, more walks, more MVPs, etc.  I liked Thome when he was in Philly.  I also thought that Thome was juicing while he was in Philly and Cleveland.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com