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. 

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Comments

Since: Aug 17, 2011
Posted on: August 17, 2011 7:08 pm
 

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

As far as I am concerned, JIm Thome is only the FIFTH member of this elite club!  Congratulations Jim, you earned it the old fashioned way - honestly! 



Since: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: August 17, 2011 6:50 pm
 

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

You are forgetting that fact that Thome hit more homeruns as a position player than as a DH. Also, place Thome's career stats next to (insert HOFer here) and you will find that he is better than 75% of them. Look at Jim Thome's numbers against Mickey Mantle. Notice any difference?



Since: Jul 21, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2011 6:44 pm
 

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

Looking at Jim Thome's career there aren't years that stick out where his numbers were way over the top or he played virtually every game. I think his stats reflect an average player who got hurt periodically etc. B*nds on the other hand hit 50 more homeruns than Hank Aaron did after age 36. Thome, like Aaron was steady throughout his career and that showed in his numbers.
Sadly, yes, he will forever be scrutinized and guilty by association in many people's eyes (they all did it!). However, it's just possible some didn't "do it" because they remembered how chronic use of steroids has killed people before and didn't see the value in playing with a loaded gun. Hats off and congratulations to Jim Thome, having met you, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.



Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: August 17, 2011 6:43 pm
 

There's always a few honest ones.

If Thome had ever dabbled in PED's someone would have outed him by now.  I guess I just like the way he went about the journey. No "Hey look at me", just show up for work, do his job, and go home without making the 11 o-clock news for anything other than baseball.  He probably realizes there's no rush in trying to distance himself from an era that will always be as dirty as the "black sox" era, and the best thing to do is finish an admirable career with grace and dignity and let the chips fall where they may. A great example of what all young ball players could aspire to emulate.



Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 6:37 pm
 

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

This sums it up, just how sad is it is with Major League Baseball in particular. 

Let there be no doubt, athletes from all sports were using supplements and steroids that are now classified as PEDs.  I think it's sad that the media has spun everything into a mindset where every accomplishment is now questioned.

I saw posts regarding how all players are now going to be suspected, and never given any real credit for their accomplishments.  One poster specifically mentioned how Griffey Jr., like Thome, never tested positive, nor was ever connected with the big report, or by Canseco.

I also heard Chipper Jones' name mentioned. 

I think this is a load of crap.  Why are we so quick to judge some players but not others?  Why wasn't Thome's achievement more celebrated by MLB or ESPN?  Hypocrisy.  Jim Thome has never done anything "out of the ordinary", nor has he ever stuck out as a cocky, spoiled player like some have.  All Thome has done is go out and do the job he was paid to do- hit the ball. 

Why was Cal Ripken Jr. never put under the microscope like so many others have?  He played during the very same era, and actually started earlier (1983) than many of the players we are now questioning.  Will anyone use the very same reasons that Jim Thome should not be?  I mean, what Ripken did should actually be a red flag of sorts that he might not have done it all "naturally".  To play so many seasons, without ever needing a day off because of a tight or pulled muscle?   To me, that is an anomoly, something that should strike the media, and others, as strange.

Don't get me wrong- I get it- there was an era in baseball history where players took legal supplements (Andro could be purchased over the counter at GNC in 1998) and used other substances to be able to go out and play baseball.  I get it.  Now I wish we would just get over it and enjoy the sports we like here in America.



Since: Feb 22, 2008
Posted on: August 17, 2011 5:54 pm
 

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

I feel Baseball is missing a pitch in the wheelhouse by not giving him more coverage of this historic milestone. To tell kids you can do thing's without steroids or PED's.
You are sure right about that.  We all blame ESPN for ignoring Thome, but MLB sure didn't do anything to promote the best story they have had for quite a few years.  They really needed to be more proactive about that.  The A-Rod coverage was over the top and we all know he is tainted.  Why ignore a pure accomplishment?  Congrats to Thome.



Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2011 5:49 pm
 

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

"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."

That's what makes Thome a HOF person. He looks at it from the baseball fan's perspective. What an ambassador for baseball this guy is.



Since: May 5, 2010
Posted on: August 17, 2011 5:42 pm
 

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

Thome has been tested numerous times in his career. That is a fact. Not 1 time did he fail a drug test or tested positive for PED's. Neither did Griffey. Neither 1 of them came up in the Mitchell report for steroid users. Besides Cansaco, the Mitchell Report is the only other way to know if player's used PED's. It is a shame that ESPN and other media outlets are not making a bigger deal about such a great feet. But dont nice guy's always finish last? Thome isnt a gold chain wearing, handshake pumping headcase like McGuire,Sosa and Bonds. He just went about his business. I feel Baseball is missing a pitch in the wheelhouse by not giving him more coverage of this historic milestone. To tell kids you can do thing's without steroids or PED's. But it will Thome who will get the last laugh when in 5-6 years when he gets enshrined in the Hall Of Fame! And being an Indians fan thats when I make my first trip to COOPERSTOWN and just like Jim Thome , Ill be hearing my Tribe hat!



Since: Nov 13, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2011 5:37 pm
 

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

The sad part about some of his career is when he played under Hargrove he only played against righties. He should have 700 home runs. Ironic that he hit is 600th off of a lefty.

Yes, no 'roids here. His family is big just like him, in fact his brother is even bigger. Bonds, does not look anywhere near what his dad looked like when he was playing.



Since: Apr 8, 2009
Posted on: August 17, 2011 5:14 pm
 

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

There is no way to know that. If there was no DH, maybe he would have played the field. Don't marginilize an achievement because Thome and whoever he has played for played within the rules. There have been plenty of DH's that have not hit for 600.


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