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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, 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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Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 4:55 pm

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

I'm happy for Thome, if he didn't use PED's. 600 HR's is a lot, and it IS impressive.

On the other hand, Thome's contention he "did it the right way" doesn't shed true comparison to others now lost in the elite career homers list... How many HR's did he hit as a DH ? If Thome had to play a defensive position his entire career, he would be compared to Frank Howard, not Willie Mays. If Thome was a player in either league in Mickey Mantle, Harmon Killebrew ,Willie McCovey or Jim Rice's day, does anyone believe he would have hit as many as they did ? I don't. 

It's not only steroids that have skewed the record books, but also the DH.   

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 4:52 pm

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

Well therein lies the problem that Thome acknowkedges - he may be clean, but it's always going to be questioned because of the era he played in. There's no more benefit of the doubt anymore when someone puts up an eye popping number. Players who most believe are clean, like Thome, or Chipper Jones, are going to be clouded with suspicion because of the steroid era.

I believe Thome is clean, but I can't say for a certainty that he is. And that's the sad aspect of the steroid era.

Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: August 17, 2011 4:10 pm

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

Since: Jun 22, 2010
Posted on: August 17, 2011 4:02 pm

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

as the Cleveland Plain Dealer said today, had Thome played in New York or Boston rather than in  the midwest, there would be a monument to him and his accomplishment.

ESPN east coast bias is hurting baseball and all sports.

Since: Jun 16, 2011
Posted on: August 17, 2011 3:58 pm

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

Jim' right, not everyone did it.  Him and Griffey are first ballot in my opinion.  Selig needs to be removed from office and replaced by Frank Robinson - he won't put up with shit!

Since: Apr 9, 2009
Posted on: August 17, 2011 3:45 pm

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

rod seriously you are claiming griffey jr used PEDs? i can't even take you act like you know these guys personally and you were the one supplying them..

Since: Aug 17, 2011
Posted on: August 17, 2011 3:15 pm

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

The guy is 1st round Hall of Fame. Also the guy is CLEAN no juice ever. My opinion he is should once he retires should become the new Commissioner to Replace Bud getting ols Selig

Since: Mar 2, 2010
Posted on: August 17, 2011 2:35 pm

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

What is it with these players today? What does guilty by association mean anyway, especially coming straight from the horses mouth...... sounds like at some point in his career he took something or else he would have said otherwise. If you never took anything just say so. Peolpe are gonna question you no matter what, so do yourself a favor and try not to make yourself sound "guilty by association".
There have been reports that 95% of guys playing in that era took something at some point or another. Minor league coaches were probably feeding it to these guys in their cereal.  But, honestly at this point, who gives a crap? Whats done is done, the sport with live on and these players will still be remembered as all time greats of their respective "Eras".

Since: Dec 16, 2009
Posted on: August 17, 2011 2:16 pm

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

Thome was definitely smaller as a rookie, as most, if not all, players are, but the transformation wasn't eye-popping. He's not cartoonish big like Bonds, Sosa and McGwire, and wasn't nearly as small as Bonds or Sosa as a rookie. Though he was skinnier, he was still a big kid when coming up with Cleveland.

Since: Mar 27, 2009
Posted on: August 17, 2011 2:15 pm

Thome says he's 'guilty by association'

Lots of players are lighter and more "wirey" when they first come up as rookies... that has nothing to do with how they mature and put on weight later in their careers.  Just look at Thome's brother and his dad and you can see that the genes of the family are consistent with his physique.  Thome is clean now and has always been clean...  you can bet the Peoria farm on it!

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