The above cartoon is from "Smells Like Mascot," a cartoon blog on Chicago sports with a heavy emphasis on the White Sox. And I'm using it because
- I've used both of the Jim Thome photos I have the past two posts and
- It illustrates the real complaint White Sox fans have with the team's disinterest in bringing Thome back.
From Sox Machine, a blog listed on the sidebar:
There are reasons on passing on the Gentleman Masher himself. He lost something off his bat speed, he missed more fastballs, his contact rate overall dropped, his strikeout rate increased, and he lost something off his isolated power, too. He’d still be productive with another year of a gentle decline, but he’s a risk to fall off a cliff, get hurt, or both.
Which matches my primary concern about adding Thome: The White Sox know him better than the Twins do. I think they think he's washed up, just as they thought after 2008 that Joe Crede couldn't stay in the lineup.
The problem isn't with deciding they can do better than Thome. It's that the plan Ozzie Guillen espouses seems so ludicrous. Andruw Jones? Omar Vizquel? Mark Kotsay?
It's a three-headed DH combo with more Gold Gloves to its past than extra-base hits in its future. OK, that's probably an exaggeration — but not by much. Who could have imagined Vizquel and his 11 Gold Gloves wrapping up his career as a designated hitter?