Saturday, February 23, 2013

Thome resisting the inevitable

Jim Thome hit 37
homers in a bit less
than two seasons
with the Twins.
Most playing careers end not when the player chooses, but when the game chooses. Winter runs its course, and nobody makes the player an offer; spring comes, and the player has no team.

And the game moves on without him.

This is happening now to Jim Thome, he of the 612 home runs and, for Twins fans, the heroics of Target Field's debut season.

He's 42. He cannot help a team in the field, cannot help it on the bases, cannot help it against left-handed pitching. He found last year with the Phillies that he doesn't cope well with a strict pinch-hitting role, and over the past several seasons has found that four days in a row in the lineup as a DH is pushing the envelope with his health.

He still wants to play, albeit on his terms (such as a major-league contract, not a minor-league deal).  It's just difficult to see the situation where he can — a contending team that can use a platoon DH who needs a pinch runner. That's a mighty specific role in an era in which benches are thin and versatility is prized.

He's on the outside looking in, and the game will move on without him.

1 comment:

  1. He is a lock Hall of Famer.
    I appreciate tht he loves the game, but I think it's time to go.

    Another 50 strikouts and he will hold the record for the most strikeouts in a career. This is a record he should avoid.