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Thome chases ring in LA, but still has Chicago on his mind

Oct 10, 2009, 6:35 PM EDT

Jim Thome may be chasing his first
World Series ring with the Dodgers, but that doesn’t mean he’s put
Chicago behind him. The native-Illinoisan would welcome a return to Chicago:

”I’ll be honest, I would still love to come back,” Thome said,
tightening the blue batting gloves on each hand. ”I still care about
the city. I mean, we’re going to live there. Chicago’s very fond in my
heart. The time that I spent there, [chairman Jerry Reinsdorf] treated
me great. I guess we’ll deal with that when this is all over with.”

Thome, 39, will be a free agent this offseason. He hopes to have
that elusive World Series ring on order once he files for free agency.
But either way, he knows his days with the Dodgers are numbered.

…But if the Sox say no, Thome seems determined to make a return to the
American League Central and his next call likely would be to the —
brace yourself — the defending division-champion Twins.

This is pure speculation on Chris
De Luca’s part, of course, but the future Hall of Famer should have no
shortage of suitors now that he will be free of the seven-year, $85
million contract he signed with the Phillies in 2002. Equally enticing
will be his chase with history. Thome’s 564 home runs rank 12th
all-time. He is just five home runs behind Rafael Palmeiro for 11th
all-time. If he hits at least 20 home runs next season (something he
has done in 15 of his last 16 seasons) Thome would crack the top 10.

  1. David Shiner - Oct 11, 2009 at 9:34 AM

    I hope Big Jim comes back to us in Chicago. He’s a class act like no one else, and it would be great to see him keep passing up other all-time sluggers.

  2. David Shiner - Oct 11, 2009 at 9:35 AM

    I hope Big Jim comes back to us in Chicago. He’s a class act like no one else, and it would be great to see him keep passing up other all-time sluggers.

  3. Andrew - Oct 11, 2009 at 4:16 PM

    Being a Twins fan, I’ve always hated the guy. He has more at-bats against us than any other team while carrying a 1.038 OPS in that time. And he’s done it with the disliked Indians and the hated White Sox.
    My question is: how exactly would that make any sense for the Twins?
    We’ve already got a lefty-heavy lineup, with a better left-handed DH in Kubel. You could argue that Kubel is an outfielder, but then what do the Twins do with Span, Young, Cuddyer, and Gomez? You could very hypothetically move Cuddyer back to 3B….. and send Gomez down, in which case you’d have a Young, Span, and Kubel outfield. You’d possibly be downgrading your defense at 3B, you’d be massively downgrading your defense in the outfield, and all to sign a 39 year-old DH with a pretty heavy platoon-split.
    Even if Thome were to sign a bargain of a contract, why would he take what would likely have to be less money to ride the bench for a team that could really only use him as a pinch hitter?
    It’s nice to know that during this time of economic hardship, and failing newspapers, that someone like De Luca can still get a job.

  4. Doc Twolf - Oct 11, 2009 at 5:29 PM

    It would be better for Jim T. to finish his career in the AL. He can play longer DHing, and he doesn’t seem to be the prideful type who wouldn’t take a pay cut to keep playing.
    Andrew – Mr. De Luca must be just speculating, not looking at the reality of personnel on the Twins. I agree, Thome isn’t a very good fit there.

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