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White Sox interested in Jim Thome as hitting coach?

Oct 21, 2011, 1:50 PM EDT

Jim Thome AP

Their old hitting coach, Greg Walker, just joined the Braves, and Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun Times writes that the White Sox may try to talk Jim Thome into replacing him:

Sox farm-system hitting instructors Jeff Manto or Tim Laker are thought to be the top candidates to replace Greg Walker as hitting coach, but don’t rule out the Sox making a play for a bigger name such as Jim Thome.

Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf loves Thome, 41, whose playing career likely has come to an end after 21 seasons and 604 home runs. The two share the annual habit of meeting for dinner to talk about life and baseball after the season, and a major-league source said Reinsdorf was eager to move this year’s meeting up.

That seems pretty far-fetched to me, but then again the White Sox hired Robin Ventura as manager despite a complete lack of coaching experience. Thome may have a little trouble finding a full-time designated hitter gig this offseason, as that market is always overstocked, but he hit .256 with 15 homers and an .838 OPS in 93 games for the Twins and Indians. He’s definitely still productive enough to continue playing, assuming of course Thome wants to return for a 22nd season at age 41.

  1. Bill - Oct 21, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    Weird that he says Thome’s playing career is likely over. He hasn’t made any kind of decision yet, as far as I can tell, and there are certainly teams who would sign him if he wants to play.

    • kopy - Oct 21, 2011 at 2:49 PM

      I was thinking the same thing when I read this. I thought he was actually leaning toward another year of playing.

  2. qcubed3 - Oct 21, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    I hope Thome does get the chance to play some more ball, but if not, come on down to the South Side!

  3. mattjg - Oct 22, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    Hey, the Sox reportedly thought of using Konerko as a player-manager, why not hire Thome as a player-coach? Or, perhaps more realistically, just hire him as a hitting coach, but if they’re in contention down the stretch and need some power next year, sign their hitting coach up to DH a bit.

  4. leftywildcat - Oct 23, 2011 at 9:39 AM

    Phillies could sure use him as their hitting coach. GG has shown no ability to ever get the lineup out of their many poorly-timed collective hitting slumps.

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