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Marcus Thames retires, becomes Yankees minor league hitting coach

Jan 11, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

Marcus Thames yanks

Marcus Thames’ playing career is over, as it was announced yesterday that he will become the hitting coach for the Yankees’ high-A affiliate in Tampa.

Thames, who is 35, put up a career line of .246/.309/.485 with 115 homers over 10 major league seasons with the Yankees, Rangers, Tigers and Dodgers. His best overall season probably came in 2006 with Detroit, when he hit .256/.333/.549 with 26 homers in only 390 plate appearances. Which was pretty much Thames in a nutshell: solid platoon left fielder, probably best suited for DH.

Now begins his five-year wait for the Hall of Often Pretty Useful. Though I expect at least some writers are going to be out to sink his candidacy.

  1. proudlycanadian - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    I liked Thames as a hitter who was never going to be a star. He showed a lot of perseverance in his career. 2006 was a great season for him in Detroit.

  2. number42is1 - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    if i am not mistaken didnt he hit his first big league HR on his first big league at bat off Randy Johnson in 2002 on the first game between the Yanks and Dbacks following the 2001 WS?

    • mattyflex - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      Sounds like a question for the Schwab.

      • number42is1 - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:17 AM

        Think it may have even been a Grand Slam… yea sure i could google it.. but where is the fun in that?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:29 AM

        Ask and ye shall receive:

      • number42is1 - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:52 AM

        I was so close.. 2 run HR not a Grand Slam

  3. Detroit Michael - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    I enjoyed Thames during his Tiger years. He seemed like a nice guy. I never perceieved his fielding to be as bad as Jim Leyland seemed to think it was.

    Cherry-picking a statistic to accentuate Marcus Thames strong suit, during 2002-11, minimum 2000 plate appearances, Marcus was 25th in the majors in isolated power (SLG minus BA). Of course, Thames enjoyed the platoon advantage more than a full-timer would have, but that’s still a nice accomplishment for a lefty-masher. Thames is right below Andruw Jones, right above Miguel Cabrera and that leaderboard.

  4. hojo20 - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    I hope Thames wears a Tigers hat on his HOF plaque.

    • mattyflex - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:31 AM

      Hey, guy, that shits not funny. The HOF is serious business. At least, to someone, somewhere.

  5. El Bravo - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    Pie

    • jwbiii - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:00 PM

      Significantly better than Felix Pie.
      Not nearly as good as Pecan Pie.

      • El Bravo - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:09 PM

        Shit, I think I’m even significantly better than Felix Pie. I can’t hold a candle to the Pecan variety though. I won’t even f@ck with apple. Apple Pie don’t play.

    • number42is1 - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:27 PM

      Bravo – Jim Levenstein disagrees with you

  6. weaselpuppy - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Country Strong!

  7. blacksables - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:10 PM

  8. bigleagues - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    Craig:

    You didn’t do all your homework!

    The man who CRUSHED the first MLB baseball pitch he ever saw for his 1st career Home Run – and off of reigning Cy Young Randy Johnson, no less …

    :30 mark of this video:

    …Marcus Thames belongs in the Son Hall of Fame.

    He joined the National Guard at Age 17 in order to help support his paralyzed Mom.

    The National Guard gave him the strength and confidence to play High School baseball his Senior year – his only year on varsity. He played one year of community college, then one year at Texas State when the Yankees drafted him in the 30th round of the ’96 draft.

    He wasn’t considered a prospect until his dominant 2001 season at AA Norwich.

                                                                                      
    Year   Age      Tm   G  PA   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS  TB
    2001    24 Norwich 139 603 114 167 43  4 31  97 10 73 101 .321 .410 .598 1.008 311
    

    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original TableGenerated 1/11/2013.

    Marcus and I were friends when he was in Norwich. One day when we were sharing stories about our lives, he was talking about how he was determined to take care of his Mom. I watched as this 6′ 2″, 220 lb man have tears well-up in his eyes – and not a shred of shame.

    Marcus is one of the most down to earth, humble, nicest guys I’ll ever meet.

    Many people believe that his nickname, Country Strong, described his raw physical power . . . but it just as accurately described his ability to persevere through adversity.

    In baseball terms, Marcus Thames was never a superstar . . . but I’ll always think of him as one.

  9. deathmonkey41 - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    He hit a pretty big HR off of Papelbon too- although I don’t remember the situation.

    • jwbiii - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:20 PM

      Tied game bottom of the ninth walk-off.

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYA/NYA201005170.shtml

      • number42is1 - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:43 PM

        best Yanks vs Sox game i had ever been to IN MY LIFE. first it was Arod in the 9th and then Thames…

      • djpostl - Jan 11, 2013 at 6:52 PM

        Lol Papelbum got rocked that game.

        Double by Gardner, deep ass flyout by Tex, monster HR by Arod, deep ass flyout by Cano, HBP then monster HR for walk-off.

      • badintent - Jan 12, 2013 at 12:51 AM

        Sweet, great post ! I have to put that at bat after Bucky’s Bash !

  10. giantssb42champs - Jan 11, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Thames hit a HR in his first MLB at bat – off Randy Johnson at the Stadium. Just a little trivia.

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