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Jim Thome is still looking for work

May 1, 2013, 11:19 AM EDT

Jim Thome AP AP

There’s a statue of Jim Thome being built outside the Indians’ ballpark, but the 42-year-old slugger is still trying to avoid retirement despite an apparent lack of interest from all 30 teams.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is one of Thome’s closest friends and told Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer:

He still thinks he can play. He misses the game. Baseball is his identity. That’s all he’s done for 20-some years or so. He’s kind of having a hard time adjusting.

Based on his performance last season Thome could still add some value to a team as a part-time designated hitter and bench bat, but roster spots for that type of role are awfully limited and he’s been unsuccessfully looking for a gig for months now. Part of the problem is that Thome reportedly wants a big-league contract rather than working his way back to the majors on a minor-league deal, but whatever the case there’s been essentially zero rumblings of him drawing interest.

  1. manute - May 1, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    I’m pretty sure – but not positive – that the statue is being built in Cleveland, not Philly.

    It’d be kind of strange to erect a monument to a guy who played two full seasons for the team, no?

  2. historiophiliac - May 1, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Boooo!!!

    /throws flowers

  3. outsiderj - May 1, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Why the hell would the Phillies build a statue for Thome?

    • flalaw - May 1, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      The Phillies are also building a statute for Delmon Young.

      Wait, that *is* Delmon Young.

      • Francisco (FC) - May 1, 2013 at 11:40 AM

        Well they built one for Ross Gload a couple of seasons ago so anything’s possible.

      • historiophiliac - May 1, 2013 at 1:38 PM

        Wow, a whole hour and we don’t have an adjustable statue joke?

  4. randygnyc - May 1, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Problem is he’s nearly confined to the AL. He can ph for the marlins. If he’d play for minimum the Astros could take a look. More for his clubhouse influence. Maybe a team at the break that’s out of it, like the Jays, could give him a grand send off. Or, maybe it’s just that its time to hang it up?

    • historiophiliac - May 1, 2013 at 11:38 AM

      You mean: free from the NL. FTFY

    • Caught Looking - May 1, 2013 at 12:00 PM

      Thome wants a big-league contract. The Astros and Marlins don’t meet that criteria for him.

      • apmn - May 1, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        Too bad, he would look awesome in one of those new Astros jerseys. He could just stand at the plate looking like Casey Jones. And that would be an improvement over what they have now.

    • jwbiii - May 1, 2013 at 12:18 PM

      Minnesota might be his best spot again. DH Ryan Doumit and EYP Oswaldo Arcia have not been hitting. Arcia has options and might be better off playing every day in Rochester.

      • albertmn - May 1, 2013 at 3:17 PM

        Thome is great, but the Twins do NOT need him. The Twins are likely overachieving right now to have a .500 record. They need to play the young guys at this point, not bring in someone that can only DH or PH and can’t even do that every day. As to your point on Arcia, he is likely only up while Mastrioanni is on the DL. I would expect him to go back down at that point, unless he is killing the ball by then. If Doumit doesn’t turn it around, he will slide to being just the backup catcher and not DHing as often. Plenty of guys on the roster could fill the DH spot on any given day either to give a starter a day off or to get a bench guy some ABs. I like the Twins bench better without someone so one dimensional as Thome.

  5. mdpickles - May 1, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    Thome needs baseball as much as baseball needs Thome. One of the all-time great guys in the game. The Phillies do not have a bench coach and the best thing for Thome is if he can’t play, then he needs to be around a clubhouse to feel somewhat normal. Here’s hoping that he becomes a coach.

  6. 13arod - May 1, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    it says in te stry clevlend you idiot

    • historiophiliac - May 1, 2013 at 12:20 PM

      I love that you spelled “idiot” correctly.

      • Ralph - May 1, 2013 at 12:31 PM

        It’s like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife, huh?

      • spellingcops - May 1, 2013 at 3:57 PM

        That literally made me laugh out loud historio. Well played.

  7. connormyboy - May 1, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    The Rays should sign him probably better then any one they got at DH.

    • jwbiii - May 1, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      Luke Scott just came off the DL. Scott may not be a better hitter than Thome, but he does have some defensive value.

  8. rbj1 - May 1, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Jim just needs to wait another week. Two more Yankees will hit the DL and we’ll have a spot open for him.

    • Jason Lukehart - May 1, 2013 at 12:56 PM

      Good lord, no, not the Yankees.

      • anxovies - May 1, 2013 at 1:22 PM

        The way things have been going with the Yankees this year he would have 10 HR and be hitting .300.

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