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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Rosenthal: Thome ready to play if he gets a call

“My plan is to kind of stay in shape and see what happens,” Thome said in a telephone interview Friday. “If a team calls for me, mentally, I want to know I’m ready to go.”

And if no team calls, and Thome, 42, cannot go out on his terms? Then he will leave the game just as he played it for the past 22 years.

With grace.

“I said this to my wife: There is never a happy ending,” Thome said. “You can’t script it. You can’t look in the mirror and go, ‘I want to go out like Ray Lewis did. Or John Elway.’ You can’t script the perfect ending.

“But how can you not be proud of the 20-something years before this? To play until you’re 42? I’ve been playing since the age of 8-9-10. How could I look in the mirror and tell someone, ‘I got a bad shake?’ Never. I would never do that. You treat the game with respect.”

...“For me, what I’ve done in the game, I felt really strongly about that,” Thome said. “I still love the game. I want to keep playing. But I felt after 20-something years, that if I went back and played, I wanted to get an opportunity to make a club at the major-league level. To me, that was important. I feel I’m still a major-league player. I’m in great shape.”

Thanks to Carl.

Repoz Posted: February 23, 2013 at 09:23 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: indians

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   1. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 23, 2013 at 10:29 AM (#4374585)
“I said this to my wife: There is never a happy ending,” Thome said. “You can’t script it. You can’t look in the mirror and go, ‘I want to go out like Ray Lewis did


So the goal is to go out accused of using deer antler spray and with everyone asking about your involvement in a double murderer? I think that is attainable.
   2. What's the realistic upside, RMc? Posted: February 23, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4374645)
612 HR and no (serious) steroids whispers. He's in (eventually).
   3. eddieot Posted: February 23, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4374691)
Not sure I can name a Phillie that was so beloved based on such a short stint (um, stints) with the team. I doubt Jim will ever have to buy a beer in Philly again. I hope he latches on with someone this season. If not, it was a real pleasure watching his career.
   4. John Northey Posted: February 23, 2013 at 02:01 PM (#4374714)
Just looking at his stats I'm a bit surprised by a couple of things...
1) Just 5 all-star games, a low total for a 600 HR hitter
2) Just 3 times in the top 10 for bWAR, just once in the top 5
3) Just 13 black ink (27 average HOF), 118 grey (avg HOF 144)
4) Just once in top 5 for MVP (4th in 2003, came in 7th the year he had a 197 OPS+)

Very odd for a guy to have as long and productive an overall career to have so few 'wow' seasons. Says a lot about how bizarre the league was in the 90's/00's. 10 times with a 150+ OPS+ yet only led once (took a 197 to do it).
   5. Walt Davis Posted: February 23, 2013 at 04:10 PM (#4374897)
The WAR finishes are mainly about position and defense and expansion, not sillyball. If you look at, say, runs created, he led the league in 02, has 4 other top 5 finishes and is 23rd all-time. He does a bit better in adj win % (whatever that is) and offensive win %. He was one of the best hitters of his era and (especially in raw terms) of all-time.

McGwire had only one top 5 finish in WAR and doesn't even do that well in oWAR although he did lead the league in 98. Frank Thomas has only 4 top 5 and only 6 top 10 WARpos finishes with two #1 in oWAR.

But from earlier eras, players reasonably similar to Thome: Reggie only had 5 top 5 WARpos finishes, led the league in oWAR once (in 1969 when he was a CF). McCovey had only 3 top 5 WARpos finishes despite leading in oWAR twice. Killebrew had 2 top 5 WARpos and 5 top 5 oWAR. Robinson led the league once and had 7 top 5 finishes. This just in, Jim Thome not as good as Frank Robinson. :-)

McCovey is really as good a comp for Thome as you can hope for. The sillyball era is captured in McCovey's 5.4% HR/PA vs. Thome's 5.9% HR/PA vs. league averages of 2.1% and 2.7% respectively.

So, there you go, a handy conversion factor: 612 sillyball HR = 521 "real" HR. Actually Thome picks up 37 HR from the extra season's of PAs so it's more like 575 = 521 which gives us 550 = 500 or 11=10. Ergo, sillyball added 6-7 HR to McGwire and Bonds' season totals and they still break the record although Bonds doesn't catch Aaron. :-)
   6. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: February 24, 2013 at 01:02 AM (#4375044)
He's about 135 at-bats from owning the all time strikeout record.
   7. Dan Posted: February 24, 2013 at 01:26 AM (#4375047)
I'm surprised that the Rays didn't sign him. Their current DH options are Luke Scott and Jack Cust. Even at age 42, Thome has to have a good shot at outperforming those guys.
   8. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 24, 2013 at 02:52 AM (#4375058)
My plan is to kind of stay in shape...


Hmm. Not exactly what I want to hear if I'm considering a 42 year old ballplayer.

So the goal is to go out accused of using deer antler spray and with everyone asking about your involvement in a double murderer? I think that is attainable.
I laughed. What on earth does this refer to?
   9. Dan Posted: February 24, 2013 at 02:58 AM (#4375059)
Ray Lewis.
   10. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: February 24, 2013 at 11:41 PM (#4375451)
#8 - that's a normal Saturday night for Ray Lewis.

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