• The Ballad of Big Jim

    Twitter started sizzling yesterday. There's a chance Jim Thome rejoins the Minnesota Twins and puts a few more taters over the right field flag pole.

    There's no way this helps the Twins long term, but I can't help but be excited. Jim Thome is so heroic Greek mythology borrows heavily from his career.


    Joe Mauer is never going to be that kind of hero. He's the quiet, unappreciated type. Biographies of the cool, consistent catcher will mention how little respect he got in his home town. They'll quote Aaron Gleeman's tweets about fans booing the local boy.

    Justin Morneau actually has the potential to achieve that kind of heroism this year. Thing is, if he does, he might get traded away. We get it. We're Twins fans. We can't have nice things.

    If Josh Willingham dodges the slump we all fear is coming, he could be something to sing about. Disliking Josh Willingham is genetically impossible. He's more strong, silent cowboy than cold-eyed gunslinger, though.

    Putting Thome in a Twins uniform will take plate appearances from players who will actually be part of the team's future. If his major league time has finally run out, watching his final whiffs at the plate will break hearts.

    I still hope they do it. I buy Twins tickets to buy stories and memories, and there's no way I'm buying any stories about a playoff run this year. It'll be a few years before I'm purchasing tales of breakout seasons and new team chemistry (unless Kyle Gibson and some of the new pitchers catch fire).

    Even it hurts the Twins, I want them to spend money for another summer of Thome. The city just seems safer and holier when you can rest assured he's standing somewhere with a bat in one hand and a smile on his mug.

    If the Twins front office saves me from my sentimental longings, that's probably for the best. I'm not saying I'm thinking smart here.

    I just can't be the guy to deny a smiling Jim Thome a trip to the batter's box.
    This article was originally published in blog: The Ballad of Big Jim. started by Mr. Horrorpants
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. tjsyam921's Avatar
      tjsyam921 -
      As fun as it was to watch Big Jim smack homers with ease i just dont see a spot on the 25 man for him. Splitting DH duty between Doumit, Mauer, Willingham, and Morneau doesn't leave many ABs. Only way I'd like to see him is if it means there's no room for Butera.
    1. Steve Penz's Avatar
      Steve Penz -
      How do folks chastise the Twins for Correa and then ask for Thome? Emotions need to be set aside. It would be a horrible business decision for the future. No, please no.
    1. tw1ns1's Avatar
      tw1ns1 -
      Torn on this one.....no need for 3 catchers, that i am sure of.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      I'm still trying to figure out how paying Thome 1M to be a power hitter off the bench is going to be a horrible decision for the future... I think Thome could singlehandedly win a few close/late games with a late inning HR, but beyond that, how? He isn't blocking anyone other than possibly sending Butera to AAA... and that's hardly a loss.
    1. Neil's Avatar
      Neil -
      This was a very nice article, Horrorpants. I agree whole-heartedly; bring the big guy back!
    1. minn55441's Avatar
      minn55441 -
      It's still spring and I holding out hope for a miracle run. When we hit June and any hope of sticking with the leaders in the central have faded, it would be nice to have Jim in the lineup every couple of days.

      If we don't have a playoff chase to look forward to, we will need some additonal story lines. Jim Thome will be a good storyline. Are we past the point where his class and professional approach wouldn't be of benefit to everyone in the clubhouse?
    1. Steve Penz's Avatar
      Steve Penz -
      Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
      I'm still trying to figure out how paying Thome 1M to be a power hitter off the bench is going to be a horrible decision for the future... I think Thome could singlehandedly win a few close/late games with a late inning HR, but beyond that, how? He isn't blocking anyone other than possibly sending Butera to AAA... and that's hardly a loss.
      To be fair, I am being a bit emotionally driven myself. Let me explain. My contention is that adding any hitter to this squad who has no chance of being on the team in the future seems crazy to me. I get the Thome thing and your statement makes sense. I just don't see why they would not want to try and give another some mlb at bats before adding Thome. Colabello? At least he has some chance of a future or maybe if he hits then we could trade him for something.

      I love Thome. I just don't see the point.
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      Thome had 40 strikouts last year in 115 PA.
      He is 50 strikeouts from being the all time leader in strikeouts.

      Love the guy, but he should avoid that record.
    1. LewFordLives's Avatar
      LewFordLives -
      I admit, he would add some fun to what otherwise could be a long year for this club. Down by a couple runs late in the game, there would be an adrenaline surge knowing we got big Jim on the bench if someone gets on.

      That said, I'm not sure how realistic it is to use up a roster spot for him. Like it or not, the Twins will take 3 catchers north. They aren't paying Butera $800K to sit in Rochester. That leaves the final 3 bench spots for 1 OF and 2 utility infielders. Given the new look outfield and the uncertainy in the infield, they're gonna want as much flexibility as possible. I don't see them giving up one of those bench spots to accomodate Thome.
    1. Mchans24's Avatar
      Mchans24 -
      If he plays well is there any trade value in July?
    1. Neil's Avatar
      Neil -
      Well, there is no point, strictly from a player development angle. But, one might argue he has value as an extra coach, especially with so much flux in the coaching staff. Also, he makes it more fun to be at the game. When it's more fun to be at the game, more fans will show up. When more fans show up, the team has more dollars to reinvest in the team..

      As for whether that outweighs the value of giving his at bats to a younger player, I can't say.
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