Jim Thome – “I’m not retired”
While many free agents are getting calls from big league teams there’s one guy that’s not and that’s veteran slugger Jim Thome. Thome played 2012 as a reserve for the Philadelphia Phillies and Baltimore Orioles, hitting eight homers and batting .252 over 163 at-bats. So why haven’t they been calling, is he retired? In an interview with Jim Salisbury of Comcast SportsNet Philly he’s definitely not.
“I’m not retired,” the 42-year-old slugger said with a laugh. “If someone wants me to play, I’d consider it for sure. I feel good. If I didn’t feel good, I wouldn’t even consider it. But I feel good. I’d like to play.” (Salisbury – Comcast SportsNet)
Sailsbury’s interview show’s a guy that knows he is near the end of his career and is okay with that. He’s fine if he doesn’t play again he’d be okay with that too, even though he wants to. For a guy who has hit 612 career homeruns and ranks seventh all-time on that list he seems pretty content with whatever 2013 brings.
“At this stage, am I an everyday player? No,” Thome said. “But I think I can still play. The best thing for me is being a designated hitter somewhere. But if an NL team calls, sure I’d consider it. I still feel like I can give a team a veteran presence and get a big hit off the bench.”
“I think as you get into the later stages of your career – and let’s face it, I’ve been blessed to play a long time – there will always be speculation about what you’re going to do: Is this his last year? Does he want to keep playing?” Thome said. “I always try to go home and unwind and think about it. After a couple months off, I’ve come to the conclusion, that yeah, if someone wants me I’d like to play.”
If the phone doesn’t ring, Thome will be at peace with his playing career as his countdown to Cooperstown begins.(Salisbury – Comcast SportsNet)
While I agree Thome’s everyday status is long gone I’d love to see him on the baseball field again in 2013. One last chance and hopefully for a contender. He’d be an experienced bat off the bench that still has a powerful bat that can make a difference. I’m just not sure if any team at this point will take a chance.