Earlier this year, I wrote that I could really care less about A-Rod’s 600th home run beyond what it would mean for the Yankees as a team trying to win its division.
With Jim Thome, it’s different.
Thome passed McGwire on the all-time home run list Saturday when he slugged two — nos. 583 and 584 — against the Rangers. (He’s since hit two more, tying him with Hall-of-Famer Frank Robinson at 8th on the all-time list.)
To me, Thome is always an Indian, even though it’s been eight years since he played for the Manny Ramirez and Albert Belle Cleveland teams that scared the shit out of American League pitching in the mid-’90s.
I could be idealizing here because Thome is among the last of a generation of players who I saw as a kid, but he always seemed to me to be the kind of classic slugger it’s tough to dislike or root against. Like Frank Thomas.
Thome’s a big guy. Really big. And country strong. A first baseman who looked like he could hit the ball a ton and usually did, even though he’s never won an MVP award and only led his league in homers once (47 in 2003 for the Phillies).
But after the mid-90s, baseball became confusing. Continue reading