Apparently, the Twins have signed veteran slugger Jim Thome. First, I thought, "He originally played third base for Cleveland." Next, I wondered, "Where's Rick Reed these days?" Seen in the proper context, this is a great move for the Twins. I have not read much of the hype, but I hope the organization is not trying to claim (or even imply) that he will play everyday and drive in 100 RBI's. Think of Jim Thome as upgrading from Mike Redmond. He's a mostly worthless benchwarmer at the end of his career that you just can't help but love. Even with too many pitchers, they resorted to such stiffs as Brian Buscher to fill bench spots last season. What does it hurt to have Thome? If nothing else, he provides manager Ron Gardenhire a veteran option to run the bases in late innings if he wants somebody experienced enough to know to stop at third on a grounder to the shortstop.
How can you not love Jim Thome? This is the player, who when asked about becoming the Cleveland Indians all-time home-run leader, responded, "The best part is that I did it all with the same team." My friends at baseballreference.com tell me that he made his debut against the 1991 Minnesota Twins. That has to mean something. I'll never forget when the 2002 Twins beat the Indians 23-2 with Thome doing his best by adding 2 solo home runs. My fact-checker is on vacation this week, but wasn't it Thome who hit the shot to eliminate the 2008 Twins? I'm excited!