Friday, August 26, 2011

Thome's Gone to a Better Place

Jim Thome has been very good to the Minnesota Twins.

Originally signed to a dirt-cheap $1.5 million contract in 2010, he delivered an incredible performance at the age of 39, almost completely offsetting the loss of Justin Morneau by hitting .301/.436/.664 with 15 home runs and 31 RBI from July 7th (the date of Morneau's concussion) through the end of the season.

In the ensuing offseason, Thome reportedly turned down a more lucrative offer from the Rangers to return to Minnesota and help the Twins settle their unfinished business.

Thome has done his part this season, hitting .248/.357/.485 with 12 home runs (including the all-important No. 600) despite being 40 years old, but almost no one else has. So it was only right that the Twins granted passage from purgatory by trading the slugger to the Indians yesterday for a player to be named later, rather than forcing him to play out what might be his final season with a miserable and completely irrelevant club.

After suffering through one of the most humiliating sweeps in memory at Target Field this week, the Twins are now 55-75. That puts them on pace to finish 69-93, which might be generous considering they'll likely be playing out the season without Scott Baker, Denard Span, Francisco Liriano, Nick Blackburn, Delmon Young and now Thome.

The Indians stand 6 1/2 out in the AL Central. They're a game below .500, and have gone 30-44 since jumping out to a surprising 33-20 start. This flawed Cleveland team stands little chance of overcoming the Tigers and making the playoffs, but Thome will now at least have the opportunity to play meaningful games down the stretch rather than running out the thread with a decimated group that -- despite Joe Mauer's firm insistence to the contrary -- appears to have completely packed it in.

The PTBNL in the deal likely won't amount to much, but it's better than nothing and the important thing here is that the Twins did right by Thome. They owed him that much.


USAFChief said...

Thanks for some memorable moments Jim. You're a class act. Although I thought it a mild mistake to bring you back in 2011, you provided some value again. If this is your last season, apologies from Twins fans that you had to spend it watching this mess.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Jim - it was fun to see you in a Twins' uniform for #600. The first one in team history. We'll miss you but glad you got a new opportunity. Also glad you got to escape this dumpster fire of a season.

Kel said...

Twins send him away after they gain the bennied from the hoopla of the 600th HR. Cynical

Bill Smith will run this team into the ground. He's already presided over a drop from a perennial contender to an also ran.

Injuries are an excuse. The Twins have quit on the season.

Anonymous said...

The twins just don't "get" what being in entertainment is all about. You've got to put a product on the field that is deserving of the ticket prices and $8 beer. Now, they get rid of Thome. What!! Fans stick around when you're down by 7 just to watch him bat! As for the rest of the weaklings....well...I think the commentators ought to play "Pick the Puss" instead of "Pick the Stick." They can bet on which Twin will be incapacitated by a hang nail or ingrown hair. Bring back real men like Dan Gladden and Jack Morris. Long n' short of it....don't field a AAA line-up and charge for big league beer. Beyond that...get tough or get out.

Laches said...

Well, it would have been pretty tough to send him to a worse place. It's painful to watch. An unsightly collection of players who belong either on the DL or in Rochester. This team has to be completely remade. At least get some guys who are legit major leagures, which Butera, Tolbert and Tosoni clearly are not. Remember when Nick Punto was the main target of the Twins faithful. He'd be about the third best player on this year's roster.