Thome gets appreciative rise out of Phillies fans

Posted: June 14, 2007

DAN BAKER, the public address announcer at Citizens Bank Park, added the relish and flourish normally reserved for the home team when he unfurled Jim Thome's name in the first inning of yesterday's game, the first time Thome's name was announced during a Phillies game since 2005.

The crowd of 42,677 reacted predictably: It rose and cheered.

Thome stepped out of the batter's box and enthusiastically doffed his batting helmet.

"I tip my hat to the people of Philadelphia," said excitable White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. "That's a class act."

That's what Thome was in Philadelphia.

He revived interest in the Phillies when he signed as a free agent for the 2003 season. A season later, the club set records with more than 24,000 season tickets and more than 3.2 million in total attendance at new Citizens Bank Park.

For his part, Thome hit 96 homers with the Phillies before he was traded to the White Sox to make room for ascending first baseman Ryan Howard. He left part of his heart in Philadelphia.

These days Thome is a designated hitter. He started at first base for the first time since the White Sox played the Cubs last July. He did not even get an at-bat in the first two games of the series, so he and the crowd were primed for a lovefest.

"They showed me the love when I was here," Thome said. "When I tipped my cap, I showed them the love back."

Express yourself

Closer Antonio Alfonseca didn't get a strike called on a full-count walk to start the ninth inning and he threw his glove off in disgust.

Closer Antonio Alfonseca didn't get a strike called on a full-count walk to start the ninth inning and he

"I didn't mean any [disrespect]," Alfonseca said.

After the subsequent mound meeting, which plate umpire Adrian Johnson broke up, Alfonseca patted him on the rear end.

"I said, 'I'm sorry. It's my fault.' "

He said it respectfully.

He regrouped and escaped clean.

Phillers

Third baseman Wes Helms hit his first home run of the season in the second inning; his first homer in 163 at-bats; he last hit one against the Phils for the Florida Marlins at Citizens Bank Park on Sept. 24 . . . Second baseman Chase Utley's run-scoring single in the first inning gave him 53 RBI, tying him for first in the National League with Houston's Carlos Lee going into last night's games . . . Double A call-up Kyle Kendrick got a hit in his first major league at-bat . . . The Phils improved to 8-16 when a lefthander starts for the opposition . . . Lefty reliever Matt Smith was placed on the disabled list at Triple A Ottawa with elbow inflammation. Smith shined as a lefty specialist after the Yankees traded him as part of the July 30 deal that sent Cory Lidle and Bobby Abreu to New York. He opened the season as the Phils' lefty reliever but a rough spring and a rougher April, during which he had control problems, made him a minor leaguer again. *

Third baseman Wes Helms hit his first home run of the season in the second inning; his first homer in 163 at-bats; he last hit one against the Phils for the Florida Marlins at Citizens Bank Park on Sept. 24 . . . Second baseman Chase Utley's run-scoring single in the first inning gave him 53 RBI, tying him for first in the National League with Houston's Carlos Lee going into last night's games . . . Double A call-up Kyle Kendrick got a hit in his first major league at-bat . . . The Phils improved to 8-16 when a lefthander starts for the opposition . . . Lefty reliever Matt Smith was placed on the disabled list at Triple A Ottawa with elbow inflammation. Smith shined as a lefty specialist after the Yankees traded him as part of the July 30 deal that sent Cory Lidle and Bobby Abreu to New York. He opened the season as the Phils' lefty reliever but a rough spring and a rougher April, during which he had control problems, made him a minor leaguer again. *

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|