February 26, 2012 |
"If any player ever asks me about playing in Philadelphia, what I thought it was and what it actually is, it's completely different. I've never had anyone yell at me. " - Doc Halladay, The Inquirer, Feb. 22, 2012 In the dead of winter, circa 2002, in South Philadelphia, a stretch limo, windows darkened, purrs down Broad Street and slows to a crawl where a majestic new ballpark is rising and where...
February 23, 2012
CLEARWATER , Fla. - They stood side by side again yesterday, the Big Piece and the man who 9 years ago kick-started the drastic change this once-downtrodden franchise has undergone. Once, Ryan Howard's promise ushered an aging Jim Thome out the door. Now, doubts about Howard's balky Achilles' has added weight to the offseason signing of his predecessor at first base, has once again laced their fates together. And so, as they stood next to each other this week, taking grounders at first one day, hitting in the batting cage yesterday, one man looking a little heavier than when the season ended and another looking slightly slimmer, well, it was just impossible not to think how this could all play out - how "cool" it might turn out to be, as Howard said yesterday when asked about being reunited with the man he replaced in 2005.
January 21, 2012 |
Jim Thome was asked a question Friday that he knows he cannot truly answer until March and April. Can he play first base again? "To be honest, I don't know how my back is going to react because I haven't played there in seven years," Thome said during a visit to Citizens Bank Park. Thome has played a grand total of four games at first base since leaving the Phillies after the 2005 season, and, in a perfect world, he'd be nothing more than a pinch-hitter during his second tour of duty here at the age of 41. But with Ryan Howard expected to spend April on the disabled list recovering from his Achilles tendon tear, manager Charlie Manuel would love to be able to insert Thome's powerful bat into the lineup once or twice a week during the opening month of the season.
November 7, 2011 |
HE WRAPPED up his business in Cleveland in September, pinch-hitting in the bottom of the eighth before Indians manager Manny Acta inserted him at third base in the top of the ninth. Jim Thome spent one pitch in the field, then walked off the Jacobs Field turf from the same position he first walked onto it 20 years before. One month after Thome's final home game in Cleveland, he returned to another city to tie up some loose ends. This time, he hopes the homecoming is more than ceremonial.
November 7, 2011
JIM THOME is not the first Hall of Fame-level first baseman to return to Philly for an end-of-career cameo. Jimmie Foxx, the greatest hitter in Athletics history, finished his career with the lowly Phillies in 1945. He was just 37. Maybe young owner Bob Carpenter thought the righthanded slugger who rivaled Babe Ruth's numbers during the great middle years of his career could put a few extra fannies in Connie Mack Stadium's empty seats. He didn't. The Phils drew just over 285,000.
November 5, 2011
Regular season Year, Team AB R H HR RBI AVG 1991, Indians 98 7 25 1 9 .255 1992, Indians 117 8 24 2 12 .205 1993, Indians 154 28 41 7 22 .266 1994, Indians 321 58 86 20 52 .268 1995, Indians 452 92 142 25 73 .314 ...
November 5, 2011 |
Eight years ago, the Phillies had to woo free-agent Jim Thome with a tour of their still-to-be-completed ballpark, a night out at a Flyers game, dinner at a fancy center-city restaurant and, of course, millions of dollars. This time, the courting was much easier. All the 41-year-old Thome wants is a chance to win his first World Series, and his old buddy Charlie Manuel manages one of the few teams with a terrific chance of fulfilling his career-long pursuit. It was no secret at the trade deadline last season that Thome wanted to return to the Phillies as the Minnesota Twins faded from the playoff race.
September 24, 2011 |
BRANDON MORROW pitched seven scoreless innings and the Toronto Blue Jays further dampened Tampa Bay's playoff hopes, beating David Price and the Rays, 5-1, last night in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Rays have lost four of five and dropped 2 1/2 games behind Boston in the AL wild-card race; the Red Sox were rained out at New York last night. A night after pounding out 17 hits in a 15-8 romp at Yankee Stadium, the Rays were limited to Matt Joyce's second-inning infield single until Casey Kotchman singled with one out in the seventh off Morrow (11-11)
August 31, 2011 |
RAMON SANTIAGO hit a solo homer in the 10th inning to give the Detroit Tigers a 2-1 win over the visiting Kansas City Royals last night. Santiago, who entered the game in the eighth as a pinch-runner, lifted Aaron Crow's pitch over the rightfield wall for only his fourth homer of the year. Joaquin Benoit (4-3) pitched two innings for the Tigers, matching his longest outing of the season. Crow (3-4) struck out Wilson Betemit with the bases loaded to end the ninth, and he got the first out of the 10th before allowing Santiago's surprising homer.
August 26, 2011 |
CLEVELAND - Jim Thome has swung back to the Cleveland Indians. The slugger accepted a trade from Minnesota last night to return to the Indians, the team he started with and one hoping its career home-run leader can help them run down first-place Detroit in the AL Central. An unexpected season full of surprises and comeback wins for the Indians now has the most improbable return of all. As he's done on more than 600 career homers, Thome has rounded the bags and is coming home.