Jim Thome is About to Go Yard and No One Cares
*except the good folks of Minnesota and Cleveland.
Of course, I'm a Twins fan at heart, but I appreciate each and every club in Major League Baseball. All 30 of them. Even the Yankees. So, if there was a 40-year-old man just four home runs shy of joining the elusive 600 home run club playing in a Marlins uniform, I'd still be way interested. But if the guy was playing for a bigger market team, would it be a bigger market deal? Would more people care? Would there be a Sportscenter countdown?
If Jim Thome donned a Yankees, Red Sox or Dodgers uniform, it would be All Jim Jam All the Time, All over Every sports channel on television. Or maybe not... maybe people just aren't easily impressed by 596 career longballs anymore. Then again, he is batting just .208 with seven bombs on the season, one of which was like a million feet long, by the way. However, Derek Jeter just enjoyed his 3,000th big league hit (also a huge accomplishment) and everyone had a cow over it. There was indeed a Sportscenter Countdown.
Whatever. We're going to jump up and down and make tater tot hot dish when that towering homer launches over whatever fence it does while Dick Bremer goes absolutely apeshit. We're going to congratulate him. Because hitting 600 home runs is a big damn deal. Guess why? Well, for starters, only Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr., and Alex Rodriguez have done it. IN THE HISTORY OF THE GAME OF BASEBALL. You think A-Rod got a countdown? You bet your ass he did. And I'm pretty sure it started his rookie season.
Maybe Thome just isn't as interesting a guy. It's not like he ever pointed to the sky and called a homer, made an unforgettable over-the-shoulder basket catch in the outfield later to be named after him, broke a color barrier, changed his skin tone, lied to a grand jury, had a video game named after him, or dated Madonna...
And seriously, I dare you to bring up steroids. No way on God's green earth did Jim Thome take steroids. He took his wife to see Oprah during an incredibly uncomfortable topic for crying out loud - that's the type of guy he is. A gentle giant. Who never took steroids. He's depended on nothing more than Miller High Lifes and hunks of raw porterhouse to get there, as the fellas over at Diamondcentric Apparel so eloquently explained.
So strap on your Thome is My Homey t-shirt, grab a beer, and start the countdown if you haven't already. Jim Thome is about to go yard and you better start caring.
Speaking of the Twins, I'll be on the TwinsTrain this September 9-11 in Detroit at the beautiful Comerica Park for two games. All you fellow Minnesotans, as glorious a place as Target Field is, should hop on and join me! I went last year and it was literally the most fun a human being can have in Detroit without being mugged.