There could still be a little bit more left in the tank for Jim Thome. The former All-Star and probable Hall of Famer said on MLB Network Monday morning that despite all outward signs, he is not yet officially retired. And there could be a comeback in his future.
Thome is 43 and hasn’t played since 2012 when he hit 8 home runs in 163 at-bats for Philadelphia and Baltimore.
But he’s not retired.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against the idea of Jim Thome. Major league baseball can always use a big old-fashioned power hitting palooka. Why do you think people still love Adam Dunn?
And I have no doubt that Thome can probably still hit a little even at 43. He could probably come off the bench for some team in 2014 and hit like 10 homers.
My question is, why would Jim Thome at this point in his life choose hitting ten homers as a reserve player over sitting around enjoying retirement?
It’s not like he has a big statistical milestone to come back and pursue. At 612 homers, he’s hopelessly behind Barry Bonds, or even Hank Aaron or Babe Ruth. He’s 18 behind Ken Griffey, Jr. for 6th but I doubt the romance of chasing Griffey would be quite enough to stir Thome’s blood.
I can only assume Thome is just bored. He could be one of those guys like Julio Franco who doesn’t know what else to do with himself.
There’s nothing sadder than an old athlete who just can’t let go. Jim Thome appears to be one of those guys.
Thome doesn’t want or need my advice, but if he were to ask for it, I would tell him to kick back and let that Hall of Fame clock tick away. Hitting homers is great but there’s more to life. Have you considered taking up knitting, Jim? Volunteering at the animal shelter? Blogging?
A baseball comeback at this point would prove little except that Jim Thome can still swing and connect hard at 43. Sorry Jim, but no one cares. Just hang buddy. Just chill.