2009 Goudey Mini Blue #297 - Jim Thome
Look who's in the playoffs again! Jim Thome!
This is the third year in a row with his third different team. That's a pretty good lucky streak, any way you slice it.
Even when he's spouting thinly veiled digs at the White Sox, like he did a week ago, it's still hard to dislike Thome. Unless Jim Thome is found outside your house with a machete in one hand and a loved one's severed head in the other, it's nearly impossible to find a reason to root against him.
As of this writing, Jim Thome and the Twins still have a chance to advance in the playoffs, but the odds are against it. One thing I've learned over the years, and especially this season, is to never count the Twins out of anything. Without their dominant closer or dominant first baseman, they've managed to come out on top. They even lost their star catcher for a bit with knee problems and still found ways to win. My hat's off to them for getting this far with so much adversity.
Unlike every trip back to Cleveland, Jim Thome's return to Chicago did not elicit boos. I'll never understand the mentality of the people that can boo Jim Thome. He went from the "golly gee whiz" persona in Chicago, where it sometimes seemed like he walked straight off of the set of Beverly Hillbillies or Andy Griffith (in a good way) to his new moniker of "The Animal" by his Minnesota teammates.
I can relate. I'm not the biggest football guy, but I found myself playing the sport constantly in high school P.E. class. I went with the flow. I tried my best and ended up being a pretty decent blocker. Any team I found myself on immediately started a winning streak. Teammates started calling me "The Animal". I'm not exactly sure why they chose that name, but it never stuck beyond the confines of the football field. More than likely it didn't stick because I was the type of guy who would bend over backwards to help someone and I was more likely to be found on a baseball diamond or in one of the fine arts rooms working on projects.
Whatever the future holds for Jim Thome, he's earned respect in Chicago. He's playing well into October, yet again. That's something that even the boo birds in Cleveland should respect. You've certainly made it difficult to do this year, but I'm still rooting for you.