Blog Entry

If 600 still has magic, Thome will tell us

Posted on: January 14, 2011 3:04 pm
Is there any magic left in 600?

Jim Thome will tell us. Or maybe I should say, the buzz around Jim Thome will tell us.

After all, we like Jim Thome. I hate to speak for you, but on this point I think I can. I think we all like Jim Thome.

But do we care about Jim Thome getting to 600 home runs? And when he does get there, will we say that it means Thome is one of the great home run hitters we've ever seen?

He's on 589 home runs right now, and now that he has signed a one-year contract to stay in Minnesota, we know that he'll chase 600 as a member of the Twins.

That's a positive, because even though Thome has only played with the Twins for one season, he's already immensely popular there. Not Joe Mauer popular, obviously, but popular.

He's popular all over the American League Central, I think, even in the cities (Detroit, Kansas City) where all he has done is destroy the home team's pitching for the last 20 years.

(I heard Friday from a guy who used to work for the Royals, who simply said, "It feels like I saw all 47 of those [Thome home runs] that came vs. KC.")

Anyway, Thome is not Alex Rodriguez, the polarizing figure who reached 600 after a chase that most of the country tried to ignore last season. Thome is not Ken Griffey Jr., whose run for 600 in 2008 sometimes got overshadowed in his hometown by Jay Bruce's arrival with the Reds.

Thome is entirely likeable, by teammates, fans and writers alike.

A whole bunch of people will be happy for him when he gets to 600. But will it feel magic?

I'm not so sure it will.

This just isn't the same as when 600 belonged only to Aaron, Ruth and Mays. Thome has been a fine player, but he's not Aaron and he's not Ruth and he's not Mays -- and I imagine he would happily admit that.

That's not to say 600 is now meaningless, not at all. It's a great accomplishment, and even after the steroid era, it's not a common accomplishment.

Even now, only seven hitters finished with 600 or more homers, with Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, A-Rod and Junior joining the three that ended the 1980s on the mountaintop.

And if you look behind Thome, you don't see a lot more guys closing in. Manny Ramirez still needs 45, which is more than he hit the last two years combined (and he turns 39 in May). Vladimir Guerrero isn't going to get the 164 he would need, and neither is Chipper Jones.

Albert Pujols? Yeah, the way he's going, you'd have to say he'll reach 600 someday, but for now he's still a long ways away, at 408.

So Thome could be it for a while.

That's a good thing. If 600 home runs is going to be special, we can't be having a run at 600 every year.

Now, is it still special? Is there any magic left in it?

Jim Thome will tell us.


Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2012 6:38 am

If 600 still has magic, Thome will tell us

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 5:42 pm

If 600 still has magic, Thome will tell us

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 30, 2011 9:06 pm

If 600 still has magic, Thome will tell us

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 23, 2011 6:16 pm

If 600 still has magic, Thome will tell us

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 12:45 pm

If 600 still has magic, Thome will tell us

Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 6:20 pm

If 600 still has magic, Thome will tell us

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 1:57 pm

If 600 still has magic, Thome will tell us

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Since: Nov 27, 2011
Posted on: November 27, 2011 10:52 pm

If 600 still has magic, Thome will tell us

Since: Apr 17, 2008
Posted on: January 16, 2011 10:52 am

If 600 still has magic, Thome will tell us

If you believe the backs of the baseball cards, Thome has put on 50 pounds in the last 20 years (200 lbs in 1991, 250 lbs in 2010), but SO HAVE I.  So have a lot of us.  He was a big boy when he came up to the bigs and he's a big boy now.

I am the biggest Jim Thome fan there is, but if it is revealed that he used, KEEP HIM OUT OF THE HALL.  All the stats count, but I would leave him off my ballot.

But if he changed his mind all of a sudden and hung up his spikes tomorrow, he is a 1st ballot Hall of Famer FO SHIZZ.

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: January 16, 2011 9:25 am

If 600 still has magic, Thome will tell us

The magic is in watching the swing, and then watching the ballexplode off the bat in a true arc of glory, headed for the bleachers!  I love to watch every Jim Thome HR I can.  There is something magic about it. 

MLB network did a special of just the longest blasts of lst year.  Thome must have had 5 of the top 75 HRs - every one incredible to watch.  and He had the 2nd longest HR of the year - the one that hit off the top of the flagpole in Target field!

I think also, we like that Jim Thome is a throw back to the prototypical slugger of the 50s and 60s.  This was a legacy that started with Babe Ruth, and continued through Jimmie Foxx, Johnny Mize, Ralph Kiner, Ted Klu, Frank Howard, Harmon Killebrew, Boog Powell, Willie Mccovey, Willie Stargel, Frank Thomas, and now Jim Thome.  

Jim thome fits the Paul Bunyan iconic image for the Twins region as well.

He worked very very hard on a special conditioning program before last season, and I hope he does it again.  He was hitting a HR for every 11 at bats!  I don't think any non-juiced player has done that at age 40 in baseball history!

And just for this story, I hope # 600 is a game winning walk off shot that clears the flagpole at Target field and gets written about for a long. ong time!

By the way, that would put Jim Thome at the head of the list for walk off shots - ahead of Babe Ruth.  He tied with #12 last year.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or