Jim Thome Hits Home Run #600

Congratulations to Jim Thome.  Last night, The Thomenator, The Pride of Peoria, hit his 600th career home run.  Unfortunately it came as a member of the Minnesota Twins and not the Cleveland Indians, but such is life.  Its a fantastic achievement for someone, who by all accounts, is as great a human being as he is a baseball player.  It’s yet another milestone in what has been one of the truly great careers in the history of baseball.  With that in mind…

I think enough time has passed.  The wound is no longer fresh and the salt has been washed away.  What I’m trying to say is that I’ve finally realized I’m over the whole Jim Thome thing and the rest of you should be too.

Yes, Jim Thome told all of us how much he loved playing in Cleveland and how he wanted to end his career as an Indian only to turn right around and sign for the Phillies for more money.  It is what it is.  It can’t be changed.  As much as we would all love to have Doc Brown pull up with his DeLorean, tell us to get in, and go back and change things… it’s not going to happen.

The other thing that helps me get over the Jim Thome fiasco is that fact that even if Thome had stayed with the Indians, he wouldn’t still be here.  Not after everything we’ve seen with how the Indians choose to run their organization.  If Thome had resigned with the Indians after the 2002 season odds are he wouldn’t still be with the Indians today.  We’ve seen how many different rebuilds and youth movements since he left Cleveland?  Just ask Omar Vizquel, Victor Martinez, Jhonny Peralta, C.C. Sabathia, Cliff Lee, and a plethora of others I’m probably forgetting how their Indians careers came to an end.  Thome probably would have played 2 or 3 more years in Cleveland and then been traded away for prospects.

Why then should we continue to hold it against him that he left for Philadelphia and the all might dollar especially considering the Indians attempted to make up the difference with the promise of things like a statue and clothing line?  In the world of sports money talks and the Phillies spoke loudest 8 years ago.

It’s time to let all of that go.

Jim Thome is the Indians all-time home run leader.  In his time in Cleveland, the better part of 11 seasons, Thome hit a grand total of 334 home runs.  That’s more than half of his 600 and makes hime quite possibly one of the greatest players to ever wear the red, white, and blue of the Cleveland Indians.  Brace yourselves now.  He’s going to go to the hall of fame and it’s going to be as a Cleveland Indian.  Yes, he played during the steroid era, but there has never been so much as a whisper that Thome has done it the right way.  For better or worse, despite everything that has happened he always has been and always will be a Cleveland Indian.

Come the end of September, the Minnesota Twins will make their way to Cleveland for the second to last series of the season.  I’m willing to bet the Indians will do something to honor Thome and his historic achievement… and they should.  He holds a special place in Indians history and deserves to be honored.  As an Indians he never did anything to embarrass us or show us that he didn’t want to be here.  Yes, his time here ended badly, but I’m willing to bet 99.9% of the people reading this would have done the exact same thing.  So when they hold the pregame ceremony and present Thome with some sort of plaque or commemorative bat, etc. I hope the fans cheer. 

The time to boo Thome has come and gone.  He’s no longer the multi-million dollar, home run hitting bat that he used to be.  However, he continues to be a link to the past; a link to some of the greatest Indians team we have ever seen.  When his career finally comes to an end it wouldn’t surprise me if he comes back home to the Indians in some capacity, because after all, this is where he belongs.  Isn’t it about time we bury the hatchet, Cleveland?  Why not stand and applaud and let him now that we’re finally ready to embrace him once again?  Why not welcome him back with open arms?  Aren’t you all ready to let the healing being?

I know I am…


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