Jim Thome refuses to go away, fortunately.
Written off for dead by everyone including this "expert", Thome began the season in misery at the plate and in the field. His reward was another back strain and trip to the Disabled List. When he came off the list, he went to Florida to work his way into shape. All he managed to do when returned was go on a tear, culminating in tremendous moonshot to center field last night at Target Field, a pitchers' park. The home run was number 606 in his storied career.
The smile he flashed in the dugout was part pleasure and part humility as his teammates mobbed him and the Minnesota fans gave him a standing ovation. There is not a showboating bone in Thome's aging body.
Thome has been DH'ing the last five games, all versus AL clubs in AL ballparks. When the Phils return to NL play they face a real dilemma. What are they going to do with Thome and his hot bat? The strong likelihood is whatever they decide, they won't be including a glove in the deal. He just can't field any longer. Conventional wisdom has it he cannot get around on a fastball any longer. Maybe not one from Kershaw or Cain, but ordinary mortals are another story.
Sometimes, good guys do finish first.