"I know we want a little more something off the bench instead of two utility guys and a backup catcher. I’m going to have a better bench and have a little more weapons. So we’re going to do that. whatever that entails, that’s what we’re going to do."– Ron Gardenhire, Twins Manager
That quote comes from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and it highlights a point about the Minnesota Twins bench: The power of the Twins bench would come from the sluggers that are Jamey Carroll and Drew Butera.
Combined, the two have 18 career home runs, 13 dingers in 11 years for Carroll and five round-trippers in three years for Butera. To put their combined home runs in another light, Jim Thome has 34 times more home runs than they do.
In an exclusive article by FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the 42-year-old former Twin Jim Thome said he still wanted to put on the cleats and hit the cages on the major league level: “If a team is in need of my services and that situation arises, I just want them to know that I am available. I am still ready to go.”
Well, the Twins are definitely in need of his services. Managers always want pop of the bench, and what more could one ask for than 612 career home runs? Only Alex Rodriguez has more home runs in his career, and we all know how well that’s been going recently for the Yankees.
There are many reasons not to sign Jim Thome: he’s 42, an energetic turtle could run faster and he has high strikeout rates. Look at it this way, though:
It’s Opening Day at Target Field and Justin Verlander for the Tigers has pitched a gem into the ninth inning with two outs. He’s only given up one run so far on a Josh Willingham double which scored Joe Mauer, but now he’s in a little trouble with the score only being 3-1 and runners on first and second. Due up for the Twins is… Pedro Florimon…
That’s not gonna work…
Ron Gardenhire looks to his bench and he sees his power man: Jamey Carroll. Carroll’s highest home run total in a year was five when he played for, you guessed it, the Colorado Rockies.
Carroll goes up there and hits anything but a home run.
Imagine that situation, but instead, with Jim Thome on the bench. Twins fans know that Thome can park one, but no believes for a second that Jamey Carroll will get it to the warning track.
Pitchers know this too. Thome may be 42, but as a pitcher, I’m still much more afraid of him than Carroll or Drew Butera.
Let’s face what Twins fans already know: The Twins are more than likely going to stink this year and will probably finish in the basement of the AL Central. This team is building for 2014, 2015 and beyond.
Bring in Thome.
Jim Thome is a good guy and fits a need this team has. Bring him in, don’t overthink it. This fan base loved him, and the Twins will need anything they can muster to get people to go sit their butts in Target Field.
Thome is the perfect walk-off man. You get to point to him every fourth ball game when you got a shot and say, "Hey, Jimmy! Go kill one and win us a ball game!"
I don’t want the Twins to sign him to be the everyday designated hitter, sure he needs to crack the lineup every once and a while to stay fresh, but he should be this team’s power specialist. This team has a huge lack of power and they could use any bit of help they can get.
It may be a crapshoot, but why not? It’ll give me an excuse to wear my multiple Jim Thome shirts with pride.