Friday, August 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Jim Thome is lonely

Jim Thome, 42, is training in Arizona with hopes of being a ringer for some team this summer. He called Manuel two weeks ago with a request: "Chuck, can I come hang out with you?"

Jim Thome is lonely

Jim Thome is training in Arizona with hopes of being a ringer for some team this summer. (H. Rumph Jr/AP file photo)
Jim Thome is training in Arizona with hopes of being a ringer for some team this summer. (H. Rumph Jr/AP file photo)

CLEVELAND — Charlie Manuel is big in this city. He was fired as Indians manager in 2002, but Cleveland featured prolific offenses under Manuel's guidance as hitting coach and manager, and that has made him a folk hero.

Another such figure is Jim Thome. A statue of him is being erected at Progressive Field. Manuel and Thome are forever connected; Manuel once said he views Thome as a son.

Thome, 42, is training in Arizona with hopes of being a ringer for some team this summer. He called Manuel two weeks ago with a request:

"Chuck, can I come hang out with you?"

More coverage
 
POLL: When will the Phillies be contenders again?
 
Follow the Phillies: Download our FREE Pro Baseball app!
 
VOTE: Should MLB reconsider Rose's ban?
 
WATCH: Daily fantasy baseball updates
 
WATCH: Latest Phillies highlights

Manuel laughed.

"You can come and live with me," Manuel told him.

But the Phillies manager was distressed when he spoke about Thome, the man with 612 homers to his name and a future speech at Cooperstown.

"He still thinks he can play," Manuel said. "He misses the game. Baseball is his identity. That’s all he’s done for 20-some years or so. He's kind of having a hard time adjusting."

It would surprise no one if Thome somehow stayed in the game as a coach. Maybe it's with the Phillies in some capacity.


Have a question? Send it to Matt Gelb's Mailbag.

Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog

The place for up-to-the-minute Phillies coverage from The Inquirer beat writer Matt Gelb and columnist Bob Brookover.

Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
Bob Brookover Inquirer Columnist
Marc Narducci Inquirer Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected