Chicago Sun-Times
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Thome coming back to the Sox? Source says now '50-50'

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30in-30-white-sox.jpgThe White Sox and Twins are already in a battle, and pitchers and catchers are still a month away from reporting to spring training.
A source close to the Jim Thome camp told the Sun-Times on Friday that the Sox are now rethinking the idea of life without the veteran slugger, despite the wishes of manager Ozzie Guillen to try the designated-hitter by committee.
"It's 50-50 now, which couldn't be said [Thursday],'' the source said, referring to the chances of Thome re-signing. "Jim is just waiting to hear.''
Even Guillen all but confirmed that, after insisting on Thursday, "I think we're going in a different direction, but the right direction'' when talking about Thome. During a town-hall meeting session with fans on the first day of SoxFest, Guillen then had to backtrack a bit, saying he thought it was settled on, but then general manager Ken Williams wanted to "have another two-hour talk'' about it.
It seems that Williams and board chairman Jerry Reinsdorf might want to bring Thome back on the cheap, not to be a full-time DH, but more of a safety net that is in that DH by-committee mix.
It's obvious what the players want, as well.
"I'm a little bit biased, but I still think you put a bat in his hand he's still a dangerous human being,'' team captain Paul Konerko said of Thome. "He's going to help somebody. He and Jermaine [Dye], you look at their numbers, both of them were productive compared to what other guys did in this league. It's not like you're begging anybody to let those guys still play.
"Most players here, we're biased. If you told us that Jim is coming on this team and won't get a hit all year we would still say, 'sign him,' because we love him so much. He's like a [Juan] Uribe ... well, not really but, same type of thing, he's a guy you just want around.''
Williams met with the members of the media privately later on Friday evening, and even produced a list he was keeping in his back pocket of left-handed hitters with some pop who are still available. Thome was obviously on that list.
In talking about it, it was almost like Williams was still self-debating the idea.
The problem is that the Sox might not want to drag their feet too long, as the Twins are also interested in Thome's services.
The source said that the Sox top Thome's list of teams he wants to play for, but he does have interest in Minnesota.
"I'm resigned to the feeling that Ozzie is sold on wanting to do it this way,'' Williams did say. "Is it a little different for me not to have that left-handed power guy in the middle of the lineup? Yeah. But when I hear [Guillen's] plan and how he plans to match up, whether it's power right-handers or soft-tossing right-handers, soft-throwing left-handers, whatever, or giving [Juan] Pierre some time off and fitting [Andruw] Jones out there. Or giving Pierre a day off to DH and [Omar] Vizquel getting in the lineup. ... get Paulie off his feet...there are a lot of different things he's talk to me about and it's interesting to me. Not far off from what the Angels have done the last few years.''

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3 Comments

As much as I'd love for him to come back, simply cause he is that kind of guy you just like to have around...I don't think he's a fit. Thome was strictly acquired to fill the DH role for those four years and he did do a great job. Now that he's moved on, and seeing how it is with an all-time DH - I'd rather experience the rotating aspect of it. If you have someone on the team that's strictly DH and is just there to hit and not play the field...then you can't really be flexible with the slot. If you do the rotation, and you need to give guys like Rios, Quentin, Konerko, Beckham, or ANYone a rest...you're ultimately taking the presence of that potential offense out of the lineup too. I know that doesn't entirely constitute as "a day off" or "rest" but it certainly does lift a bit of a burden off their shoulders - while you do that, it allows adequate time to give an opportunity to the bench to pitch in. They get paid too, they were brought in for reasons too guys like Omar, Kotsay, Jones, Nix and whomever it may be - it allows playing time for them and some ABs when you DO rest those starters

The Cell is a bandbox, I don't care if Ozzie likes it or not but this team wins with the homerun. I hope that they are announcing his return by the end of the day.

Let me ask this question Kevin, is Rios any good? No, his numbers are fading so fast the last couple of years it's not even funny. He sucked with the Sox last year, he was so awful being are even wondering why we traded for him. You know what you're getting out of Thome. He is still as solid as before, sure his numbers will fade but I still think he can hit 25-30 home runs with 100 rbi's. Any team would take those numbers.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on January 22, 2010 8:48 PM.

Ozzie speaks on the eve of SoxFest was the previous entry in this blog.

Thome is now Ozzie's call and the clock is ticking is the next entry in this blog.

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