The last time the Phillies were on the road, Jim Thome
was in his glory.
On a nine-game trip through three American League cities, Thome started nine straight games as the Phillies DH. He hit .333 for four home runs an 14 RBIs.
The 41-year-old Thome was among baseball's hottest hitters.
When the Phils returned home, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. was impressed. He went as far as to say it would be a "disservice" for Thome to stay with the Phillies in a pinch hitting role.
So is Amaro shopping Thome to American League teams? Does Thome want to be traded?
Thome shed some light on the subject this afternoon in Miami.
"This time of year, you get into late June and through the
end of July and I think the bottom line is names get through out there, they
get filtered through the internet,
whatever," Thome said. "The bottom line is I’m a Phillie. I’m a Phillie I’m in Philly. And I
want to be here. I want to be here. ... I signed here.
Unfortunately I thought I was going to play a little bit more. I understand
that. I understand there. I think the whole interleague thing put speculation
out there. ‘Can you play more?’ I think the whole first base thing is really… for me it’s put
me in a tough situation because I want to play more. I do. But my back
sometimes hasn’t let that happen. That’s for me, I kind of fee bad about that
to be honest."
Q: Amaro said the further you get away from being a DH in those interleague games, the more you’ll lose
Thome: "The game is not easy. The
game is not easy. Any time you get away from consistent at-bats, I can see
where that would be something that would be talked about. Yes. For me, I try to
do everything I can during the day to try to approach pinch hitting. And
getting that walkoff the other day, that’s what drives you. That’s what keeps
driving you. Yesterday I hit a ball foul. Inches. That ball could have went
fair. That’s the bottom line. To answer your question, the more you get away
from it, sure. But that’s what you sign up for. You sign up for that and you
also understand the business side of it."
Q: Have you talked to Charlie Manuel and Ruben?
Thome: "I talk to those guys every day.
I’ve known them both for a long time. We haven't talked about anything. The
bottom line is we talk more about hitting the baseball than anything as far as
Q: So you have not talked to them about trade speculation?
Thome: "I think any time you get into
this time of year, there is always going to be speculation, especially in the
Q: If an AL team wanted you to be a DH, hypothetically... then what?
Thome: "If they
did that I think I would have to sit down and listen. But also, its hard for me
to asnwert hat. It’s hard for me to answer that out of respect of the fans, the
organization – they’ve treated me so well here. I would never want to disrepect
that. But there is a side of me that does have a lot of passion to play. I like
to play. Unfortunately, physically, it bothers me to say it, but physically it
is what it is – it’s hard for me to play first base."