Jim Thome Maxes Opportunity in Minne-sota Print E-mail
Written by Jim Rednour   
Saturday, 22 January 2011

After he posted a .627 slugging percentage in 340 plate appearances and sending 25 home runs screaming into the sky during a 2010 season that surprised just about everyone whose last name isn’t Thome, the Thomenator is fulfilling on his promise (see "I'll Be Back") by returning for what he predicts will be another productive year with the Minnesota Twins. 

“It's great to be back…Minnesota is a wonderful place,” said the 40-year-old star who enjoyed a spectacular resurgence last year and demonstrated his legendary strength and skill by powering his way to 589 homers…leaving him just 11 shy the heralded 600 home run mark.  In doing so, he passed Rafael Palmeiro, Harmon Killebrew, Mark McGwire and Frank Robinson, and currently ranks eighth on the All-Time list.  Considering that "The Thomenator" has averaged more than 27 dingers per year over the past five seasons (and a 40+ average during his 20 year career), he should join Ken Griffey, Jr. and Sammy Sosa as a member of the 600 Home Run Club® by the All-Star break! 

Granted, 2011 isn't likely to be as wonderful as 2010. Thome's probably not going to post another .627 slugging percentage, or bat .283 with nearly an RBI every other game, and he probably isn't going to get his picture on the cover of Sports Illustrated; but that’s OK with Big Jim who is just happy to be playing the game he loves and helping his teammates exceed expectations.  "I don't want to go into this season thinking this is my last year, because I think that's unfair," Thome said. "My plan is to possibly play two more years."

That shouldn’t be a problem if he can get anywhere near his late season stride which saw him hit .362 with seven home runs, a .508 on-base percentage and an .830 slugging percentage after August 31st.    And if he gets some help from his teammates, this just might be the 10th time he helps a team make the post season during his 21-year career.


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