Just when you thought Saturday's victory against the Tampa Bay Rays couldn't get any funner (Thanks, Doc), ol' Jim Thome and Jonathan Papelbon made sure that it was one of the most memorable games of the season, thanks to a little financial incentive.
After Papelbon blew the save in the top of the ninth inning, he took it upon himself to make sure that the rest of the team had some extra motivation to end the game sooner, rather than later. From Scott Boeck at USA Today:
"I came in the clubhouse, and I said 'Whoever walks this guy off, I'll give 'em five grand.' I didn't think Jim would do it right off the bat. ... I just wrote him a check for $5,000."
As fate would have it, it took Thome all of eight pitches to send one deep into the left field seats off of Jack McGee, which not only gave the Phillies the win, but also made his wallet a wee bit heavier.
One question: Only $5,000? C'mon, Paps, you're due to make $11MM this season! Stop being so stingy will your money, and actually make it an amount that will mean something to a bunch of big leaguers. Maybe if you offered like $50K, Thome would have done it on the third pitch instead of the eighth.
Oh well. Regardless of the amount, it's still a fun story that gives off the impression that this team is enjoying themselves, even in the midst of a lousy season. And, even if – as Jim Salisbury tweets – that Thome was never actually given the $5,000, it doesn't take away any of the drama from Saturday.