Don't Expect a Jim Thome Reunion - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Don't Expect a Jim Thome Reunion



    At a ceremony honoring Jim Thome for hitting his 600th homerun, one of the people he thanked for helping him to the milestone was Charlie Manuel.

    Manuel coached Thome in the minor leagues and was his hitting coach in Cleveland before managing him with both the Indians and the Phillies. Thome hasn't played for Manuel for several years, but it was clear in his speech that the Phillies skipper remains a seminal force in his career.

    Wouldn't it be nice, then, if the two men got one more chance to work together before Thome shuffled off to retirement and, most likely, Cooperstown? 

    Thome would look awfully good as the left-handed pinch hitter off the bench for the Phillies in September and October, something that became a possibility on Monday when the Twins placed Thome on waivers. If Thome clears waivers, he would be eligible to be traded before the August 31 deadline that would allow him to be part of a postseason roster. If he doesn't clear waivers, he can either be dealt to the team that claims him, allowed to leave with nothing in return or pulled back to remain with the Twins.

    Therein lies the issue with bringing Thome back to Philly. The waiver process gives the teams in the American League first crack at claiming Thome with the worst teams given priority. Then all of the other National League teams would get a chance before the Phillies could put in their own claim. It is highly unlikely that Thome would be of no interest to 28 other teams -- the Indians just lost DH Travis Hafner to the DL, for example -- and that none of the other NL contenders would put in a claim to make sure that the Phillies don't land Thome.

    It is possible that the Twins could pull Thome back if someone else claims him and then release him so that Thome can sign with whatever team he wants. Of course, it is also possible that Roy Halladay will pitch with his left hand for the rest of the season but you really wouldn't want to wager any money on that happening.

    A return visit from Thome so that he could get one more shot at winning a World Series would make for a really nice story. Someone should write it and try to get it made into a movie, because there's a much better chance of it coming to fruition in Hollywood than it does in Philadelphia.