My apologies for accidentally skipping a day blogging from glorious Glendale (I still miss Tucson, but Camelback Ranch becomes more impressive every day I’m there).
I had fully intended to blog when I arrived back at my spring condo last night, but first laid down on the couch and started watching the 20 worst divorces of all time on the E channel. By the way, how is the Paul McCartney divorce not No. 1? The dude has Beatles money and no pre-nup. Anyhow, I fell asleep at 6 p.m. and woke up disoriented around 11 p.m. I should have blogged then, but I was just trying to figure out where I was at the time.
Anyhow, to borrow a line from WWE announcer Jim Ross, business is about to pick up at White Sox camp. Thursday marks the official day for all position players to report, meaning it’s also the first full squad workout and the first Ozzie Guillen speech of Spring Training. From what I’ve been told, since the media isn’t allowed in the clubhouse during these meetings, Guillen’s humorous but direct dissertation would sell millions on DVD.
We had a chance to talk to with Jim Thome today, and it was interesting to hear him recognize how the end of what I think is a sure-fire, Hall-of-Fame career might not be that far away. I would guess three years would lock up 600 home runs for Thome, allow his young son to gain a greater appreciation for what dad does and give Thome three more chances to win that elusive World Series title.
I had the chance to speak with Thome a few times during the offseason, and he talked then about just taking one year at a time and thoroughly enjoying the present season to the fullest instead of thinking about 2010. That plan certainly hasn’t changed, but on Wednesday, he sounded as if a little more thought had been put into the final stage of his illustrious run.
Along with being one of the nicest humans you’ll ever meet, what really impresses me about Thome is how much he truly enjoys his life. I wish I enjoyed my life half as much as he does. If more people took Thome’s positive approach, there would probably be less crime in the streets or at least fewer people honking and yelling when the car in front of them fails to go on green (one of my pet peeves).
Thome also uses his vast baseball fame to help others, which holds true for MANY players and personnel throughout the White Sox organization. I’m sure that charitable aspect of Thome’s life will continue, even when baseball is done. As a side note, anyone who has never attended the Joyce Thome Benefit for Children’s Hospital of Ilinois, in Peoria, hosted by Thome and his wife, Andrea, should do so immediately–like January, 2010, immediately. Great event and a great cause
Thome might not be a .280 hitter anymore. But you can write in pen today that barring injuries, Thome will hit at least 35 home runs and drive in at least 90 in 2009.