There are no greater questions on this earth than those regarding our existence.
Centuries, now, have been filled by men and women who scream at the sky, demanding answers from the heavens. What are we doing here? How did we arrive? Who is watching this all play out? And sadly, or mercifully, their shouts go unanswered; swallowed by the darkness and lost amongst the silence and dust of endless space.
Jim Thome is the one lucky man who knows exactly what he’s doing here. He is here to DH while the Phillies visit American League parks in interleague play. Today, the Phillies dropped their final interleague game as visitors, taking away the very purpose Jim Thome walks among us, and placing him gently down here with the rest us, who remain clueless as to what we’re supposed to be doing.
Which births the question: If you take away Jim Thome’s purpose, does Jim Thome still exist?
The extremely simple answer is yes, Jim Thome will still exist. In fact, I’d argue that the question itself is rather stupid and pointless. No matter what happens next, Jim Thome, will be on the roster, being paid money, and probably losing the swing it’s been so nice watching him find as a dusty pinch hitter. In his last eight appearances, he’s hit .344 with three home runs and 13 RBI. Those are great numbers, especially for a team that is so used to seeing numbers like “.221” and “15-day.”
The Phillies, a team in need of basically every piece imaginable to be a functioning machine, don’t need a hot hitter sitting on the bench, doing nothing. Fortunately, they are aware of this, and have to be formulating a plan.
"“I don’t know how we’re going to get him in there.”—Charlie Manuel"
During the preseason, Thome said he could play first base three or four times a month. That is where his contributions on the field likely end. Chances seem low that he’d be able/willing to jump in at second, and they seem even lower that he could pitch. Perhaps he will come in as an offensive substitution later in the game, and be allowed to wander the field, holding a bat and calling out advice to younger players as the ball is hit to them.
Of course, I’m joking. There’s no such thing as “younger players.”
Outside of Ruben Amaro suddenly beginning a very intense, violent campaign to bring the DH to the National League, there is not a whole lot else we can do but watch one of our best current hitters sit on the bench and be really nice to everybody.
But that filling as if you’re being messily smothered to death shouldn’t be anything new.