Philadelphia Phillies’ Jim Thome can still hit with the best of them. As I wrote last week, any AL team in need of a designated hitter should be blowing up Ruben Amaro’s phone like he’s Carly Rae Jepsen for Jim Thome’s services. After Jonathan Papelbon blew his first save this season, he told gave the future Hall-of-Famer some extra incentive:
Bountygate! How awesome is that? This was Jim Thome’s thirteenth walk-off home run, a now Major League Baseball record. It was also his 609th career home run, tying him with Sammy Sosa for seventh on the home run list.
It’s ironic that Jim Thome set the record for walk-off homers because when he was on the Chicago White Sox I felt he wasn’t very clutch. Even though Jim Thome hit the most important home run for the White Sox in the past seven years (Game #163 bomb against the Twins), it seemed Thome would get destroyed against a good lefty in crunch time, which makes his home run today even more ironic because it was against a tough lefty in Jake McGee.
Obviously, my unjustified hatred for Thome was just that, and Jim Thome is a pretty clutch player to set a record like this. Of Jim Thome’s thirteen career walk-offs, there is one that sticks out more than all the others. During the 2007 season, Jim Thome was DH for a terrible White Sox team. But he was chasing #500, giving White Sox fans something to care about in the second half. Against the Los Angeles Angels, Jim Thome hit #500 in walk-off fashion.
My friends, that is clutch.
Be sure to check out our new MLB Rumors page for your latest rumors, opinions, and speculation in the game of baseball.