Thome hops to 10th on the all-time career home run list

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Jim Thome blasted two home runs in the Twins’ 8-6 loss to the Rays on Saturday, moving into sole possession of 10th place on Major League Baseball’s all-time career home run list.  Here’s a look at the updated list, with the still-active names in bold:

Barry Bonds            762
Hank Aaron             755
Babe Ruth               714
Willie Mays              660
Ken Griffey Jr.          630
Sammy Sosa          609
Alex Rodriguez     595
Frank Robinson     586
Mark McGwire         583
Jim Thome            574
Harmon Killebrew   573
Rafael Palmeiro     569
Reggie Jackson     563

That’s some rather impressive company, and it really must have been a special day for Thome.   According to MLB.com’s Kelly Thesier, the veteran slugger received a phone call from
Killebrew shortly
after passing him on the list. 

“I’m happy for him. Jim is a great guy and if anyone passed me, I’m
glad it was him,” Killebrew said from Arizona. “I hope he hits a bunch more over the rest of the year
for the Minnesota Twins.”

Thome, 39, has done everything that the Twinkies have asked of him this season since signing a bargain one-year, $1.5 million contract in the winter.  Through 124 at-bats, he has a .258/.388/.597 slash line, 10 home runs and 25 RBI.  He also owns a 1.058 OPS against right-handed pitchers.

2017 Preview: The National League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League Central

It’s the Cubs’ world and we’re all just living in it. But repeats are rare in baseball nowadays, so maybe it’s better to be on “field” than on the Cubs?

That said, who in the division has a real shot at unseating them? No one I can see, even if the Cardinals and Pirates should be competitive.

The Brewers played .500 ball this spring. Which means absolutely nothing, but I thought I’d mention it. As for the Reds, well . . . Cincinnati has some underrated restaurants and you can go across the river to Kentucky and find a super great bourbon selection at a number of stores. Make a day of it.

Our previews of the NL Central teams:

Chicago Cubs
St. Louis Cardinals
Pittsburgh Pirates
Milwaukee Brewers
Cincinnati Reds

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins