Marcus Thames’ playing career is over, as it was announced yesterday that he will become the hitting coach for the Yankees’ high-A affiliate in Tampa.
Thames, who is 35, put up a career line of .246/.309/.485 with 115 homers over 10 major league seasons with the Yankees, Rangers, Tigers and Dodgers. His best overall season probably came in 2006 with Detroit, when he hit .256/.333/.549 with 26 homers in only 390 plate appearances. Which was pretty much Thames in a nutshell: solid platoon left fielder, probably best suited for DH.
Now begins his five-year wait for the Hall of Often Pretty Useful. Though I expect at least some writers are going to be out to sink his candidacy.
Because of course he did.
It wasn’t just his first at bat, but it was his first pitch. It came off of John Kilichowski, an 11th round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals out of Vanderbilt. The ball went out to left center, off the bat of the lefty Tebow.
Next time, meat, throw him a breaking ball.
The other night, Blue Jays reliever Joaquin Benoit needed help getting off the field after the second benches-clearing incident with the Yankees. It was later revealed that Benoit tore a calf muscle during the fracas, ending his season.
Yesterday he pointed the finger at just about everyone else for the incidents like the one that led to his injury. Hitters specifically. From The Star:
“I believe as pitchers we’re entitled to use the whole plate and pitch in if that’s the way we’re going to succeed,” Benoit said. “I believe that right now baseball is taking things so far that in some situations most hitters believe that they can’t be brushed out. Some teams take it personally.”
That “take it personally” line is interesting coming from Benoit as, in this instance, it seemed pretty clear that the whole plunking exchange which led to his injury started because Josh Donaldson took an inside pitch that did not seem to be a purpose pitch at all, too personally.
Did Benoit take a veiled swipe at his teammate here? If so, that’s pretty notable. If not it’s notable in another way, right? As it suggests that Benoit believes it’s OK for his teammates to take issue with inside pitches but anyone else who does is part of the problem?
Which is it, Joaquin?