The good news for the Phillies is that they get a future Hall of Famer back from the disabled list today. The bad news is that it’s Jim Thome, who didn’t have much of a role before being shut down with a back injury in late April.
Thome got a total of just 21 plate appearances in the Phillies’ first 21 games, making four starts at first base and otherwise appearing only as a pinch-hitter.
Those four games were his first starts anywhere other than designated hitter since 2007, so don’t expect Thome to see a whole lot more action this time around. Phillies first basemen–mostly Ty Wigginton, John Mayberry, and Laynce Nix–have been right in the middle of the pack in terms of combined production, hitting .268 with seven homers and a .751 OPS that ranks 13th among MLB teams.
With the nationwide ban on sports gambling gone — and with sports gambling regulations slowly being implemented on a state-by-state basis — any number of businesses are considering getting in on the action. Among those businesses are the Chicago Cubs.
ESPN reports that the club is considering opening gambling facilities in and around Wrigley Field which might include betting windows, automated kiosks or, possibly, a full, casino-style sportsbook. They’re characterized as preliminary discussions as the team awaits the Illinois governor’s signature on recently-passed legislation allowing gambling. The Cubs aren’t commenting, but a source tells ESPN that nothing has been done yet. It’s just talk at the moment.
If the Cubs move forward from the talking stage it will cost them a pretty penny: a four-year license will, under Illinois’ new law, cost them $10 million.
Now: let’s see the White Sox take some action this year. I can think of nothing more fun than sports gambling at what was once Comiskey Park on the 100th anniversary of the Black Sox scandal.