Jim Thome hasn’t officially announced his retirement yet, but the 43-year-old joined the White Sox front office as a special assistant to general manager Rick Hahn.
That gig involves going to spring training to work with players beginning next week, but looking beyond that Thome told Daryl Van Shouwen of the Chicago Sun Times that he wants to be a manager some day:
Ultimately, I would love to get back on the field. Last year was so nice to be at home with my kids, watching my son play T-ball and taking my daughter to school every morning, and I love it. But I will say I do miss the game because I am a competitor. You can’t play forever, but the love of the game never leaves your soul. …
I want to look at what the next phase is for me getting back on the field, competing at a high level. There is a side to me that wants to manage someday and prepare myself for it if that opportunity came calling. I’d want to be ready.
Thome played 22 seasons for six different teams and was the most popular person in the clubhouse at every stop among teammates and media members alike, so his transitioning to coaching–and eventually perhaps managing–seems like an obvious fit.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.