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.