From Jon Weisman's Dodger Thoughts, Monday night:
- Ned Colletti said on Prime Ticket's Dodgers Live postgame show that he and Jim Thome spoke at about 8:30 p.m. tonight, right before his trade to the Dodgers was officially completed, and Thome said that he is eager to contribute but that "playing first base is probably not going to be an option."
Nonetheless, Colletti was excited to get him.
"Jim Thome is a great hitter, a home-run hitter," he said. "He is in the twilight of his career, no question. He is also a great leader."
I'm not sure I understand ... Thome's essentially refusing to play first base? Not even just a little bit, later this month, to give James Loney a rest? Not even in October, with James Loney on the bench suffering from a pulled hammy or a terrible case of the rickets?
Of course, Thome and Loney are both left-handed batters. You can't platoon them. Loney's quite a bit better in the field and on the bases; Thome's quite a bit better in the batter's box. On balance, the Dodgers probably would win a few more games with Thome playing instead of Loney ... Well, that might have been true five months ago. It's September now, and Thome's value relative to Loney's would be measured in a fraction: 2/7 of a game or something.
The bottom line is that Jim Thome might have just become the greatest dedicated pinch-hitter in the history of the universe. I read somewhere that Colletti thinks of Thome as the Dodgers' version of the 2008 version of Matt Stairs ... but Matt Stairs collected exactly one hit last October, and Matt Stairs isn't going to draw a great deal of Hall of Fame support. I'm not sure that what Colletti's doing has been done before.
Meanwhile, the White Sox have given up on the season. I mean, really given up. What's more, they didn't get a legitimate prospect in return for Thome and they're helping the Dodgers pay Thome's remaining salary this season. I guess the bright side is that now the White Sox don't have to worry about finding room for Scott Podsednik in the lineup next year.