Jim Thome wants to manage

Jim Thome hasn't officially retired from playing yet, but he's already looking toward his baseball future.

Now a special assistant to Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, Thome told the Sun-Times that he would like to manage one day.

"This is the thing in this job I'm in now -- I want to look at what the next phase is for me getting back on the field, competing at a high level," Thome told the newspaper. "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."

White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said Thome has the ability to be a manager.

"He can be a batting coach. He'd be a great batting coach, but someday he'll be a manager. That's what he'll be," Reinsdorf told the Sun-Times.

Thome received more support from former teammate Paul Konerko, who said Thome's communications skills will be key to his success as a coach.

"Jim is probably the most positive guy I've been around," Konerko said. "Whether it's a person in baseball or on the street, he handles people right. That's more of the bulk of the work now because you have a lot of people helping you make decisions."