Jim Thome might be the property of the Philadelphia Phillies in this, his 22nd year in the major leagues. However, when his career is over, possibly at the end of this season, Thome has a job waiting for him with the Chicago White Sox.
In an interview Friday with Comcast SportsNet, White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said that he has a handshake agreement with Thome that he can return to work for the White Sox after he retires.
"When he left here to go to the Twins (in 2010), we kind of shook hands and agreed that, whenever his career is over, hell come back to the White Sox in some capacity," Reinsdorf said. "He did say that he wants to live in Chicago. Whenever its over, hopefully Ill see him back here. And I hope I live to see him go into the Hall of Fame."
What will Thome do?
"Anything he wants," Reinsdorf said. "Id like to see him come to spring training, work with the young players. Hes a great role model. He really understands hitting. This is not just a guy who goes up there with a bat and swings. He understands hitting. Weve talked about hitting a lot. He understands it. Theres a lot that he can impart. Just being around, you know. If he goes on to be a big league coach, that would work too."
During our interview in Reinsdorf's office at U-S Cellular Field, Thome walked in the door, surprising Reinsdorf with a framed picture of his 600th home run, hit this past season in Detroit.
"I hope he keeps playing," Reinsdorf said, which was followed by a friendly remark. "Maybe hell get to 700 home runs."
Seeing that we were in the middle of an interview, Thome told Reinsdorf, "Why don't we just hook up in October. The Phillies and the White Sox. That would be good!"
That'll work. Thome back one day with the White Sox? That works too.