Jim Thome just about sealed his post-Tribe fate when he once said somebody would have to rip the Wahoo jersey off his back. These are things you don't say when you're a free agent athlete, and these are things you definitely don't say when you're a free agent athlete in Cleveland unless you are 100% sure that the shores of Lake Erie will forever be your home. Because, as we all know, Cleveland owners will toss some low-ball offer in front of you and the deep-pocket guys from Philly and New York and Boston will drive a dump truck full of money to your house and ask you when they can schedule a second delivery.
So when Thome took the Phillies' cash and departed from the Tribe, he was roundly greeted with boos when he returned to Jacobs Field throughout the years. Not by all fans, but by a hefty chunk.
Of course when the hometown homer boy in the twilight of his career is given a chance to return and make up for his past verbal indiscretions, people tend to forget why they were angry in the first place, or at least willing to forgive. As Big League Stew opines, the anger exhibited by Tribe fans was probably misdirected at Thome, stemming from a loathing hatred of the owner instead. But here we are, cheering for the Thomenator once again. It helps that, as the Tribe likes to point out, Thome waived his no-trade clause to make a Clevo return.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was asked about #25's return to the Forest City and, shockingly, he was not short on words or opinions. Among many other quips, all of which you can watch in the video interview with the vulgarity-spewing manager after the jump, he said this: "Anybody [else] in this game would tell Cleveland fans, 'Screw yourself — I ain't going there.' Jim Thome? That's why there's only one Jim Thome in baseball. And I tip my hate to him; I have more respect now for him than ever."
He's not entirely wrong.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.