If you have a player on your team with 611 homers and with the resume of Jim Thome, it is probably worthwhile to spend some time talking to him and learning from him.
It seems the Orioles have been doing that since Thome was acquired on July 1 from Philadelphia. Every time the camera catches Thome in the dugout, he seems to be talking with a different player on the team. He said spreading some knowledge about the game is enjoyable to him.
“I do like it. It’s part of the game to, as the game is going on you are locked into the game, but there are things you learn during the game,” Thome said. “Buck is very good at that as well. He’ll bring up certain things that happen during the game and you go, ‘He’s right on the money there.’”
Thome said, during his years with Cleveland, there were several veterans that passed on their baseball wisdom, and he wants to do that here with the Orioles.
“Eddie Murray. Dave Winfield. Dennis Martinez. We had a bunch of those guys that were great leaders and communicated well with us, and we kind of fed off of those guys. They had been in the game a long time, and that is the revolving door of the game. As you play, you want to pass the torch down as well,” Thome said.
As the dog days of summer move on, Thome said he can sense an excitement with this team as they make a playoff push.
“You sense it,” he said. “But it’s July, and there is a long haul left. If you worry about things on a daily basis instead of what is tomorrow or next week, if you focus in daily and try to go out and win that ballgame, that is a key. If the mentality is there to do that, you can look up at the end and say we’ve had a pretty good year.”
Thome is 7-for-22 during a five-game batting streak. Over his last eight games, he is 11-for-35 (.314) with three doubles, two home runs, four runs and four RBIs.
“I think getting some at-bats has helped (me get going at the plate.) That is a constant battle every day,” Thome said. “You will feel different against certain guys, and that is the long haul of the season, but getting consistent at-bats does help for sure.
“The main thing is we are starting to play good baseball, which is great. Hope we keep the roll going and see where we go with this.”