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One of the nastiest guys in the Major Leagues made his grand entrance to the Dodgers clubhouse this afternoon. Mr. 564 homers Jim Thome finally graced us with his presence.
Casey Blake rushed out to greet the Peoria-bred Thome in one of those man-hugs that tells the world that both parties are 100% rugged heterosexuals and don’t you forget it buddy. Of course the man-hug in context with the Tyra Banks Show playing on the television (though today the sound was muted) is an exercise of absurdity not seen since Eugene Ionesco.
Thome went in to manager Joe Torre’s office for a bit and came around to his locker situated in between Andre Ethier’s and Casey Blake’s. He saw us media scum hovering around his locker waiting to pounce and suck the life force out him. And do you know what he said to us?
“You know what,” Thome told us. “Let me meet some of the players, and I’ll meet y’all out in the dugout.” What nerve!
In actuality he is one of the nicest guys in baseball. He did make sure to shake every players’ hands. When he got to Manny Ramirez it was like a portrait from a family reunion. If my heart weren’t made out of stone I probably would have shed a tear or two.
“I just had no idea it was going to happen,” Thome said about his trade to Los Angeles. “When it happened I was a little surprised and very excited.”
That’s another thing about Thome. His cadence is slow with that slight drawl that makes you think of him as your cool uncle that goes with his body painted at Soldier Field in late December.
And the guy is so goddamned nice.
Before the trade went down on Monday Thome made sure to call general manager Ned Colletti about not being able to play first base.
“With my back,” Thome said, “I needed to talk to [Colletti] about that and be honest and let him know from my end where I stood.”
“James Loney is a great player,” Thome continued. “I didn’t want to step on anybody’s toe there either.”
And he’s saying all the right things.
“You look at the organization and the history of the Dodgers to be a part of that is also a great thrill as well.”
“These guys have a great club. They’ve obviously had a tremendous year and to be a part of it is very special.”
I think it’s time for a spooning session, right?
As for tonight’s game Ronnie Belliard will be playing third base in place of Casey Blake. Thome will most likely be in the game to pinch hit. And it’s an ESPN game, so expect all of us in the press box to be suffocated by Steve Phillips’ hairspray.
I don’t know whether this is a good sign or not, but starter Jon Garland got his permanent nameplate above his locker today. Unfortunately the Dodgers pulled a Washington Natinals and spelled his first name J-O-H-N. Oops.
Here are the lineups
- Stephen Drew, SS
- Gerardo Parra, LF
- Justin Upton, RF
- Mark Reynolds, 3B
- Miguel Montero, C
- Brandon Allen, 1B
- Alex Romero, CF
- Augie Ojeda, 2B
- Max Scherzer, P
- Rafael Furcal, SS
- Andre Ethier, RF
- Manny Ramirez, LF
- Matt Kemp, CF
- James Loney, 1B
- Ronnie Belliard, 3B
- Russell Martin, C
- Orlando Hudson, 2B
- Chad Billingsley, P
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