Jim Thome must pace back and forth in his basement every night plotting how best he can hurt the Detroit Tigers' chances at winning.
Tiger Killer Thome, who started his career in Cleveland during the first Bush administration, is back on the shores of Lake Erie as part of a deal with the Minnesota Twins. The second-place Indians recently lost Travis Hafner to injury and have fallen a bit in the standings to the first-place Tigers.
Thome spent his first 12 seasons in Cleveland before moving on to Philadelphia in 2003, where he played for three seasons. Since then he's bounced around the AL Central, starting with the White Sox in 2006 and the last two seasons with the Twins.
Thome hit his 600 and 601st career home runs against Detroit last week when the two teams met in the Motor City. But Thome has done far more damage over the course of his career to the Tigers than that. Thome has hit 66 of his 601 home runs -- that's 10 percent -- against Detroit Tigers pitching. He's also got a .296/.435/.643 slash line, 204 hits, 34 doubles and four triples that total to 444 total bases. That isn't totally insane considering he's spent most of his years in the Central; however, there's no question he kills Tiger pitching.
Minnesota has been out of the division race for some time so it's not surprising they're dealing players; just last week they shipped Delmon Young to the Tigers. Plus trading Thome to the Indians, where he began his MLB journey, makes a lot of sense for someone nearing the end of his career. Conspiracy? Probably not. Bad news for the Tigers? You bet.
Just do us a favor, Jim Leyland: DON'T PITCH TO THIS GUY.