If I ever wanted proof that I am a terrible, selfish person (not that I ever would, because I know how selfish and terrible I am), I need look no further than my reaction to the news that Jim Thome was traded to the Orioles.
I am not a happy camper about it, and I’ve had hours to deal with it. Thank God I read it this morning after all was said and done (and after hearing the rumors), rather than yesterday. Had I found out yesterday, it probably would’ve brought me to tears. (But that may have more to do with my current mental state than anything else. I noticed earlier that I’m in “an over-emotional way,” to quote a Matchbox Twenty song called “Kody” that I always liked. I’m pretty sure most people didn’t cry as much at Bridesmaids as I did this afternoon.)
Objectively, I get that an AL team is a much better fit for Thome. Signing him to an NL team this past offseason was a beautiful experiment that, let’s face it, failed horribly. His back kept him from playing in the field. He wasn’t particularly successful as a pinch hitter. But he can still be an everyday player on an AL team by virtue of the designated hitter. And the month of June proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he still has something left in the tank. He can still contribute, he can continue to add to his home run total and put the cherry on top of his Hall of Fame career. Objectively, I get all of this and know that I should be happy for him.
But I’m not. Instead, I’m miserable that he was traded from my team. Forget how excited I was back when the Phillies signed Thome in November. He was one of the few bright spots in this season. He’s just such a great, lovable guy. Every post-game interview with him was a delight. And it was always a thrill to see him standing in the on-deck circle, waiting for his chance to pinch hit. Or during the nine game road trip in AL parks, when he gave the Phillies the only legitimate clean-up hitter they’d had all season.
So yeah, I’m a terrible, selfish person and I wish the Phillies hadn’t traded Jim Thome away. But they did. And I’ll deal with it (eventually), because it really was the best thing the organization could do for him. And you can make damn sure that I’ll continue to root for him this year. Hell, the best thing about the trade is that it officially made the Orioles my AL team, which is pretty cool because a) I’ve been to nearly as many Orioles games as Phillies games and b) the Orioles and Rays are division rivals. (Eventually it always comes back to rooting against Florida teams.)