Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Thomenator

The sign says it all.
I really have to applaud the Cleveland Indians front office and their move in bringing Jim Thome back to Cleveland. I also have to give the marketing department a big A+. With the "Welcome THome" signs on his first game back to the Jim Thome celebration with "Thomenator" signs for the crowd and the announcement of a Jim Thome statue, in the location of his now famous home run ball.

I've always been a Thome fan. In fact, much to my dad's chagrin, I bought us matching Thome sweatshirts to wear to games in the 90s. Thome, Omar, Kenny - I could go on forever about the Tribe team of the 90s.

But then, like most good things, it came to an end. The team was dismantled through trades and so was our bid for the ever allusive championship (and hopefully the demise of the dreaded Cleveland sports fail reel). That is until this year. The tribe had a great run, and I happily ran along side the team, going to more games this season than the past 5 years combined.

When the talk of Thome returning started, I had to sit on my giddiness. Rumors swirled that he would go back to Phillie...then...the talk that he was a lock for Chicago. I admit, I had horrific flashbacks of the other recent "decision". And ... like a finding a twenty in your pocket, Thome decided to come back to Cleveland. He wanted to end things where they began for him.

You know what? I'm OK with that.

With all of the cheers for Thome, there is a smattering of boos, and that one drunk guy that is jumping up and down with his middle fingers in the air. I don't get it. I remember when Thome left. I was sad, ticked, honked off even, but I got over it. It wasn't like when LeFoolio left.

I have to wonder if we as Cleveland sports fans are forever scarred by the actions of LeFoolio and his infamous decision. Sometimes, people have to make decisions to better themselves. Maybe take a job away from home to see what else is out there. I get that. I've lived in 4 states. It wasn't until I was away for a bit that I realized how much I missed Cleveland...how much I missed home.

That friends, is how I see Thome. The guy went away, but ultimately, he wanted to come home. He didn't have to come back to Cleveland. But he did. When he left, he didn't give the city a one fingered salute.

Thome is not LeFoolio. Let's not confuse the two.

Jim Thome is home now and I couldn't be happier. From the look on his face when his statue was announced, I don't think he would want to be anywhere else.

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