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Saturday, December 22, 2012

WHO? JIM THOME OR RAUL IBANEZ?

Now I know what you're thinking and look, I hear you... Raul Ibanez is our 2012 playoff hero. You're wondering why in the world would I even consider bringing up a guy like Jim Thome in the same sentence, right? Well, I am, and for good reason. The Yankees have made no move to sign Raul quickly and Thome in Yankee stadium could be the biggest display of power that would give Yankee fans that extra excitement we haven't seen in years.

Yes, the Yanks expect to nail down Ibanez "soon", read HERE. But how long is this going to take?   I can tell you this, Ibanez wants to come back to New York. When we did our interview titled BYB EXCLUSIVE. IBANEZ TO SANDY VICTIMS: "I AM HERE TO HELP", he simply told BYB, "I can't wait to come back to the Yankees!". Simple enough, his hearts already in the Bronx. Then there was a lot of hurry up and wait. The Yanks moved around, looking for other players and Ibanez was patient. Almost too patient for my taste. I may have been alittle tougher with Yankee Brass. I guess Raul knows his services in baseball won't be needed as much at age 40 and he is happy to be patient and not cause waves. I guess I get that.

I'm going to be honest, not cruel; Raul Ibanez was everything we hoped he would be in 2012, but there is a tiny part of me that wants to see a shake-up. Yes, I have no problem re-signing Raul, but what if the Yankees decided to sign Jim Thome?  How would you feel?

Like Craig Robinson said in "Knocked up" to Leslie Mann, Thome is "old as fuck" (the 2:05 mark), but still has a ton of potential with that powerful bat.


If you couple that with the right field porch in Yankee stadium and a player who will come cheaper because of where he is in his career, and it almost seems like a no-brainer to me. One problem, if we sign Raul Ibanez, would we even need Jim Thome? And vice-versa by the way... The answer is, I doubt it.

Look, the good thing about the Raul Ibanez-Andruw Jones platoon was one hit from the left side and one hit from the right side. Both Thome and Ibanez hit lefty, so ultimately, while it "could" happen that the Yanks signed both, it's unlikely because that righty-lefty hitting platoon don't exist with them.

That being said, I've been around the Yankees long enough to know that if we see potential with a certain player, we do what they have to do to get them.
Back in 2011, I wrote a piece titled WHY THOME SHOULD BE A YANKEE.  In it, I thought Thome would be an interesting fit, writing: "...in my heart of hearts, I believe Jim Thome, a veteran home run hitter, should end his career in pinstripes. Why not? Yankee Stadium, which, for a brief time had a right field stands titled "Damon's Deck", should be called "Thome Town". The town where balls are deposited regularly by Jim Thome. Can you imagine how many home runs Thome can give us at Yankee Stadium? 30, 35? Yes, Thome is older, but he still knows his role and when you concentrate on something long enough, you get into a rhythm and just keep rolling. You don't believe me? Ask Josh Hamilton when he put on a clinic at the old Yankee Stadium during the Home Run Derby in 2008..."

I still think Thome would be fun in the Bronx, but I'll telll you, I just ain't sure the Yanks would ever go for it. I'm not sure Yankee fans will go for it, especially after Raul has done so much last season.

Raul Ibanez is a safe bet. He wants back and Cashman has been clear that the Yankees had priorities before Ibanez, but he's on the list. If he was around when they came around, it seems like they'd get a deal done. And that's where we're at. So now we wait.

But I'm asking and we'll put a poll up this morning supporting this question: If you had to choose, Jim Thome or Raul Ibanez for that role of Designated Hitter for the Yankees, who would you choose? Vote. And when the poll closes, we'll write about it, regardless of if the Yanks sign Raul by then. I'm curious how many people want a shake-up, or a "thank you" to Ibanez for doing so well in the playoffs.

In the meantime... I have some shopping to do for Christmas. Don't judge me, I have a lot going on.

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