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I'll admit it. I was way off.

When I saw Jim Thome struggle mightily in a Phillies uniform last year, I thought his career was over. He looked like Jake Taylor at the end of Major League. Every time I watched him, I immediately thought about how good he used to be and how painful it was to watch one of the best sluggers of his era struggle to get his bat on the ball because of injuries. It was time, I concluded, for Thome to call it a career.

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Well, good thing I'm not the guy he goes to for advice. The Thome who posted 30 HRs or more in nine straight seasons before 2005 has reappeared in a Chicago White Sox uniform. Going in to the weekend, only Chris Shelton of the Detroit Tigers had tallied more homers than Thome's six. The 35-year old veteran finished spring training on a tear and appears to be as healthy and rested as ever in his role as Chicago's DH. Good move putting him on your list of players not to draft this year Sheil. Real good move.

Anyway, what's been even more impressive to me than his homers is that Thome has struck out just three times in 29 at-bats (going in to Friday night's game). That's a ratio of 1 K every 9.67 ABs. For his career, Thome has always struck out a lot, but his power more than made up for it. For his career, he's averaging 1 K every 3.37 at-bats. Last year, it seemed like Thome failed to make contact every other time he was at the plate. But if you look at the numbers, he struck out once every 3.27 ABs, which is only slightly worse than his career average. My guess is it just seemed much worse because he managed just seven HRs and hit .207 in limited action.

Finally, is there any chance that the White Sox turn in to the New England Patriots of Major League Baseball in the way players they touch turn to gold? You know how it always seems like the Patriots have players who look like they wouldn't be able to crack the starting lineup of other teams, but in New England, they make the Pro Bowl? I don't have a great deal of evidence to back this theory yet and am probably jumping the gun, but pitcher Jose Contreras did post a career-high in strikeouts and wins and had his lowest ERA last year in his return to Chicago. I guess if Rob Mackowiak jacks 40 bombs this year, then we can explore this theory further.

By the way, it is my pleasure to join this blog. For some background information, I am a Philadelphia Phillies fan. That's right, the franchise that has lost more games (8,837) than any other in professional sports history. No team I root for has ever won a championship, and therefore, I can relate to the tales of suffering fans everywhere. I'll do my best to provide readers with useful information, but more often than not, I'll be telling you about bad picks I've made, trades that didn't go my way and other mistakes from my past. I hope you enjoy.

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