Thome on the trade: ‘Obviously, I think they put me in a real good situation here’

Orioles designated hitter Jim Thome arrived at Camden Yards two hours before Sunday afternoon’s game after a whirlwind 24 hours that featured the veteran being traded from the Philadelphia Phillies. I’ll have a full story up later on, but here’s some of what Thome had to say…

[on the crazy last day]
“Yeah, it usually is when you move from team to team and I am excited to be here. These guys, they’ve had a great year and I think they’ve done some special things and hopefully we can continue to do that. And I’m excited, excited to be here.”

[on playing well at Camden Yards over his career]
“Yeah, I’ve obviously competed against these guys for a lot of years. It’s always been a very good park to hit in but ultimately you’ve got to go out and have good at-bats. And you have good at-bats hopefully will produce hits. And these guys have a lot of good hitters so hopefully I can come here and contribute and help them with what they’ve done and try to fit in as best I can to what they are trying to do.”

[on looking forward to playing more back in the American League]
“Unfortunately I wasn’t able to play as much first base as I wanted to the Phillies wanted. And that put them in a tough situation and I understood that. Then interleague happened and I was able to get some consistent at-bats. It was one of them things where it kind of made me really realize how much I did love the game and how much I did want to play and get those at-bats every day. Again, I’m here, I’m excited and I’m looking forward to meeting the guys and trying to fit in, again, I say that, to what they are doing. They’ve been successful.”

[on being known as a veteran leader]
“Well it means a lot, as a veteran. I was fortunate in my days in Cleveland to learn from the likes of Eddie Murray, Dave Winfield, kind of watching them as their careers winded down. Not only can you contribute the days you play but also the days you don’t play. Watching the game, watching pitchers and just talking baseball. I think that’s what I was fortunate to learn from in Cleveland and my years coming up. And, hopefully, if anything, as well, you might say something to somebody and it helps them. I’m always there. I think being a good teammate is being a good listener. And also being there as a teammate and a friend. Through the years, I have had some good ones that I’ve been able to follow.”

[on the trade]

“I have a lot of friends there, so it’s always difficult when you leave not only teammates but friends as well. Obviously I think everybody knows in Philadelphia expectations are always very high. And again I think baseball is a weird thing. You look at the Cardinals, they got hot last year and had a magical run. It’s not to say the Phillies won’t get hot, you know? This was more of a decision I think on playing time and getting an opportunity because I couldn’t play first base. I respect them, I respect everything about the organization there and they put me in a real neat situation here.”

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