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Ron Gardenhire: Jim Thome has to ‘thrill me’ to get his 607th home run ball back

A piece of memorabilia that once was lost has now been found. Last month, Jim Thome hit his 607th career home run against the Twins at Target Field when he was still with the Phillies. The ball appeared to land in one of the flower pots above the wall in right-center field and was not recovered until the following day. Now, it is in Twins manager Ron Gardenhire’s possession. Thome has been collecting most of his home run balls since he hit No. 500, so naturally he would like it back. It sounds like he’s going to have to pay.

“He’s got to do something to get this ball. I know that,” Gardenhire said according to the Pioneer Press. “He hurt our feelings. So if he wants the ball back, Jim, make my day. Thrill me. I’m not talking about on the field. I want to see something that helps one of our favorite charities.”

Gardenhire is obviously having a little fun with his former player, but making a charitable donation is the least Thome could do. In order to get the ball back, the Twins had to lower director of ballpark operations Gary Glawe over the wall in a harness. Thome said he appreciated the effort, so I’m sure he’ll be happy to cut the check.

Thome should just be thankful the ball didn’t end up somewhere similar to where Edwin Encarnacion’s homer landed over the weekend. If that happened, someone may have eaten it.

H/T Big League Stew
Photo credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Ron Gardenhire Loses World Cup Bet to Tsuyoshi Nishioka

Yup, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire lost a bet with infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka over the World Cup Sunday and had to wear that shirt. Sure, the terms could have been much worse (we would have preferred something along these lines), but that’s not bad. Nishioka is a rookie infielder from Japan and Gardenhire is … well the guy who paid the price for the U.S. losing in penalty kicks.

Forearm bash to Big League Stew for the story and Nikkan Sports for the picture