How should we remember Jim Thome?

I’m assuming there’s a few upset people today who are learning that Jim Thome, the modern-day Paul Bunyan in these parts, is no longer calling Target Field his place of employment.

The upset few will say that Thome, with his no-trade clause, simply left to seek a World Series ring and showed no allegiance to the Twins. A fire fueled by the fact he wasn’t so Minnesota Nice in an interview before the announcement.

They’ll say he signed with the first available good team he could play for as he approached 40, try to hit his 600th dinger and leave on the next scheduled train.

Thome in many ways became THE Twins in the last two seasons. Think about the coolest moments going back to the 2010 season. I’d argue that 3 of your top 5 highlights include Thome.

And this is no time to turn your back on the big fella. (Unless, of course, you’re Ben Revere making amazing catches.) Seriously, what were Twins fans looking forward to besides the daily placard flip of Thome’s home runs at Target Field?

A Joe Mauer home run?

No, it was simply Thome trying to clear I-394.

Thome has more home runs with and against the Twins than the St. Paul singles hitter.

OK, Mauer hasn’t had the luxury of having Justin Morneau hit behind him routinely since early in 2010. Still, the Twins front office sat idle this season and tried to fix the team using its own broken parts as players came off the DL.

It was a gamble that didn’t pay off.

Now, with Thome’s departure, the Twins are right back to pre-Thome days, only worse.

They have a shortstop that can’t hit, a C/RF/1B who can’t stop hitting into double plays and a starting rotation thinner than that 8-iron I hit yesterday at Rose Creek.

All Minnesota lost is a part-time DH, and just because the $184 million C/RF/1B can’t carry the team, that didn’t mean Thome had to.

But he did. He carried my attention span into August for a team that lost me sometime in June.

You did your job, Jim. We’ll remember you for that.

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