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Former slugger Jim Thome expresses interest in managing

Jim Thome (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) Jim Thome is one of eight MLB players to hit more than 600 career home runs. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Jim Thome spent 22 seasons in the majors as a player. Now the 43-year-old is thinking about managing.

“Ultimately, I would love to get back on the field,’’ Thome told Daryl Van Schouwen of The Chicago Sun-Times. “Last year was so nice to be at home [in suburban Chicago] with my kids, watching my son play T-ball and taking my daughter to school every morning, and I love it. But I will say I do miss the game because I am a competitor. You can’t play forever, but the love of the game never leaves your soul.’’

Thome, who hasn't officially retired, will be in Arizona next week as he begins his term as special assistant to White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, according to Van Schouwen.

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The five-time All Star hit 612 career home runs for the Indians (1991-2002, 2011), Phillies (2003-05, 2012), White Sox (2006-09), Dodgers (2009), Twins (2010-11) and Orioles (2012).

"I want to look at what the next phase is for me getting back on the field, competing at a high level," he said. "There is a side to me that wants to manage someday and prepare myself for it if that opportunity came calling. I’d want to be ready.’’

Said White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf when asked if Thome could be a big league manager: “I think he has that ability. He can be a batting coach. He’d be a great batting coach, but someday he’ll be a manager. That’s what he’ll be.’’

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