For every baseball aficionado who can easily name all members of the 600 Home Run Club, there are legions more who forget about Thome’s offensive prowess.
Oh, yeah. Jim Thome. Duh.
This is probably because, for many years, Thome wasn’t even the best player on his team. His early big years with the Indians were often overshadowed by players with bigger numbers (Albert Belle, Manny Ramirez) and/or by those with more swagger or attitude (Belle, Ramirez, David Justice). So Thome’s contributions, while noticed and appreciated by Cleveland’s fans, quickly evaporated from the minds of many other fans.
Not shockingly, the effect on non-white coaches is more extreme than on the whole candidate class.
That’s why there is genuine worry that while a handful of non-white candidates are getting attention now, teams might be more interested in the attention than in seriously considering hiring them.
Austin, for example, the Lionsdefensive coordinator, was on everybodys radar the past two offseasons, as a coach recommended by the leagues hiring advisory committee. This is his third year of reportedly being a hot commodity. After last year’s round of hires, Austin himself wondered whether all of his interviews were serious.
The first time, it was considered a win that he was on teams’ lists. It wont be considered such a win if hes still a coordinator next season. The Browns’ Hue Jackson, for another example, likely got his head-coaching job a year later than he should have.