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News & Notes: Jim Thome reaches 550 ... Can he pass 600?

Big League Stew

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A few items to peruse while reading from our house, in the middle of our street ...

• A big BLS head nod goes out to Jim Thome(notes), who used his 550th career 'Thomer' to help lift the White Sox back to the .500 mark on Monday night. The 38-year-old DH is currently 13th on the all-time homer list and could approach Harmon Killebrew (who's ninth with 573) if he can stay healthy and put up another 30-homer season.

Though A-Rod has 10 more career homers and is certain to pass the milestone markers before Mr. Incredible's doppelganger, I'd like to think that Thome still has another 50 homers in those forearms of his and will eventually join the six players who have already crossed the 600-homer mark.

As long as Thome's body stays as healthy as his numbers — he's only played four games at first since 2006 — who's to say otherwise? [Tremendous Upside Potential]

• Stew buddy Jeff Passan writes about a group of fans who are trying to preserve Gate 2 of Yankee Stadium as the entrance to Heritage Park. There's no doubt it would look great, but the 11th-hour plan makes so much sense that just know there's no way the Yankees or New York politicians would ever go for it. [Y! Sports]

• You thought fouling a ball off your foot is painful? Check out the spot where Michael Bourn's(notes) foul tip landed. (Fellas, brace yourselves.) [Bugs & Cranks]

Carlos Beltran(notes) and John Maine(notes) do not have the swine flu. [NYT]

Edinson Volquez(notes) probably doesn't either, but the Reds pitcher will undergo some test today to see why the fingers on his right hand felt numb after just one inning on Monday night. Volquez had just returned from the DL from back spasms. Now this. [MLB.com]

• Some Nats fans are starting to wonder if their less loyal Beltway brethren might start drifting back to following the Orioles. [Distinguished Senators via Fire Jim Bowden]

• As gymnast Shawn Johnson (4-foot-10) and baller Lauren Jackson (6-foot-5), first pitch throwers can come in all shapes and sizes. [AP]

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• Allen Chace contemplates the trade possiblities for the Red Sox, from the pipe dreams (Adrian Gonzalez(notes) and Miguel Cabrera(notes)) to the somewhat possiblie (Adam Dunn(notes)) to the likely (Jack Wilson(notes)). [Over The Monster]

• Stop me if you've heard this before: Randy Johnson(notes) has a chance to be the last 300-game winner ... to appear on The Simpsons. [Fantasy Pros 911]

Well that was quick: Some Royals fans are already starting to talk about Luke Hochevar(notes) being used as a setup man for Joakim Soria(notes). [Drive Line Mechanics via RR]

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