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Phillies Spring Training 2012: Jim Thome Relishes Championship Opportunity In Philadelphia

Jim Thome is apparently doing yoga now to keep flexible, and help his bad back deal with the stress of staying in a bent over position at first base. The 600-plus home run hitter may be called on to alleviate the absence of Ryan Howard, who is still coming back from a torn Achilles. Thome told Buster Olney that he will do whatever it takes to win a World Series (note: Insider subscription required) with the Philadelphia Phillies.

"I would've been open-minded if somebody else called, but this was great because I felt like they have a legitimate chance to win," said Thome. "That was big for me. I'm not going to sit here and say that I wouldn't have entertained an offer from another team, but when they were the team that called, and called early, you look at the position they've put themselves in, it made it very easy.

"Charlie told me, 'As far as how many days we'll put you out there at first base, we're not sure. But to sign here, you're going to have to play first base; you're going to have to play [in the field]. I told him, 'When the Philadelphia Phillies call and they ask you, you say yes.'"

The Phillies could go to Ty Wigginton or John Mayberry Jr. at first base, in which case Thome would be a powerful bat off the bench. He knows he has bad back and is playing under a $1.25 million contract. None of that will matter if he can end his career a champion.

"I don't go to the park thinking, 'Is my back going to break down?'" he said. "I do the things I need to do to get ready. I'm at a stage in my career where you do this and roll the dice to try to win a championship."

For more coverage of the Phillies, visit the SB Nation blog The Good Phight.