Cuban first baseman Ruiz close to signing

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MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez has an update on Cuban first baseman Jose Julio Ruiz, who became a free agent after defecting and has reportedly drawn interest from the Blue Jays, Rangers, Red Sox, Giants, Rays, and Rockies.
Ruiz’s agent revealed that the 25-year-old could sign as soon as this week and has been offered major-league contracts by multiple teams, but is trying “to find a team where he’ll have the best opportunity to rise the quickest.”
Ruiz isn’t on the same level as fellow Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, who signed with the Reds last month for $25.5 million, but he’s expected to get several million dollars and should be fairly close to MLB-ready. Ruiz is 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, but runs fairly well and has played some left field in addition to first base. He’s consistently posted big batting averages in Cuba, but hasn’t shown a ton of power.

Must-Click Link: The Day a Mascot Got Ejected

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Today Jonah Keri gives us a fantastic story about a crazy game.

The Dodgers played the Expos in Montreal 28 years ago today. The game went 22 innings. It was a 1-0 game. More notable than the 21 and a half innings of scoreless ball, however, was the fact that Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda got the Expos mascot — Youppi — ejected. The Dodgers and Expos didn’t score much that year overall, but when have you ever seen a mascot ejected?

Some good lunchtime reading for y’all, complete with silly GIFs and a video of the whole dang game if you hate yourself so much that you’d watch it all in its entirety.

Nicholas Castellanos hit an inside-the-park homer that shouldn’t have been

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Last night the Yankees pasted the Tigers in Detroit, but the hometown crowd did get something entertaining to send them on their way: an inside-the-park homer from Nicholas Castellanos.

At least that’s technically what it was. It would be a single and a three-base error if our official scoring made any sense.

Watch the play below. It’s all put in motion by Jacoby Ellsbury‘s decision to try to make a slide catch on the ball, misjudging it and allowing it to skip over 100 feet to the wall:

Since Ellsbury didn’t touch it it wasn’t called an error — errors are rarely if ever called on poor plays that don’t result in a fielder actually touching the ball — but it was certainly a mental error to not let the ball bounce and ensure that it didn’t get past him. Especially with such a big lead.

Oh well, that’s baseball for you.