Thome hops to 10th on the all-time career home run list

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Jim Thome blasted two home runs in the Twins’ 8-6 loss to the Rays on Saturday, moving into sole possession of 10th place on Major League Baseball’s all-time career home run list.  Here’s a look at the updated list, with the still-active names in bold:

Barry Bonds            762
Hank Aaron             755
Babe Ruth               714
Willie Mays              660
Ken Griffey Jr.          630
Sammy Sosa          609
Alex Rodriguez     595
Frank Robinson     586
Mark McGwire         583
Jim Thome            574
Harmon Killebrew   573
Rafael Palmeiro     569
Reggie Jackson     563

That’s some rather impressive company, and it really must have been a special day for Thome.   According to MLB.com’s Kelly Thesier, the veteran slugger received a phone call from
Killebrew shortly
after passing him on the list. 

“I’m happy for him. Jim is a great guy and if anyone passed me, I’m
glad it was him,” Killebrew said from Arizona. “I hope he hits a bunch more over the rest of the year
for the Minnesota Twins.”

Thome, 39, has done everything that the Twinkies have asked of him this season since signing a bargain one-year, $1.5 million contract in the winter.  Through 124 at-bats, he has a .258/.388/.597 slash line, 10 home runs and 25 RBI.  He also owns a 1.058 OPS against right-handed pitchers.

Braves sign former football player Sanders Commings

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 15:  Cornerback Sanders Commings #26 of the Kansas City Chiefs on the sidelines during the pre-season NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 15, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.

Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.

Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.

Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.

The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.

Justin Verlander: “I’d like to see the AL and NL have the same rules… I vote NL rules.”

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 10:  Starting pitcher Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at Safeco Field on August 10, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
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On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”

Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:

To that, Archer said:

For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.