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Barry Bonds, Brett Saberhagen among athletes fleeing Wine Country fires

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The fires raging across multiple California counties have already killed at least eleven people and have destroyed thousands of homes, businesses and vehicles. In light of that the manner in which it has impacted famous, wealthy athletes is not of paramount importance, but this story in the San Francisco Chronicle does give a sense of the speed with which these fires are moving and how tenuous anyone’s sense of safety can be as they continue to burn.

Susan Slusser reports how ex-ballplayers Brett Saberhagen, Barry Bonds and Eric Gagne and Olympic speed skater Dan Jansen have had to evacuate homes and hotels in which they were staying on Sunday and into Monday morning. It’s a harrowing scene:

Saberhagen and the Jansens raced to the car, and hopped on Highway 12, at one point passing a car that was engulfed in flames. They drove all the way to San Martin in southern Santa Clara County to spend the night. Hall of Fame hockey goalie Grant Fuhr and his wife weren’t able to find rides, Saberhagen said, and they had had to flag down a stranger, who drove them to San Francisco — a journey that took six hours.

According to Saberhagen and other attendees, UFC fighter Henry Cejudo didn’t evacuate from the Fountaingrove Inn in Santa Rosa and broke his ankle jumping from a second-story balcony.

Scary stuff. Here’s hoping the death toll doesn’t climb higher.

Indians sign Melvin Upton Jr. to a minor league deal

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The Cleveland Indians have agreed to a minor league deal with outfielder Melvin Upton, Jr.

Upton, 33, battled a torn thumb ligament and a shoulder issue last season, limiting him to only 12 games with Triple-A Sacramento, the Giants’ affiliate. In those 12 games, he hit .244 with one double and one home run. Upton last played in the majors in 2016 with the Padres and Blue Jays with which he posted an aggregate .693 OPS.

Given the injuries suffered by Indians outfielders in the past couple of seasons it can’t hurt to have some options for organizational depth. If he has anything left in the tank, stash him on the bench or down in Columbus. If not, no harm done.