Jim Thome hit a triple last night (seriously)

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Last night’s Twins-Tigers game featured Joel Zumaya’s gruesome-looking arm injury, but before that Jim Thome provided a much more amusing sight with his first triple since 2004.
As you might expect, there were some unusual circumstances at play. In the fourth inning Thome clobbered a Jeremy Bonderman fastball into the gap in right-center field and as right fielder Brennan Boesch settled under it to play the carom the ball ricocheted off the side of Target Field’s out-of-town scoreboard, bouncing about 50 feet toward the right field line.
The average human being probably would have scored standing up for an inside-the-park homer and the average land mammal probably would have at least had a stand-up triple, but because Thome is 39 years old and runs more or less like a duck he slid into third base just ahead of the relay throw.
MLB.com has the video, which you should watch if only to cleanse your palate of the Zumaya footage.
Thome went over six years between triples, during which time he played in 770 games, logged 3,050 plate appearances, hit 179 homers, drove in 508 runs, and notched a total of 643 hits. Oh, and between Thome triples there were a total of 13 no-hitters across MLB.

Giants hire Gabe Kapler as new manager

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The Giants announced on Tuesday the hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager. Kapler, filling the extremely large shoes of future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy, inked a three-year deal, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Kapler was one of three finalists for the job, beating out Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quataro.

Following his 12-year playing career, Kapler was a coach for Israel’s team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier. He then became an analyst for FS1 before joining the Dodgers’ front office as the director of player development in November 2014. He was involved in three scandals there: one in which he tried to handle a sexual assault incident involving two Dodgers minor league players without telling police, one in which he allegedly discriminated against Nick Francona, a veteran and former baseball operations employee, and an incident that implicated most of the Dodgers’ front office concerning the recruiting of international free agents. The Dodgers reportedly kept a spreadsheet of employees and their level of criminality.

Despite Kapler’s background, the Phillies hired him as their manager ahead of the 2018 season. He would lead the Phillies to an 80-82 record that year and then helped them improve by one game in 2019, finishing at exactly .500 before being fired. Kapler’s tenure in Philly was tumultuous, often drawing ire from the local media and subsequently the fan base for not being tough enough on his players. The Phillies also reportedly had a clubhouse issue in 2018 in which players were playing video games in the clubhouse during games, prompting Carlos Santana to smash a TV with a bat.

Kapler has a history with Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations. They worked together in the Dodgers’ front office as Zaidi served as GM from November 2014-18.