This video — sent to me by J. Freedom du Lac — has everything. Skinny Jim Thome. A home run with a bat flip. Bob Uecker. Happy Indians fans totally oblivious to the fact that they’re about to lose the World Series to the Braves in six games. It’s just a treasure.
But really the lesson here is how you have to stop me-first hot dogs like Jim Thome from doing things like flipping his bat early. Here the Mariners didn’t do that and look at the sort of baseball-ruining showboat he became over the next 17 years. It was a disgrace, frankly. If only someone had gotten in his face then and barked at him. Unfortunately, Gerrit Cole was only five-years-old at the time.
The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.
Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.
Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.