ESPN the Magazine releases its annual player poll


Every spring ESPN the Magazine polls ballplayers with a bunch of random and some not-so-random questions. The year they got 117 players to respond and the results are out now. Some fun things:

  • One AL player thinks that Dee Gordon is the reason the Marlins will be “this year’s Royals,” though overall a plurality think the Nats are the favorite to win the World Series;
  • 78 percent of respondents hate the idea of a pitch clock;
  • 41 percent of players are happy to see A-Rod back, 30 percent don’t care and 29 percent are not happy;
  • The top answer to “what would you do if you were the Commissioner” was “shorten the season. With one guy responding  “We get two days off a month. People with regular jobs get more days off than that!” Of course, most people don’t make an average of $4 million a year, get $100 per diems and get four months off.

As always, it’s fun, froofy stuff.



Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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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.