Darin Ruff (37), former ‘KBO RBI King’ who returned to the San Francisco Giants in 8 months after being released from the New York Mets, regained his smile.
Ruff received a big league call-up ahead of a home game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on the 13th (Korean time). He was just 4 days out of signing a minor contract in the last 9 days. It has been 254 days since Ruff played against the Dodgers on August 2 last year as a San Francisco player, and he returned to the familiar Oracle Park.
Ruff, who was in the starting lineup메이저사이트 as the designated hitter number 5 against Dodgers left-handed starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, reported a comeback with an RBI double hitting the fence in the middle left from the first at-bat in the first inning. Ruff, who even hit to the right in the 8th inning, finished his comeback with 2 hits and 1 RBI in 4 at-bats.
According to ‘MLB.com’, Ruff said, “Today’s hug was much better than the (farewell) hug I did last August. It was nice to see everyone,” he said, happy to return to San Francisco. San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler said, “Ruff has had a rough time. He seems to have had a sense of relief for him,” he said.
Ruff, who had a relationship with San Francisco during the Corona 19 shortened season in 2020 through the Samsung Lions in the KBO League from 2017 to 2019, jumped to the starting lineup in 2021 with a batting average of 2.77, 16 home runs, 43 RBIs, and an OPS of .904 in 117 games. . Before the season in March of last year, he signed a multi-year contract worth $6.25 million for two years, but trials came.
Ruff, who had a difficult time due to the sudden death of his father at the end of May last year, had to move to the Mets at the trade deadline in early August. In an interview with ‘The Athletic’ on the 12th, Ruff said, “Last year, things didn’t go the way I wanted. So was the trade. My family has adjusted to San Francisco, so it was a shock to go elsewhere.” With a two-year, multi-year contract, the trade was more unpredictable.
Life with the Mets, who were aiming for a World Series championship, was also difficult. Ruff was harassed by New York media and fans. New York media’s intense criticism and fans’ ridicule continued for his rough, which showed an extremely poor performance with a batting average of 1.552, no homers, 7 RBIs, and an OPS of .413 in 28 games after the transfer. It was nothing less than an object of contempt. Ruff said, “If you perform poorly anywhere, the fans get rough. More so in New York. New York media seems to operate on fan perceptions. I was weighed down by two places: the media and the fans.”
Unexpected death of his father, trade, and even blind criticism for his sluggishness. Personally, it was a very difficult year for Ruff, who was mentally shattered. “A lot of people think that athletes have to do well anytime, anywhere. But when a lot of things happen at once, it’s hard to do well every day. Baseball is a very tough game, and you have to be in good shape mentally to be successful.”
Ruff, who continued to be sluggish due to a wrist injury in this year’s demonstration game, was designated for transfer (DFA) by the Mets on the 27th of last month. No team came out to take him while paying $3 million in annual salary this year, and on the 3rd, the Mets completely released him under the condition of paying $3 million. After becoming a free agent, San Francisco assistant general manager Jeremy Shelley contacted him, and Ruff accepted a minor league contract without hesitation.
“I hadn’t even considered the possibility of going back to San Francisco,” Ruff said. I’m happy to be back like this,” he said. “A lot of people know me, and I know them. There is no better and more comfortable place for me. It’s nice to be able to be with the people I love.” After finding peace of mind, Ruff took his first step toward a comeback with a multi-hit, including a double, in his return to San Francisco.