Ruiz has been freed, liberated, and released

Freed, liberated, let go, released … call it whatever you like, but Randy Ruiz is gone.

I was saddened and shocked to learn that the Blue Jays have let go of Ruiz, and he has subsequently signed a contract to play in Japan with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles.

The news comes as a bit of a surprise, considering Randy Ruiz was just a player on the bench and not a starter occupying tonnes of playing time.


Yeah, he’s struggled this season, but is 40 plate appearances really enough of a sample size to judge whether a player should be released or not?

Admittedly, I became smitten with Ruiz after his honeymoon campaign last year. While his numbers this year have been less than impressive, I think people all too quickly forget that Ruiz was hitting a home run for every 11.5 plate appearances.

My assumption is that Ruiz saw the writing on the wall and knew that Lyle Overbay would get the fair share of playing time at first base, and Adam Lind would occupy the DH spot for the most part of the season.

That meant Ruiz had to make the most of every at bat, and in most cases that translated to swinging for the fences so he could keep his job. Rather than live with the uncertainty of playing time every game, maybe he’d rather just rake in Japan and hope for the best.

You know what … if it worked for Tom Selleck, then it should work for Randy Ruiz. Best of luck to him and hopefully another MLB team doesn’t scoop him up in the near future and he has a 30 home run season.

It’s never easy letting go, but it’s comforting knowing that Randy Ruiz has been freed permanently. Fly high, free bird.

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

8 thoughts on “Ruiz has been freed, liberated, and released

  • May 19, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    I wasn't sure how to feel until you brought up Selleck. Randy's going to be fine. Will miss that smile.

    Freedom isn't free, it costs folks like Randy Ruiz …

  • May 19, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    I'm going to miss Randy, too. I think if the Jays gave him a little more time, he would be successful … but they aren't giving him the FREEDOM to play every day. So that means he has to go elsewhere.

    I'm also very glad I didn't bid on that Randy Ruiz bobblehead on eBay selling for $30. But I still have by Randy Ruiz card to keep me company.

  • May 19, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    I am quite sure that Randy must have asked for his release so that he can actually go and play somewhere. Someone should point out to Cito et al that a rebuilding year means seeing what you've got and not maximizing playing time for veterans who are going to be free agents so that they can get a good contract.

  • May 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    I cheered very hard for Randy on Monday. Man that guy swung the bat EXTREMELY HARD!!!

    I'll miss him, but he wasn't getting a fair chance here, and he was never going to get a fair chance here. Go get 'em in Japan RR.

  • May 19, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Anon, I think Ruiz was initially very happy with any playing time he received because he was a rookie after all.

    Seeing how this year has progressed though, I don't doubt that he weighed his options to see what was the best opportunity to play. I am surprised however that he didn't just sit back and wait for the offers to come in, because I'm sure there's at least an AL team out there that could've used him as a DH (the White Sox perhaps?)

    I don't understand Cito's loyalty to Overbay, because they're both gone at the end of the year anyway.

    Jeremy, I think morally it was the right thing to do. It's not fair to jerk a guy around like that. He'll do really well over there.

  • May 20, 2010 at 12:28 am

    I ought to have seen this coming.

    Ruiz wasn’t playing, even though he should have been. Clarence isn’t going to change his approach, so even though it would have made sense for Ruiz to platoon with Overbay, it wasn’t going to happen.

    That’s the infuriating rationale for the release of Ruiz. The practical rationale is that he wasn’t going to DH ahead of Lind, and he wasn’t going to play 1B ahead of Wallace, or OF ahead of Lewis/Snider/Bautista. So even if the team found that they “had something” in Ruiz, they wouldn’t be able to do anything with it.

    Sayonara, Randy.

  • May 20, 2010 at 4:38 am

    No Shawshank Redemption reference? 🙁 For shame! SHAME!

  • May 20, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Robbie, it was an uphill battle from the start for Ruiz JUST to make the 25-man roster out of Spring Training. Then all this nonsense went down about how Cito wouldn't be platooning Overbay at first base.

    But you're right … even if they somehow managed to slot Ruiz in there, he doesn't fit in with the long term plans of this team anyway. He would either be traded or released.

    Steve, I know … I know … I still need to watch Shawshank. Shame on me!

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