Darin Ruf Starting in Left Field Tonight

Darin Ruf Starting in Left Field Tonight

Sitting 5.5 back of the Wild Card with nine games remaining, it would seem there isn't much left to get enthusiastic about as baseball season slips away for Philadelphia. The Phillies begin their final three games at Citizens Bank Park tonight, so if you want to catch a game before it's all over, this is your final chance.

There are perhaps one or two more big stories left before it's all over though, and tonight's is Darin "Babe" Ruf making his first Major League start. He will be playing in left field and batting seventh in the lineup.

The 26-year-old Ruf made waves seemingly out of nowhere this summer with his assault on Reading's record book, surpassing Ryan Howard's single-season home run milestone. With a .314 average and 104 RBI to go along with his 38 bombs, Ruf earned Eastern League MVP honors, and was added to the big club's 40-man on September 10.

Ruf has just three plate appearances to date, going 0-for-2 with a sac-fly RBI. He'll be squaring off against Washington's Ross Detwiler tonight, who is 10-6 with a 3.10 ERA in 2012. Hey, the Phillies may have finally fallen out of the race, but at least they can still mess with the Nationals.

Ruf's insertion into the lineup certainly brings an added level of intrigue to tonight's game, even if it is far too late to draw any kind of meaningful conclusions about the kid's progress the rest of the way. But if nothing else, it would be fun to see his storybook year continue to play out at CBP tonight, with a baseball or two landing in the left field flowerbeds.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

About NBC internships

Opening week affects MVP odds of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid

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Opening week affects MVP odds of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid

Ben Simmons had himself a historic first week in the NBA and as a result, his MVP odds have changed substantially.

Listed by Bovada on Oct. 10 at 80/1 to win MVP, Simmons is now at 33/1, tied with DeMarcus Cousins and ahead of Marc Gasol, Blake Griffin and Damian Lillard.

Simmons became the first player since Oscar Robertson to produce at least 10 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in each of his first three career games.

Teammate Joel Embiid had a less successful start to the year, averaging 14.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists in two games but shooting just 35.5 percent from the field and missing all 10 three-point attempts.

And yet somehow, Embiid's MVP odds have changed from 40/1 to 25/1. He has the same MVP odds as Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis.

Griffin, at 50/1, is a sneaky good bet for MVP. The Clippers are his team now with Chris Paul in Houston, and Griffin has added long-distance shooting to his game, making three triples in each game. Two games in, he's averaging 29.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists. 

If he can stay healthy (a huge if) and lead the Clippers to 52-plus wins in a loaded Western Conference, you'd have to think Griffin would be looked at more favorably in terms of MVP odds than someone on a star-studded team like any of the Warriors or Rockets, if Paul returns from his knee injury within a month and affects James Harden's stats even slightly. 

Giannis Antetokounpo and LeBron James look like the two players most likely to win MVP, but 50/1 for Griffin is good value if you think this is the year he stays healthy. If he didn't have a history of injuries, his odds right now would be closer to those of John Wall (28/1) or Towns (25/1).