Regarding Chance Ruffin, we are faced with two possibilities insofar as his soul, essence, and factory settings are concerned. The first is that, as put forth by Chance Ruffin stakeholders and as is widely believed, he is a simple pitcher absorbed by his craft.
The other, more subversive supposition is that Chance Ruffin is not a pitcher but rather — actually and in actuality — a hyper-realistic thumb puppet. Please regard the following instance of color photographic evidence:
That, mute onlookers, is unassailably a thumb puppet. Note that absence of any real slope from head to neck, which is indicative of both thumb-ness and thumb-dom. Also note the wee size. Furthermore, note that the adorable little thumb-beard conveniently obscures the first joint just below the thumb pad. Now imagine his doing a cute and wiggly bow toward you, hinging at that beard-hidden joint, as Chance Ruffin, Thumb Puppet Nonpareil, entertains all who have repaired to the parlor. Wiggle, wiggle. Tee hee. His little cap fell off!
Chance Ruffin, you see, is a thumb puppet.
(This piece originally appeared at FanGraphs. It has since been revised and made even worse, probably.)