Jerry Koosman is going to jail

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Former Met Lenny Dysktra had a bad day in federal court yesterday.  Former Met Jerry Koosman had a worse one:

Koosman pleaded guilty to tax evasion in May, saying his research led him to conclude that only federal workers and District of Columbia residents had to pay federal taxes.

IRS agents who confronted him in 2006 said he showed them three binders of documents challenging the government’s right to levy taxes.

Koosman’s lawyer Robert Bernhoft, described the former pitcher as an honest, reliable – but naive – farm boy.

That defense about federal workers and DC residents is a favorite among wacko anti-government tax protester types. What always amazes me about it is how they can dig so deeply into the U.S. Code in an effort to parse the language they think gives them the right to avoid taxes, but seem to always ignore the 16th Amendment which is short and really, really clear on the matter.

Sad to see a pitcher I always admired fall into that kind of nonsense.

Braves ink Blaine Boyer to a minor league deal

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 2:  Relief pitcher Blaine Boyer #48 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers to home plate during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on October 2, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.

Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.

Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.

Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.