The Union hates having the All-Star Game decide World Series home field advantage

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I missed this yesterday, but MLBPA chief Michael Weiner said that there is “strong
sentiment” among the union that using the All-Star Game to determine home field advantage for the World
Series is a dumb idea. The players think that home field should be determined by regular-season record:

Weiner said Tuesday that he expected to have “healthy discussions” on
the topic as part of next year’s collective bargaining. He said the
players never embraced the concept of awarding home-field advantage in
the World Series to the the winning league in the All-Star game, but
they reluctantly agreed in order to satisfy FOX, which broadcasts the
event.

Meanwhile, Bud Selig said yesterday in his little press conference that there was no reason to change the All-Star Game format. Of course, one doesn’t go far in this world contradicting your boss’ word, so Selig was probably wise not to say anything that wavered from FOX’s party line.

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.