I almost got free Padres tickets by flirting with Heath Bell

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I spend a lot of time on Twitter. Probably too much, but it’s OK, because my boss rarely walks by my desk.  Anyway, today I was letting my eyes glaze over at the screen when Padres closer Heath Bell tweeted the following:


“Whoever can tell me why they love the Padres the most gets two tickets to tomorrow night’s game.”

My impulsive response: “Because their closer is dreamy!”

Turns out I came in second.  The winner — a guy named “tdr43” — should have been disqualified in my opinion, what with him using some third party Twitter software to go way, way over the 140 character limit. Granted, his response was passionate and more comprehensive than mine was, but where I come from simple butt-kissing gets you places. What is this world coming to?

Oh well. It’s not like I could have got to San Diego by tomorrow night anyway. And even if I could have, I just would have gone there to root against the Padres so that my Braves could take the wild card.  I’m guessing Heath Bell wouldn’t have liked that too much. 

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.