This picture of a second grader dressed as Rangers manager Ron Washington got a lot of play on the worldwide web this past week.
It also got the Rangers’ attention and they have invited the young man, seven-year-old Liam Roybal, to exclaim “Play Ball!” before Sunday’s World Series Game 3 in Texas.
Leigh Munsil of The Dallas Morning News caught up with Roybal this weekend. He first wore the costume at a church festival in the Dallas area and then at a Career Day. His parents eventually posted pictures of the getup on Facebook, and it spread from there.
“He is absolutely excited, he’s kind of bouncing off the walls right now,” mother Ami Roybal said. “We all sat around the table and laughed about it. We said, ‘You might really look like Ron Washington when you shave your head.'”
And he most definitely does. Lineups and pregame notes should be coming out shortly for Game 4.
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.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
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.