Swagger Alert! Apparently the Red Sox need some of it

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Headline in Rob Bradford’s column about the reeling Red Sox over at WEEI: “Red Sox in search of their swagger (and a win).”  Content:

Everybody understands that the Red Sox have the potential to be what Ortiz mandated all who wear the uniform be back in ’07 — bad blankety-blanks. And every player Tuesday night seemed as steadfast in the belief that their talent was going to ultimately win out as they did prior to playing in from 9,025 (the smallest collection of fans to watch a Red Sox game since 2000).

The problem is that they haven’t found the key to unlock their inner-bad-blankety-blank-ness.

Where I come from, you don’t simply choose to have “swagger” and to become a “bad (blankety-blank)”  in order to accomplish something. Rather, you attain and become such things as a result of your accomplishments.  But maybe I’m just doing it wrong. Maybe I’m just forgetting all of the good examples of teams and players who were described as having “swagger” or being “bad (blankety-blanks)” despite having won nothing. I mean I must be, right? Because if not, it would mean that such concepts are so much ex-post-facto baloney.

Reds ink Oliver Perez to a minor-league deal

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The Reds have signed free agent reliever Oliver Perez to a minor-league contract, the team announced Saturday. The deal comes with a major-league invite and could be worth $1.25 million if Perez secures a roster spot this spring, with an additional $500,000 in potential performance bonuses.

Perez, 36, is coming off of a two-year run with the Nationals. He produced a 4.64 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 an d10.6 SO/9 through 50 relief appearances and 33 innings with the club in 2017. The veteran lefty hasn’t kept an ERA under 4.00 in at least four seasons, but he continues to be undeniably solid against left-handed batters, holding them to a .227/.301/.364 batting line over 18 1/3 innings last year.

While returning southpaw Wandy Peralta appears to have locked down a bullpen spot already, Perez will still compete for another role against fellow left-handers Cody Reed and Amir Garrett, both of whom also have experience in the rotation. If Perez doesn’t break camp with the team, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon notes, he’ll be permitted to opt out of his contract. The Reds are currently looking to bounce back from a dismal performance in 2017, one in which their bullpen ranked 28th among major league teams with a collective 5.63 ERA and -1.2 fWAR.