Someone told Jeff Francoeur that his former Mets’ teammate David Wright wasn’t happy with Citi Field, and Francoeur responded:
“Poor David hits the ball to right-center so well and there it’s an out. They’ve gotta shorten the park up. It’s huge. I’m not saying make it a bandbox like Philadelphia, but they have to do something.”
I’m still rather vexed at people using Philly as a go-to reference as a bandbox, because after the first year or two of that park’s existence it has played rather straight-up as far as I can tell.
As for Citi Field, yeah, it’s tough. But a lot of hitters played in tough parks. How many home runs does DiMaggio hit if left field played fair in old Yankee Stadium? How many does Mays hit if he’s not in Candlestick? How many homers did the Astrodome rob guys of over the years?
Life isn’t fair. Baseball isn’t fair. Why so much time has been spent feeling sorry for “poor David Wright” is beyond me. You’d think that he was the first guy to ever have a park that wasn’t suited for him.
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.