At a news conference Friday afternoon, Rangers president Nolan Ryan announced that the team would create and make a “substantial” donation to a memorial fund for Shannon Stone’s family.
Stone, a 39-year-old firefighter, was killed Thursday night after tumbling over the railing at Rangers Ballpark.
“It’s one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen at a ballpark,” Ryan said. “As a father and a grandfather, my heart goes out to that family.”
The Dallas Morning News has a several more notes from the news conference, including mentions from Ryan that any player who needs time off to recover emotionally will get it and that both the Rangers and A’s will wear black armbands in Stone’s honor tonight.
Ryan also said that he wasn’t sure whether Josh Hamilton would play tonight, but “I have no reason to think that he won’t” play.
6:10 p.m. EDT: Here’s the link to the memorial account set up by the Rangers:
Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation Memorial Account in Honor of Shannon Stone
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.