After 20 years of nearly every single development in the circumstances in which baseball is played benefiting the hitters, they build, what, the second or third park that skews pitcher-friendly and someone complains:
Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman predicted to reporters Wednesday that hitting a home run at Marlins Park is so difficult that one day soon they will have to shorten the distance to the fences.
“If they don’t move the fences in after this year, I’d be surprised,” Berkman said after the Cardinals spoiled the Marlins’ ballpark unveiling by handing them a 4-1 loss. “And I’m going two years as the over-under on that.”
The poor dear.
Look, I think Marlins Park is going to play like Yellowstone Park too, but man, why don’t we give it more than one game before we jump to any conclusions? And why don’t you go ask your teammate Kyle Lohse how he felt about it? Because I have this feeling he was perfectly fine with the dimensions when Giancarlo Stanton was up to bat.
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.