Dusty Baker didn’t know the secret handshake needed to get into Yankee Stadium. Fortunately, someone came along who recognized him.
“It’s hard to get in this bad boy,” Baker said Friday before his Reds took on the Yankees. “Some guy asked me today, `Could I help you?’ I was in the front, trying to get in. I said, `Yeah. I’m here for the game.’ He goes, `The gates aren’t open yet.”‘
“I said, `OK, man. I’m the manager,”‘ Baker explained.
“The baseball team.”
“Yeah, what’s your name?”
Nope, try again.
“He didn’t know,” Baker said. “I didn’t wait long. Another guy came over. He recognized me. And this other guy apologized. He said, `I’m sorry, man. He didn’t know.”‘
Baker took the slight delay in stride and entered the park. As for whether all of his players are accounted for, that’s still unclear. Earlier this week, with the Reds taking on the Mets, one of the team’s players, whose identity Baker was unwilling to reveal, ended up taking a cab to Yankee Stadium, instead of Citi Field, prior to a game.
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.