The Tigers and Orioles have women keeping the grounds

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I hate that headline for a couple of reasons. “Keeping the grounds” is dumb and clunky, but I can’t get my brain to be OK with the plural of “groundskeeper.”  “Groundskeepers” is probably right, but it really is causing me problems.

The other part of that headline I hate is that simply noting the fact that the O’s and Tigers have women in that role constitutes news. It does, and the fact that women have a job that not a lot of women have is cool, but it reads like some sort of 1920s article noting with amusement and glee that women drive cars or vote or something.

OK, my hangups aside, go read Amanda Rykoff’s article about Heather Nabozny, Nicole Sherry, each of whom keep the grass green and — more importantly, I was somewhat surprised to learn — the dirt looking good. Really, we always think about the grass, but Nabonzy notes that the grass takes way less of a beating and the dirt is where all the effort is. I hadn’t really thought about that.

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.