Fisticuffsmanship! The Mississippi Braves and Mobile Baybears throw down

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We don’t see that many full-blown fights in major league baseball these days. Everyone knows the potential costs aren’t worth the benefits, I suppose. Or else they’re all friends and stuff.  But the minor leagues still give us a good fracas now and again.

On Saturday it was the Mobile Baybears vs. the Mississippi Braves. There were two out in the bottom of the ninth when a wild pitch caused the Braves’ pitcher to have to cover home plate as a Baybears tried to score from third.  The runner took out the legs of the pitcher and then …

I’ll say this much: normally in a fight that involves a pitcher you see the pitcher sort of back off and other players come in to mix it up. It was interesting then to see Braves pitcher Michael Tarsi take the lead here.

Not that I approve of course. Say no to violence. Stay in school. Only you can stop forest fires, etc.

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.