Wishing for vuvuzelas

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Or ThunderStix. Or whistles. Or any of the many, many things that aren’t as offensive as this:

The Braves plan to have 45,000 foam tomahawks chopping in unison when they face St. Louis on Friday at 5:07 p.m. in the National League Wild Card game … The first 45,000 ticket-holders through the gates will get a free foam tomahawk.

I love and will root for my team, but I will never understand how they think it’s cool to encourage 1940s-western movie war whooping and tomahawk chopping and all of that in the 21st freaking century. I get that it started kinda spontaneously and out of excitement some 21 years ago, but there is no escaping that this is offensive and I wish they’d cut it out.

Mets sign Matt Purke to minors deal

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The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.

Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.

While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.