Stand Up to Cancer

Major League Baseball holding a charity auction for Stand Up to Cancer

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Major League Baseball just announced something very cool: a charity auction to benefit the Stand Up to Cancer. The initiative was inspired by the numerous cases of public relations officials in the sport who have been diagnosed with cancer in recent years.

The auction starts now and goes through Thursday December 6 at midnight and includes over 70 items and experiences donated by teams and players. And it’s cool stuff. All of it can be found on the main auction page. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Be a Baltimore Orioles player for a day – eat with team, take batting practice and sit in the dugout during a Spring Training game.
  • Ride on the Orioles’ team bus to and from a road game in Washington D.C.  You may not play “Try a little tenderness” on an acoustic guitar, unfortunately.
  • Even if you can’t do that, you can bid on a 30-minute guitar lesson from Cincinnati Reds All-Star pitcher Bronson Arroyo. I’m assuming its Dave Matthews heavy;
  • Receive a visit from Washington Nationals pitchers Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard to your child’s school and eat lunch with them in their cafeteria.
  • Take batting practice at Progressive Field with the Cleveland Indians. And heck, you may be able to make the team seeing as though it is the Indians.
  • Breakfast with All-Star Hunter Pence of the 2012 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants. I’m assuming its intense.
  • Eat lunch with Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr., new Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell or Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda of the Dodgers. If you win this bid and don’t pick Lasorda, I don’t want to know you.
  • Receive pitching lessons from any of five Major League pitching coaches, including Jim Hickey (Rays) Rick Honeycutt (Dodgers), Charles Nagy (D-backs), Bryan Price (Reds), or Carl Willis (Mariners).  It’s an egg. Hold it like an egg, meat.
  • Work a one-day internship in the New York Yankees Media Relations Department. Could be cool. By the end of the day they’ll teach you 50 ways to not say ANYTHING to the media.
  • “Host a private party at your home with the Milwaukee Brewers Famous Racing Sausages.” So … a literal sausage party? I love this. It may be a cancer benefit, but there is definitely humor here. I may bid on this bad boy.
  • There’s lots of other stuff like batting practice with teams, merchandise, primo Green Monster seats in Boston and much, much more.

Check out the auction and see if you can’t do your part to help a worthy cause.

 

Braves ink Blaine Boyer to a minor league deal

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 2:  Relief pitcher Blaine Boyer #48 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers to home plate during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on October 2, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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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.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.

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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.