Milt Bolling, who spent seven years in the big leagues in the 1950s and afterwards worked for the Red Sox for 30 years, passed away Saturday in Alabama at the age of 82.
Frank Bolling, Milt’s brother and a former MLB All-Star, told al.com’s Mark Inabinett that Milt’s health had been in decline following open-heart surgery three months ago.
Milt Bolling came up with the Red Sox in 1952 and became the team’s primary shortstop a year later. He had his best season in 1954, hitting .249/.337/.358 with six homers in 370 at-bats. However, he suffered a broken elbow the following spring and missed most of the 1955 season. Primarily a part-timer after that, he was traded to the Senators in 1957. In 1958, he briefly played with little brother Frank in Detroit, appearing in 24 games for the Tigers.
“We played against each other in the big leagues, and then he came over to Detroit in 1958, and we played together as a double-play combination,” Frank said, “with me at second base and him at shortstop. We have some great tales. We had a lot of good times.”
According to Wikipedia, Bolling later served with the Red Sox as an executive assistant to owner Tom Yawkey and as an area scout based in Alabama.
Milt Bolling is survived by his wife of 60 years, Joanne, as well as four children and nine grandchildren.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.