As Alice Sweet of Norfolk, Virginia and the rest of baseball fandom mourns the passing of Earl Weaver, Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times gives us 11 cool facts about Weaver that probably never occurred to you.
The one that stopped me in my tracks: Weaver, despite being a gray-haired institution by the time I started paying attention to baseball in the late 70s, was only 56 years old when he managed his last game. As Jaffe notes, that’s younger than Ned Yost is now. And about the same age as Ron Roenicke.
Granted, there are different kinds of 56 year-olds. Some in better shape than others and some who didn’t spend most of their 30s through their 50s yelling at people all the time like Weaver. But man, that’s nutsy to think about.
Anyway, great post by Jaffe about a great manager.
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.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
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.