Anyone who has been to Comerica Park for a Tigers game in the past decade or so is likely acquainted with Charley Marcuse, better known as The Singing Hot Dog Man. Well, he is singing at Comerica Park no more: he’s been fired by Sportservice, the company which manages the vending for Tigers games.
Marcuse was a polarizing figure at Tigers games. Some folks loved him. Some folks hated him. That latter group included the Tigers, who have wanted him gone for years and who complained to Sportservice on multiple occasions about his singing and eventually got him to agree to only sing between innings so as to lessen the distraction.
Which, fine. But it’s pretty friggin’ hilarious that in an age where ballparks blast music constantly at ballparks some guy doing some fake opera about hot dogs is considered a distraction. Personally, I would have put an end to the Nickelback and crap like that before going after the hot dog guy, but that’s just me.
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.