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The Red Sox could be sued over “B-Strong”

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This hit the news two weeks ago, but I missed it because I was derping around Florida. It appears that no resolution has been announced yet, however, so it’s still an operative controversy, as we in the controversy business say.

A Texas-based foundation — The Braden Aboud Memorial Foundationhas been in negotiations with the Boston Red Sox over the latter’s use of the “B-Strong” logo and slogan. The foundation, named after 14-year-old Braden Aboud, who died in a skiing accident — trademarked “B-Strong” for its charitable efforts in 2007. According to Aboud’s father, who runs the foundation, the Aboud foundation’s trademark is getting confused with and potentially overtaken by Red Sox-related “B-Strong” imagery in Google searches and the like. Which is kind of a big problem when you have a trademark for a similarly-purposed undertaking. Here, charitable efforts.

Also a problem: the Sox, while diverting a portion of “B-Strong” merchandise revenues to charity, do keep a portion of it and profit off “B-Strong” merchandise. That doesn’t sit well with Aboud. The Aboud Foundation is 100% non-profit. A cease and desist letter was sent to the Red Sox in May. Since then the sides have been negotiating about it, but it may very well wind up in court.

It’s a really unfortunate situation, as both uses of “B-Strong” are rooted in tragedy and philanthropy. Here’s hoping some sort of amicable resolution can be reached.

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.