Chris Russo

Nats’ radio guy Charlie Slowes ripped by Mad Dog Russo and then rips him right back

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Not a fan of Chris Russo on MLB Network. For whatever charms the “scream at everything” approach has on talk radio — not my cup of tea, but it is an established style in that medium, for better or worse — it’s beyond assaulting on TV. Really, unwatchable. Which stinks, because I generally like the product MLB Network puts on the air. While we may quibble with the analysis of any number of their personalities, the content itself is not hostile. At least you can take Kevin Millar in without feeling assaulted. Russo has some good points occasionally I’d presume, but you’d never know it because your ears are constantly bleeding.

If you feel the same way, you’ll enjoy this story from DC Sports Bog about a little dustup between Russo and Nationals radio play-by-play guy Charlie Slowes. Slowes stumbled slightly on a home run call the other night — a tough “did-he-catch-it-or-not” thing which was quickly corrected — and Russo totally ripped him for it on his show. Even worse, he did it while Slowes was waiting to go on another MLB Network show, which meant he got to hear himself being insulted in his ear piece. As is the case with everything else with Russo, it was bad in form and content.

Slowes went on local radio to talk about it and ripped Russo for his “hysterical illiterate screaming.” Which, sure, you may not like little spats like this, but it’s hard to disagree with a word Slowes had to say.

And with that, you can go on continuing to ignore Mad Dog Russo. Or at least I hope you can. Because the quicker we all do, the quicker MLB Network gets wise and puts on someone who actually can carry on a conversation or some commentary like an adult human being.

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.