My personal experience as a kid and as a parent of kids playing youth sports has been hit and miss. There are a lot of good coaches out there with their heads on straight. Lots of good parents too. Probably most of them are good. But there are also jerks, and the higher you go in youth sports — the more competitive the landscape — the more likely you are to encounter jerk coaches or parents.
The Little League World Series is about as high as kids that age can go. It’s crazy competitive. So it wouldn’t be shocking to find some jerks at that level, even if most of them are now well enough versed in how it is covered to not be super obvious about it.
Which makes this coach, Dave Belisle of the Cumberland, Rhode Island team, so damn refreshing and even inspirational. I want a guy like this coaching or teaching my kids in anything they do. This is so pitch perfect. In a crappy, crappy week of news, this is most welcome indeed.
UPDATE: Sorry: been having trouble with the embed code. You can see the video here.
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.