On Sunday, blogger Murray Chass wrote a column explaining why he submitted a blank Hall of Fame ballot. He’s a “small Hall” guy, which means he has a higher standard for players getting enshrined than do most people. He’s also virulently against players associated in any way with performance-enhancing drugs.
Sticking only to his defenses, though, is to give Chass the benefit of the doubt because the only reason he’s still voting, he said three years ago, is to spite writers like Rob Neyer and our own Craig Calcaterra. Chass is truly more an agitator than an agent of change.
Casey Stern of MLB Network Radio had Chass on today to clarify his blank ballot, but we didn’t really learn anything new.
It’s worth pointing out that for every non-vote a player gets, it takes three votes in order for him to be elected. Chass is correct that his non-votes make an impact, but it’s disappointing that it’s for wrong and misinformed reasons.
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.