Alleged ice-cream-sandwich-ordering Mariners scout says everyone’s got the story all wrong

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Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times contacted the Mariners scout who is alleged to have taunted Jesus Montero and have sent him an ice cream sandwich. Which Montero then allegedly threw at him while allegedly taking a bat in his general direction in the stands.

“Allegedly.” “Allegedly.” Say the word enough times and it loses all meaning!

Anyway, the scout’s name is Butch Baccala, and he’s the Mariners’ national crosschecker. He tells Baker that the reports of the incident are wrong, but that he can’t go into detail about them until he has had a chance to tell his story to Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik. He says, however, that he loves his job and that he’d never do something like that to risk it.

This is fun, though:

Baccala at first denied the ice-cream sandwich story, then said he couldn’t comment on it one way or the other. He suggested a reporter check whether they even sell ice-cream sandwiches at Memorial Stadium in Boise, where the game was played.

Todd Rahr, president and general manager of the Boise Hawks, who oversees operations at the stadium, confirmed that ice cream sandwiches are sold there during games.

I hope this doesn’t morph into a story about taunting, bullying, anger issues, alcohol or anything else that may touch on real life issues. I desperately want this to turn into a story that focuses, primarily, on the forensic investigation of ice cream sandwiches. There has been nothing but bad news in the world lately, it seems. We need some good old fashioned late summer nonsense to get us through.

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.

Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.

While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.