Big League Stew - MLB

Walk off the basepaths and crack a beverage because Eric Byrnes(notes) no longer has to work nights and is available to serve as a ringer in your local softball league.

No, really. Three days after being served his release by the Seattle Mariners, the 34-year-old outfielder has found his way back onto the field. He's still getting paid the same as his MLB days for his new work in softball — thanks, Arizona! — but the ball is much bigger and coming in at a much slower rate of speed.

And hey! As @rexdeaz points out, there's probably a fourth outfielder spot for him, too!  

Steve Gilbert of MLB.com has more:

That's right, the man the Arizona Diamondbacks are paying $11 million this year in the final year of a three-year deal is going to star for a team sponsored by Dutch Goose, a burger and beer pub in Menlo Park, Calif.

"This is going to be a blast," he said. "Playing with my buddies. I can't wait for my first hit. I'm going to ask for the ball."

Byrnes tells Gilbert that he thinks his playing days are probably over and his stat line of .094/.237/.156 with zero homers and zero RBI over 15 games with Seattle earlier this season backs that belief up. He was DFAed by Arizona general manager Josh Byrnes (no relation) last winter after failing to live up to a three-year, $30 million contract extension that the D'Backs foolishly gave him in the middle of the 2007 season.

Still, you have to love this. While other players like Jermaine Dye(notes) sulk at home and talk about how they won't come back to the league if they're "only" paid $1.5 million, Byrnes embraces a new opportunity to do something he thinks he'd enjoy but couldn't do before. He's always been known as a free-spirited and fun person, and I think baseball is going to benefit big-time once he signs on as a broadcaster somewhere.

Just let him get in a few at-bats with his pals first.

Big BLS H/N: Kendall Rogers

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