Potent quotables: A-Rod has 'been there'

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“David’s a good friend. I’ve been there and done that. I’ve lived it.
Whatever he did, I hope he feels better about it. I certainly did once
I had my press conference.”

– Alex Rodriguez can sympathize with David Ortiz’s ordeal.

“I’m not confirming or denying any interest or any claims or anything. But if these things get out on a daily basis,
boy, it’s going to be a heck of an August around here in terms of how
many players you claim and how many you don’t claim. It will make your
head spin if you follow each report.”

– White Sox general manager Ken Williams downplays speculation that they were the club that put in a claim on Alex Rios.

“We’re coming the ballpark expecting to win now. That’s something that wasn’t here a couple weeks ago.”

– Unlikely words by reliever Sean Burnett as the Nationals have reeled off seven straight wins — their longest winning streak since June of 2005.

“He makes a lot of money, we traded a lot of people for him. He has to pitch.”

– Ozzie Guillen is all business when discussing Jake Peavy. The newly-acquired ace starts a rehab assignment on Thursday. It’s possible he could debut by the end of the month, but a September target date seems more realistic.

“We’re trying to find a lineup that will produce runs consistently, and if we find one, we’ll stay with it.”

– Lou Pinella, who used his 108th different lineup of the year in a 6-5 win over the Rockies on Saturday night.

Brandon McCarthy wins final spot in Dodgers’ rotation

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We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.

McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.

Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.

Yankees re-sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

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The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.

Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.