In case you missed it . . .

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Come Monday morning, folks tend not to scroll back too far into Sunday afternoon posts, but D.J. and Aaron weighed in on three pretty interesting stories that hit the wires before yesterday’s Yankees’ clincher:

  • The Indians name Manny Acta their next manager.  Makes sense: he was the only candidate who can plausibly say that the Cleveland situation is an improvement over his last gig;
  • Tony La Russa agrees to come back to St. Louis, and he’s bringing in an intriguing name as his new hitting coach. Question: how can you improve guys’ hitting techniques if you never wanna talk about the past?; and
  • Three nights of bad judgment as a playa does for Steve Phillips what five years of bad judgment as an analyst couldn’t do: get him fired from ESPN.
  • I’ll probably have a bit more on McGwire later this morning, as that story is all kinds of interesting in my mind.

    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.