Joe Torre on being done in 2011: "I've lied before so it doesn't matter"

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That’s what he said immediately after saying yesterday that 2011 would be his last year. I like it when baseball people allow themselves to be honest like that.  The L.A. Times’ Bill Shaikin spoke with Torre on a bunch of other topics as well:

  • He expects that Manny Ramirez will be back as “a middle-of-the-lineup guy” this year and thinks that his post-suspension struggles were all about mechanics and rust as opposed to human chorionic gonadotropin withdrawal or something.
  • He reminds us that Clayton Kershaw is only 21 and that “We can’t all of a sudden hook our wagon to him and say, ‘Take us there.'”  He expects the Dodgers to get another pitcher.  For what it’s worth, L.A. has been linked with Joel Piniero, may be watching Ben Sheets on Tuesday and, of course, is probably going to bring back Vicente Padilla.
  • He doesn’t know why the Dodgers didn’t offer Randy Wolf arbitration and says “it just didn’t seem reasonable to me he would come back for a year.”  This kind of thing is always interesting. I mean, if you asked Torre “hey, do you think Ned Colletti screwed up in not offering Wolf arbitration,” he’d always say no, he trusts Ned and The Plan and blah, blah, blah. But his dead-on assessment that Wolf wouldn’t take a one year deal to stay in L.A. makes the decision dumb by definition. No, I don’t expect Torre to slam his boss, but still.

If he had any comments about the McCourt divorce they were presumably off the record.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman not considering demoting struggling Greg Bird

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Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.

GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”

Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

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Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.

Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.

The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.