Quote of the Day: Rod Blagojevich

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I said to my daughter Amy, I said, ‘we’re five outs away from seeing
something that very few people sitting in this ballpark have ever seen,
and that is the Cubs actually going to the World Series.’ As soon as I
said that, (Luis) Castilla hit that foul ball, (Moises) Alou goes up to
get it, and, it turns out, we learned later his name was Steve Bartman,
he interfered with the ball. I was sitting in box seats at the time
and, by the way, I paid for those tickets myself.

Rod Blagojevich, simultaneously reminding Cubs fans of their worst baseball memory and the fact that their last governor was so corrupt that he has to specifically point out that he didn’t receive playoff tickets via graft.

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.

Orioles acquire Alec Asher from the Phillies

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The Phillies announced on Tuesday that the club traded pitcher Alec Asher to the Orioles for a player to be named later.

Asher, 25, was the victim of a roster crunch. He was not going to make the 25-man roster and the starting rotation at Triple-A Lehigh Valley was already full. The Phillies acquired him from the Rangers in the July 2015 Cole Hamels trade.

Asher had good results in 27 2/3 innings in the big leagues last year, posting a 2.28 ERA with a 13/4 K/BB ratio. While it didn’t show in those stats, the right-hander sometimes struggles with command and he doesn’t miss bats often enough to make up for it. The Orioles, however, are happy to add some pitching depth.