Dodgers empty the bench against Pirates

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Sure, the team has only played twice so far and already got Tuesday off, but with the Dodgers playing this afternoon following a game last night manager Joe Torre has given regulars Manny Ramirez, Russell Martin, Andre Ethier, Casey Blake, and Blake DeWitt the day off.
That means Reed Johnson, Brad Ausmus, Garret Anderson, Jamey Carroll, and Ronnie Belliard are all in the lineup together against the Pirates, which might seem a little unfair to starter Chad Billingsley.
1 – Rafael Furcal, SS
2 – Reed Johnson, LF
3 – Matt Kemp – CF
4 – James Loney – 1B
5 – Ronnie Belliard – 3B
6 – Garret Anderson – RF
7 – Jamey Carroll – 2B
8 – Brad Ausmus – C
Billingsley doesn’t have anything close to the best possible offense or defense behind him, but then again playing the Pirates probably cancels all of that out and if Torre was really feeling generous towards a team that’s trying to get off to an unlikely 3-0 start after not having a winning season since 1992 he’d just go ahead and spot them a few runs.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.