They teach them young in Philly

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Francoeur Barajas.jpgHighlight of the night as far as I’m concerned: A Philadelphia father helps his baby daughter throw the ball back onto the field after a Rod Barajas home run in the Mets-Phillies game.  As someone who is raising a taunting young girl himself, he’s a man after my own heart.

People like to rip Phillies fans for their attitude, but you gotta give them credit for their passion.

And speaking of passion and/or attitude, you all may think I try to needle opposing fans, but check out what the New York Daily News’ Kevin Deutsch did yesterday:

Risking life and limb, I marched into Citizens Bank Park wearing Mets regalia Friday and loudly chanted the three words that drive every Phillies fan insane: “LET’S GO METS.”

I repeated the time-honored refrain all over the ballpark and at some of the city’s best-known landmarks, drawing boos, threats, curses and taunts wherever I turned.

But with the Amazins’ building upon their NL East lead with an 9-1 blowout victory, Mets fans have bragging rights here for the first time in years. Our old rivalry once again has some juice to it. I wasn’t about to pass up the chance to do a little gloating.

I’m sure some people will have a problem with a reporter gettin’ into it like that, but I think it’s great fun.  Call out the media if they get the facts wrong or distort things in dishonest way. But stirring things up can be great fun sometimes. It’s sports. It ain’t national defense policy. Why not get some kicks out of it?

And oh yeah: the Mets Rod Barajas homered twice, Jonathon Niese shut down the Phillies’ lineup and New York beat Philadelphia 9-1 for the Mets’ eighth straight victory.

The NL East is gonna be a hoot this year.

Report: Tim Lincecum is not ready for retirement

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 29:  Tim Lincecum #55 of the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning of the game against the Boston Red Sox at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 29, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
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Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).

Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.

While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.

Report: Jeff Manship signs with NC Dinos

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 01:  Jeff Manship #53 of the Cleveland Indians throws a pitch during the sixth inning against the Chicago Cubs in Game Six of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.

Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.

The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.