Mariano Rivera never liked Francisco Rodriguez

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As tends to happen when someone’s bad behavior is made public–just think back to all the Tiger Woods stuff for the most recent prominent example in sports–stories about Francisco Rodriguez being a bad guy are coming out of the woodwork now.
Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record passes along this gem about Rodriguez and Mariano Rivera:

Rodriguez’s reputation was damaged even before joining the Mets. On the eve of the 2008 All-Star Game at the Stadium, Mariano Rivera ordered clubhouse attendants to keep K-Rod’s locker as far away as possible. The Yankee closer, a deeply religious man, decided he couldn’t stand even one night of K-Rod’s excesses.

Klapisch goes on to chide the Mets for not reigning in Rodriguez earlier, suggesting that their lack of control over the closer “in part, is why Rodriguez went off on a family member on Wednesday, because somewhere in his consciousness he knew he could get away with it.”
That seems like one hell of a leap in logic to me, although certainly making the Mets responsible for his beating up a 53-year-old man is a great way to sell newspapers and given how dysfunctional the whole team has been few people are going to stick up for them no matter the claims.

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.