The government's seizure of the 2003 PED list ruled illegal. Again.

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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that he government’s seizure of the positive PED tests from the 2003 pilot testing program was illegal.  This affirms previous lower court rulings and overturns the one Appeals Court ruling to the contrary.  The decision — a lengthy one with lengthy dissents — can be read here. I haven’t yet read it all, so my observations on the law will have to wait a bit.

But the upshot is clear: all of the names that have been leaked from that 2003 testing, including David Ortiz, Sammy Sosa and Alex Rodriguez, were obtained illegally by the government and in violation of those players’ Constitutional rights.

Please try to remember that the next time you spout off about how “all the names should be released” and other such nonsense. We still have a Constitution in this country after all. Let’s try to respect it.

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.