The Red Sox want to bring the right field fence in by nine feet

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Those Red Sox. Always soooo envious of the Yankees. Now they’re totally copying the whole short porch thing:

The team is seeking approval from the Boston Landmarks Commission to widen Fenway Park’s bullpen by about 9 feet – a double-edged alteration that should make hitting home runs to right field that much easier.

The change – part of an offseason ballpark renovation plan announced today – would shorten the distance from home plate to the bullpen fence from the current 380 feet to about 371 feet.

In case you’re curious, here’s the chart of home runs in Fenway Park for 2010. It obviously doesn’t show the fly balls or doubles off the wall that will be home runs if the change goes through, but there are bound to be a good number. While it still doesn’t make a poke to right a cheapie, this will apparently shorten Pesky Pole homers too*, so yeah, there are going to be more homers in Boston if this goes down.

And that’s what we really need: more slugfests in Boston.

*I think I misread that. The article says that the wall “behind the Pesky Pole” will be shorter. I think that means “beyond” and that the distance down the line itself will remain the same. My bad.

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.