Getting a late start this morning. Please blame football.

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Because I still have a soft spot for my alma mater despite its many trespasses (and the fact that it’s freakin’ football) I stayed up late last night watching the Sugar Bowl. Go Bucks. A couple of observations:

  • Anyone who complains about baseball being a slow, draggy sport should just can it. This was a regulation football game that lasted nearly four hours. There were 11 minutes between the end of the National Anthem and the start of the game for cryin’ out loud. They took 10 minutes and two plays after the clock ran out in the third quarter. Baseball is simply better in every conceivable way than football, even in the playoffs, even with late starts and long games, and I just won’t argue the point.
  • I don’t care that everyone who made important plays for Ohio State in that game has been found to have violated NCAA rules. They’re dumb, hypocritical exploitative rules and I will not for one second slam college football players for not abiding by NCAA idiocy. Especially when that same NCAA idiocy allowed them to play anyway. We’re all a part of the same hypocrisy, Senator.
  • Ryan Mallett may have thrown the interception that effectively ended that game, but the dude was betrayed by his receivers all damn night. I feel bad for the guy. If he had one guy making even half the plays for him on offense, Arkansas wins that game easily.
  • I don’t care about the BCS title game or the NFL playoffs, so for all intents and purposes, I consider football season to be over now. Let’s have spring training start tomorrow, mmmkay?

OK, that’s it. I wrote this post before I went to bed last night so I could sleep in a bit and be all fresh for the Hall of Fame outrage I expect to muster later today. Talk to you in a few minutes, y’all.

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.