Nixon China

Minions: stand down

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Jeff Pearlman wrote something reasonable and reflective over at his personal blog in the wake of this morning’s nonsense. Go read it.

Jeff: you have no need to apologize to me, though I do appreciate the gesture. You believe what you believe and I believe what I believe and the last thing I think anyone should do is to hold back if they feel passionate about something. I don’t think you crossed any lines in what you wrote.

That said, I agree with a lot of the sentiment of Pearlman’s post.  I get into a lot of little scrapes like this because that’s just how I’m wired. I think Jeff does too, because that’s how he’s wired.  It happens. And it’s just sports, so it’s worth taking a moment for perspective once in a while.

I think Jeff and I still disagree pretty vehemently about a lot of issues, but it’s nice when people can disagree and be polite about it.  I don’t always succeed at that, and I’m not happy with myself when I don’t live up to the standards to which I aspire.  I think Jeff probably feels the same way.

(psst! Minions: please leave a number where you can be reached if I need you, OK?)

*And no, I have no idea if I’m Nixon or Mao in that pic. I just wanted a picture of a couple of people who could be civil with one another when necessary despite the worst parts of their nature and stuff. Please don’t read anything into it.

Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.

According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.

Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.

Tigers to give Omar Infante some work in center field this spring

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 11:  Omar Infante #4 of the Detroit Tigers follows through on an RBI single scoring Prince Fielder #28 during the eighth inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field  on September 11, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
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Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.

Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.

The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”