Awful humanity ruins Bernie Brewer promotion

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Sometimes I hate people. People and their grubby-ape fascination with baubles, tchotchkes, gewgaws, trinkets and kitsch, replacing the old ape instincts of hording fruit stores or whatever the hell else we did when we weren’t beating each other senseless with animal bones in front of monoliths:

The Milwaukee Brewers were hoping for an enthusiastic response to their “Where’s Bernie?” promotional program. They weren’t expecting fan stakeouts, Internet auctions and isolated reports of lawn-ornament hoarding. Brewers spokesman Tyler Barnes said fan response to Tuesday morning’s scavenger hunt-style promotion was “staggering,” though team officials were disappointed that some fans didn’t play by the rules.

It didn’t take long before social networking websites were buzzing with complaints about some fans staking out workers who were stashing the statues well before sunrise, then snapping up armfuls of ornaments as soon as they were hidden.

Take one. And be happy for what it is, not for what you can get for it or for the fact that you and your stinkin’ paws can get so damn many.

This is why we can’t have nice things, people.

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.