Now La Russa can’t handle heckling fans

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La Russa Day continues here at HardballTalk.  I missed this in all of this morning’s reports, but apparently we had another example of his pathological aversion to being the bigger man:

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa says a fan told him he hoped he would get shingles again and that others took insults too far in St. Louis’ 8-7, 11-inning victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.

La Russa appeared to briefly engage in some banter after the game, and called the fans “idiots” in his comments after a game in which Albert Pujols was hit with a high pitch in the seventh inning and Brewers star Ryan Braun was plunked in Milwaukee’s next at-bat.

Dude has been managing in the bigs for over 30 years. I’m sure this isn’t the first time a drunk jerk has said something to him.  I hate drunk jerks like that, but La Russa going back out to argue with these guys and call names is indicative of a guy who really needs to figure out how to let things go.

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.