Yesterday we learned that baseball is taking a longer look at the background of would-be Astros owner Jim Crane. Today the current owner of the Astros, Drayton McLane, is quoted about that:
“I have great respect for the commissioner, but he doesn’t do anything until he’s finished. He’s the most meticulous man I’ve ever met.”
Seriously. Just ask the Oakland A’s. That said, McLane still believes that the deal will go through. Maybe even in less than three years!
My hope: that the increased scrutiny on Crane isn’t just window dressing designed to placate those who have concerns about civil rights complaints against his company. If there is any meat to those accusations, I would hope that they’d be seriously reviewed. If not, I would hope that baseball not patronize people by pretending to take small things so seriously.
Most of all, I would hope that they’re scrutinizing the financing of the deal just as much as they’re looking at the character stuff. Because as history has shown us, baseball is able to correct aberrant behavior among owners on the civil rights front (just ask the ghost of Marge Schott). But it hasn’t yet gotten its brain around poor financing (just ask the ghost of the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise).
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.
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.