Roy Halladay passes on snake wrestling, intoxicating bark

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Roy Halladay isn’t generally known for his interesting interviews. However, his winter getaway fishing on the Amazon provided him with a couple of fun anecdotes today.

According to legend, Halladay, who went to Brazil with Chris Carpenter and B.J. Ryan, wrestled an anaconda in the river. That wasn’t exactly the case, though.

“I was not wrestling snakes,” he said. “I was nowhere near snakes. We were just driving back. We had been fishing all day and we were on the boat driving back. We happened to see a guy sitting on the shoreline without clothes. We couldn’t talk to him. The guides had to talk to him – they were speaking Portuguese. He had been attacked by a snake and escaped. But it had ripped the engine off his boat and left all his stuff out in the river. So we picked up his stuff, picked him up, and drove him back to his tribe I guess you would call it.”

And the reward for his good deed? Well, it seems he passed.

“They have native trees down there,” Halladay said. “The bark’s a little potent when you smoke it, and I think he was partaking of that. It was interesting.”

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.