A-Rod brown bags it

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My son has a “Clone Wars” lunch box. It’s pretty cool. Only problem is that it’s black and you can’t really see where I wrote his name on it. Given how popular that particular lunch box is, you won’t be surprised to hear that he’s accidentally brought some other kid’s home several times.  First grade isn’t easy.

A-Rod packs a lunch too, it seems. Page Six is all over it. No word, though, if he gets his confused with anyone else’s:

The Yankee slugger was spotted at the Mondrian Hotel pool in South Beach on Saturday afternoon having lunch with girlfriend Torrie Wilson. But A-Rod didn’t order from the menu — sources say he’s following a special high-protein diet and travels with a cooler of his own grub. Rodriguez was seen asking a waitress to heat up his special meal in the kitchen, while Wilson nibbled on the poolside cafe’s chips and guacamole.

I got no problem with him doing this, by the way. He’s a finely-honed professional athlete who is getting up there in years and thus is doing everything possible to maintain peak conditioning. Good for him. But really, if you don’t eat guacamole, for whatever reason, I don’t want to hang around you.  Just sayin’.

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.