Coming soon: Official “That’s a clown question, bro” t-shirts

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Already tired of your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers dropping “That’s a clown question, bro” references over the past week? Well, this might not be the story for you.

According to Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com, Bryce Harper told Comcast SportsNet’s Kelli Johnson before tonight’s game against the Rays that Under Armour, with whom he has an endorsement deal, will begin selling official t-shirts with the phrase that quickly became a viral sensation.

Sarah Kogod of the Washington Post did a bit more digging via the U.S. Patent and Trademark database and found that one day after Harper made the quote in Toronto, someone on his behalf applied to trademark the phrase for “wearing apparel, namely, shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, pants, shorts, hats, visors, gloves, shoes.” That’s pretty smart business, even though we’ll probably see all of these items on discount racks a few months from now.

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.