The Frank Francisco chicken saga comes to a happy ending

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On Friday Mets reliever Frank Francisco called the Yankees “chickens” for some reason. Then, as a joke, reliever Tim Byrdak sent a clubhouse attendant to Chinatown to buy a live chicken and gave it to Francisco. It ran around the Mets clubhouse over the weekend, but now it is going to a better place. No, not a deep fryer, sadly:

The chicken will be heading to Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, N.Y., according to a spokesperson for the sanctuary. Lefty reliever Tim Byrdak, who came up with the idea to purchase the chicken and didn’t want to see it killed, presented the chicken to Farm Sanctuary media relations specialist Meredith Turner on Sunday. The team also presented Farm Sanctuary with a $500 check to cover living costs for the chicken.

The $500 will also include costs for survivor’s guilt counseling for the bird.

By the way, the chicken was named “Little Jerry Seinfeld” after the cockfighting rooster Kramer buys in a late-series Seinfeld episode. That episode aired over 15 years ago, by the way, which should make you feel pretty old.

Report: Shohei Ohtani has sprained UCL in pitching elbow

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The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.

Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”

Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.

Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.