Orioles race crabs to determine fantasy football draft order

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To determine the draft order for their fantasy football league Orioles players bought Maryland blue crabs, assigned one to each team, and raced them through a tunnel in Camden Yards.

League commissioner/Orioles closer Jim Johnson and setup man Darren O’Day were in charge, as O’Day explained to Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun:

Jim and I were trying to think of something creative because everybody just does the blind draw. And we wanted to do something big. We were going to do snails, but crabs just seemed better to us. It seemed more apropos. It was more exciting than any other draft order.

Chris Davis’ crab won the race, giving him the first pick in the draft. And then the Orioles turned all 12 racers into crab dip.

As for who Davis is going to select with the No. 1 pick … he’s not sure. Which makes me think he ought to get the Rotoworld online draft guide and do a little research like I did before my draft this week.

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.