Barry Bonds: “Lance Armstrong was the greatest cyclist of all”

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Somewhere, Lance Armstrong is not thanking Barry Bonds for this endorsement. Via TMZ:

Bonds — who was found guilty last year of felony obstruction of justice for lying during a federal investigation into steroid use by MLB players — was leaving BOA steakhouse last night in Hollywood, when he was asked what he thought of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s ruling on Lance … Bonds said, “I think if it wasn’t for him, U.S. cycling wouldn’t even be here. He was the greatest cyclist of all.”

In other news, every time I’m reminded that there are people whose job it is to stand outside of Hollywood restaurants and ask C-list personalities random questions, a little part of me dies.

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.