That A-Rod World Series ring being auctioned: it’s a replica

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This is not the most critical update on the planet, but I’ve seen enough of the “A-Rod’s World Series ring is up for sale!” stories and posts today that don’t make the distinction — including our own post here at HBT over the weekend — that I figure it’s worth noting that the ring which is being auctioned off is a replica, not Alex Rodriguez’s actual ring, and one which was never owned by him.

As Wallace Matthews reports, A-Rod made — and presumably paid for — “numerous’ replicas of his World Series ring for family and friends, this being one of them. Many outlets didn’t realize that from the initial Daily News report, which itself did not note the replica status. Some even went a step further and said that “A-Rod was selling his “only” World Series ring,” assuming it was his rather than merely leaving the matter vague or unexamined.

It’s probably easy for some folks to think the worst of Not-True Yankee Alex Rodriguez and to assume he cares so little about winning that he’d auction of his World Series ring, but that’s simply not what’s happening here.

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.