Happy Dock Ellis Day

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Like Ten Cent Beer Night, this is another anniversary worthy of celebration: 43 years ago today Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter while tripping on acid.

As I’ve said before, I don’t think this is something to mock for mocking’s sake or celebrate for celebration’s sake. Drug jokes are too easy and, at the risk of sounding like a square, athletes really shouldn’t be hurling baseballs at people while under the influence of mind-altering drugs. But I do admire it in “wow, it’s amazing the stuff that happens in this world.” It should never have happened, but it did and oh my God, what else is possible if that is possible? It’s kind of an exciting thought if you let go of your hangups about stuff for a few minutes.

Anyway, while a lot of people like to post that animated video of Ellis talking about his no-hitter, I think Todd Snider’s “American’s Favorite Pastime” is the greatest ode or remembrance of the event that there is, if only for the refrain of “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” Ellis certainly fit that description.

Happy LSD no-hitter day, Dock Ellis. Wherever you are, I hope you’re doing the do.

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.