Highway shooter says he received coded messages from Detroit Tigers broadcasts

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In October 2012 there were some shootings on a Detroit freeway. No one was injured or killed, thank goodness. The suspect in the case, Raulie Wayne Casteel, is on trial this week. His defense, in part, centers on paranoia he was experiencing at the time. Paranoia egged on by Jim Price and Dan Dickerson, it seems:

A Wixom man police say is the Interstate 96 corridor shooter who terrorized motorists in October 2012 testified Monday that he was prompted to randomly shoot at cars after receiving “coded messages” during Detroit Tiger baseball games . . . Casteel said one of the shootings occurred while he was listening to a Tigers baseball game on his car radio and suffered anxiety at seeing a “long line of cars” driving in his direction.

He said he recalled listening to one pre-game broadcast discussing baseball hitters “aiming at shadows” or “shooting at shadows.”

“To me it meant shooting at cars,” he said.

Yikes.

(thanks to Eric C for the heads up)

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.

Orioles acquire Alec Asher from the Phillies

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The Phillies announced on Tuesday that the club traded pitcher Alec Asher to the Orioles for a player to be named later.

Asher, 25, was the victim of a roster crunch. He was not going to make the 25-man roster and the starting rotation at Triple-A Lehigh Valley was already full. The Phillies acquired him from the Rangers in the July 2015 Cole Hamels trade.

Asher had good results in 27 2/3 innings in the big leagues last year, posting a 2.28 ERA with a 13/4 K/BB ratio. While it didn’t show in those stats, the right-hander sometimes struggles with command and he doesn’t miss bats often enough to make up for it. The Orioles, however, are happy to add some pitching depth.