Nats’ radio guy Charlie Slowes ripped by Mad Dog Russo and then rips him right back

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Not a fan of Chris Russo on MLB Network. For whatever charms the “scream at everything” approach has on talk radio — not my cup of tea, but it is an established style in that medium, for better or worse — it’s beyond assaulting on TV. Really, unwatchable. Which stinks, because I generally like the product MLB Network puts on the air. While we may quibble with the analysis of any number of their personalities, the content itself is not hostile. At least you can take Kevin Millar in without feeling assaulted. Russo has some good points occasionally I’d presume, but you’d never know it because your ears are constantly bleeding.

If you feel the same way, you’ll enjoy this story from DC Sports Bog about a little dustup between Russo and Nationals radio play-by-play guy Charlie Slowes. Slowes stumbled slightly on a home run call the other night — a tough “did-he-catch-it-or-not” thing which was quickly corrected — and Russo totally ripped him for it on his show. Even worse, he did it while Slowes was waiting to go on another MLB Network show, which meant he got to hear himself being insulted in his ear piece. As is the case with everything else with Russo, it was bad in form and content.

Slowes went on local radio to talk about it and ripped Russo for his “hysterical illiterate screaming.” Which, sure, you may not like little spats like this, but it’s hard to disagree with a word Slowes had to say.

And with that, you can go on continuing to ignore Mad Dog Russo. Or at least I hope you can. Because the quicker we all do, the quicker MLB Network gets wise and puts on someone who actually can carry on a conversation or some commentary like an adult human being.

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.