“If The Boss Was Still Alive” Watch: George Steinbrenner was absent from Joe Torre’s Hall of Fame speech

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Here’s the back page of the New York Post today:

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A dude leads the local nine to 12 consecutive playoff appearances, six pennants and four World Series titles and they lead with some invented slight of a guy who has been dead for years. And who, according to Tom Verducci’s book “The Yankee Years,” had other candidates in mind besides Torre and who, even after Torre was hired, was allegedly working behind the scenes to see if Showalter would come back.

That intrigue aside, Steinbrenner was way more hands off than he had been once he came back from his Dave Winfield-Howie Spira suspension in 1993. Gene Michael and his men were running the Yankees on a day-to-day basis, not George. Obviously he would have final say, but it’s safe to say that Torre owned gratitude to more than just George Steinbrenner for his tenure as Yankees manager.

All of that said, Torre himself said afterward that he regretted omitting Steinbrenner, thereby validating this as a “scandal.” But what this is really about can be seen in the stories about it:

Later, talking to a small group of reporters, the 74-year-old Torre was asked how Steinbrenner might have handled the omission if he were still alive. “That would have made me feel better,” he said. “At least he would have yelled at me: ‘You ungrateful such, such and such.’ “

The New York press will never, apparently, drop the notion that what the long-dead George Steinbrenner might think matters.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

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Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.