Cliff Lee brushes off the fan spitting stuff

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I continue to maintain that the “fans spit on Kristen Lee” thing is being blown way out of proportion. If you’re going to take anything from her comments it’s not that, which was a brief, one-sentence aside. It’s the several things she had to say about liking Dallas, wanting to be close to Arkansas and her and her husband’s smaller town temperament. For his part, Cliff Lee is blowing it off too:

“I brush that off as fans being fans. You can’t control 50,000 people and what they’re going to do. There were some people that were spitting off the balcony on the family section and things like that, and that’s kind of weak, but what can you do? No, I don’t know the guy that did it. It could be anyone. Who knows? Who cares? They’re at home right now.”

And, quite predictably and quite understandably, Cliff Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker — who certainly doesn’t want the Yankees or any other team to shy away from his client — says that the Kristen Lee stuff will have no bearing whatsoever on where Lee ends up signing:

“The story is not an issue to us. Her experience in New York is certainly a non-issue. She enjoys New York as much as anyone enjoys New York.”

“As much as anyone enjoys New York?” Wow, I had no idea it was that bad.

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.

Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.

Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.