Nelson Figueroa is in the best shape of his life

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Astros pitcher Nelson Figueroa reminds us that spring is right around the corner:

I was very fortunate for the past few years to go to the Dominican and win a few championships in the Caribbean Series. This year, going to Spring Training and not having to do all that, not having to do all that work ahead of time…I feel like I’m going to be in the best shape that I can possibly be because I’ve been working out the whole time.

Robins. Crocuses. People pretending to care about college basketball. Best shape of my life quotes.  I can almost smell the cut grass, the beer and the hot dogs already!

Angels name Brad Ausmus new manager

Brad Ausmus
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Former MLB player and manager Brad Ausmus will manage the Angels in 2019, the team announced Sunday. His contract will extend through the 2021 season, though it’s not clear whether a club option exists for 2022. A formal press conference will be held on Monday at 1:00 PM PDT to introduce the new skipper.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler gave a statement following Ausmus’ hiring:

Ausmus, 49, was also considered for a managerial role with the Reds prior to their hiring of David Bell on Sunday. He’ll replace longtime manager Mike Scioscia, who finished his 19th and final campaign with the club on the last day of the 2018 season.

A former catcher and three-time Gold Glove Award winner, Ausmus capped his 18-year MLB playing career in 2010. He managed the Tigers from 2014 to 2017, during which he guided the club to a 314-332 record and a postseason berth in 2014. After the Tigers declined to offer the skipper an extension in 2018, he was hired as a special assistant to the Angels’ general manager, and remained in that role for the duration of the regular season.