Lou Piniella hired by YES Network

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Lou Piniella has been out of the game for a year, randomly showing up as an analyst here and there. But now he has a more permanent job: YES Network has hired him to do some Yankees games.

Not a ton of them — between 20-30 of them — but more than his cameo appearances in the studio for Fox and stuff.  He’ll do some pregame and some in-game analysis.

This is obviously not Piniella’s first dance with the Yankees.  He played outfield in New York for 11 seasons. Then he managed them and served a brief stint as their general manager, back when ex-managers and ballplayers used to get general manager jobs. After he left the Cubs last year, Hank Steinbrenner offered Piniella a job as a front office adviser, but Lou declined.

Now he’s back in New York.

Red Sox to activate Dustin Pedroia from disabled list on Friday

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Manager Alex Cora said that second baseman Dustin Pedroia will be activated from the disabled list on Friday, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports.

Pedroia, 34, had cartilage restoration surgery on his left knee in late October. He played in only 105 games last season, batting .293/.369/.392 with seven home runs and 62 RBI in 463 plate appearances. His offensive stats were his worst since an abnormally-bad 2014 campaign.

The 34-15 Red Sox have baseball’s best record. Eduardo Nunez has mostly been handling second base in Pedroia’s place, hitting a disappointing .243/.261/.361 in 177 trips to the plate. He has also, by most metrics, played subpar defense at the position, so getting Pedroia back will be a boon.