Zach Britton
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Zack Britton explains why he is no longer Zach Britton

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Last week Yankees reliever, Mr. Z. Britton, tweeted that he would, going forward, be known as “Zack” Britton and not “Zach” Britton as he has been known to the public for his entire professional career.  I thought about posting something at the time then figured, eh, it’s pretty minor. I’ll just mention something about it the first time he’s in the news for something this spring. But this story is too fun not to share.

I and a lot of people had a chuckle out of Britton’s tweet, wondering if he was just changing it on a whim, but it turns out it was the correction of a long-running mistake that was perpetuated, it seems, by a small error, inertia and, it would seem, Britton not being too hung up about how one’s name is spelled.

The upshot: he’s always, legally, been “Zackary,” which is “Zack,” and all of his legal documents have always said “Zackary,” but his parents called him “Zach” and told him the proper way to shorten it was “Zach,” so in non-legal settings — on the Orioles’ rosters, on baseball cards and places like that — it’s always been “Zach.”  His wife, who is an attorney, told him that it should probably be uniform everywhere so as to avoid potential confusion. So he and the Yankees agreed that he should now, properly, be listed as “Zack” everyplace.

As a “Craig” who gets called “Greg” an awful lot — and as the father of a son named “Carlo” who is invariably called “Carlos” by others — I can’t imagine being so blasé about it all, but I suppose Britton is just a way more chill dude.

Phillies to sign Drew Smyly

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Jon Heyman reports that the Phillies are going to sign pitcher Drew Smyly. Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philly reported last night that the team and Smyly were chatting.

Smyly opted out of his minor league contract with the Brewers yesterday after allowing seven runs on 10 hits and three walks with 18 strikeouts in 12.2 innings with Triple-A San Antonio and not getting a hint of a call-up to the big club. Earlier this year he pinched off an 8.42 ERA with a 52/34 K/BB ratio in 51.1 innings for the Rangers.

He’s basically a free pitcher for Philly, who could use an arm. If he works out, he works out. If not, no loss. Well, I suppose it’s possible there’d be one loss and some walks and hits in like, four innings, or something, but you know what I mean.