Is Pete Rose going to get a pardon?

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This would be interesting:

Thanks to the behind-the-scenes lobbying from some of the most
influential Hall of Famers, commissioner Bud Selig is said to be
seriously considering lifting Pete Rose’s lifetime suspension from
baseball.

The tip-off that Selig may now be inclined to pardon baseball’s
all-time hit king was Hank Aaron’s seemingly impromptu interview
session with a small group of reporters in the lobby of the Otesaga
Hotel on Saturday. In declaring for the first time that he would want
an asterisk put on the achievements of any steroid cheats elected to
the Hall of Fame, Aaron brought up Rose, who, in August of 1989, was
given a lifetime ban for gambling on baseball, saying: “I would like to
see Pete in. He belongs there.”

My personal feeling on the Rose situation is that, given his past, he
should never ever be allowed to be in a position where he could impact
or effect what happens on the field. That means no coaching, no
managing, no front office position that touches on baseball operations,
and no supervision or authority over anyone who does. But the fact
remains that Rose remains a very popular figure among the fans — he
gets standing ovations simply by walking to a seat for which he bought
a ticket at Great American Park — and could probably do a lot to
promote the Reds in particular, baseball at large, and the charitable
organizations affiliated with those entities if given the chance. Such
a thing could be accomplished if he were given a limited reinstatement.
Such a thing would also likely cut down on the amount of shameless
self-promotion in which he engages as well, because he likely wouldn’t
need to make an ass out of himself for a paycheck, and that’s something
that baseball should care about.

And yes, reinstatement means renewed eligibility for the Hall of Fame
via the Veterans’ Committee. I’ve gone back and forth on this over the
years, but as of now I think Rose probably should be in the Hall of
Fame. Why? Because at bottom, the Hall of Fame is a museum/historical
society, and I don’t like the idea of whitewashing history. Maybe you
don’t give him his big day on the podium like Rice and Henderson had
yesterday, but not having his plaque up there bothers my sense of
historical accuracy far more than having it up there would bother my
sense of ethics. And obviously the plaque has to mention his
bannination and the reasons for it. I realize that reasonable people
disagree on this point, of course.

Of course this raises the question of what, if anything, a Rose
reinstatement would mean for the steroids users. True, they’re not
banned and thus their eligibility for the Hall hasn’t been technically
affected, but I do think Rose being allowed back into the game would
have an impact on them all the same. I say this because I can’t help
but think that, at the heart of many BBWAA members’ feelings regarding
steroids users, is the sentiment that “hey, if baseball can keep out
Rose for violating the gambling rules, I can use my vote to keep out
steroids users.” If Rose was back, isn’t it possible that some writers
would re-think their opposition to the PED guys? That no one should
stand in the way of history being recorded the way it should be?

I suppose reasonable people can disagree about that too.

Buddy Carlyle named the Braves new replay assistant

Buddy Carlyle
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The Braves have been terrible with respect to replay challenges this year. Almost improbably terrible. Fredi Gonzalez has challenged calls seven times and he’s been unsuccessful on all seven challenges. Given how these things work, it’s likely because he’s getting bad advice from the Braves employee designated to watch the replays and suggest when challenges should be made.

Now Gonzalez is going to have a new guy in that role. A familiar name too: Buddy Carlyle, who Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports, will join the Braves as a coaching assistant who will handle the replay review decisions.

Carlyle, of course, spent nine seasons as a major league pitcher and nearly 20 as a professional overall. Most recently with the Mets last season before calling it a career. He pitched for the Braves as well, from 2007-09.

Now he’ll provide a new and, hopefully, more discerning set of eyes for the Braves’ replay operation.

Garrett Richards needs Tommy John surgery, Andrew Heaney has UCL damage too

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Associated Press
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Bad, bad news for the Los Angeles Angels: their best starter needs Tommy John surgery and their most promising young starter has UCL damage as well.

Jeff Passan reports that Garrett Richards has a torn right ulnar collateral ligament and is expected to need Tommy John surgery. Richards was scratched from today’s start due to fatigue and dehydration, but Passan says they found the UCL tear while examining him yesterday. Richards is the Angels’ ace, having won 13 games in 2014 and 15 games a year ago. So far this year he a 2.34 ERA in six starts.

Heaney, meanwhile, has damage to his left ulnar collateral ligament, Passan reports. He was diagnosed with a flexor muscle strain after he was placed on the disabled list following his first start of the season, but this is obviously more serious. Unlike Richards, the plan at the moment is for Heaney to rehab rather than go under the knife. Sometimes that works. Often it doesn’t and Tommy John happens later. We’ll see.

These twin blows are huge and terrible for the Angels, who already had serious depth issues basically everywhere on the roster. The conventional wisdom before the year started was that, if everything broke right and everyone stayed healthy, they could possibly contend in an often volatile AL West, but that they didn’t have a big margin for error. This is a lot of error. The Angels are 13-15 and four games out in the division as it is. Without two starters on whom they were counting big, it’s hard to see how the rest of the Angels’ season isn’t going to be a total slog.

Willie Mays gets a cable car named after him

Major League Baseball hall of famer  Willie Mays, who spent the majority of his career as a center fielder with the New York and San Francisco Giants, smiles as President Barack Obama honors the 2012 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants baseball team, Monday, July 29, 2013, during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. The team beat the Detroit Tigers in the 2012 World Series, their second championship since the franchise moved to San Francisco from New York in 1958. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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This is not exactly stunning news, but it’s Willie Mays’ 85th birthday today and any excuse to talk about Willie Mays is a good one. Happy Birthday, Willie!

The pretext is a story in the San Francisco Chronicle about how The Greatest Baseball Player of All Time (my view anyway) is getting an iconic cable car named after him. An icon named after an icon, I guess. The cable car is, appropriately, number 24.

Next month I’m taking my kids on vacation to California and we’re spending a few days in San Francisco. It’ll be a shame when I tell them we have to cancel half of a day’s plans while I make them wait for one particular cable car to come by so they can take my picture with it, but that’s just what they have to deal with given that I’m their dad.

Carlos Gomez calls out a hit piece-writing columnist

Houston Astros' Carlos Gomez (30) reacts after hitting a double in the second inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
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Yesterday I wrote about a column written by Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle. It was about Astros outfielder Carlos Gomez, who has had a poor start to the year.

The column, as I noted, was a hatchet job, blaming Gomez for the Astros’ problems despite the fact that Gomez is by far from the biggest of the Astros’ problems. It was particularly bad in that it presented an unedited bit of broken English from Gomez which seemed calculated to cast Gomez in a bad light. Many journalists were critical of Smith in this regard, noting that he could’ve used a translator, could have paraphrased or could’ve done some mild correction via brackets, as is often done with quotes from non-native English speakers.

Last night Gomez took to Twitter to call out Smith himself:

It’s possible to write a column about how a player hasn’t lived up to expectations without being an insensitive jackass. It’s possible to do so even in the sharpest of ways. Smith didn’t do that, however, and didn’t make an effort to try, it seems. Gomez is right to take issue with it. And I suspect that Gomez’s teammates and organization take issue with it too. Which likely doesn’t bode well for Smith getting cooperation from others in the Astros family.