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.

Royals pay tribute to late Yordano Ventura during spring training opener

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 12: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on August 12, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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The Royals honored former pitcher Yordano Ventura prior to their first Cactus League game against the Rangers on Saturday. Ventura was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic in late January.

Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre and center fielder Carlos Gomez paid their respects to the pitcher with a floral arrangement that was laid on the mound. Both teams stood along the foul lines during a pregame video tribute that highlighted Ventura’s tenure with Kansas City. Following the game, Gomez spoke to the media about his relationship with Ventura, describing their frequent conversations during the season and commending the pitcher for having “the same passion that I had early in my career” (via WFAA.com’s Levi Weaver).

A plaque dedicated to the 25-year-old was also presented to club manager Ned Yost as a more permanent commemoration of Ventura’s contributions to the sport. Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star reports that the plaque will be mounted in the club’s spring training facilities alongside tributes to members of the Royals’ 2014 and 2015 playoff teams.

The full text of the plaque is below, via MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan:

A brother and a teammate, Yordano Ventura, passed away on the morning of January 22 in his native Dominican Republic, at the age of 25. He signed with the Royals as a 17-year-old, eventually making the big league team in 2013 as a 22-year-old. On most days, he could be found laughing and joking with his baseball family in the clubhouse. However, on days when he pitched, that smile was replaced by a quiet confidence and an intense fire, which he brought to the mound for every start. He had many highlights in his abbreviated career, not the least of which was throwing eight shutout innings in Game #6 of the 2014 World Series to force a Game #7 vs. San Francisco.

Gerrit Cole named Pirates’ Opening Day starter

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 19: Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a photograph during MLB spring training photo day on February 19, 2017 at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Right-hander Gerrit Cole is set to take the mound for the Pirates on Opening Day, according to a team announcement on Saturday. It’s a spot that was most recently occupied by former Pirate Francisco Liriano, who made three consecutive Opening Day starts for the club before getting dealt to the Blue Jays last August.

The 26-year-old produced career-worst numbers during his fourth run with the Pirates in 2016, due in large part to bouts of inflammation in his right elbow. He finished the year with a 3.88 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 116 innings before getting shut down in September to avoid further injury to his elbow. When healthy, however, Cole has been lights-out for the Pirates. Prior to his injury-laden campaign last year, he touted a career 3.07 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 8.5 SO/9 and cumulative 10.2 fWAR from 2013 through 2015.

Cole will go toe-to-toe with the Red Sox during Boston’s home opener on Monday, April 3. Right-hander Jameson Taillon is scheduled to make the second start of the year, while fellow righty Ivan Nova will cover the Pirates’ home opener against the Braves on April 7. The Pirates’ third and fifth starters have yet to be announced.