Pete Rose wants his girlfriend in Playboy

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peterose-girlfriend-091111.jpgForget the Hall of Fame, Pete Rose has a new, far worthier cause to throw his lobbying efforts behind. Yes, that’s right, baseball’s all-time hit king is pushing for Playboy to feature his girlfriend in a pictorial.

Rose took his pitch public in an interview with KGOW in Houston (from SportsRadioInterview.com, via USA Today):

“My girl has finally decided to try to shoot for Playboy, and they were kind enough to give her an opportunity to come to Houston next week for an interview, and we’re excited about that. She’s beautiful, she’s young, educated — there’s a lot of qualities.”

That’s Rose and his girlfriend – he hasn’t revealed her name – above at a Vitaly Klitschko bout in Los Angeles in September. Rose, who turns 69 in April, wasn’t shy about gushing about her in the interview, but did somehow keep his ego in check when asked about their age difference.

“Oh, no. You got to stay young, keep yourself young. And that’s all part of it. You know, I work in Vegas 17 days a month at The Field of Dreams store, and you know, my girl’s a real educated girl — she graduated from Arizona State. She had a very prestigious job several years ago when she was a flight attendant for Korean Airlines, which is really a big deal in Korea, and she’s Korean. And let’s just hope that the Playboy people like her, and if they don’t, that’s okay too. We’ll just turn the page and thank them for the opportunity.”

Rose notched the last of his 4,256 career hits back in 1986, yet he continues to impress. First Playboy, then Cooperstown? Whaddya think?

If I were a betting man, I’d say Rose eventually gets into the Hall of Fame, probably some day long after Bud Selig retires. But despite his girlfriend’s obvious attributes, including her aforementioned education and job history, I’m not sure a high quality publication like Playboy is right for her. (They gave us Kendra!) They’ve got standards over there, after all, and her boyfriend bet on baseball, which just isn’t right.

You can listen to the Rose interview here.

Follow me on Twitter at @bharks. For more baseball news, go to NBCSports.com.

Phillies sign outfielder Michael Saunders

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 3: Michael Saunders #21 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs to first after being walked during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 3, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.

Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.

The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.

Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays nearing a two-year, $35-40 million deal

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run homer during seventh inning game 5 American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.

The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.