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.

Astros push ALCS to Game 7 with 7-1 stunner against Yankees

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There’s just something about playing in your home ballpark. The Astros decimated the Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Friday, riding seven scoreless innings from Justin Verlander and a pair of big runs from Jose Altuve to win 7-1 and force a Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

Through the first four innings, however, the teams looked equally matched. Luis Severino no-hit the Astros through 3 2/3 innings, losing his bid on Carlos Correa‘s line drive single in the fourth. The Astros returned in the fifth to do some real damage, drawing two walks and plating the first run of the night with Brian McCann‘s ground-rule double off of the right field wall. Things didn’t get any easier for Severino. Jose Altuve lined a two-RBI base hit into left field, upping Houston’s advantage to three runs.

Verlander, meanwhile, muted the Yankees’ offense with seven innings of five-hit, eight-strikeout ball. While he didn’t come close to matching his complete game effort in Game 2, he was still plenty dominant against a struggling New York lineup. No player reached past first base until the sixth inning, when a pair of base hits from Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius gave the Yankees their first runner in scoring position. That didn’t last long, though, as Gary Sanchez grounded out on a 3-0 slider to end the inning.

In the seventh, Houston’s ace got into another spot of trouble. He walked Greg Bird on six pitches to start the inning, then plunked Starlin Castro on the wrist. Aaron Hicks struck out, in part thanks to a questionable call by home plate umpire Jim Reynolds, but it was Todd Frazier who presented the biggest threat after returning an 0-1 fastball for a 403-foot fly out to left field. Luckily for Verlander, George Springer was there to bail him out with a leaping catch at the wall.

The Yankees kept things exciting in the eighth, too. Aaron Judge ripped his third postseason home run off of Brad Peacock, taking a 425-footer out to the train in left field to spoil the Astros’ shutout. That was the only real break the Yankees got, however, as Altuve, Alex Bregman and Evan Gattis returned in the bottom of the inning to tack on another four runs, including Altuve’s solo shot off of David Robertson:

Ken Giles handled the ninth, expending 23 pitches and giving up a base hit and a walk before retiring Frazier and Headley to end the game. Thanks to Houston’s winning efforts, the two teams will compete in their first seven-game Championship Series since 2004 — and this time, at least one of them is guaranteed to come away with a win.

Game 7 of the ALCS is set for Saturday at 8:00 PM ET. Houston right-hander Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA) is scheduled to face southpaw CC Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA).