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.

Leonys Martin feared for his life from alleged human traffickers

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 30: Leonys Martin #12 of the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 30, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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Leonys Martin, outfielder for the Seattle Mariners, testified yesterday that he feared for his life after he was smuggled from Cuba by a group of men prosecutors say worked for a sports agent and a baseball trainer currently on trial for human trafficking in Miami.

Martin took the stand at the trial of Bartolo Hernandez and Julio Estrada, who face felony charges. He said that, after getting to Mexico from Cuba, men threatened to take him away. There was a kidnapping attempt against one of the men who had taken him from Cuba as well. Martin said that, eventually, he crossed the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas without any valid papers because his life was in danger and his safety was at risk.

Players like Martin who fled Cuba often hole up in Mexico while waiting to be declared free agents by Major League Baseball. There is pitched competition to sign agreements with the players in question, seeking to obtain promises of a cut of future baseball earnings for their services. Those promises can come under the threat of violence. Eventually, Martin promised to pay Hernandez and Estrada, but ceased paying them later, fomenting a lawsuit from them. In the wake of the suit, the allegations of threats and smuggling arose, leading to this trial.

Martin has been late to Mariners camp as a result of having to testify. He’ll likely report in the next day or so. The trial continues.

Josh Hamilton leaves camp with a tweaked knee

SURPRISE, AZ - FEBRUARY 28:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers poses during a spring training photo shoot on February 28, 2016 in Surprise, Arizona.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Josh Hamilton was already a long shot to make the Texas Rangers roster, but his shot got even longer today, as he left camp to have his reconstructed left knee examined after experiencing pain.

As Jeff Wilson reports, Hamilton felt discomfort in the knee during the Rangers’ first full-squad spring training workout yesterday. Hamilton has had 10 knee operations in career. Which is a lot of knee operations in case you were unaware.

You have to wish good luck to Hamilton, but at the same time you have to be realistic. The guy has not played in the major leagues since 2015 and even then he didn’t play well, hitting .253 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 50 games. He appeared in one game last year for Double-A Frisco, on April 30. He’ll be paid $24 million this year, mostly by the Angels. One suspects that this will likewise be his last spring training.