Now, to answer your question about steroids, wouldn’t you like to ask
Roger Maris how he feels about steroids? Or Babe Ruth how he feels about
steroids? Or Hank Aaron, you could probably ask how he feels about
steroids. Because those guys all lost records because of people who
supposedly took steroids. So that’s a different deal right there. But I
didn’t alter any statistics of baseball.
— Pete Rose, casting himself as morally and ethically superior to steroids users in a radio interview yesterday. I searched the entire transcript, however, and could not find any reference to the fact that Paul Janzen, the man who, according
to the Dowd Report, was Rose’s primary bet-placer was also a steroids dealer. Or that one of his best friends during the bad old days, minor leaguer Tommy Gioiosa, was a heavy steroids user who shot up in front of Pete and to whom Pete constantly asked questions about steroids and PEDs, contemplating using them to extend his already lengthy career.
But yes, clearly, Pete Rose was a man above all of that and should be judged less harshly.
The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.
Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.
President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.
Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will have surgery on January 25 to help alleviate ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the lefty will miss at least half of the 2017 regular season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Diekman was diagnosed with the illness when he was 11 years old. He has brought awareness to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America with a “Gut It Out” campaign.
Diekman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.40 ERA and a 59/26 K/BB ratio in 53 innings. He came to the Rangers from the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade on July 31, 2015.
The Rangers and Diekman avoided arbitration last Friday, agreeing to a $2.55 million salary for the 2017 season.