The Reds receive permission to honor Pete Rose

26 Comments

The reason for the honor: the upcoming 25th anniversary of Rose breaking Ty Cobb’s all-time hit record.  Because of the ban, special dispensation was required:

Reds CEO Bob Castellini received the OK to honor Rose from Commissioner Bud Selig.

“The
Reds are celebrating every phase of the 25th anniversary. We approved
the request on a one-time basis,” Major League Baseball spokesman
Patrick Courtney said.

I have no doubt that (a) the game will sell out; and; (b) the crowd will go absolutely nuts with love for Rose. They adore the guy in the Queen City. Which makes me once again question the parameters of Rose’s ban and roll my eyes that the Reds need baseball’s permission to honor Rose like this.

If I were baseball’s philosopher king, I’d still keep Rose banned from holding a substantive position in the game because I don’t think he should be near actual competition. I don’t want him managing. I don’t want him working with young players. I don’t want him doing anything that could even conceivably impact the actual contesting of baseball games.

But the fact that Rose can’t work in promotions or p.r. or charity is kind of a shame. He’s still a huge celebrity in Cincinnati. He could — if properly supervised — do wonders for promoting the Reds. For drumming up interest and support in team charities. He could be a really effective team ambassador if given the chance.

Not that he’s really done anything to earn it, of course. There isn’t a thing he’s done in the past 20 years that cries out for baseball to give him a break.  But it has been a long time, and even if Rose never really learned his lesson out of all of this, there’s a lot of good he could do for the fans and the public. I wouldn’t give him a partial reinstatement for his own sake. I’d do it in spite of him for what I can imagine would be the greater good.  I’d think of it as baseball’s version of community service.

I do wonder, however, if Rose would even take the chance for such a thing if offered. He probably still thinks he should be managing or working in the front office or something, and that’s just not a good idea given his history and addictions.  And he probably would bristle at sensible conditions placed on him such as “hey Pete — if you’re gonna work for the Reds, we can’t have you signing women’s boobs at second-rate casino meet-and-greets, OK?”

Which is what Pete Rose will actually be doing on the actual anniversary of his record-breaking hit this year. The Reds are moving the celebration to the next day — September 12th — to accommodate Charlie Hustle’s hustling career.

Cubs, Jake Arrieta avoid arbitration at $10.7 million

Jake Arrieta
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
4 Comments

The Associated Press is reporting that the Cubs and starter Jake Arrieta have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $10.7 million salary for the 2016 season. That marks the highest salary on a one-year deal for a pitcher with four years of service, the AP notes. Arrieta and the Cubs were set to go before an independent arbitrator but now can simply focus on the season ahead.

Arrieta, 29, is in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. He had filed for $13 million while the Cubs countered at $7.5 million. The $5.5 million gap was the largest among players who did not come to terms with their respective teams by the January deadline. The $10.7 million salary is $450,000 above the midpoint between the two submitted figures.

Arrieta won the National League Cy Young Award for his performance this past season, narrowly edging out Zack Greinke, then with the Dodgers. Arrieta led the majors with 22 wins, four complete games, and three shutouts. With that, he compiled a 1.77 ERA and a 236/48 K/BB ratio across 229 innings.

Once a top prospect in the Orioles’ minor league system, Arrieta struggled in the majors but found immediate success with the Cubs in 2013 after the O’s traded him along with Pedro Strop in exchange for Steve Clevenger and Scott Feldman.

Giants sign Conor Gillaspie to a minor league deal

Los Angeles Angels third baseman Conor Gillaspie is unable to hold on to the ball after catching a grounder hit by Kansas City Royals' Lorenzo Cain in the fourth inning of a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, Aug. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)
AP Photo/Colin E. Braley
Leave a comment

Per Baseball America’s Matt Eddy, the Giants have signed infielder Conor Gillaspie to a minor league deal. Gillaspie was selected by the Giants in the supplemental round of the 2008 draft, then was traded to the White Sox in February 2013.

Gillaspie, 28, hit a meager .228/.269/.359 with four home runs and 24 RBI in 253 plate appearances between the White Sox and Angels during the 2015 season. Almost all of his playing time has come at third base but he can also play first base if needed.

The Giants, thin on depth, will allow Gillaspie to audition in spring training for a spot on the 25-man roster.

Joe Nathan plans to pitch in 2016

Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joe Nathan throws against the Chicago White Sox in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Detroit Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP Photo/Paul Sancya
2 Comments

Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that free agent reliever Joe Nathan, recovering from Tommy John surgery, plans to pitch in 2016 according to his agent Dave Pepe. According to Pepe, Nathan’s workouts are “going well” and the right-hander is “definitely planning on playing this year.”

Nathan, 41, got the final out on Opening Day (April 6) against the Twins before going on the disabled list with a flexor strain in his right elbow, causing him to miss the next 161 games. He will likely be able to contribute out of the bullpen in late May or early June if he has no setbacks. On a minor league deal or incentive-laden major league deal, Nathan could make for a low-risk gamble.

Over a 15-season career that dates back to 1999 (he did not pitch in the majors in 2001 or 2010), Nathan has 377 saves with a 2.89 ERA and a 967/340 K/BB ratio over 917 innings.

The Rays are considering reliever Tyler Clippard

New York Mets pitcher Tyler Clippard throws during the eighth inning of Game 4 of the National League baseball championship series against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
1 Comment

On Thursday, we learned that the Diamondbacks were still considering free agent reliever Tyler Clippard. You can add the Rays to the list as well, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

The Rays traded lefty reliever Jake McGee to the Rockies in exchange for outfielder Corey Dickerson in late January, so Clippard would be able to slot right in behind closer Brad Boxberger. Clippard, 30, compiled a 2.92 ERA with 64 strikeouts and 31 walks over 71 innings in a season split between the Athletics and Mets. The strikeout rate was at its lowest since the right-hander become a full-time reliever in 2009, and his walk rate was at its highest since 2010, which may be a factor in his still being a free agent in February.