The Reds receive permission to honor Pete Rose

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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.

Robinson Cano hit his 300th home run last night

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Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.

While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.

Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.

Cooperstown, here he comes.

Reds sign catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year deal

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Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.

The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.

Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.