Roberto Alomar accused — again — of concealing HIV

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In February 2009, Roberto Alomar was sued by an ex-girlfriend, who accused him of (a) being HIV positive; and (b) infecting her having sex with her without telling her of his status. The most notable thing about it at the time, I think, was the girlfriend’s salacious narrative in the complaint itself, in which she described Alomar as being extremely sick and possibly near death from late-stage AIDS.  The suit settled quickly, and because Alomar made public appearances soon afterward looking like regular old Roberto, most people assumed the other parts of the suit were inaccurate too, and that it was settled simply to dispose of the nuisance.

Now another suit has been filed against Alomar alleging that he had sex with someone despite knowing that he was HIV positive and without telling her. This time it’s his soon-to-be ex-wife. Who, at the time of the last suit, was his girlfriend and vigorously defended Alomar against the old girlfriend’s accusations. Her name is Maria Del Pilar Rivera. She’s a former model and television personality in Puerto Rico. She also recently accused Alomar of domestic violence in Miami.

No one knows what goes down in a marriage except the people in it, so we have no idea if what Rivera is saying is true. It’s worth noting that this is the second sworn complaint filed against Alomar to this effect. It’s also worth noting that at the time of the last one, Rivera accused the plaintiff of being a liar.  Given these facts, her suit could just as easily be righteous as it could be an exercise in opportunism in advance of a big divorce settlement. If we’ve learned anything recently, we’ve learned that crazy stuff can come out of divorce cases. Sometimes it’s true. Sometimes it’s not.

Hopefully this works out well for everyone involved and we can spend the winter talking about how the BBWAA had better not screw Alomar out of his rightful place in the Hall of Fame again as opposed to this depressing nonsense.

Royals pay tribute to late Yordano Ventura during spring training opener

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 12: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on August 12, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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The Royals honored former pitcher Yordano Ventura prior to their first Cactus League game against the Rangers on Saturday. Ventura was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic in late January.

Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre and center fielder Carlos Gomez paid their respects to the pitcher with a floral arrangement that was laid on the mound. Both teams stood along the foul lines during a pregame video tribute that highlighted Ventura’s tenure with Kansas City. Following the game, Gomez spoke to the media about his relationship with Ventura, describing their frequent conversations during the season and commending the pitcher for having “the same passion that I had early in my career” (via WFAA.com’s Levi Weaver).

A plaque dedicated to the 25-year-old was also presented to club manager Ned Yost as a more permanent commemoration of Ventura’s contributions to the sport. Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star reports that the plaque will be mounted in the club’s spring training facilities alongside tributes to members of the Royals’ 2014 and 2015 playoff teams.

The full text of the plaque is below, via MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan:

A brother and a teammate, Yordano Ventura, passed away on the morning of January 22 in his native Dominican Republic, at the age of 25. He signed with the Royals as a 17-year-old, eventually making the big league team in 2013 as a 22-year-old. On most days, he could be found laughing and joking with his baseball family in the clubhouse. However, on days when he pitched, that smile was replaced by a quiet confidence and an intense fire, which he brought to the mound for every start. He had many highlights in his abbreviated career, not the least of which was throwing eight shutout innings in Game #6 of the 2014 World Series to force a Game #7 vs. San Francisco.

Gerrit Cole named Pirates’ Opening Day starter

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 19: Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a photograph during MLB spring training photo day on February 19, 2017 at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Right-hander Gerrit Cole is set to take the mound for the Pirates on Opening Day, according to a team announcement on Saturday. It’s a spot that was most recently occupied by former Pirate Francisco Liriano, who made three consecutive Opening Day starts for the club before getting dealt to the Blue Jays last August.

The 26-year-old produced career-worst numbers during his fourth run with the Pirates in 2016, due in large part to bouts of inflammation in his right elbow. He finished the year with a 3.88 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 116 innings before getting shut down in September to avoid further injury to his elbow. When healthy, however, Cole has been lights-out for the Pirates. Prior to his injury-laden campaign last year, he touted a career 3.07 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 8.5 SO/9 and cumulative 10.2 fWAR from 2013 through 2015.

Cole will go toe-to-toe with the Red Sox during Boston’s home opener on Monday, April 3. Right-hander Jameson Taillon is scheduled to make the second start of the year, while fellow righty Ivan Nova will cover the Pirates’ home opener against the Braves on April 7. The Pirates’ third and fifth starters have yet to be announced.