Pete Rose may be banned, but he advises A-Rod, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce

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“Banned.”  You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means:

Rose regularly attends games each season in Cincinnati and Philadelphia, two of the places where he played during his 23-year career, and is often introduced to players. “Then they end up texting me all the time,” Rose said. “I have play-hard credentials. No b———t, no non-sense credentials and I think players respect that. That’s why young players like me today.”… Rose said it’s not a matter of proper coaching not being available for today’s players, but rather an issue with their self-esteem … “The better the player, the less confidence they seem to have.”

Included in his list of advisees is Alex Rodriguez, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. And my gratuitous use of the Inigo Montoya quote notwithstanding, sure, there’s nothing in Rose’s ban that keeps him from talking on the phone to people. Baseball can keep him out of the Hall of Fame and off a Major League payroll, but they can’t keep him from having friends who happen to be ballplayers.

Freakin’ Rose. He makes me so mad. I think he actually has a point when he says in the article that players sometimes get overcoached and confused and stuff.  And while teams certainly want technically proficient coaches to help players do things the right way, I imagine there’s serious value to having a guy like Rose on every staff someplace who can just tell guys to go out there and hit the snot out of the ball and have the personal moxie and credibility to make that useful.

I just sometimes wonder what would have happened if Rose hadn’t been a complete train wreck and actually was allowed to have been around baseball all these years.  And he did things such that we never got a chance. Drives me nuts.

(via BTF)

Tigers sign Edwin Espinal to minor league deal

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Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.

Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.

Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.