George Brett

George Brett: if steroid users get elected to the Hall of Fame, current inductees will boycott

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George Brett was interviewed by Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic and the topic of PED users and the Hall of Fame came up. Brett says that if he were a voter, he would not put guys like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens on his ballot.  Which, fine, there are a lot of people who think that way.  But Brett went further:

“I wasn’t a home-run hitter,” Brett said, “but I know from talking to guys in the 500-home run club, guys like Schmitty (Mike Schmidt) and some other guys like that, if those guys make it in then they’ll never go back.”

Meaning?

“Meaning those guys will never go back and attend (the Hall of Fame inductions) if the cheaters get elected.”

Really? Mike Schmidt would boytcott? The same Mike Schmidt who said that if A-Rod — who Brett specifically criticized by name — were to be elected, he’d “welcome him”?  The same Schmidt who is on record saying that if PEDs were prevalent during his time he probably would have used them too? He’d boycott?  Color me skeptical.

Also color me skeptical about this statement from Brett:

Brett doesn’t believe Alex Rodriguez, who was caught using steroids, should get into the Hall of Fame, either. Maybe if A-Rod would have come clean in the beginning, or tried to make amends like pitcher Andy Pettitte and slugger Jason Giambi did, Brett could see it.

Someone please explain to me how Pettitte or Giambi came clean in ways that Alex Rodriguez didn’t. Because my recollection of it all was that all three of them admitted to doing something only after they were caught. The biggest difference from what I can tell is that A-Rod was not very well-liked beforehand while Pettitte and Giambi were.

Anyway, the same old story here: subjective baloney about PEDs with some people being treated very differently for reasons that make little sense.

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.