Gossage

Shocker: current Hall of Famers happy no one got elected yesterday

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This Associated Press report is full of living Hall of Famers crowing about yesterday’s Hall of Fame shutout. I won’t quote Goose Gossage because just about everyone in the planet has run his over-the-top rebop by now. Do remember, however, that prior to his induction Gossage believed that the Hall of Fame should open its doors to everyone and since his induction he basically thinks only he, Babe Ruth and maybe Willie Mays belong.

Other Hall of Famers, however, were just as pleased as Gossage. Take Al Kaline, for instance:

“I’m kind of glad that nobody got in this year,” Kaline said. “I feel honored to be in the Hall of Fame. And I would’ve felt a little uneasy sitting up there on the stage, listening to some of these new guys talk about how great they were.”

His later comments in the article make it clear that his discomfort is due to PEDs, but that doesn’t explain why watching Craig Biggio — a guy, like Kaline, who hung on and got 3,000 hits — would upset him so.

Dennis Eckersley joined the chorus too:

 

Seems right. Guys who are suspected of PEDs are bad. Almost as bad as players who make 13 year-old kids buy pot for them and then defend their actions by saying “I don’t recall anything from over 20 years ago. That’s what I’m sticking to.”  Really: the baseball writers had no problem with the character of a guy who turned teenage team employees into drug mules and then offered a statement that makes Barry Bonds’ flaxseed oil story seem like the Sermon on the Mount, but Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell get blackballed because they heard a guy say that he knew a guy who says that maybe they used steroids once.

It’s all too much. So thank God for Juan Marichal, who won’t play along with this nonsense:

“I think that they have been unfair to guys who were never found guilty of anything. Their stats define them as immortals. That’s the reality and that cannot be denied … What we’re witnessing here is innocent people paying for the sinners.”

Look Juan, you have to understand: there is a price to be paid to keep Goose Gossage happy, and we should all just accept that, OK?

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.