Plato

PEDs are OK. Plato and Kant said so.

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This story in The Atlantic may be the biggest, juiciest bit of Craig-bait ever composed. I want to take this story out for long walks and tell it all of my deepest secrets and have it love me for me. I want to make a serious commitment to this story and show it I’m not like all those other bloggers who will link them and forget them. It’s serious between this story and me.

Actually, I’m linking it because it will enrage most of you people and if you haven’t guessed it in the past four years, enraging most of you people gives me endless satisfaction.

The upshot: a philosophy professor citing Plato, Kant and others to counter the usual anti-PED arguments. Which, given the usual tenor of PED debates, will convince you anti-PED folk out there about as much as a Nikolai Volkoff soliloquy about why Hulk Hogan sucks would have convinced wrestling fans circa 1985. I mean, if you’re the sort of person who calls Alex Rodriguez “A-Roid,” I don’t feel like Immanuel Kant and Plato and references to the Socratic dialogue Euthyphro are really going to have a lot of persuasive power for you.

Actual honesty now: I agree with reason number 7 listed for why PEDs are bad: the arms race they create. As in, how Player X using PEDs may coerce Player Y into using them. At that point someone is being pressured into taking risks they may not have otherwise taken and I feel like that reason in and of itself is enough to justify the ban of PEDs. At least PEDs which present health risks. If there is some imaginary PED which, one day, is confirmed to be harmless, it changes things.

Anyway: I expect most of you to rail against this as stupid and to repat your “cheating is wrong” mantra. But it would be really great if you actually dug into the reasons why it’s wrong and admit that not all of the arguments tossed out by strongly anti-PED people hold logical water.

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.