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60 Minutes reporting that A-Rod’s camp leaked Ryan Braun and other Biogenesis players’ names to Yahoo!

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Alex Rodriguez has, like, 47 people on the planet in his corner. It’s me, a few other like-minded PED apologists, his kids, some friends, his lawyer and a handful of ballplayers, I figure.  If this report from 60 Minutes is accurate, he’s doing a great job now of alienating even those left in his corner:

“60 Minutes” has learned that members of New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez’s inner circle in February obtained and leaked documents that implicated Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun as well as his own Yankees teammate, catcher Francisco Cervelli, in the doping scandal that has enveloped Major League Baseball.

The leak came just days after the weekly newspaper Miami New Times published documents in January detailing Rodriguez’s pervasive use of performance enhancing drugs.

The documents in question are Tony Bosch’s handwritten notes which, unlike those which sourced the Miami New Times report, were unredacted. The report is that A-Rod got his hands on them and released them to Yahoo! The possible implication being that he wanted more people’s names out there. The more serious implication: that A-Rod, in doing so, violated the Collective Bargaining Agreement’s confidentiality clause and also interfered with Major League Baseball’s investigation.

I see a confidentiality clause violation as a real problem. It could serve as a basis for Major League Baseball arguing for greater discipline and defending its 211-game ban. I’m less impressed with an argument that it interfered with their investigation. If true, it actually undercuts the idea that A-Rod was trying to destroy evidence. He was preserving it, actually, even if it wasn’t for pure motives. And if reports at the time were to be believed, Major League Baseball didn’t, as of yet, have access to any of these documents or the names contained therein, so Braun and others’ names being thrown out there actually would have allowed them to expand their investigation, wouldn’t it? It would have served as a lead? That doesn’t excuse A-Rod, of course, but I do think that it’s less than 100% clear that even him leaking things, if true, necessarily impeded MLB’s investigation.

But, if true, this is a potential additional violation of the CBA and it’s certainly an optics problem, as it appears as though A-Rod is throwing players under the p.r. bus. That he was trying to throw the focus off of him for a while. Which was successful, if one remembers how the story so quickly shifted to Braun in the week or so after Biogenesis came to light last winter.

UPDATE: A-Rod denies that he leaked the information to Yahoo!

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.