Pete Rose periodically gives interviews in which he says that gambling may be bad, but it’s nowhere near as bad as PEDs are. He has a little rehearsed spiel too, in which he says “ask Babe Ruth, ask Roger Maris, ask Hank Aaron” etc., about how they feel that their records were broken by PED users. He said this almost word-for-word in 2010 and said it again to Michael Kay yesterday:
“They’re both bad. I think in my case, I know I didn’t do anything to alter the statistics of baseball,” Rose said . . . I had nothing to do with altering statistics of baseball, and these guys, that take PEDs—wouldn’t it be nice if you could ask Babe Ruth the same question, or Roger Maris the same question or Hank Aaron, who won’t talk about it. I’d like to hear what their response will be because those are the guys who lost their records because of supposedly steroids.”
At times like this I think it’s worth reminding people that (a) Rose took amphetamines as a player, and they are clearly performance-enhancing (b) Paul Janzen, the man who, according to the Dowd Report, was Rose’s primary bet-placer was also a steroids dealer; (c) one of Rose’s best friends during his gambling days was a minor leaguer, Tommy Gioiosa, who was a heavy steroids user who shot up in front of Pete and to whom Pete constantly asked questions about steroids and PEDs, contemplating using them to extend his already lengthy career. A lengthy career that had him eke just past Ty Cobb for the hit record.
Wouldn’t it be nice, Pete, if you could ask Ty Cobb about that?
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.