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Rockies owner: “maybe Denver doesn’t deserve a franchise . . . maybe time for it to find a new home”

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Colorado Rockies owner Dick Monfort has had a snippy week with the fans. Earlier this week we told you that he told one fan, who complained about the team, that maybe he shouldn’t bother coming to Rockies games anymore if he doesn’t like it. Now he has told another fan that maybe angry Rockies fans don’t deserve to have a baseball team in the first place. From Denver’s CBS4:

CBS4 has obtained a series of emails between the long-time season ticket holder and Monfort which occurred between July 5 and July 8. The season ticket holder, who is from Denver but asked not to be identified, sent an email to the Rockies fan feedback line July 5th, writing, “The Monforts have no business owning a baseball team and their missteps in hiring ‘the good old boys’ for front office and management positions is solid evidence of their ineptitude. They have ruined pro baseball in this region while generating millions of dollars in profit.’ ”

The 57-year-old man told CBS4 he did not necessarily expect a reply from the team. But the next day, July 6 at 6:47 p.m., Monfort personally emailed the fan the following: “By the way you talk maybe Denver doesn’t deserve a franchise, maybe time for it to find a new home. Thanks.”

Monfort tells CBS4 that what he really meant was maybe that he, Dick Monfort, doesn’t deserve to own a franchise, not that fans don’t deserve it. But in light of that earlier exchange it sounds way more like he’s telling Rockies fans that they’re ungrateful. Fans who, despite some pretty poor Rockies teams of late, continue to make the Rockies a top-10 team in attendance.

Customer Service: how does it work? Don’t ask Dick Monfort.

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.