Last year Pete Rose filed a defamation lawsuit against John Dowd, the attorney who authored the investigative report which got Rose banned from baseball for gambling back in 1989. The alleged defamation occurred when Dowd, in a 2015 radio interview, said that Rose’s book maker, a man named Michael Bertolini, “ran young girls for [Rose] down at spring training, ages 12 to 14,” adding “Isn’t that lovely. So that’s statutory rape every time you do that.”
Rose’s suit alleged that the comment was false and defamatory. Bertolini likewise denied the allegation. The suit has progressed for the last year, with each side conducting discovery and filing competing preliminary motions. Today one of those motions contained a sworn statement from a woman who claims that she and Rose had a sexual relationship back in the 1970s when she was under 16. The document, first reported by ESPN, and which was filed in federal court, can be read in its entirely below. The relevant allegation from the woman is set forth in the motion thusly:
In Ohio — where both the woman and Rose lived at the time — the age of legal consent is 16, so her allegation amounts to statutory rape. Rose acknowledges the sexual relationship but says he believed it started when she was 16. It’s worth noting, however, that in Ohio (and in 21 other states) a person’s belief that someone who has not reached the age of consent is, in fact, old enough to consent does not constitute a legal defense to a statutory rape charge.
Rose cannot be charged with a crime as a result of this sworn statement, as the statue of limitations has passed. Criminal charges or not, all of this should present serious difficulties for his lawsuit. And, if the sworn statement is not somehow comprehensively refuted, it’s hard to imagine how Rose’s current employer — Fox Sports — could defend keeping him on the payroll.
The Mets traded centerfielder Curtis Granderson to the Dodgers for cash considerations or a player to be named later, the teams announced late Friday night. Granderson was rumored to be drawing interest from teams earlier in the week, and found a landing place after slashing .256/.360/.721 since the start of the month. In a corresponding move, the Dodgers designated right-hander Dylan Floro for assignment to clear roster space for the outfielder.
As a whole, the 36-year-old’s 2017 campaign has been a tad underwhelming. Granderson entered Saturday batting .228/.334/.481 with 19 home runs and an .815 OPS through 395 PA, and accrued 1.7 fWAR to the 5.1 fWAR he produced during his pennant-winning, MVP-contending season in 2015. Still, with under $4 million remaining on his contract, another 20+ homer season around the corner and the defensive chops to man center field, it looks like a prudent deal for the Dodgers as they continue to bulldoze their way to the playoffs this fall.
The club has yet to outline their plans for Granderson, but his addition to a crowded outfield could displace centerfielder Joc Pederson, who turned in a meager .214/.329/.415 batting line through 292 PA in 2017. It could also have ramifications for fellow veteran Andre Ethier, assuming he’s healthy enough to compete for a starting role when he comes off the 60-day disabled list in September. The Mets, meanwhile, are expected to lean more heavily on rookie outfielder Brandon Nimmo, who’s made just five starts this season after struggling to get consistent playing time on the field.
Indians’ right-hander Corey Kluber was removed from the sixth inning of his start on Friday night, bringing a streak of 14 starts with 8+ strikeouts to an unfortunate end after he sprained his right ankle. Kluber stumbled off the mound while trying to field a base hit from Eric Hosmer and was seen visibly limping as he moved to cover first base. He was allowed to stay in the game for one more batter, but quickly yielded a three-pitch single to Melky Cabrera and left the mound with head athletic trainer James Quinlan.
It was a poor ending to another strong outing by the right-hander, who delivered 5 1/3 innings of one-run, four-strikeout ball and took his 12th win of the season after the Indians amassed a nine-run lead. Postgame comments by Cleveland skipper Terry Francona suggest that Kluber isn’t facing a serious setback after sustaining the sprain, however, and might even be good to go by the time his next start comes around on Wednesday.
While the Royals escaped Friday’s loss without injury, the 10-1 drubbing pushed them 6.5 games back of the division lead and half a game behind the Twins and Angels for the second AL wild card berth. They’ll host a rematch on Saturday at 7:15 ET, with left-hander Jason Vargas set to face off against Indians’ righty Trevor Bauer.