A refreshing mea culpa from Ken Rosenthal

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Rosenthal.jpgYou may recall that I took Ken Rosenthal to task for calling Mark McGwire a “distraction” and demanding that he resign back in January.  Rosenthal, however, unlike the majority of big time baseball writers out there, will admit when he’s wrong. He does that today:

In late January, when the furor over Mark McGwire was raging, I wrote,
“Unless McGwire moves to change the conversation, the noise is not going
to subside, distracting the team in spring training and beyond.”

I whiffed on that one.

McGwire did not move to change the
conversation, yet the noise did subside. He was not a distraction to the
team in spring training. He is not a distraction now.

Good for Ken.

Even better for Ken is that later in today’s column he questions just how long we should hold grudges against PED-implicated players. He doesn’t ask that we condone their acts — and no one should condone them — but he appreciates that the choices facing these guys during that time were not black and white. Indeed, Rosenthal eben uses the phrase “black and white,” which pretty much sums up my views on the matter (i.e. it’s not one of those colors).  If he weren’t in St. Louis getting ready to cover tomorrow’s Cards-Dodgers Cards-Mets game, I’d kiss him.

Um, OK, maybe not.  But good for him for displaying some refreshing thought and consideration on a subject that so rarely lends itself to such a thing.

Gee, between the Ron Washington thing and now this, one almost gets the sense that the things that get everyone all worked up in the offseason really don’t matter as much as we like to pretend that they do.

Report: Guardians, 1B Josh Bell reach 2-year, $33M deal

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — The Cleveland Guardians and slugging first baseman Josh Bell have agreed to a two-year, $33 million contract, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a review of medical records.

Bell played for Washington and San Diego last season, batting .266 with 17 homers and 71 RBIs in 156 games.

Cleveland is coming off a surprising 2022 season, going 92-70 and winning the AL Central for the first time since 2018. The addition of Bell gives the Guardians more power for their lineup after they hit just 127 homers this year – the second-lowest total in the majors.

The 30-year-old Bell is a .262 hitter with 130 homers and 468 RBIs over seven seasons with three big league teams. He had his best year with Pittsburgh in 2019, making the NL All-Star team while batting .277 with 37 homers and 116 RBIs in 143 games.

The switch-hitting Bell also is expected to benefit from restrictions on defensive positioning coming to the game next year.