THE HEAD of the Major League Baseball Players Association says he wants Pete Rose to be reinstated.
Former All-Star first baseman Tony Clark made the remarks to reporters at spring training yesterday, a day after new commissioner Rob Manfred said he had received an application from Rose.
Baseball's career hits leader agreed to a lifetime ban in 1989 following an investigation that concluded he bet on the Cincinnati Reds to win while managing the team.
"I would love to see Pete reinstated," Clark said.
Rose applied for reinstatement in September 1997 and met in November 2002 with Commissioner Bud Selig, who never ruled on the application. Selig was succeeded by Manfred in January. Now Rose is trying again to have the ban lifted.
"He made a decision, he made a decision that was not the right decision, he made a decision that he has paid a price for," Clark said.
Rose, who turns 74 next month, denied for 15 years that he bet on baseball. In his 2004 autobiography, "Pete Rose: My Prison Without Bars," he reversed his stand and acknowledged he bet on the Reds while managing the team.
Aside from offering his public support, it's not clear how much Clark can really do on Rose's behalf.
"We don't have any input necessarily on whether he's reinstated or not, but it is something that as a past member of the players' association we obviously pay attention to," Clark said.
* St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright is scheduled to make his first spring-training start on Saturday against Atlanta. Wainwright sustained a mild abdominal strain early in spring training.
* Mike Trout hit two homers and drove in six runs as the Los Angeles Angels beat Colorado, 11-0, in Scottsdale, Ariz. The 2014 AL MVP is batting .545 with three homers and 10 RBI in nine games. Trout believes his decision to swing at more first pitches is paying off.
"That's what's getting me ready to hit, rather than going up there and taking the first one," Trout said. "Being aggressive, that's how I want to be."
* Francisco Liriano was named to start on Opening Day for Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, making him the first Pirates pitcher to draw the honor two years in a row since Oliver Perez in 2005-06.
* Toronto is working to finalize a minor league contract with former Phillies lefthander Randy Wolf. Wolf, 38, is 133-120 in his 15-year career. He was 1-3 last season for Miami.
* Yu Darvish had his season-ending elbow surgery yesterday, when the torn ligament from the Texas Rangers ace's right arm was replaced with a forearm tendon.
* New York Yankees outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury has been scratched from the starting lineup against Toronto due to a mild right abdominal strain. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Ellsbury didn't rule out Ellsbury missing up to a week but that that he's "not too concerned" about the injury.
* New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson defended the team's handling of pitcher Zack Wheeler, who is expected to miss the 2015 season because of a torn elbow ligament. The 24-year-old righthander made 32 starts and pitched a career-high 185 1/3 innings last year despite recurring elbow pain throughout the season. Wheeler had MRIs in September, January and March and received two platelet-rich plasma injections before his latest MRI revealed a fully torn ligament.
Alderson compared Wheeler to fellow Mets starter Matt Harvey, who had Tommy John surgery on Oct. 22, 2013 and did not pitch in a game last season. Alderson said: "Why would we treat somebody like Harvey with the kind of caution that we did and then throw somebody else under the bus?"
* The independent Atlantic League is trying a more radical pace-of-play experiment than the major leagues. When the Long Island Ducks host the Bridgeport Bluefish in an exhibition gamen April 18, a batter will be called out for a two-strike foul ball and will be given a walk for three balls rather than four. The league said the changes for the exhibition game were not under consideration for regular-season games.