2004 January

5thOn ABC’s ”Good Morning America.” Pete Rose admits that he bet on baseball games, though he claims he never bet on the Reds.  Pete’s book, in which he admits the same, is out this week.  He claims he told Bud Selig that he bet ”four or five times a week, but I never bet against my own team, and I never made any bets from the clubhouse.” When Selig asked why, Rose replied, ”I didn’t think I’d get caught.” Rose agreed to the lifetime ban in August 1989 and applied for reinstatement in 1997, but Selig hasn’t ruled on the request. In the book, Rose admits placing bets with Ronald Peters through Thomas Gioiosa and Paul Janszen—the three were the primary witnesses in the 1989 investigation by baseball lawyer John Dowd that led to the agreement in which Rose accepted a lifetime ban. Dowd concluded Rose bet on baseball from 1985-87 and detailed 412 baseball wagers between April 8—July 5, 1987, including 52 on Cincinnati to win.

The Indians acquire P Scott Stewart from the Expos. In return, they send IF Maicer Izturis and OF Ryan Church to Montreal.

The Royals announce the signing of slugger Juan Gonzalez to a one-year contract.

The Rangers sign free agent IF Eric Young to a contract.

6thAnaheim Angels reliever Derrick Turnbow becomes the first Major League Baseball-affiliated player to test positive for illegal drug use since professional players were included in international competition four years ago.

Paul Molitor and Dennis Eckersley are named to the Hall of Fame by the baseball writers.

The White Sox sign free agent 2B Roberto Alomar.

The Dodgers sign free agent OF Bubba Trammell to a contract.

The Mets sign free agent P Braden Looper to a 2 -year contract.

The Padres get 3B Jeff Cirillo, P Brian Sweeney, and cash from the Mariners in a trade for C Wiki Gonzalez, IF Dave Hansen, P Kevin Jarvis, and OF Vince Faison.

The Devil Rays sign free agent P Danys Baez to a 2 -year contract.

7thThe White Sox sign free agent P Cliff Politte to a contract.

The Blue Jays sign free agent SS Chris Gomez and P Terry Adams to contracts.

8th  The Indians sign free agent P Jose Jimenez to a contract.

The Tigers obtain IF Carlos Guillen from the Mariners in exchange for infielders Ramon Santiago and Juan Gonzalez.

The Mariners sign free agent SS Rich Aurilia to a contract.

The Devil Rays sign free agent 1B Robert Fick to a contract.

9th     The Cardinals sign free agent P Julian Tavarez to a two-year contract and free agent 2B Marlon Anderson to a one-year contract.

The Giants sign free agent P Brett Tomko to a contract.

10thThe Orioles sign free agent 1B Rafael Palmeiro to a contract.

11thThe owners of rooftop seats and beer gardens overlooking Wrigley Field “have agreed to pay the Cubs a $15 to $25 fee for each rooftop ticket sold” under a tentative deal that could earn the team $2M a season, according to Toomey & Spielman of the Chicago Sun Times who noted the deal has been agreed to by 11 of 13 rooftop owners. The 20-year deal “calls for the Cubs to drop a copyright infringement lawsuit against the rooftop owners” that was to go to trial on February 23. The team also agreed “to compensate rooftops whose sightlines would be blocked if bleachers are expanded in the next eight years.”

12th   The Angels sign free agent OF Vladimir Guerrero to a five-year contract.

The Reds sign free agent OF John Vander Wal to a contract.

The Astros sign recently retired P Roger Clemens to a contract.

The Phillies sign free agent OF Doug Glanville to a contract.

13th   The Padres sign free agent OF Jay Payton to a 2 -year contract.

The Rangers sign free agent P Kenny Rogers to a two-year contract.

Andy Pettitte is announced as the winner of the Warren Spahn Award, presented annually to the top left-handed pitcher in the majors.  Pettitte will win just 6 games this year, but notch his 10thstraight winning season out of 10; Babe Ruth is the only other pitcher with 10 seasons or more, all winning years as a pitcher.

14th   The Angels sign free agent IF Shane Halter to a contract.

The Orioles sign free agent P Sidney Ponson to a 3 -year contract.

16th   You can always use a Palmeiro. The Astros sign free agent OF Orlando Palmeiro to a contract.

22nd  The Devil Rays sign free agent P Damian Moss to a contract.

The Cubs sign free agent P Ryan Dempster to a contract.

23rd   The White Sox sign all-time Japanese saves leader Shingo Takatsu to a contract.

25thA-Rod, you might just want to pin the “C” on. Moving on from failed trade talks with Boston, the Rangers name Alex Rodriguez as their team captain. Alex waxes, “I feel privileged to play for such a great owner.”

26th   Pitcher Jamie Moyer of the Mariners is named winner of the Hutch Award, given annually to the player displaying honor, courage and dedication to baseball while overcoming adversity to one’s personal or professional life.

The Mets acquire P Shawn Sedlacek from the Royals in exchange for pitcher Jaime Cerda.

28thThe Mets sign veteran free agent 3B Todd Zeile to a contract.

29thMajor league owners unanimously approve the sale of the Dodgers to Frank McCourt for $430 million. McCourt will own a 52 percent share of the team with Fox retaining a 48 percent non-controlling interest worth $205 million.

The Marlins sign free agent P Darren Oliver to a contract.