Pedro Martinez on Pete Rose Hall of Fame


Pedro Martinez believes Pete Rose deserves a spot in Cooperstown.

Elected to the Hall of Fame in January after appearing on 91.1 percent of ballots submitted by the voting members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Martinez endorsed Rose's candidacy Wednesday while implicitly supporting the disgraced icon's recent bid for reinstatement into Major League Baseball.

"With all due respect to everybody - to the Hall of Fame, to the new commissioner, to the former commissioner - I believe he should be in there," Martinez said on an MLB Network conference call.

Rose, whose 4,256 career hits represent the all-time record, famously agreed to a lifetime ban from baseball in 1989 amid evidence that he bet on games during his time playing for and managing the Cincinnati Reds. Though he applied for reinstatement in both 1992 and 1999, his efforts proved unsuccessful.

Aaron Hernandez cousin on murder trial


The murder trial of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez continues when his cousin, who's been ordered by the court to testify, returns to the witness stand.

Jennifer Mercado told jurors this week she had trouble remembering many details of what happened after the June 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd. Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee.

Mercado's sister, Tanya Singleton, is accused of helping one of Hernandez's co-defendants flee to Georgia.

Mercado was granted immunity to testify. But she contradicted herself and said several time she couldn't remember details of her conversations with Hernandez and her sister.

Lundqvist to return Thursday


Henrik Lundqvist hasn't gotten to see "The Hamburglar" in action yet.

The netminder will get his chance Thursday, as he'll dress and back up Cam Talbot against the Ottawa Senators.

Larry Brooks of the New York Post was the first to report Lundqvist would make his return Thursday.

Brooks also speculates that Lundqvist could get the starting nod Saturday against the Boston Bruins.

The 33-year-old netminder practicedwith the team Tuesday and was optimistic about playing on the weekend.

Shattenkirk to return Saturday


The St. Louis Blues are primed to make a huge addition to the blue line with eight games remaining on the regular season schedule.

Kevin Shattenkirk, who missed 25 games following abdominal surgery, is expected to return to the lineup for Saturday's tilt with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Petteri Lindbohm was reassigned to the AHL on Wednesday, lending further credence to Shattenkirk's imminent return.

In 49 games prior to the injury, Shattenkirk recorded eight goals, 32 assists and 116 shots, and his presence will be a boost at both ends of the ice for a club that already ranks third in goal differential with a plus-44.

Dodgers sign Hector Olivera


The Los Angeles Dodgers are taking a chance on another Cuban. 

Having already inked Yasiel PuigErisbel Arruebarrena and Alex Guerrero​ in the last three years, the Dodgers reportedly agreed to a six-year, $62.5-million deal with infielder Hector Olivera, according to multiple reports. The agreement includes a $28-million signing bonus and is pending a physical.

The 29-year-old was initially expected to land a deal in the range of five-to-six years and upward of $50 million, with the Dodgers flexing their deep pockets to land the high-profile bat. The Atlanta Braves were said to be in the mix for but were not willing to offer him a six-year deal. 

Wilson to buy Louisville Slugger brand


Over a century of family ownership of Louisville Slugger bats is going ... going ... nearly gone.

The company that makes the iconic bats gripped by generations of ballplayers - from Babe Ruth to David Wright - announced a deal Monday to sell its Louisville Slugger brand to rival Wilson Sporting Goods Co. for $70 million.