Tuesday, July 28, 2009

To hell with Pete

Pete Rose

Commissioner of Major League Baseball, Bud Selig, you've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

With apologies to Joseph Welch, I have to say in the strongest way I can that Selig must turn his back on the recent push to pardon Pete Rose, which would mean changing MLB's standards.

Selig has presided over an era of sleaze (1992 to present), steeped in steroids. For many years he turned a blind eye to that brewing scandal. The list of his bad calls is too long to recount now, but determining the home team in the World Series by which league wins that year's All-Star game is near the top of the list.

His one saving grace, to me, has been that he honored the memory of his predecessor, Bart Giamatti, by holding firm on Rose's well-deserved lifetime ban. A banning that Rose, himself, agreed to in writing in 1989. And, then he whined about ever since Giamatti died, soon afterward.

On top of that Rose clearly represents the worst in competitive spirit. In the way he approached the National Pastime he brought only an insatiable desire to call attention to himself, as an individual. The dirtball deliberately injured another player in an All-Star game, just to make a hot-dog play in an exhibition game.

But because the standards of baseball have been so splattered with smelly mud during the Selig era, in retrospect, Rose's gambling-on-baseball sins now seem pale to some. Horsefeathers!

No doubt, we're soon going to see Pete Rose on ESPN, crying like Brett Favre, begging to be pardoned, so he can be voted into the Hall of Fame. Fans will be voting in online polls ... and the precious game of baseball will be hurt once again by individuals whose greed trumps all else.

-- Illustration by F.T. Rea (2000)

1 comment:

Phil said...

It would seem that Mr. Selig channeled your vibe yesterday as he released a statement indicating that he had no intention of reinstating Mr. Rose. As feckless and superfluous a commissioner as he has been, I have to give Mr. Bud some measure of props for this particular stand.