When the Ryan Braun suspension was announced last week the talking heads do what they do best, they started speculating. About A-Rod. About others.
And they started comparing sins. Specifically those admitted and or believed to have supplemented their numbers chemically to the sin by Pete Rose. To be fair one of his followers asked Doug Gottlieb to compare Braun to Rose. Gottlieb said it wasn’t even close, it was Rose.
I responded with the word wrong, in all caps wrong. Gottlieb also lost a follower.
Of course if you are a regular reader of this space you likely know that I have been a Pete Rose fan my entire life — among the recent pieces was anger over erasing Rose’s name from his record on the back of a certain brand of baseball cards.
Well centered, I was disgusted with the whole Rose ordeal and even left the Reds as my team of choice for the Rangers, but I have long contended Rose should be a member of the baseball Hall of Fame or they should burn it to the ground.
So much of a fan of Rose — even at 72 — am I, after hearing the teaser that Rose was about to be interviewed on the Dan Patrick Show, rather than leave the office last week on the first day I had my new car, I purposefully sat in my chair until I heard the entire interview.
During what is pretty much an annual interview with Patrick around the Hall of Fame induction time Patrick asked Rose to compare what he did to the PED crowd. I loved the answer.
Though a noted egomaniac, Rose told Patrick he is the wrong guy to be asking that question. Babe Ruth or Roger Maris would be better and Hank Aaron would be the best but Aaron won’t comment. Rose also said let someone get 4,257 hits and he would probably have plenty to say on the subject.
I’ll bet – couldn’t resist.
Rose said he knows he chose the wrong vice – the shadow of 1919 still looms – but Braun has to feel fortunate to get 65 games – Rose once got 30 for bumping an umpire, so big deal. It’s not like Braun got the soon to be 24 years and counting
Rose insists he never manipulated anything while betting on the game he loves. Fan I may be, but I can’t quite agree.
Even accepting the notion that he bet on the Reds every game and his ultimate goal was to win every night, I cannot get by the idea that he might misuse his bullpen in a blowout because he wanted to make sure his number four or five arm had plenty of support the next night or because he thought his ace would give him seven or more strong innings. In the long run he probably hurts his team by having trying to keep up with it.
Still, any manipulation of the game by Rose, compared to that by the chemically enhanced does not compare. As Rose told Patrick, both were bad but when you alter the statistics of baseball, that’s worse.
Of course he has to say that. But I do agree that Rose never cheated the fans. He played to the fullest every time he put on the uniform.
But, as much as I like Rose, there is still something he doesn’t get. Even at 72 Rose says he is one of the game’s best ambassadors. He says he spends 20 days a month in Vegas signing autographs and what not.
Really Pete, Vegas? Last time I checked there wasn’t a major league franchise in Vegas, which is, oh by the way, the gambling capital of earth. That’s not exactly the life change Bart Giamatti meant in 1989.
Speaking of Bart, Pete said he did apply for reinstatement and that he has talked to the current commish Bud Selig and while Pete is acting like he has hope it seems like trying to draw to an inside straight to me.
Sitll, and again, they ought to burn it, and the 15 artifacts attributable to Rose, down if he doesn’t get a plaque before he’s dead and gone.