Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pete Rose is Talking - Is What He Says Worth Hearing?

Yahoo Sports has a series of video clips of an interview with Pete Rose. They turn out to be very interesting and full of insight into not only the man, but how his thinking is influenced constantly by his exile from baseball. Rose turns out to be as feisty as ever and though he now admits that he bet on baseball while managing, his statements that he always bet on his team to win (every game) don't ring true. Here are a few ways the interview shows answers by Rose that are colored by his current status:

  • He says there are a lot of guys in the Hall of Fame that weren't alter boys.
  • He blasts Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa for the steroids they used. He at first defends Bonds but then lumps the 73 homers in with the steroid conversation.
  • He wants to manager and still believes that he is the best manager currently not managing.
  • He thinks the Hall of Fame is strictly about statistics.
  • He criticises guys like Ryan Howard that strike out too much and states that he couldn't play in today's game.
  • Rose was very perturbed by the betting questions and particularly to the interviewer's statements implying that he was an addict.
  • He rationalizes his actions by saying he didn't break up the Beatles or shoot JFK.

The interview clearly shows that Rose hasn't softened a bit. He believes he should be in the Hall of Fame and that he should be reinstated. His interview shows no remorse about breaking the rules or any humility that would aid him in gaining sympathy for his current place outside of baseball. This is clearly a guy who will not sweet talk his way out of his current situation.

And in many ways, that's better than the other way around. Rose's reputation as a player was as a hard-nosed, gritty and violent player. To see him in his old age groveling for admittance back into the game would be unseemly and out of character and in many ways more pitiful than what he actually did. And who knows what he actually did. No one will ever know the full extent of Rose's crimes just the way we'll never know what Bonds did or didn't do. Guys like that don't come clean all the way and never will. It was their pride and their force of will that made them great players. It also led to the decisions they both made later. That same pride will not allow them now to admit that they failed in any way. Rose will only admit what he does because there is evidence he can't refute. He won't admit to anything where there is no evidence.

What does the Fan think about all of this? Really nothing that wasn't felt before seeing the videos. The Fan still thinks Rose is a deeply flawed human being but who among us aren't flawed in many ways? The Fan thinks that Pete Rose belongs in baseball and in the Hall of Fame. It would be a hoot to see him manage again. What he accomplished on the field is worthy of him being in the Hall and there is no evidence that he ever did anything wrong while he was playing. Gambling is a complicated issue, especially now when states and Native Americans are profiting from it all over the country. It is natural for sports to want it out of the game because NO ONE wants the actual outcomes affected by the gambling. But guys like Horning and others were given a couple of years suspensions, not lifetime bans. Guys like McGwire can coach in baseball despite admitting to steroid use. Guys like Andy Pettitte can still pitch after admitting to using. Guys like Manny Ramirez, who was suspended AFTER 2003 are still playing baseball.

Rose is an ass in many ways. Yeah. Granted. But he was good for the game when he played and the fans still love the guy. Wouldn't it be fun for him to be the Mets next manager? Rose hasn't softened his stance one little bit. But so be it. Let him back in for crying out loud.

1 comment:

Josh Borenstein said...

Hopefully, the next Commish will break with tradition.