Knight Of The Mind

I'll do my best to present a philosophical and generally conservative look at current events and life, the universe and everything. Readers are invited to take all that's posted herein with a grain of salt. or if they prefer, a grain of salt, a slice of lime and a shot of tequila.

Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Greetings and welcome. My name is Steve, I'm 35 years old and I work for the US Army as an Operations Research Analyst. Hence my blog title Knight Of The Mind.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

They Had To Bring Up Pete Rose

It was sad the day I figured out there was no such thing as Santa Claus. Not believing in the tooth fairy was a doozey as well. The one that hurt three times as much as both combined, was learning that Charlie Hustle was a bum. ESPN reopened an old wound by running an afternoon special on the decline and fall of Cincinnati Reds superstar Pete Rose. With a stat line like this,

.303 3562 14053 2165 4256 746 135 160 1314

Calling Pete Rose a bum seems totally unfair. Rose's defenders are legion and many are famous. Jimmy Carter went to bat for him back in 1995, writing this.

Let us consider the four key factors mentioned above:

Rose's offense: It is fruitless to rehash the already belabored facts. A major degree of guilt has been conceded.

Extenuating circumstances: The most important are the marvelous (not just superior) achievements of Pete Rose as a player during his long career, aside from his subsequent service as a manager. No player has over-hustled more, or been more committed to the game of baseball. After breaking Ty Cobb's record, Rose went on to a total of 4,256 hits in an unequaled 3,562 games and 14,053 times at bat, for a lifetime batting average of .303. He also held 31 other major and National League records.

Reform or restitution: Pete Rose served his prison time as required, and has subsequently led the life of a proper and law-abiding citizen. He is gainfully employed, and has complied with the special restraints placed on him by Commissioner Giamatti. In painful dignity, he has suffered many other actual and indirect punishments.

Victims' forgiveness: The primary victims of the crime are the millions of dedicated fans who support baseball and are very protective of the game's reputation and integrity. A 1994 article in Sports Illustrated reported a telephone poll of Americans in which 97% of respondents said that Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame. I have found virtually no fans who disagree.

Jimmy Carter also thought Daniel Otega was a great world leader. His capacity to forgive waxes, in proportion to his waning connection with terra firma. Rose's painful dignity involved going on TV and auctioning off self-autographed memorabilia the day he was banned from baseball for life.

He also denied ever betting on baseball games, even after The Dowd Report made him look only slightly less rediculous than OJ Simpson looking for the killers with a golf cart and a bag full of clubs. The bookie who left a dead fish in Charlie Hustle's mail box added just the right personal touch. Personal is exactly how it gets when someone stiffs their bookie for $500,000 and doesn't even feel a twinge of remorse.

Personal is also how it gets when someone I really admire lets me down in a massive way. During Pete Rose's incredible 44-game hitting streak, I wrote the man fan mail. It royally tees me off when people I genuinely respect turn out to be miserable, dirty rats. I'm lucky I never particularly liked (B)ill Clinton.


As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.
Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.

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