By HAL McCOY
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave and pitchers and catchers report to spring training two days after Super Bowl LVII (And what in the name of Pete Rozelle is LVII?).
—Pete Rose made another request for forgiveness in a letter recently to baseball commissioner Rob Manfred.
It smacks of groveling at the feet of the emperor, but what else can the man do? Most likely, at 81 years old, Rose is thinking about his mortality and this might be a last-ditch effort toward re-instatement, a path he needs to take to even become eligible for the baseball Hall of Fame.
When his gambling on baseball surfaced and Rose was sent to baseball’s Elba in 1989, I was all for the banishment for his sins against the game he loves so much.
And he lied for 14 years with emphatic denials that he bet on baseball, so I stayed staunchly against him. When he finally admitted it, it was with a $1 million book deal, ‘My Prison Without Bars.’
In the book, he wrote that I told baseball writer Jack Lang and broadcaster Tony Kubek that he bet $50,000 on a World Series game. That never happened and further turned me against his re-instatement.
After reading the book and the letter, I know, for sure, Pete didn’t write either one. Of street smarts, Rose is Einstein. Of book smarts, he wrote one before he ever read one. Somebody wrote them for him, but that’s neither here nor there. They are his thoughts.
But now. . .well it has been 33 years and the man, as they say, has served his time. Has he reconfigured his life, as baseball requested? Well, no. He still gambles, but legally. And Cincinnati’s Hard Rock casino has invited him to make the first bet when sports betting becomes legal in Ohio on January 1.
Baseball itself is into gambling with its association with DraftKings since 2015 and the hypocrisy stinks to high heaven. And baseball permitted the Texas mattress guy who bet $10 million on the Astros, to throw out a ceremonial first pitch before a World Series game.
We all know that Rose can’t get out of his own way and creates controversy nearly every time he opens his mouth and his lifestyle loses him points.
Nevertheless, he is The Hit King, he does own 4,256 hits, a number no player will ever reach. Yes, it is time for re-instatement to see if one of the Veterans Committees will vote him into the Hall of Fame…where, by the way, fans can already see many of his memorabilia items in the Cooperstown Hall of Fame museum. All that’s missing is a plaque.
—QUOTE: From author/clergyman Phillips Brooks: “Forgive, forget. Bear with the faults of others as you would have them bear with yours.” (Nobody will forget what Rose did, but aren’t we a forgiving society and, yes, we all have our faults.)
—SAY WHAT?: Quotes attributed to Cincinnati Reds general manager Nick Krall by MLB.com won’t make fans rush to buy tickets.
On the eve of the general managers meetings in Las Vegas, Krall said, “We’re pretty much where we are.” Huh? What’s that mean? “We’re trying to figure out how we can make this team the best we can. . .we’re trying to figure out what our options are.”
When you figure it out, hopefully before Opening Day, let us know, Mr. Krall.
—DOMBROWSKI NOT DUMB: When Philadelphia’s director of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski took the Phillies to the World Series, he became the first baseball executive to take four different franchises to a World Series — the Marlins, Tigers, Red Sox and Phillies. No other executive has taken more than two.
What would it take to get this guy to Cincinnati before he lands in Cooperstown?
—SMILEY FACE: As Wright State University athletic director Bob Grant boarded the team bus after WSU’s upset win at Louisville, he noticed something unusual.
“Coach Scott Nagy smiles about three times a year,” said Grant. “But as I boarded the bus he gave me a brief grin.” (Louisville is not very good this year, but a win on the road against a high-profile basketball school is definitely something to smile about.)
—ANKLES AWAY: Just when it looked as if Baker Mayfield was to become a football non-entity, he is rising from the ashes.
It’s all about ankles. Mayfield started Carolina’s first five games then suffered a high ankle sprain. His replacement, P.J. Walker, has started the last four games, but he, too, suffered a high ankle sprain. Quarterback Sam Darnold hasn’t taken a snap this year because of — yeah, right — a high ankle sprain.
That leaves Mayfield the last man standing and he will start Sunday against Baltimore. . .with his ankles wrapped and double wrapped.
—CASH OFFER: From Brad Schmaltz, my California correspondent, and if you’ve seen the attorney ads for folks who ingested tainted water at Camp Lejuene, you can identify with this:
“Have you or your family been exposed to Browns football in the years from 1999 to 2022? If so, you may be eligible for a large cash settlement.” (As a diehard, and die often, Browns fan, I’d be a millionaire.)
—QUIET, PLEASE: From author/good friend Scott Russell: “A wise man once said. . .nothing.” (I’ve done this many times with my wife. . .to my vast benefit.)
6 thoughts on “OBSERVATlONS: Time to forgive and not forget Pete Rose”
As I recall years ago Paul Nothing and Alex Kardashian were punished by the NFL for gambling on pro football games with a one year suspension. Look what spell check did. I typed H o r n u n g and K a r r a s. And look what came up. I think Pete’s been punished enough
It seems MLB and Cooperstown are determined to keep Pete Rose on his Elba, and that’s a crying shame. I hope Mr. Rose is successful this time, but it will be difficult without plenty of Baseball HOF Legends supporting him. Where’s Johnny Bench on Rose’s latest plea? Just How much more does Rose have to grovel to show that he’s truly repentant?
If Commissioner Manfred made it a condition for Pete to not place that January bet in order to be reinstated – along with a vow to never gamble on MLB again – would Charlie Hustle refrain from doing so? What would have to transpire to make all this come into place?
I have long-hoped Rose would be forgiven several times over the past 30-plus years, with an emphasis on his coming clean in 2004. So many notable figures have opposed Rose in years past – Even Mike Schmidt, Pete’s most ardent supporter, has said in recent years that he believes the Hit King will likely never become a member of Baseball’s HOF.
This is such a steep climb for an aging Pete Rose, and I believe he won’t be around much longer – I don’t believe his dramatic weight loss and frailty is all about good health. I believe this plea for mercy from MLB and the Baseball HOF shows more desperation than just being with his fellow legends after so many years. Pete is an 81-year-old man, clearly not in optimal condition, health-wise.
I am Praying for a miracle for Pete: A miracle of forgiveness that gives him a chance to be in Cooperstown. I believe, however, that every HOF Player, Writer, and announcer wanting to see this happen MUST speak up for Rose NOW, like you have so elegantly done, Hal.
Falling short of that, Rose’s climb is that much steeper, and there’s more of a time limit than ever!
God bless you, Pete! God bless you and yours, too, Hal & Family! 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏
Hello Mr McCoy, hey I’m the guy that said something about Dusty and his potential racism. I also acknowledge you know him better than me. Reason for this I would like Pete to get in the HOF like he deserves. I heard one time,possibly calling in radio, that when Pete broke into baseball in 63, was still a lot of racism of course, and Pete being a local guy and fan favorite, often stood up for black players such as Vada pinson, Tommy Harper, Frank Robinson, etc etc Don’t know of course, but you being the influential person you are, might be able to dig a little bit and communicate to movers and shakers what Pete did to help break the color barrier or make it easier anyway for black athletes. I don’t know man just a thought. I love you Mr McCoy, there’s no hard feelings, I’ve been a fan a lot of years! Take care. John 3:16
Marty spoke out in favor of Pete during his HOF Induction acceptance speech. I recall a certain Reds Hall of Famer had threatened to walk out of Marty mentioned Pete’s name. He remained seated.
Hey – ya can’t erase history. Only way Pete’s not in the HOF is the plaque – when I was there he was plenty in evidence in the displays. The Reds, of course, are significant in Pro Baseball history. (I wish current ownership was upholding that heritage by maintaining better competitiveness.) My point is – the Reds have their own outstanding HOF of which Charlie Hustle is a main feature. Who the heck needs Cooperstown?
Hal, it’s unfortunate that my favorite baseball player of all time is his own worst enemy. So he’s no saint. Neither were TY Cobb, Gaylord Perry, Fergie Jenkins, etc. Yes, MLB & the HoF are as hypocritical & corrupt as they come & Manfred is simply forcing fans away. Castellini & Krall are doing the same to Reds fans. They have convinced me not to visit GABP AGAIN in 2023. Sad for Reds fans, sad for Joey Votto, sad for a helluva lotta things. Just plain pathetic the Dreds have replaced the Bungholes.