OBSERVATIONS: A ‘Rose’ By Any Other Name. . .Still Pete Rose

By Hal McCoy

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man being very careful. After writing my previous UO I started to post it and deleted it. Gone. Everything. Call me stubborn or dedicated (I didn’t want to re-write it), so I spent 45 minutes searching every nook and corner of my laptop.

Incredibly, despite my laptop idiocy with sheer good fortunte, I found it. I dropped down under ‘File,’ clicked on ‘Return To’ and clicked the drophead that said, ‘Browse All Files.’ Shazam. There it was. Applause appreciated.

—A ROSE IS A ROSE: This is why it was always a hoot to interview Pete Rose. This was his take on faciing Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers Don Sutton and Bob Welch.

“Don Sutton? I wore his ass out. Oh, man. Two guys on the Dodgers I wore out, Don Sutton and Bob Welch. I could have gone up blindfolded and got hits off those two guys. I mean, really, Ray Charles could have got hits off Don Sutton.”

And Don Sutton is in the Hall of Fame and Bob Welch won 211 games with a 3.47 earned run average. In addition, Rose hit .307 against Bob Gibson.

It was Pete Rose who saw pitcher Don Gullett’s fastball and said, “He could throw his fastball through a car wash and not get the ball wet.”

Rose once said he wrote a book before he ever read one and also said, “I wish there was some way I could have gotten a college education, but I’m thinking about bv buying a college.”

He could have purchase Rose-Hulman Tech in Terre Haute and he wouldn’t have had to change the name.

—WHO’S AT FAULT: It sounds as if somebody slipped some sour grapes into pitcher Levi Stoudt’s Wheaties.

After the Reds designated him for assignment, the Seattle Mariners signed him. Stoudt started his career in Seattle but was part of the package the Mariners sent to the Reds for pitcher Luis Castillo.

Upon his return to Seattlle, Stoudt aimed criticism at the Reds to the Seattle Times, saying the Reds didn’t handle pitchers very well.

“It was different (with the Reds). It was a little bit of, I’d say, a lack of direction, in my sense. It was kind of not much of a philosophy. It was kind of just go play baseball and we’ll help you along the way. That’s the most exciting thing for me is to get back to that process of them (Seattle) looking at me and saying, ‘All right, this is what we know and what can we do to make you the best version of yourself.’”

In 2022, Stoudt appeared in six games for the Reds and posted a 2.63 earned run average over 24 innings. He made a solid impression.

But in April of last seasson he pitched 10 1/3 innings and gave up 11 runs and eight walks. Off he went to Triple-A Louisville. . .and disaster.

In 25 appearances over 82 1/3 innings he pitched to a 6.23 ERA and issued 50 walks.

Was it his fault or is he correct in his assessment of the help he received in the Reds’ system? Well, now he’s Seattle’s issue and it sounds as if he needs a full-length mirror.

—LEANIN’ ON LENNY: Lenny Dykstra was a down-and-dirty player whose nickname was “Nails” because he played so hard.

After baseball he has been immersed in financial and legal troubles that resulted in incarceration. And last week, the 61-year-old former outfielder suffered a stroke.

Early in 1990 Dysktra flirted with .400, something not done in MLB since Ted Willliams hit .406 in 1941. Dykstra was asked if he or anybody else could hit .400 over the long haul of a season.

“No, not with the split-fingered pitch, relief pitchers, night games and franchises 3,000 miles apart on the schedule. Hey, .350 is a great average today.”

Dykstra proved it. He finished 1990 at .325. And actually, Lenny, a .250 average today will get you a five-year $100 million contract.

—RICKETY RICK: A few of us who sat in a post-game interview at the Charleston Class after Dayton beate St. John’s, 88-81, know that St. John’s coach Rick Pitino’s post-game rant was no shock.

After the Dayton loss, Pitino did everything but call his team human beings, blaming everything on them. It was like, “I coached good, but they played bad.” No credit for UD. It was if Pitino expected to roll a basketball on the floor and his team would roll over the Flyers.

So there he was again this weekend when St. John’s lost to Seton Hall. Again it was a rant against his team. Among many things, he said, “I talk, but they don’t listen.” And he said there were no athletes on his team, they don’t know how to play defense and that this season was the least fun he has ever had.

Cry us a river, Rick, then go jump in it. Those kids deserve better.

—WHAT A WASTE: How many of you watched the NBA All-Star game? Me, neither. Defense was not allowed, not that they ever play much of it during the season. The two teams combined for 397 points — East 211, West 186. Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton scored 15 points in four minutes of the first quarter. . .and not a single hand was put in his face.

The only bigger farce than the NBA All-Star game is the NFL’s Pro Bowl — a game of two-handed touch like my grandkids play on the street.

And the NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest is farcical. The superstars don’t compete and for the second year in a row G League player Mac McClung won it.

I’d rather watch a re-run of Petticoat Junction.

—A QUID FOR THE QUOTES: And they keep on saying funny things:

—From pitcher Bob Miller on why he decided to retire: “I got tired of ducking line drives and backing up home plate.”

—From Mitch Webster after he was traded from the Montreal Expos: “It willl be great not to have to listen to two different national anthems.”

—From minor league umpire Jack Lietz after his crew worked an eight-hour extra-inning game: “We went the whole game without going to the bathroom.”

—From George Brett on losing: “If a tie is like kissing your sister, losing is like kissing your grandmother with her teeth out.”

—From pitcher Lefty Gomez: “I was never nervous when I had the ball, but when I let it go I was scared to death.”

—From Frank Robinson, baseball’s first black manager: “I had no trouble communicating. The players just didn’t like what I had to say.”

—From manager Eddie Stanky on denying vice-president Humbert Humphrey a visit to the clubhouse: “What do I need Humphrey for, he can’t hit.”

—From pitcher Trevor Hoffman when he saw in his contract that he couldn’t go spelunking: “The first time I saw the word spelunking I thought it had something to do with pornography.”

—PLAYLIST NO. 22: I fear I’m nearing the bottom of my iPod, but I hope there are some that you like:

We Got Tonight (Bob Seger), In The Air Tonight (Phil Collins), 9 to 5 (Dolly Parton), Without You (Mariah Carey), It Was Almost Like A Song (Ronnie Milsap), You Might Think (The Cars), Will You Still Love Me (Chicago), Two Out Of Three (Meat Loaf), Everything I Own (Bread).

Somewhere In The Night (Helen Reddy), Ride Like The Wind (Christopher Cross), Movin’ Out (Billy Joel), San Francisco (Scott McKenzie), This Ole House (The Statler Brothers), You’re My Best Friend (Queen), Baby I Love Your Way (Peter Frampton), Dancing In The Moonlight (King Harvest), Listen To Your Heart (Roxette).



One thought on “OBSERVATIONS: A ‘Rose’ By Any Other Name. . .Still Pete Rose”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *