Sunday, August 31, 2014

MLB Week 22 - Pete Rose & Other Stuff

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by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Now that the countdown has begun for the end of the Bud Selig era as baseball commissioner, more and more media talking heads are asking “The Commish” “the question”, should Pete Rose be reinstated?

In the quarter century that has passed since the late A. Bartlett Giamatti dropped the “death sentence” on “Charlie Hustle”, we’ve seen Pete go from defiant to remorseful to, in a sense, grandfatherly concerning his banishment from the game he loves.

Yes, Pete made mistakes. Don’t we all? Yes, he finally admitted to betting on baseball after years of denial. I too was fooled on that one. Yes, he bet, not just on baseball, but Cincinnati Reds baseball while he was managing the team.

What reinstatement means for Pete Rose will be an opportunity to finally get elected to the Baseball Writers Hall of Fame in Cooperstown New York. In November 1989, three months after Rose’s banishment, the Baseball Writers of America voted to exclude any former players on the Permanent Ineligible List.

Maybe the time has come for Major League Baseball to finally forgive Peter Edward Rose and welcome him back. What Rose did as a player, 4,256 hits, among a host of other records he holds, were done as a player, not a manager.

It’s rare that I agree with Keith Olbermann, but he was dead right on his opinion concerning Pete’s reinstatement. Olbermann eluded to the fact that when a dollar was to be made on behalf of Major League Baseball, Pete Rose was invited to participate. The All – Century Team (sponsored by Mastercard) nominations during pre-game festivities at the 1999 All Star Game in Fenway Park, the subsequent revealing of the All – Century Team prior to Game 2 of the 1999 World Series, along with last year’s on field reunion of the “Great Eight” at Great American Ball Park, are just a few examples of the merchandising of Pete Rose, but not the ultimate goal – reinstatement.

Another former player on the banned list whose time has come is “Shoeless” Joe Jackson. Jackson was implicated with seven other members of the infamous “Black Sox” who accepted bribes to throw the 1919 World Series won by our Cincinnati Reds. What I have a hard time understanding is this, Jackson’s stats during the series just do not add up to his taking part in the fix. Jackson went 12 for 32, .375 average, 5 for 12 RISP, five runs scored, three doubles, six RBI, and he hit the only home run in the series. His twelve hits were a World Series record at the time. Of the White Sox twelve errors, Jackson committed none. The Reds committed thirteen errors in the series. I’m sure the others deserved their lifetime ban, but I believe “Shoeless” Joe was guilty by association.

Cincinnati’s 7 – 2 win against the Chicago Cubs this past Thursday, saw the Reds swipe six bases, the most thefts in a game since stealing six on May 10, 2006 versus Washington.

Also during Thursday’s thrilling win, Jay Bruce did something last done by Adam Dunn on August 20, 2002; strike out five times in a nine inning game.

Useless Trivia; according to Elias Sports Bureau, the Reds have had seven players to strike out five times in a single game, only Jay Bruce and the aforementioned Adam Dunn accomplished the “Platinum Sombrero” in a nine inning game.

When I saw the 2014 schedule last fall, I was surprised to find the Reds being off on Labor Day. In fact it’s the first time since 2008 the Reds have been off on that holiday. It’s probably for the better, the Reds are 1 – 4 in the last five Labor Day games.

Please forgive my lateness on getting this post written (Saturday night), I’ve started a new job at my employer, the United States Postal Service, along with our church, Jesus Name Tabernacle, being in revival this week. Just not enough time in the day!

For what it’s worth, yeah, the South Carolina Gamecocks were overrated!

Have a blessed week! GO REDS!!!!!

Dan Howard

Photo Credit: Lift the Ban

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