I’ve considered making the three-hour drive to Cincinnati on Sunday to attend the Pirates/Reds game. Not so much because I care about either team, but because MLB has decided to allow Pete Rose to be honored for the 25th anniversary of his breaking Ty Cobb’s all-time hit record. It’s ironic that he will miss the day that MLB says is the 25th anniversary because of a pre-scheduled engagement at a casino. It seems appropriate for a guy who earned himself a permanent ban from baseball by betting on games. He may be the most talented player to receive the ban hammer since Shoeless Joe Jackson, the difference being Rose actually deserves the ban.
By the same token, all of the betting in the world doesn’t give him 4296 hits or a lifetime batting average of .303. Those were earned bit-by-bit over the course of 24 seasons. Whatever he may be off the field, on the field he’s Charlie Hustle. Being a great athlete does not excuse anything, but I’m glad Rose’s accomplishments are being honored this weekend. After all, he’s not receiving a humanitarian award. Besides, if a complete jackass like Ty Cobb can be in the Hall of Fame, the least we can do is let Pete Rose get a round of applause.