This entire Pete Rose fiasco is like a bad reality TV show.
So the Reds have secured permission from the Commissioner's Office to honor Pete Rose on the 25th anniversary of him breaking Ty Cobb's all-time hit record.
There are a few things about this convoluted situation that you just can't make up. This entire Pete Rose 21-year- old-botched-matter-on-all-sides, is one big oxymoron with plain old regular morons at the center of attention.
Here we have Bud Selig who has decided to allow the Reds to honor Rose for the 25th anniversary of his record breaking 4,192nd hit which happened on September 11, 1989. But Rose can't attend the celebration on the date of the event because he has a prior commitment to Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, Indiana!
Yes that's right; Rose who is banned for gambling can't attend his own 25-year Anniversary celebration because he has a commitment to be at a casino! So the event is presumably being moved to the 12th. But it gets better....
In the last 21 years, historical records have been improved. With those improvements have come adjustments to the official records. As it turns out, Rose did not actually break Ty Cobb's record on the 11th of September. Updated records now show that Cobb collected 4,189 hits in his career, not the 4,191 with which he was credited in 1985. This means that Rose actually passed Cobb not on the 11th, with his single against San Diego's Eric Show, but rather three days earlier on September 8th at Wrigley Field with a first-inning single against Reggie Patterson. The Reds play the Cubs in Chicago on September 8th. The Reds are playing the Rockies at Coors Field on September 8th, are they now going to have Rose show up in Colorado for a ceremony? Will they have him show up at Wrigley field at the real scene of the event for the Astros vs. Cubs game on the 8th? Or can't Rose break his Bingo / Texas Hold'em commitments that prevent him from attending anything on that date?
This entire topic of Rose being celebrated and honored is being publicly condemned by former MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent who is the one primarily responsible for enforcing the ban that his predecessor Bart Giamatti originally set before his untimely death.
Vincent ripped current commissioner Bud Selig for attempting to "please everyone." In an e-mail to the NY Post, Vincent wrote,
"When the keeper of the Rules does not enforce the Rules, there are no Rules. That was the quote from John Dowd [Thursday] when we discussed what Bud had done. John is correct. I totally disagree with the Selig position. Either enforce the Rules or reinstate him. Bud is trying, again, to please everyone. He did the same thing when he let Rose be honored at the [1999 World Series] -- hence the Jim Gray interview -- and his decision caused much confusion about a Rose reinstatement. I do not believe Selig wants to bring Rose back. But he wants to be loved in Cincinnati."
This will be Rose's first official appearance on the field in Cincinnati. Rose was not on the field when the Reds honored the 1975 team in 2000, nor was he part of the official closing of Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field in 2002, although a crowd in excess of 41,000 came to watch Rose take part in an old-timers softball game the day after the Reds' last game on the same field...
In typical fashion, MLB has been consistently inconsistent about this issue as Rose was allowed to appear during Major League Baseball's All-Century Team celebration. As you recall in 1999, a panel of experts assembled by Major League Baseball and sponsored by Mastercard, selected the one-hundred greatest players. More than two million baseball fans worldwide then voted to determine the top players by position from this elite group. A Blue Ribbon panel then added five legends to create a thirty-man team. Rose was placed on the team and preceding game 2 of the 1999 World Series between the Yankees and Braves at Atlanta's Turner Field, the All-Century Team took center stage in a rousing ceremony, with the biggest ovation going to, you guessed it, Pete Rose.
You just can't make this stuff up? What's next? A reality TV show with Rose, Clemens, Bonds, Selig and Vincent all living together? They can throw "Snooki" and "The Situation" into the mix and really make it interesting. - Mike Cardano
Mike is the founder of Around the Horn Baseball & Xtra Point Football.
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