Shot WWI deserters! A Pete Rose write-in! A HOF ballot! Marc Maturo ties it all together…as I tie myself off.
In this atmosphere, I would rather stress the arguments that minimize Rose’s guilt and maximize his offsetting contributions to the game. Let’s face it, aside from me and a handful of other purists, nobody gives a tinker’s damn about the integrity of the championship or whether the regular season means anything. Certainly not the fans, the great mugs who pay the freight. They just want to see the locals stay in with a chance for as long as possible. And for this cheap thrill they’re prepared to put up with blizzard baseball and any other preposterousness MLB can milk them for.
...Some time in Purgatory seems in order. But should this overturn his entire good example as a player and everything he did in good faith on the field for more than 20 years? His sin as an insider trader set against his saintliness as a player? Must we choose between them? What is it they say, “Condemn the sin and forgive the sinner?” Whatever baseball may mean, if anything, Pete Rose gave a lot and added a lot to it as a player.
Why do we watch, why do we pay, why do we care? There isn’t any one answer to these questions, so there isn’t any one answer to the Petey-boy question, either. A consensus has to be reached. But consensus changes too over time, like all those soldiers who were shot for desertion in WWI and then decades later completely exonerated. They may be exonerated, but they’re still dead as far as I know.
The Rose case isn’t so drastic, but it’s not completely dissimilar. He’s only been ostracized, or if you will, excommunicated. But for as long as he stays that way, it’s perhaps a kind of ritual execution. The time for his exoneration will probably come too. Perhaps it has?
Posted: December 27, 2012 at 02:02 AM | 13 comment(s)
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