Most of us have seen the tweets. Today, August 24th, mark an important, yet difficult day for Reds fans. On this date in 1989, Rose agreed to a lifetime ban from baseball. Even though a caveat of this ban was that Rose could apply for reinstatement after a year, Rose has yet to obtain that.
About a month ago, I young man named Matt Tracy had the opportunity to interview one of Cincinnati’s most beloved personalities. To read all of Matt’s piece on the interview, you can go to Matt’s site, matttracy.com. It is refreshing to read an interview with Rose and the issue surrounding his ban is not addressed.
But it’s also a subject that creates a divisive front between Reds fans and general baseball fans. A little less than a year ago, I was a staff writer for FanSided’s general baseball blog named Call to the Pen. My first ever article over there was about this very subject. At the time, Rose had returned to Cincinnati for the celebration of 25 years since Rose had passed Ty Cobb as the “Hit King”.
From that spectacular weekend was Rose’s apology to his teammates, Rose making an appearance on the field at GABP and a triumphant stomp of first base during the recognition.
Post and articles about Rose are a dime a dozen. They have been and always will be. Interviews, such as Matt’s, are what I long to read even though I do this gig in voicing my opinion. To hear/read of Rose and how he feels about baseball issues, and not the stuff that surrounds him, is a breath of fresh air.
That post I authored over at CttP still remains, in my opinion, one of the best posts I have ever written. The aspects that surround Rose and his exclusion for the likes of the Hall of Fame and even having his 14 retired will always bring about feelings from every fan of the great pastime. I’m no different.
Here are a couple of points from that…
John Erardi covered the event. Here’s a quote from Rose.
“I disrespected the game of baseball,” Rose said. “When you do that, you disrespect your teammates, the game and your family.”
And Rose went even further to apologize to his former teammates. He bared his soul for the 500 or so there.
“I guarantee everybody in this room, I will never disrespect you again,” Rose said.
Something else that strikes me as odd. Rose and what he would do if granted reinstatement. Again, an excerpt.
After all the pomp and circumstance of the Rose lovefest festivities, I was watching Baseball Tonight on ESPN. John Kruk and Nomar Garciaparra stated they thought it was time baseball allowed Rose “back into the fold”, so to speak. They felt Rose could be one to counsel individuals about issues he has struggled with.
This is where I slammed on the brakes on my brain. The screeching sound almost deafening. I asked myself, aloud, a question.
How could baseball, in its right mind, consider one to counsel anyone on the evils of gambling when that person still does not have those demons conquered? I ask this as a lifelong fan of the Reds. I ask this as a fan of Pete Rose. I ask this as a fan of baseball.
It’s an answer I believe we all know. And that is a sad answer, too. And I’m also sad that I will not see Rose receive his due. And I’m even more saddened that Rose will most likely not see that.