Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
January 9, 2004
BASEBALL/POLITICS: Clinton and Rose

I usually try to keep my politics out of my baseball posts - I respect the fact that not everyone who comes here for the baseball content agrees with my political opinions - but I'm making an exception here, so consider yourself duly warned. David Cameron at USS Mariner says of Pete Rose:

Rose is a scumbag lying weasel who has spent the past 10 years assailing the character of men who were telling the truth. Now, when it interests him financially and potentially leads to reinstatement, he's willing to say he was lying for the past decade and hope that we don't mind. There's absolutely no reason to put Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame, and I hope he never gets to enter Cooperstown, even if he tries to buy a ticket from a scalper.

(Emphasis added). The point about smearing his accusers is particularly relevant; one of the things that most horrified conservatives about Clinton, especially given his constitutional status as the nation's chief law enforcement officer, was the smear campaign conducted against Ken Starr and others who sought to hold him accountable. Ditto for the convenience of his apology; George Will makes the parallel explicit: "Rose's coming clean is the most soiled conversion of convenience since . . . well, Aug. 17, 1998, when DNA evidence caused Bill Clinton to undergo a memory clarification."

Although I disagree with Cameron about Rose and the Hall, my argument on this point almost four years ago was always the same as about Clinton: his actions had disabled him from holding a position of trust:

Badgering the man to apologize also misses the point; the continuing ban on managing isn’t so much a punishment as a preventative measure, like impeaching a public official or disbarring a crooked lawyer (to give two obvious parallels). Nor would I accept his apology. Rose’s decade-long denial of his problems, as well as his numerous false denials at the time, even under oath, of various easily provable facts suggests that he is not to be trusted even when and if he ever makes a public display of contrition.
Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:15 AM | Baseball 2004 • | Politics 2004 | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

My personal view is that Pete should be voted into the Hall when he’s reinstated, but should never again be allowed to have a position (manager, coach, etc…) where he can directly impact the results of games.

As for the Clinton similarity, I think an unfortunate parallel is the way supporters of either Clinton or Rose will sometimes casually slander previous Presidents and Hall of Famers when seeking to rationalize certain past behavior and score points in their defense. In very few cases is it warranted and usually ends up just smearing the reputations of better individuals.

Posted by: The Mad Hibernian at January 9, 2004 2:56 PM

Ironically, I thought the unfortunate parallel between Bush supporters and Rose supporters was that they so casually slander previous Presidents and better individuals (Fay Vincent and Bart Giamatti) who in a comically bizarre effort defame them while conveniently ignoring the far more egregious sins of their men.

So, while I completely disagree with the imagined parallels discussed in the post, I completely agree with the previous comment. Rose should be honored in the Hall for his career as a player but never allowed to hold any kind of position where he can affect the outcome of a game. If Rose never gets into the Hall though, I don't feel a whit of sympathy for him. He screwed himself and has nobody but himself to blame.

Posted by: c-dog at January 9, 2004 5:19 PM
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