This is one vote Rose wouldn't get

Monday, January 12, 2004

Of course I'm not an official voter for the Baseball Hall of Fame, so I don't get to make these kinds of decisions. I can't even vote for the city council for another three months. If I could, though, this is one vote Pete Rose wouldn't get.

Don't get me wrong. Last year I would have driven Rose to Cooperstown myself if only he would have given baseball a penitent confession, but the timing of his admission comes across as an act of desperation instead of contrition.

Rose's dwindling number of supporters have argued Rose is a victim. Even Rose himself is clinging to the sympathetic American public, a public that loves to forgive.

Even during his interview Rose was reaching for sympathy with the "14" that was embroidered on the collar of his shirt. Did he think that would conjure up some lasting memory with us? Did he think we would harken back to the "good ole' days" when Charlie Hustle received a standing ovation when he surpassed Ty Cobb's record?

I don't find Rose a sympathetic figure at all. I find him a pathetic figure.

This was a pathetic attempt at an apology. He has only embarrassed himself further by trying to make a little more coin off of his confession.

Then again, maybe he is a victim, a victim of his own greed.

If Rose is elected to the Hall of Fame, and I suspect he will be, it should be because of the statistics he accumulated as a player and on one condition. His plaque should read: "Pete Rose, one of the greatest players to ever play the game, bet on his sport, thereby disgracing himself and baseball."

Today

The free-falling Tigers (that's the nice way of putting it) host the defending national champions tonight in Columbia. True, the Orange Crush did lose the Mello Man, but they haven't lost much of their rhythm since their win over Kansas last March. While Mizzou, on the other hand, has lost plenty. Syracuse at Missouri 8 p.m.

Thursday

Tennessee State visits the Show Me Center and so does Kerry Robinson. Robinson returns to his old stomping grounds to sign a few autographs before the game. The Otahkians game and autograph session begins at 5 p.m.

The Blues host the Blue Jackets in a battle of blue collars. It's also Subway/Pepsi Nesting Dolls night. I have no idea what a Nesting Doll is, but if you get there early enough and you're under 16 you get one. 7 p.m.

Friday

I don't know why Wayne Hagin would want to come to Cape Girardeau, after the poundings he has taken from the local broadcasters. But Hagin will face a Cape Girardeau crowd along with Woody Williams, Jason Simontacchi and Steve Kline as part of the Cardinal Caravan at the Osage Center at 6 p.m. The group will sign autographs as well as hold a question-and- answer session.

This looked like a good game on paper, but both teams seem to be headed in opposite directions. It could turn into blowout city. Jackson at Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m.

David Wilson is a sportswriter for the Southeast Missourian and a student at Central High School. His column appears every Monday.

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