“We did it in my usual slow process, but a good one.”
Those was a comment in USA Today recently from Major League Baseball commissioner Alan “Bud” Selig after a majority of the team owners approved the use of television instant replay for nearly every questionable play, but not for balls and strikes.
“I made mistakes. I can’t whine about it. I’m the one that messed up and I’m paying the consequences. However, if I am given a second chance, I won’t need a third chance. And to be honest with you, I picked the wrong vice. I should have picked alcohol. I should have picked drugs or I should have picked up beating up my wife or girlfriend because if you do those three, you get a second chance. They haven’t given too many gamblers a second chances in the world of baseball.”
Those were comments baseball’s all-time hits leader, Pete Rose, made to a Pittsburgh radio station recently when he was called for comments about the steroid-related suspensions of a number of Major League Baseball players, including Texas Rangers’ outfielder Nelson Cruz and Detroit Tigers’ shortstop Jhonny Peralta.
Now let me make a comment. Pete Rose’s banishment from baseball has been going on since, oh, what seems like forever while the argument about using instant replay for the so-called questionable plays is, in perspective, a relatively new issue.
So, why did Bud Selig call his instant-replay revelation a “slow process, but a good one” when he’s been dragging Pete Rose through the mud since 1989.
Yes, I’ll admit, I’m a Pete Rose fan. I’ve been a fan of the Cincinnati Reds since the early 1970s when my older brother, John, lived in Los Angeles and he would call and tell me that Sandy Koufax was pitching or Don Drysdale was pitching and he was on his way to Chavez Ravine. So I decided I might as well pick a National League team to like and since Cincinnati is relatively (speaking) close to West Michigan, I chose them. That was about when Rose and Joe Morgan and Tony Perez and Davey Concepcion and Fred Norman were making their way to stardom, so it turned out to be a pretty good choice.
But those days are done, as are the days of no instant replay and of Pete Rose’s gambling.
So, Bud Selig, I implore you. For the good of baseball and for a deserving spot in the Hall of Fame, exonerate Mr. Pete Rose. How long does he have to wait? How long do WE have to wait?