Baseball On My Brain

Hello Mr. Pot, this is the operator…do you accept a collect call from Mr. Kettle?

I got the latest edition of USA Today’s Sports Weekly – which serves as the jump off point for today’s post.

As you may have heard, Pete Rose made some comments that the steroids scandal makes him seem like an altar boy with regard to his betting on the Reds. He managed to slip in a reminder that if someone who used steroids can get into the Hall of Fame, then he’s got a shot to get in. Subtle.

Now — when I was a kid, I thought Pete Rose was the ultimate bad-ass…he could hit, he played hard, and he seemed to be a pretty OK guy. Granted I was under 12 for most of his career, but that’s beside the point. He was one of the top figures in baseball – and he owns a fairly significant career record.

What bugs me is that is goes back to being about him. It seems as if he’s really degraded himself to Tonya Harding-esque levels – which is painful to watch as a fan. I get the whole paying for autographs thing, and in some ways I wish I could make that kind of dough signing my name. But at the same time – it seems like a form of prostitution — except with clothes on and a pen in hand.

I’m not going to start the Pete Rose Public Image Enhancement Campaign – but I sure wish we could do something to bring him up to a little higher level of public standing. He seems to be riding other people’s coat tails – which is something I don’t think the MLB career hits leader should have to do – gambling or not.

Enough about that.

There’s a total fluff piece with Matt Damon – who is the narrator of the 2007 World Series DVD. You have to think this will sell well in Boston, but not many other places, as the article alludes to. As big a fan of baseball as I am, I wouldn’t buy it. I would keep a free copy though.

The big article this issue talks about the value of top scouts — and while it’s not an amazing article – it is a good intro into the importance of scouting. People want to talk about the scouts vs. stats war that’s raging in MLB teams’ front offices. I don’t buy it. I think we’re on the cusp of a new era of scouts who will understand and be able to synthesize both sides of the argument.

A brief piece about the effects of the Mitchell Report in Japan is worth reading — while it won’t grab attention over here as much, it’s interesting to see how other countries deal with the issue.

More to come –


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