“Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald never wrote a truer line.
“Peter Edward Rose.”
Baseball never produced a truer player.
He wasn’t the fastest or the strongest or the slickest, but no one gave more to the game.
His accomplishments are staggering: baseball’s career leader in hits (4,256), singles (3,215), at-bats (14,053), and games played (3,562); National League Rookie of the Year, National League MVP, World Series MVP, two-time Gold Glover, three-time World Series Champion, three-time National League Batting Champion, and 17-time All-Star.
Rose was obsessive. Before bed as a child, he would take 100 swings from the left and 100 swings from the right. He rode his compulsions to the Major Leagues as Charlie Hustle.
Team owners made billions before kicking him to the curb. They say he compromised the integrity of the game and have denied him a rightful spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
That is the type of integrity you get from people who wallow in money from casino ads and lottery promotions. Last week, while Rose was on the radio coming clean about betting his team to win every night, the Minnesota Twins were announcing their new “Twins Scratch Game” lottery tickets.
Baseball’s treatment of Rose is disgraceful. For all his faults, he has remained truer to the game than any of those who stand against him.
It’s time for baseball to rewrite this tragedy.