When I saw news clips on TV of Pete Rose walking on the field and talking to reporters in Philly this weekend, he reminded me of some old grandpop I’ve seen many times wandering into any Wawa on MacDade Boulevard. Or, he looked like the perfectly casted pop-pop to Kate Winslet in next season’s ‘Mare of Easttown.’
Pete came to Philly and was just being Pete. He’s always just been Pete. You either love him or hate him just as the Philly crowd demonstrated by mixing in their cheers with boos when he hit the field at the Phillies 2022 Alumni Weekend celebration.
When his image first appeared on my kitchen TV screen, I hit an instant nostalgic moment reminiscing my little league baseball playing days when Pete Rose was at the top of his game. He was the Allen Iverson of Major League Baseball in the 70s putting up big numbers as a relatively little guy. Pete Rose was Rookie of the Year in 1963, earned an MVP award 10 years later, had 17 All-Star appearances, and walked away with a trio of World Series titles. What was there not to like about Pete Rose the baseball player?
I think of the kids competing right now on ESPN in the Little League World Series. They have their favorite MLB players who may one day fall out of favor like Pete Rose did with his gambling, sexual relationships, and tax evasion issues. Some of those kids will forever like their favorite players for how they played the game and will think nothing of the rest of their lives, and others will feel let down by their pretend sports heroes’ antics. That’s life.
This weekend, Pete Rose made Monday Morning Quarterbacks out of a few news reporters. During ‘The Interview,’ the reporters didn’t want to get in the game, but the next day they sat at their keyboards to give Pete a bad report.
‘The Interview’ was reporters sitting with Pete Rose in Philly when a female reporter asked Pete about a woman who accused him in a lawsuit in 2017 of having a sexual relationship with her in the 1970s before she had turned 16. Pete snapped. He referred to the reporter as “babe” while dismissing her question as being inappropriate because “nobody cares what happened” 50 years ago. “You weren’t even born so you shouldn’t be talking about it.” I guess Pete deserves a pat on the back for not using a different ‘B’ word to describe the reporter.
From what I saw, and nothing has proven me wrong up to now, no other reporter in that room came to the female reporter’s defense during the Pete Rose interview. But, as Monday Morning Quarterbacks do, they make themselves look like the smartest people in the room the next day – coincidentally in this case, it was Monday morning when all their editorials and opinion pieces talking about how bad Pete Rose was hit the paper.
I’m sitting at my kitchen table about to jump into the TV trying to understand how Pete’s comments on this 50-year-old story is being allowed to slide. In fact, I’m actually hearing amens in my own two ears with agreement that 50 years is enough time for this to be behind him. I’m thinking that the girl with whom he was involved might care about what happened 50 years ago. No one even came to the reporter’s defense, that I know of. They just left her hanging. They just let Pete be Pete.
If I were in the room, I don’t think I could have prevented myself from bringing to the room’s attention 4 events that are older than 50-years-old that people keep caring about:
- Bill Cosby. Much like Pete Rose’s case, Bill Cosby had dozens of women suing him for alleged sexual assault starting in the 1970s with girls as young as 16. We may recall that his old ass did about a year in jail. However, because of the statute of limitations, Rose could not be charged with a crime.
- Emmett Till. Last month, the family of Emmett Till demanded justice, yet again, for the horrendous incident that took place nearly 70 years ago. After digging through files at a Mississippi courthouse, the arrest warrant for Carolyn Bryant, Till’s accuser, was found. Infuriated with the evidence, the advocates urged law enforcement to conduct a proper investigation and indict Bryant for her culpability in Till’s death. The Till family is still seeking justice after 70 years.
- Seventy-six years after the end of World War Two, a 100-year-old former concentration camp guard has gone on trial for assisting in the murder of 3,518 prisoners at Sachsenhausen near Berlin. Talk about playing the long game of justice.
- And who can’t forget the local story where a Delaware County Common Pleas judge has overturned a 91-year-old murder conviction for a Glen Mills Schools teen who was executed for the crime on June 8, 1931.
The biggest insult of the Pete Rose weekend was his self imposed sentence to make up to the female reporter. He’s going to act like a child being sent to the blackboard and write 1000 times, ‘I’m Pete Rose, an ignorant misogynist.’ Oh, no. He really agreed to sign 1000 baseballs for the lady.
I looked it up and a signed Pete Rose baseball can get you between $50 and $100. Instead of just cutting a $75,000 check to the lady reporter, he sent her out on the block to sell something with his name on it to earn her dough.
Pete Rose is a piece of work.