Sports Talk with Mike / 4-7-'20

Updated: May 17, 2020

—I’m not sure about the rest of you sport’s fans, but, this time of shutdown has left a big whole in my daily routine. Being able to work from home has been a plus and still keeps me busy for 8 hours a day, but, it is that next part of the day, when I ran to the school to coach whatever sport I was involved in at the moment, currently softball, that I really miss. I miss the interaction with the young athletes, I miss the interaction with my fellow coaches, and, most of all, I miss the competition. Our first game was to be a week ago, and the way things are shaping up, we are going to be lucky if the postponement of the spring season doesn’t ultimately lead to a total cancellation. It just doesn’t seem fair to those who are missing their athletics, who are missing their education, who are missing special times with their friends and families. But, as you’ve probably heard a thousand times, life isn’t always fair. And the old saying that “what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger” seems applicable during this pandemic. So, I pray that this virus doesn’t kill any of you and that we come out of this much stronger than we went into it. Keep strong, be smart and stay safe. Before you know it, we will be back to the insanity that we call life. —I found myself watching a video the other day from September 11, 1985. It was a baseball game that saw the San Diego Padres taking on the Cincinnati Reds at Riverfront Stadium. It was the game that Pete Rose lined a single to left-center field off of Eric Show for his 4,192nd career hit. It was the hit that made Rose Major League Baseball’s career hits leader by surpassing Ty Cobb. From the announcer’s booth, Joe Morgan, Rose’s former teammate, exclaimed that “Pete Rose is baseball”. Rose went on to accumulate 4,256 career hits and retired after the 1986 season at the age of 45. However, as it was discovered that Rose bet on baseball while a player/manager, he was later banned from the game, and 34 years after retiring, and celebrating his 79th birthday next week, Rose has still not been enshrined at Cooperstown in baseball’s Hall of Fame. What Pete Rose did was wrong, no doubt about it. But, I really don’t care what anyone thinks of Rose as a person, as a baseball player, he was simply one of the best and deserves to get that call from the Hall. And his betting on the game didn’t have an effect on any of the 4,256 hits he smacked. I wasn’t a big Pete Rose fan in his playing days, probably because he played for the Big Red Machine when the Reds were one of the Pirates biggest rivals. But, Rose played the game the right way. He gave his all on every play of every game. The man that Rose passed to become the all-time hit leader wasn’t exactly a nice man. If there is room at Cooperstown for Ty Cobb, I am pretty sure there is a place for Pete Rose. It is time to let bygones be bygones and give Rose the recognition that he earned and deserves.

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