"You know what we get to do today, Brooks? We get to play baseball!"
--Jimmy Morris (The Rookie)
One year ago the Cincinnati Reds retired Pete Rose's number and inducted him into the Reds Hall of Fame. Yesterday, the Reds once again honored Rose with a statue of Charlie Hustle laying out into one of his patented head first slides.
Pete was there being Pete. No prepared remarks. Speaking from the heart. Mixing it up with his former Big Red Machine teammates. Even spending time in the TV and radio booths.
Several times he indicated that he would love to spend more time with team, talking, for example, about hitting with Billy Hamilton and others. He wished he could set foot in the Reds clubhouse.
Of course, Major League Baseball has banned Pete from doing any of this.
It may go down as one the most foolish moves in sports business history. Locking out the game's greatest living ambassador and prohibiting him from doing what he does best: dedicating his being to advance the game of baseball.
Thankfully, MLB could not stop the conversion of the brightest Red of all into bronze.