Surprise! Pete Rose is back in the news.
Apparently, there is a collector who has x-rayed one of Rose's old bats. He has discovered that the bat has something in it that may be cork or a similar substance. He even has some evidence that the bat was used in a game.
This is not really news, as a 2001 Vanity Fair article made the same allegations.
Update: In light of the recent report that Pete Rose used a corked bat leading up to his record-breaking 4,192nd hit, two Cincinnati collectors had their Rose game-used bats X-rayed recently. Bob Crotty, owner and founder of Green Diamond Gallery, and Mark Fugate of Diamond Sports had their bats X-rayed on June 16, 2010 and both were found to be uncorked. Crotty's bat is a Mizuno PR4192, the model Rose used while gathering hits 4,000-4,192. Fugate's bat is a Mizuno ATHL model that Rose used for the
remainder of his career after breaking the Major League Baseball all-time hits record.
Here is why we should not care.
Among many other researchers, MythBusters has shown that a corked bat does not help a batter hit the ball harder or farther. Cork in a bat actually decreases the bat's effectiveness.
If used, the bat would not have helped Rose. He would have gotten the hits anyway.
Overall, the evidence of him corking that bat and using it in a game is thin. While there is some proof that the bat was Rose's and it may have been used in a game, there is no proof showing when it might have been corked. We have no hard evidence that the bat was used to get a hit and it may not have been corked until after it was used in a game.
It would be much more interesting if there was some hard evidence that Rose used this corked bat during a game.
Isn't it possible that this new controversy is motivated by money?
Of all the owners of this bat over the years, is it possible that the new owner decided to enhance his investment and cork it himself?
Admittedly, it is hard to believe that one of the owners of the bat would take an expensive bit of baseball memorabilia and start cutting it. On the other hand, the Deadspin article says that the value of the bat, if corked, is worth far more than if it is not corked.
Would an owner of this bat want to increase the value from $5,000 to more than $100,000?
Baseball has a long history of players bending the rules in order to take every advantage they could.
Getting an edge in baseball is as American as Britney Spears.
Recently, Ted Lilly was pitching several inches in front of the rubber. Pitchers have always used their thumbnails to scratch the surface of the ball. Fielders use non-regulation gloves.
The list goes on and on.
Hall Of Famer Joe Morgan has recently said this charge is "a bunch of bull." Morgan had the locker next to Rose for eight years in Cincinnati and one year in Philadelphia. If Rose was cheating, Morgan would have known.
Joe Morgan's statement carries plenty of weight.
Do you care about the corked bat controversy? While you're thinking about that, here are more baseball articles to check out:
Here is a list of no-hitters and near no-hitters in 2010.
Here are five possible destinations for Roy Oswalt.
Here are five reasons why Ken Griffey, Jr. retired.
Here are five reasons why Derek Jeter won't break Pete Rose's record.
Here are some reasons why Orlando Hudson's racism claims may have been wrong.
Here are some reasons why the Ryan Howard contract may not have been wise.
This article wonders if Adam Dunn can play a competent first base.
This article debates if Jeter can break the record.