MLB Baseball: Why Fay Vincent Was Right About Pete Rose and Bud Selig

Paul M BaxterContributor ISeptember 12, 2010

CINCINNATI - SEPTEMBER 11:  Pete Rose waves to the crowd during the ceremony celebrating the 25th anniversary of his breaking the career hit record of 4,192 on September 11, 2010 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was honored before the start of the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

On Saturday, the Cincinnati Reds honored the banished Pete Rose on the 25th anniversary of his 4,192nd hit, the hit that pushed him past Ty Cobb for the all-time record.

Given Charlie Hustle’s excommunication from the game that has defined his whole life, a reprieve was necessary from the offices of Major League Baseball and commissioner Bud Selig to allow the now 69 year old on the field.

Now I don’t ever miss a chance to pile on Bud “Let’s Call the All-Star Game a Tie” Selig and, in truth, a lot of those times he doesn’t deserve it, but in this case he deserves a fair share of second guessing. In allowing Rose on the field in Cincinnati, even though he wasn’t allowed to speak, Selig comes off as that friend in your crew that will say and do anything to be liked, and once again, for a guy who looks about as bland as an accountant nearing retirement age, he’s quite worried about appearance.

I say once again as I think back to Barry Bonds' chase of Henry Aaron’s home run record and the commissioner’s “I don’t want to be here” posturing as he followed the future home run king around the country, reflecting quite accurately the mood of most baseball fans. Well, Bud, you wouldn’t have been there had you not been too busy lapping up praise like a dog from a bowl for the glorious “return of baseball” in the summer of ‘98 to realize that maybe there was something a little bit off about all those balls leaving the yard.

Magical season, my a**.

I’m not really sure how I feel about Pete Rose anymore. No, he still doesn’t pass the character test for Hall of Fame admission, but neither does the man he passed as hits leader on that September day 25 years ago. Rose more than ably passes the Major League accomplishments test and I still believe that’s all that should really matter for admission to the Hall.

But I can’t help but agree with Fay Vincent’s read on Bud Selig allowing Rose to attend the tribute to him, that “When the keeper of the Rules does not enforce the Rules, there are no Rules.” You can’t have your cake and eat it too, as they say.

If Rose is banned, he’s banned.

If he’s not, he’s not.

Hey Bud, either S*** or get off the pot.


If you haven’t read it, ESPN has a great article on their website about the pitcher who threw Rose the pitch on which he hit his 4,192nd second hit. It’s definitely worth a read.