Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Roses and Thorns

Congratulations to Serena Williams for winning the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year for 2015.  There is nothing I enjoy more than the measured, appropriate responses Twitter permits an individual to have to the "news" of the day.  Some jackass - responding to a Tweet from Sports Illustrated announcing her as the winner of the award - brayed that "I have never been as angry about anything in my life as I am about this!"   Initially, I laughed.  Then I thought this young fella could benefit from a bit of Sgt. Hulka's special brand of attention.  

Of course, the world being what it is, on the very same day that Sports Illustrated named Serena its Sportsperson of the Year, the Daily Mail published a story apparently attempting to shame her for taking a taxi cab to cover more than half of the course in her charity's very own 5K race in Miami this weekend.    I read that article, chuckled a little, and then chuckled some more as I thought of just how pissed off little Mr. Never Been So Angry must have been when news of her "transgression" reached him.  He must have had to print a retraction of his earlier Tweet, which undoubtedly made him very angry - perhaps even angrier than he had ever been in his life.    

Me, I am refreshed to know that at least one of us inhabits a world in which the athlete Sports Illustrated selects to honor in a given year rises to the level of being the thing that makes us the angriest.  As someone who has real-world problems with which to deal as part of my day-to-day, I long for the day when something so irrelevant makes its way to the top of my list of troubles - or onto it for that matter.  Perhaps that is because I live in a world where bullshit such as this happens

On the subject of someone who spent at least a portion of his Monday pissed off, how steamed do you think Pete "Moe Howard" Rose must have been when he received the phone call from Commissioner Rob Manfred that Major League Baseball is not going to reinstate him?  Candidly, I hope he was plenty pissed off.  Rose got caught red-handed (no pun intended) betting on baseball, while he was earning a paycheck managing the Cincinnati Reds.  He spent close to fifteen years denying that had done so - even after accepting his lifetime ban - before finally owning up to what he did in his autobiography.  Well kind of, sort of as it turns out.    

For whatever it is worth, Commissioner Manfred made it clear that Rose's banishment from MLB - meaning that he cannot work for a team or for MLB itself - and his eligibility for enshrinement into the Baseball Hall-of-Fame are two separate issues entirely.  I admire how deftly he dumped that issue squarely back into the collective lap of the Baseball Writers Association of America, the group that actually votes players into the Hall-of-Fame, which he did on the third page of his four-page written statement

Whether Rose shall remain on baseball's ineligible list for the remainder of his life, or mine for that matter, I know not.  I do not foresee him getting voted into Cooperstown in the near future either, Commissioner Manfred's homage to Pontius Pilate notwithstanding.  And frankly, the next tear I shall shed for Pete Rose over his banishment from MLB and from Cooperstown shall be my first.  

If he could win a set off of Serena Williams, then perhaps I would rethink my position.

But then again, no.

As it turns out, Oscar Wilde was right:  No man is rich enough to buy back his past.  


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