My mom used to say, "Famous people die in 3's." I've always thought about that when leaders/actors/bigwigs, etc. kick it and Cathy was right for the most part. I now have most in the newsroom talking about it when a famous obit comes across the wire. The theory was in jeapordy in 1999 when Max Patkin, the Clown Prince of Baseball died, because that was #4 (George C. Scott, Wilt Chamberlain, Payne Stewart). But then Greg Moore (race car driver) and Walter Payton quickly followed to make it 6. The 'divisible by three' argument is absolutely rock solid. Anywho, the sad news of legendary comedian Harvey Korman dying makes it two after Sydney Pollack died earlier this week. So, look for somebody famous to head for the pearly gates here in the next few days. And if it doesn't happen, Fate must be putting a little more stock in the star of Dick Martin (comedian "Laugh In", died 5/24) than I am.
Pete Rose should not be in baseball's Hall of Fame. That argument will get just about every sports fan to toss out an opinion. Many think he should be in. After all, he is the best hitter of all time, maybe the best player, no one showed more guts on the field than Charlie Hustle. But he broke baseball's cardinal rule - No Gambling on Baseball. In this day and age, a little gambling doesn't sound so bad, but when you're a game that was long haunted by crooked players in big gambler's pockets, see the 1919 Black Sox Scandal, then you have to protect the integrity of the game. I know, you say, "If they're so worried about integrity why are all these guys doing steroids and cheating the game of its records." Great point. Baseball has done a horrible job of handling the steroid issue. But, sadly, according to MLB's own rules, those players weren't even cheating until recently. And there's no penalty that says, "If you gamble on baseball, you will be banned from the game for life." It's so hallowed, the rule is on every clubhouse wall. "Darryl Strawberry and Steve Howe got numerous chances to re-enter the game after battling drugs." Very true. But again, no rule about drugs bans players for life. It's hypocritical for the HOF to have Rose's jersey, bat and other mementos on display and not him. Another good point. But it's not hypocritical. It's not even unusual. The Hall has the bat of Roger Maris on display - he's not in the Hall. And another thing, that jersey/ball/bat wasn't Pete's. It belongs to the Cincinatti Reds who belongs to MLB. Those belong to the game. he didn't pay for them. That 73rd home run ball doesn't belong to Barry Bonds, it belongs to the fan that caught it. "But he's admitted it now and he says he's sorry for it." So, when Scott Peterson does the same thing, do we let him off death row? Sorry, to be callous, but Pete Rose is a jerk. He was a jerk about the whole process - especially around HOF inductee time. But even if he was the nicest guy in the world, I'd say, sorry man, do the crime do the time. Why have consequences if you're just going to wave them as soon as someone gives a mea culpa? To quote the great Walter Sobchak: "Am I the only one who gives a $%!# about the rules?!" The sad thing is if we were talking about jack Morris, a fringe HOF player, no one would even care. But since it's one of the greatest, we have to debate this every year. Heck, I can turn the other cheek, like I'm sure many have, but, just like my kids, they still get punished after I forgive them. If baseball really wants to protect its integrity, it will leave Rose out of the Hall forever.
Tune in to WILX tonight and tomorrow. The CMN telethon is this weekend. I'm not asking you to donate (yet), just watch. You will b/c it's a great cause. Afterward on Saturday, you watch the Red Wings go for a 3-1 lead over the Pens. Root hard for the Pistons too. They need all the help they can get. Prediction: Pistons 91-79, onto Game 7... Red Wings 4-2 and onto Game 5 in Hockeytown.
Have a great weekend.