1/06/2004 08:56:00 PM
There is so much in the sports section of today�s papers, let�s look at them one at a time.
ITEM: TUG MC GRAW 1944-2004
What is amazing to me is, we tend to forget that Tug played 10 years for the Phillies and 9 for the Mets. It�s been widely speculated that M. Donald Grant wanted to trade Tug very badly as he thought that McGraw was mocking him in 1973 when he gave the Mets a little pep talk. Grant had told the struggling �73 Mets that he still believed in them and Tug jumped up and shouted what became one of the most famous phrases in America �YA GOTTA BELIEVE�.
After the 1974 season, Tug was dealt to Philadelphia for CF Del Unser, RHP Mac Scarce, and C John Stearns. McGraw was a key contributor to the resurgence of the Phillies, as he helped lead the team to division championships form 1976-1978. In 1980 we was on the mound in the 9th inning of Game 6 of the World Series and proceeded to strike out Willie Wilson of the Royals with the bases loaded to preserve a 4-1 lead and the Phillies first ever Worlds Championship.
I think the best thing you could say about McGraw is, that whenever you see a film clip of him or see him on a interview, you break out in a smile.
ITEM: AARON HEILMAN WANTS TO BE THE 5th STARTER
Well he has taken a good step toward that goal by joining some of his teammates at a mini camp in Pt. St. Lucie. The main problem that Heilman has is, he has a scatter arm. His realease point on his pitches are all over the place. What that is poor mechanics. So a good couple of sessions with Professor Rick should be to his advantage. Heilman�s other problem is his attitude. It needs a major adjustment. For some reason he gives off the aura that he will be given the 5th starters job on a platter. It�s that kind of thinking that will make Heilman the subject of �Where are they Now� features if he doesn�t smarten up fast.
ITEM: PETE ROSE ADIMITS TO GAMBLING ON BASEBALL
No, really? Hey Pete, I knew that the first time I read the Dowd Report. All Rose had to do was come clean 14 years ago and this sad saga would have been put to rest. But if he did that, how would Rose become more famous (or infamous) than when he played? Who would�ve cared about Pete Rose the Hall of Fame baseball player? More folks wanted to know about Pete Rose, the Rouge.
Let�s see, I guess now would be a good time for Rose to come clean, since he has 2 years left on his Hall of Fame eligibility to be voted in by the BBWAA. So why not write a book to confess (even though he wrote a book with Roger Kahn and said he never bet on baseball, and now Roger Kahn feels like a first class schmuck) and make a few bucks out of it.
So Rose wants your sympathy and understanding. As Ralph Kramden would say, HAR-DEE-HAR-HAR! Here is what it states in Rule 21 of the Major League Agreement that is posted on every clubhouse door in the Majors:
�Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee
who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game
in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform
shall be declared permanently ineligible�
It�s right there in black and white. So when Rose comes calling with his hat in his hand, looking for reinstatement to baseball, the Commissioner should just give him a copy of Rule 21 and ask him to read aloud. Then tell Rose �I always knew you bet on baseball and on the Reds and now after 14 years or so you admit you bet on baseball and on the Reds. So you shall stay ineligible� But you and I know that will never happen.
Pete Rose is slimy spineless conniving slug. So he has a lot in common with Alan H. Selig. Selig we know does not have the onions to tell Rose �Here�s your hat, What�s your hurry?� when he comes calling for reinstatement. A real Commissioner (like Bart Giamatti or Fay Vincent) would call Rose and tell him �don�t waste a trip, it ain�t happening� But sadly MLB is lacking in that kind of leadership.
How about Rose taking some the blood money he will make on this book of his and taking out a full page add in the New York Times or USA Today, apologizing to all the people whose reputations he tried to besmirch.:
To the Family of A. Bartlet Giamatti:
I would like to apologize to a man who loved and respected the game baseball more than I ever did. I�m sorry for the angst and worry I caused him. He was 100 % right in his assessment of me. I should have realized that a man like Bart would have had compassion for me and supplied me with the help I needed for my gambling problem. If I were honest with him, this mess would have been avoided.
To Fay Vincent:
I just want to say how sorry I am for lying to your face. When you asked me if I bet on baseball and I said NO. You gave me a chance to be contrite but I was too stupid to accept your help.
To John Dowd:
I am sorry for calling you vile names and questioning your integrity. You were hired by MLB to investigate me and after a thorogh job; you had me dead to rights. I am so sorry that you were the source of ridicule and distain from fans and the media who believed me when I said you had it in for me. All you were doing was the job you were hired to do and you did it well.
To the All Century Team and the Fans That Voted Me On the Team:
I knew all along I did not belong on the MLB All Century Team but the self promoter that I am I could not help myself to make that ceremony a spectacle. I apologize to all the fans that cheered me that night and took up my cause for making you all look like a horses ass.