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Pete Rose upset home plate collisions will be eliminated from Major League Baseball

Dec 15, 2013, 11:34 AM EDT

You probably could have predicted this. Via the great Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News:

A GOOD FRIEND, Mark Fisher of Bloomington, Ind., sent my an e-mail and asked, “What would Pete Rose say about MLB wanting to eliminate collisions at home plate?”

That’s a great question, so I called Rose. As you might expect, he had more than a few syllables to say about the subject.

“First of all, if they can eliminate concussions, I’m all for that,” said Rose. “But I’ve thought and thought about it. The only concussions I can remember recently in baseball is Justin Morneau, and he got that sliding into second base. I know this is mostly about Buster Posey, but he got hurt when he got his ankle caught and twisted it.”

SO, YES, ROSE is against eliminating home plate collisions.

“I’m a traditionalist,” he said. “I thought the game has always been pretty good. About the only major changes they’ve made to the game since 1869 was when they lowered the mound afrter the 1968 season and the designated hitter. I mean, the game is going pretty good, isn’t it?

“What’s next? Are they going to eliminate the takeout slide on double plays at second base?” Rose asked.

Johnny Bench is all for the new rule, which was first announced at last week’s Winter Meetings in Orlando, Florida, and is only awaiting approval from the players’ union. That approval is expected to come soon.

Rose inflicted a major shoulder injury on catcher Ray Fosse when he plowed into him at home plate during the 1970 All-Star Game. “I had nothing against Fosse,” Rose told McCoy this weekend. “I had him over to my house the night before the game, but to this day he denies that. And he won’t do autographs shows with me and still says I deliberately tried to end his career. If that was my intent, I sure did a terrible job of it.”

  1. Old Gator - Dec 15, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    I doubt if Pete Rose ever meant to “end” anyone’s career (with the possible exception of his own; he didn’t even want to end Bud Harrelson’s careet. He just wanted to kill him). Pete played to win, end of sentence. Didn’t matter if it was an exhibition game, spring training, regular season, playoffs or world series. Fosse stood between him and winning and got the same treatment Pete would have meted out to anyone in that situation.

    I don’t agree with him about the desirability of eliminating the home plate collision. I’m all for that. But Pete Rose will be Pete Rose all the way to the afterlife. That one-directional energy in him is what made a guy with mediocre athletic gifts one of the greatest ballplayers ever.

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 15, 2013 at 12:04 PM

      Pete didn’t say anything bad and his point about Morneau and Posey are true but
      MLB can’t risk injury to players.
      I can’t remember any team losing a game because there was NO collision @ home plate.

    • yahmule - Dec 15, 2013 at 2:59 PM

      Kind of strange the way Pete always fought guys like Harrelson and Rich Auerbach who were giving away forty pounds to him.

      • Old Gator - Dec 16, 2013 at 8:05 AM

        Can’t speak to the Auerbach situation but I was at the Harrelson game. It was actually Harrelson who picked the fight.

  2. temporarilyexiled - Dec 15, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Pete Rose is the best living example of how it’s actually possible to be too competitive. Are we supposed to believe that if he was able to back off just a tad from being totally maniacal that he wouldn’t have been the same amazing player? Or did he just take it way too far with Ray Fosse, and the gambling, and the many sordid moments he’s given us for several decades? Put him in the Hall of Fame. He more than deserves it. But his advice on what’s best for anyone other than Pete Rose seems like the most comical of sources you could ever come up with.

    • Old Gator - Dec 15, 2013 at 11:58 AM

      I don’t see anything “sordid” about bedding hecatombs of young women in one’s late middle age. What modern science was too late to help Pete do in his prime, it is making it possible for him to do in his senescence. At least Bud Light’s Jawas don’t come knocking on his door at odd hours to demand a sperm sample.

      • davidbrentfan - Dec 15, 2013 at 8:10 PM

        “I don’t see anything “sordid” about bedding hecatombs of young women in one’s late middle age.”

        Hahaha. Since when did being 72 qualify as being ‘middle aged’ in any way?

      • Old Gator - Dec 15, 2013 at 8:39 PM

        72 is the new 40.

      • davidbrentfan - Dec 15, 2013 at 8:51 PM

        “72 is the new 40.”

        Haha ok. Apparently being 8 or so years from reaching the life expectancy for the average man is still ‘middle aged’.

        Pete Rose stopped being ‘middle aged’ about 15 years ago.

      • temporarilyexiled - Dec 16, 2013 at 7:49 AM

        Agree with you there. But the sordid I was referring to has more to do with the public persona since the game. I saw 18 Mets games at Shea in ’86. Great team. First four in the batting order (especially the first two) turned out to be a bit sketch, no? And Pete’s persona can match up with all four of them put together. Especially when you consider it’s Rose’s teammate – Johnny Bench – who’s gotten this right. Posey’s technique was questionable – plays happen so fast you need to have this figured out before you ever get out there – and the rule change makes sense. And then when you factor in that Bench is considered the best ever at the position – I’ll take his advice over Rose’s any day.

      • Old Gator - Dec 16, 2013 at 12:06 PM

        @david: I think you’re just jealous of Pete.

        I know I am.

    • mikhelb - Dec 15, 2013 at 6:55 PM

      His advice is as solid and as valid as anybody’s advice, just because you don’t agree with his opinion on how the game should be played is no reason to bury his opinion.

      There is no way somebody can be “too competitive”, either you are competitive or not.

      • temporarilyexiled - Dec 16, 2013 at 7:38 AM

        Really? No nuance? You’re competitive or you’re not? Don’t you think that’d make for a pretty simplistic, mundane, boring sort of a world?

  3. hittfamily - Dec 15, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Pete is Pete. If he had a time machine that could transport him back to when he was rounding 3rd, and he knew he was about to end Fosse’s career at the benefit of being safe in a meaningless game, he would do the exact same thing. He’s the type of guy you want to go to battle with, but not the guy you want planning the battle. Thankfully, Pete Rose has no say in the safety of other ballplayers.

    • anxovies - Dec 15, 2013 at 12:20 PM

      Excellent point! I would very much like to have Pete as my platoon sergeant because his aggression and inventiveness would help keep me from getting killed, but no way in hell would I want him as my general planning the battle because he would be sure to get me killed.

      • temporarilyexiled - Dec 16, 2013 at 8:03 AM

        Your points about the battlefield couldn’t be more spot on. But I still contend that while it’s obvious Pete Rose as manager was bound to cause problems, the playing field is not quite the battlefield. Maybe football, basketball, hockey, soccer are closer to the analogy. There is territory involved. But baseball, while highly competitive, can remain so, even while contact is kept to a reasonable minimum.

        I think there’s this idea out there that Pete Rose had to be utterly over the top to play as well as he did. There’s no question he did way more with way less. But I’ll still contend that he could’ve been just as good without gambling, without trying to bring Ty Cobb back to life, and without an ego that’s so out of control, it’s creepier than an old John Waters movie without the humor.

    • mikhelb - Dec 15, 2013 at 6:59 PM

      Did you know… that Ray Fosse played for 8 more seasons after that collision? His career ended because he wasn’t as good as other catchers and was a replacement player before he had a peak early in his career that comprised two years after that collision.

  4. jjpileggi - Dec 15, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    Pete Rose only recalls a small number of concussions? And that is definitive and scientific? Why does anyone care what Laurence Taylor thinks about football and Pete Rose thinks about baseball? Is it because each has done so much to promote integrity and image?

    • anxovies - Dec 15, 2013 at 12:21 PM

      Uh, because they both know a lot more than you do about it?

      • clydeserra - Dec 15, 2013 at 1:21 PM

        jjpileggi knows there have been more than one concussion in baseball.

        that’s more than pete rose

  5. sleepyirv - Dec 15, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Pete Rose is still angry that they ban players from carrying knives on the field.

    • hittfamily - Dec 15, 2013 at 12:16 PM

      And that a bowl cut isn’t fashionable.

  6. weaselpuppy - Dec 15, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Pete thinks all catchers should simply be given “chest protectors” like his wife has. If they get run into at home, they’ll bounce into the 3rd row….

  7. mgv38 - Dec 15, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    “Pete Rose upset Pete Rose was eliminated from Major League Baseball.”

  8. budmanjim - Dec 15, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Pete Rose is an old egomaniac….. He has really shown what a jerk he really is….

  9. manhandler1 - Dec 15, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    It’s because he has a wager going on at the beginning of each season betting on how many catchers will be seriously injured that season. Another gambling opportunity bites the dust.

  10. plmathfoto - Dec 15, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    I will say that his ego over rode his will to win. Witness the last couple of years as player manager of the Reds, he put his own .250 hitting with no power ass in the lineup (just so he could break the hits record and maybe in his peabrain to think they had a better chance of winning with his punch & judy self in lineup ) at FIRST BASE and sat Driessen et al.

  11. pastabelly - Dec 15, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    They should get Pete Rose’s opinion on any rule change. :)

    • jaclyn1973 - Dec 15, 2013 at 4:40 PM

      yeah cause he’s the only person whose opinion is relevant….pffff

  12. proudliberal85392 - Dec 15, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    Hey, Pete, we’ve learned a few things in the 20+ years since you’ve been banned. Time to go sell more tchotchkes swimming in your name.

  13. sabatimus - Dec 15, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    What’s the over-under on Pete Rose still being angry at MLB?

  14. edpeters101 - Dec 15, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Message to Pete: A lot of people are upset with what you did. So do us a favor and shut up!

  15. 950003cups - Dec 15, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Home plate collisions must pay good odds. Now he’s screwed.

  16. gloccamorra - Dec 15, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    If the rule was every player running home must slide (except for home runs), Pete would still be unhappy. Slamming your shoulder into a catcher instead of trying to touch the plate is apparently part of the game to him.

    Making everybody slide even when there’s no play may sound weird, but when the Yankees won nearly every year from 1949 to 1964, virtually all of them slid into home if there was even a hint of a play at the plate. THAT was old-style baseball, not what Pete is selling.

  17. dinofrank60 - Dec 15, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    And he won’t do autographs shows with me and still says I deliberately tried to end his career.

    Okay… Fosse is costing Pete money by his hurt feelings…

  18. provguard - Dec 16, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    Great player, ignorant as a person… Look at his bio…

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