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Pete Rose slams Jimmy Rollins for going after a record. PETE ROSE!

Jun 4, 2014, 4:24 PM EDT

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One of the fun things about Pete Rose is that when he was the player/manager for the Reds he put himself in the lineup and at first base so that he could break Ty Cobb’s all-time hit record. Which, to be fair, is what the Reds brass and, I assume, most Reds fans wanted.

Rose wasn’t terrible in 1985 — he got on base at a good clip, but had no power whatsoever — but sabermetrician Craig Wright made a compelling case in a book several years ago that Rose was hurting the Reds by playing himself. I can’t remember the book — if someone does, please chime in — but the upshot was that there were younger players like Nick Esasky either buying buried or who were playing out of position and that the team would have been better off with him or a platoon or something.

No matter which way that actually comes out upon rigorous analytical scrutiny, however, I do think it’s fair to say that Rose’s entire reason for playing in 1985 and 1986 — and more generally, after 1981, really — was to break Ty Cobb’s record. It was his clear goal. Maybe it was a noble goal, but there can be no question that a huge part of Rose’s being was about chasing a record. Which makes his criticism of Jimmy Rollins on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philly today fairly hilarious:

Yes, there has been a lot of talk about Rollins not being willing to waive his no-trade clause until he can set the all-time Phillies hit record this season. But if anyone has a right to call Rollins out for that, it sure as heck ain’t Pete Rose.

  1. jimmyt - Jun 5, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    You do realize, it’s a comment on a blog not a term paper right? It’s really not that hard to read through typo’s mispellings and poor punctuation, as a matter of fact:

    Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in what oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae.
    The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig.

    • dmoas - Jun 5, 2014 at 5:59 PM

      Grammar, on the other hand, matters a great deal more. Especially if you’re not willing to actually spell correctly.

  2. barbarogarbey - Jun 5, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    I want a guy who is going to win championships, not bets.

    Rose has always been a problem as far as I’m concerned. He hasn’t figured out whether he wants to play first base, second, third.

    I think the worst thing that every happened to him was winning the MVP.

  3. davenurd64 - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Hey idiot…you talk as if you know something when you clearly dont. Ty Cobbs last 3 seasons he hit a total of 10 HRs….339-.357-.323 ave and .408-.440-.389 obp…….Pete Rose hit 1 HR….365-.264-.219 ave and .430-.395-.316 obp….the numbers are not eye poppingly in favor of Ty Cobb. And remember Ty Cobb might have faced a QUALITY pitcher once every 5-6-7 days to where Pete face 2 or 3 in a week if not more.AND after the .219 season he hung it up knowing the magic was gone. What a moron you are !!!

    • dmoas - Jun 5, 2014 at 6:05 PM

      Ty Cobb played in the dead ball era for one. And while his numbers weren’t great, no one is discussing Cobb in this at all. They’re talking about Rose’s mentality towards someone doing what is essentially the same thing. Now if Cobb were talking trash about Rose, you might have a point. But he didn’t… because he was dead.

    • tigersfandan - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:15 PM

      Was Cobb playing his last 3 seasons with the goal of breaking a record?

  4. bh5674 - Jun 5, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    I was a Red’s fan as kid in the 70s/80s and by default I was a Pete Rose fan. But I remember when Pete’s 44 game hitting streak came to an end in Atlanta. Gene Garber struck him out to end the game. After the game, Pete was mad at Garber for pitching like it was “the 7th game of the World Series”. In other words, he was whining because his shot at DiMaggio’s record was over. Pete was all about the record then. Just like he was all about breaking the all-time hit record later. Great player, fierce competitor, but as self-centered as he could be.

    • dlf9 - Jun 5, 2014 at 3:00 PM

      I see it a little differently. In a blowout game, the pitcher on the leading club will stick almost always with fastballs as they don’t want to walk batters and lead to big innings. Garber was using his whole arsenal and making the AB to Rose more important than winning the game. Rose’s comment, in context, is more like the anti-Puig statements (‘play the game the right way’) than a pure me-first thought.

      • dmoas - Jun 5, 2014 at 6:09 PM

        So Rose’s numbers are more important than Garber’s? Padding stats is padding stats, it’s only okay if “I” do that? There’s no need to allow someone to get a cheap hit in any game.

      • fang41 - Jun 9, 2014 at 9:05 PM

        “…stick almost always with fastballs as they don’t want to walk batters and lead to big innings.”

        Are you stupid or something? Atlanta was leading 16 to 4, there were two outs, nobody was on base, the count was 2-2, and Garber was not a fastball pitcher. And let’s not forget that the pitcher’s job is to get batters out, not bow down to pompous buttheads like Pete Rose. Rose wanted Garber to groove a fastball down the middle so he could extend the streak. Did DiMaggio whine and bitch when his streak was ended? Did he grouse that Ken Keltner should have let the two hot smashes he hit to third go by for hits instead of making fantastic plays for outs? God (the real one, not Rose) wanted Garber to throw that change up to strike Rose out! To sum it up- DiMaggio= class; Rose= douche bag first class (with apologies to douche bags). These hypocritical statements from Rose about Jimmy Rollins are only an attempt by Rose to get himself out into the limelight once more! Why do people write about Pete Rose? Hell, his son won’t even have anything to do with him!!

    • don444 - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      Just for the record, Rose is STILL going around and complaining about the way Larry McWilliams and Garber pitched to him in that 1978 game 36 years later. You’re correct in that Rose was a walking enigma in terms of embodying all the intangible qualities any manager would ever want in a “team” player while also managing to be monstrously and undeniably self-centered at the same time.

  5. don444 - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    Given that Rose has always been bombastic and oftentimes way too quick to criticize others, even long before the ESPN-era made such personality traits in athletes as patently obvious as they are in this day and age, what’s the story here?

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