January 08, 2004

Will on Rose

I know way too much ink has already been spilled on the Pete Rose matter, but George Will is a reknowned baseball fan so his take on the situation is bound to be worth reading. Then he slays me with this line:

Rose's coming clean is the most soiled conversion of convenience since ... well, Aug. 17, 1998, when DNA evidence caused Bill Clinton to undergo a memory clarification.

You might have guessed that on the question of Rose getting into the Hall of Fame, Will's answer is a thumbs down. Most people whose reactions I've read have been put off by Rose's seeming lack of contrition, even now when it counts for the only thing he seems to want very badly. More from Will:

Rose lied -- and charmed the gullible -- for 14 years. Now, with the clock running out on his eligibility to election by baseball writers to the Hall of Fame, he pugnaciously says: I lied but "I'm just not built'' to "act all sorry or sad or guilty'' about it. "Act''?

Rose's critics have said that repentance is a necessary -- not a sufficient -- prerequisite for restoring his eligibility to the Hall of Fame. Many, probably most, of Rose's critics are revolted by the moral obtuseness of his synthetic repentance.

His dwindling band of defenders responds that it is unfair to judge Rose not by what he does but by the way he does it. Yet regarding repentance, the way you do it is what you do.

Posted by dan at January 8, 2004 11:03 PM
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