I was hanging out with my parents a couple of months ago and we started reminiscing about my childhood. Eventually the topic of how strict my father was when I was little became the popular topic.
Now... before you get the wrong idea... let me say that my father is my idol and if I had children myself... I'd raise them like he raised me and my siblings.
Papa Fuji lives his life by a certain code of conduct... one that values respect, loyalty, honesty, responsibility, perseverance, humility, benevolence, and honor. And he instilled these character traits into all of us.
Nevertheless... one thing I've noticed is... the old samurai warrior within him has softened with age. My niece raised her voice to her dad (my brother) and he immediately put her in check. Later when only the adults were around, my dad gave my brother a hard time about being too tough on my niece... which shocked all of us... because my father would have introduced us to the belt had we done the same to him. This eventually led to a long and interesting... late night discussion on a great many things... which I won't bore you with.
One thing I do want to share with all of you is the fact that... I think I'm getting softer with age too. And Pete Rose is the prime example.
When Rose was banned from baseball back in 1989... I was upset and disappointed in his choices. What would possess the guy to bet on baseball and especially his own team? Then... to lie to everyone... including his fans for 15 years... that just made it worse. I'm glad he came clean in 2004, but the only impression that entered my mind was "he's only doing it to sell his autobiography".
As years have passed by... my opinion of Rose has changed... and recently I've decided that in my eyes he's paid his debt. What he did was wrong... and 22 years ago... it was unforgivable. But I'm older now and I'm less stubborn and more willing to forgive & give people second chances.
I'm not ready to induct him into Cooperstown. The fact is... he broke a rule and lied about it.
My father raised me to protect the family name and to make good decisions, because we can't change the past. However... he always reminded me that if we make a mistake, it's important that we learn from it. After reading his interview in The Sporting News (June 6th issue)... it sounds like Rose has learned his lesson. He's also apologized for his actions... which made me think: What else can he do to make things right?
I don't have the answer to that question... and I'm still debating whether or not MLB should lift his ban. What I do know is that his crime of betting on baseball is no worse than players using PED's. And if players like Alex Rodriguez and Roger Clemens eventually get inducted into Cooperstown... it's only fair that Charlie Hustle does too. Which leads us to our question of the day:
Have you forgiven Pete?
Do you think he's Cooperstown worthy?
Oh and before I forget... the above Pete Rose card is the only autograph that I own of the all-time hit king. I first read about the autograph on one of Wax Heaven's posts. Then Chris over at Project '62 picked up a "lot" of 10 sets of 1985 Topps Pete Rose, which contained an autographed card in each set. He turned around and offered them up for $28 shipped, so I jumped all over it and added myself to the list. If you're interested in reading more about the card you can read these two posts:
Have a great week everyone. I'm off to find the Yankees/Tigers game on the internet... since the Padres & the A's aren't in it, I'll be cheering for everyone except the guys in Yankee pinstripes. They have enough World Series titles... let someone else win it for once. Sayonara!