Is Pete Rose going to get a pardon?

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This would be interesting:

Thanks to the behind-the-scenes lobbying from some of the most
influential Hall of Famers, commissioner Bud Selig is said to be
seriously considering lifting Pete Rose’s lifetime suspension from
baseball.

The tip-off that Selig may now be inclined to pardon baseball’s
all-time hit king was Hank Aaron’s seemingly impromptu interview
session with a small group of reporters in the lobby of the Otesaga
Hotel on Saturday. In declaring for the first time that he would want
an asterisk put on the achievements of any steroid cheats elected to
the Hall of Fame, Aaron brought up Rose, who, in August of 1989, was
given a lifetime ban for gambling on baseball, saying: “I would like to
see Pete in. He belongs there.”

My personal feeling on the Rose situation is that, given his past, he
should never ever be allowed to be in a position where he could impact
or effect what happens on the field. That means no coaching, no
managing, no front office position that touches on baseball operations,
and no supervision or authority over anyone who does. But the fact
remains that Rose remains a very popular figure among the fans — he
gets standing ovations simply by walking to a seat for which he bought
a ticket at Great American Park — and could probably do a lot to
promote the Reds in particular, baseball at large, and the charitable
organizations affiliated with those entities if given the chance. Such
a thing could be accomplished if he were given a limited reinstatement.
Such a thing would also likely cut down on the amount of shameless
self-promotion in which he engages as well, because he likely wouldn’t
need to make an ass out of himself for a paycheck, and that’s something
that baseball should care about.

And yes, reinstatement means renewed eligibility for the Hall of Fame
via the Veterans’ Committee. I’ve gone back and forth on this over the
years, but as of now I think Rose probably should be in the Hall of
Fame. Why? Because at bottom, the Hall of Fame is a museum/historical
society, and I don’t like the idea of whitewashing history. Maybe you
don’t give him his big day on the podium like Rice and Henderson had
yesterday, but not having his plaque up there bothers my sense of
historical accuracy far more than having it up there would bother my
sense of ethics. And obviously the plaque has to mention his
bannination and the reasons for it. I realize that reasonable people
disagree on this point, of course.

Of course this raises the question of what, if anything, a Rose
reinstatement would mean for the steroids users. True, they’re not
banned and thus their eligibility for the Hall hasn’t been technically
affected, but I do think Rose being allowed back into the game would
have an impact on them all the same. I say this because I can’t help
but think that, at the heart of many BBWAA members’ feelings regarding
steroids users, is the sentiment that “hey, if baseball can keep out
Rose for violating the gambling rules, I can use my vote to keep out
steroids users.” If Rose was back, isn’t it possible that some writers
would re-think their opposition to the PED guys? That no one should
stand in the way of history being recorded the way it should be?

I suppose reasonable people can disagree about that too.

Madison Bumgarner began his rehab assignment yesterday

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Giants ace Madison Bumgarner tossed three no-hit innings yesterday in his first minor league rehab start with the Giants’ Arizona Rookie League team. He struck out two and walked a guy, while sitting in the 88-91 m.p.h. range on his fastball.

Bumgarner, who is coming back from a sprained left AC joint in his shoulder suffered in a dirt bike accident in April, will return to San Francisco to throw a bullpen session and then go back on the road for more rehab games. That’s a lot of traveling, but the Giants obviously want to monitor his progress. At the moment he’s expected to build up his strength for the next several weeks and, hopefully, return to the Giants’ rotation some time after the All-Star break.

Of course, there shouldn’t be too much of a rush. The Giants have lost five in a row and 12 of 13 and currently sit in last place, 24.5 games behind the Dodgers. At this point Bumgarner rushing to rejoin the Giants is like an Australian soldier getting a wound dressed to hurry back to the Gallipoli Campaign.

Is it really that weird that Cody Bellinger does not know who Jerry Seinfeld is?

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Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger has been tearing through the league so far this season, blazing a 50-home run pace despite not even making his debut until April 25. His Dodgers are winners of 10 games in a row, sit in first place and have the best record in the National League.

But not everything is rosy in Cody Bellinger land. He’s now at the center of controversy after he revealed on SportsCenter on Friday night that he doesn’t know who Jerry Seinfeld is. Or, at the very least, that he could not put a face with that familiar-sounding name and that in no event did he know why he was famous.

People have been going crazy with this, acting as if he’s from Mars or something for not knowing who starred in one of history’s most popular and influential sitcoms. His teammates, especially, have been getting on his case:

I dunno. On the one hand, sure, the show was amazingly popular and has been in heavy syndication for like 20 years so it would be hard to miss even for a young guy like Bellinger. And, of course, the catchphrases and bits of the show that has seeped into the popular culture have given it a longer shelf life than most TV shows ever manage.

On the other hand the thing ended when he was not yet three years old. For him, “Seinfeld” was like “The Beverly Hillbillies” for someone my age or “M*A*S*H” for someone born in the early 80s. Those shows were just as popular — actually, they got higher ratings and were seen by a larger percentage of the population than “Seinfeld” ever was — and they were just as heavily syndicated for the decade or two after they went off the air. We don’t get on the case of players born in the 70s or 80s for not knowing who Alan Alda or Buddy Ebsen are. And if it’s about the catchphrases, substitute in “Happy Days” and “Welcome Back Kotter,” each of which created a cultural footprint larger than the show itself. Would we freak out if we found out that Jayson Werth — born in 1979 — had never heard the phrase “Up your nose with a rubber hose” or “Sit on it?”

And that’s before you acknowledge how much more fragmented pop culture and entertainment is now. I was 12 in 1985 and back then I had little choice but to watch “M*A*S*H” reruns at 7pm while I was waiting for prime time. It was either that or “Wheel of Fortune” I guess. As a 12-year old in 2007, Bellinger could’ve easily avoided “Seinfeld” reruns. He could’ve avoided TV altogether and just been online. My son is 12 now and he hasn’t watched an actual TV show in years. It’s all You Tube and stuff. The idea that there is any one thing or even a handful of things that, culturally speaking, we can all agree upon or which can serve as a common touchstone is an increasingly obsolete idea.

Maybe “Seinfeld” is different. Maybe this is not the same as not knowing “The Beverly Hillbillies” or “M*A*S*H”. I floated this whole idea on Twitter yesterday and people were outraged, so perhaps something else is going on here that I’m missing. But personally speaking, I feel like we should all calm down a bit about Cody Bellinger and the “Seinfeld” thing. Maybe we should acknowledge that the stuff we like is not going to be culturally prevalent forever. And that young kids like Cody Bellinger are going to be the ones to inform us of this inescapable fact.