Pete Rose: still cagey and defiant about the Ray Fosse collision after 45 years

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It happened 45 years ago but Pete Rose and Ray Fosse still get asked about their famous collision at home plate in the 1970 All-Star Game. The one that shook Rose up a bit — he’d miss some games afterward — and which ended up having a major impact on Ray Fosse’s health and career.

Yes, Fosse played right after the All-Star Game. But he wasn’t the same and, eventually, it was determined that he had a fractured and separated shoulder. By the time they figured that out, however, it had already healed improperly. As he told Scott Miller of CBS Sports two years ago, he still feels stabbing pain there and can’t really lift his arm over his head.

The stories of the Rose-Fosse collision are well known by now. Rose says he was pals with Fosse and it was just about playing hard. Fosse says he is not bitter about the play itself, but has noted with some agitation over the years that Rose has gone out of his way to play up the friendship between he and Fosse, whereas Fosse told Miller back in 2013 they really didn’t really know each other. They just had dinner the night before and Fosse was back at the hotel with his wife at 1AM. Rose tells people they were out until 4AM, palling around. That’s really the only part that bigs Fosse.

I’ve always thought that to be somewhat telling. There’s this whole sense to it where Rose is trying to create his own history about the entire thing. It was a play that, for the time, wasn’t terribly remarkable, even if it skewed a tad hard-nosed for the All-Star Game. People have criticized Rose for it, but they haven’t damned him. And as I said, Fosse isn’t bitter about it. But Rose has to go that extra mile to convince people that it wasn’t just defensible or merely notable. He was righteous and just and, man, when you think about it HE was the wronged party!

Just look at this from today’s conference call with Rose and reporters, related to the upcoming All-Star Game:

It’s so Pete Rose. After 45 years, you’d think the response would be more about Fosse’s health or at the very least some sort of perspective about how the things you thought and did when you were young were somewhat regrettable, even if done righteously at the time. Just a little, I dunno, humanity about the dang thing. Or humility.

But that’s not Pete Rose. And that’s why he has become the figure he has become in the past 25 years.

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.