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Ashcan farewell

Posted by Charles P. Pierce  August 5, 2010 08:37 AM

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I am a great admirer of the work of Ken Burns. I think what he does is good and decent and important, in no small part because I also have a basic cable package full of shows about angry lumps of eye makeup from New Jersey, grotesquely large families from Arkansas, and grotesquely narcissistic people from all points of the compass. I am not a great admirer of Halls of Fame, particularly not of the Baseball Hall of Fame, because it has a remarkable capacity for turning otherwise sensible people into moralistic idiots.

All that having been said, Burns's solution to the neverending Should-Pete-Rose-Be-In-The-Hall? debate is flatly bizarre. The argument against Rose, as I understand it, is that he profaned against baseball itself. If that's the case, then waiting until he kicks to induct him is pointless. Baseball, which (presumably) will go on after Pete Rose's death and, by this argument, will be wounded still. Either he belongs there or he doesn't. Period. I know that this would prevent Rose from turning his induction into a Moroccan bazaar of self-congratulation and autograph peddling, but how much worse could that be than what he's been doing for the past 20-odd years anyway?  To deny him the "enjoyment" of being inducted, and then inducting him anyway, seems uncommonly vengeful and not a little weird. Burns seems to be calling for an opposite-world baseball equivalent of The Cadaver Synod, with Rose in the unfortunate role of the dead Pope Formosus and all of baseball cast as Pope Stephen VI.

cadaver synod.jpg


OK, let him in.
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