08 January 2010

Why I love Pete Rose (but can't for the life of me understand him)

"...The crash [between base runner Pete Rose and catcher Ray Fosse in the 12th inning of the 1970 All-Star Game in Cincinnati] would take on more meaning because Ray was only 23 and the most promising young catcher in the game; he was never quite the same after. More than 30 years later, he would still wake up with the echoing pain of that collision ringing in his shoulder. To add a little irony to it all. Pete had had Fosse to his house the night before for dinner, though Pete never saw any irony at all in it. Pete was the kind of guy who would invite you to dinner at night and run right through you the next day to win a ball game. It was all part of the deal.

People often asked Pete if he regretted smashing into Fosse -- hell, it was just an All-Star Game. It didn't count in the standings. Pete's response was telling. He did not even understand the question. They were playing baseball. His was the winning run. Fosse was blocking the plate. Pete had no choice.

That was the thing that Joe [Morgan] picked up from Pete. Everybody wanted to win. Some players needed to win. But Pete really had no choice..."

Joe Posnanski, The Machine, page 44

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