Pete Rose and A-Rod check in to the Fox Sports Image Rehab Clinic

31 10 2015

Pete RoseCould the Fox Sports outfield studio be the path back to respectability for Pete Rose and Alex Rodriguez?

I’m still adjusting to the notion that someone thought two of baseball’s most disgraced players belonged on a baseball studio team. There’s Frank Thomas, regarded as one of the sport’s genuine good guys, analyzing the action along with baseball’s most notorious gambler and drug cheat.

Thomas is a valid Hall of Famer, rightly elected in 2014, his first year of eligibility. But he’s a couple notches below A-Rod and Rose in any consideration of best players ever. And they may never join him in Cooperstown because of the shame they brought to themselves and baseball. I address how the Hall of Fame should consider scoundrels in a separate post (probably tomorrow), so here I’ll just concentrate on how odd it is to see and hear them in the studio.

And I’ll speculate that Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds have called their agents, ordering them to explore broadcast deals.

Update: Rose checked out of the clinic Saturday to sign autographs at — wait for it — a Las Vegas casino. 

After the World Series, will we see Joe Buck and Troy Aikman call on O.J. Simpson from prison to provide a little commentary during the Fox football broadcasts? (Remember, Rose also did time, for cheating on his taxes. A-Rod only spent his one-year banishment in baseball jail.) More on O.J. coming shortly.

I won’t analyze the disgraced pair’s contributions to the Fox broadcasts. I don’t listen much to pre-game and post-game shows, which has been the primary role for Rose and Rodriguez (though A-Rod gets some in-game time).

A-Rod’s getting good reviews, though. I can’t stand the inane, disjointed noise from the primary Fox booth team of Buck, Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci, so A-Rod does seem a pleasant break when he joins the chatter late in games.

And, it should be noted, Reynolds is also a patient in the Fox Sports Image Rehab Clinic, joining the network after being fired from ESPN for sexual harassment.

And between innings in the post-season, how many promos have we heard for Colin Cowherd‘s new show? He checked into the Fox clinic after ESPN fired him for insulting the intelligence of Dominican baseball players.

We should not be surprised that a company that has employed Karl Rove and Sarah Palin on its “news” side makes these choices in its sports staffing. The Fox slogan is not really “fair and balanced,” which was always just a clever effort to troll liberals. Cowherd barks out the actual slogan in the promo: “Conflict works.”

I should say here that I generally believe in second chances (or even third chances, in A-Rod’s case). I’m fine with baseball’s lifetime ban for gambling, given the damage brought by the Black Sox scandal nearly a century ago and various other gambling scandals since. But I wouldn’t mind a lesser punishment for Rose, either. After all, Alex Karras and Paul Hornung both served just one-year suspensions from the National Football League for gambling. I thought both were in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but was surprised in fact-checking this post to see that Karras is not. (Side note, even though this is not my journalism blog: You should always fact-check before publishing.)

Rodriguez (who as a child lived in the Dominican Republic that Cowherd scorned) had a good year for the Yankees this season and may repair his image some on the field, too. If he gets continuing TV time and does well, I can see it cutting down on his time in Cooperstown purgatory.

But it seems odd that a network would turn to someone who so notoriously choked in October for World Series commentary. If my lack of attention has caused me to miss any self-deprecating acknowledgment of A-Rod’s clutch failures (or defense or denial), please fill me in. If he spends next October on the field instead of the booth, a few timely hits would be welcome. He went 0-for-4 this season in the playoff game with Houston, a mercifully short A-Rod post-season for Yankee fans (until we saw him in the studio).

Rose seems to blather, adding nothing but celebrity in the few moments I’ve paid attention. But I did see and enjoy his photo-bomb moment during the ALCS rain delay:

Perhaps memes will help Rose on his path to Cooperstown?

A whole generation will know Rose better for that moment than for these:

Hopefully the memes will help us forget this:

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13 responses

31 10 2015
TEDESTEN

No but for real, I feel like this revenge for all of us making fun of Tim McCarver and celebrating his retirement. Fuck Tim McCarver, but fuck Fox most of all for continuing to troll us. WHEN WILL THE MADNESS STOP??

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31 10 2015
TEDESTEN

For what it’s worth, I’m a Sox fan and this is easily the best post I’ve seen about this entire World Series.

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31 10 2015
Steve Buttry

Thanks! Not to bring up painful memories, but have you read my comparison of the ’86 Sox and ’15 Royals (both of whom had 2-0 leads on the Mets)?

Liked by 1 person

31 10 2015
TEDESTEN

Luckily, I was -7 years old when that happened, but I’ve heard the horror stories. Thanks for the heads up! I’ll check it out!

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31 10 2015
TEDESTEN

My generation of Boston fans is wicked lucky. The worst baseball let down we’ve had is happening right now, but the insane upside is that we’ve got like 3 of the top young players in the league. When it (eventually) goes badly though, history is NOT on our side.

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1 11 2015
Same drugs, new earworms | The Buttry Diary

[…] me get through the day, and my mind feels clearer. Two more baseball posts published Saturday, on Pete Rose and A-Rod in the Fox Sports Image Rehab Clinic and on friendly arguments about baseball and barbecue. I liked them both, but this remains my […]

Like

13 11 2015
Facebook and Amazon have a lot of my data, but they don’t know how to use it | The Buttry Diary

[…] though: I went to Amazon and grabbed a screenshot of the cover for an Oct. 31 Hated Yankees post mocking Fox Sports for putting Rose and Alex Rodriguez in its pre-game studio during the World Series. I called it the Fox Sports Image Rehab Clinic and posted memes making fun […]

Like

31 12 2015
My health affected all my blogs this year | The Buttry Diary

[…] in treatment or not. I’d have to be feeling pretty sick not to take a swing at A-Rod’s bizarre post-season TV studio pairing with Pete Rose. And I’d have turned my attention to the Kansas City Royals for their championship run (as I […]

Like

7 01 2016
Scoundrels Committee: A way to recognize shamed players in the Baseball Hall of Fame | Hated Yankees

[…] still playing but bound to face a similar unofficial ban from the Hall of Fame, Alex Rodriguez, paired with Rose in the Fox outfield studio during the World Series, a bizarre illustration of how tainted many of baseball’s greatest […]

Like

3 04 2016
The Royals’ greatest moments of championship seasons | Hated Yankees

[…] The boys covered the other Royals’ post-season moments well, but I had to remind them of the Pete Rose photobomb during the rain delay. […]

Like

25 07 2016
Baseball Hall of Fame changes its absurd (and racist) ‘Era Committees’ | Hated Yankees

[…] to reject players under strong suspicion. This may become a de facto Scoundrels Committee (though Pete Rose wouldn’t fall in the era and they would never use that name for it), eventually deciding the […]

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12 08 2016
Alex Rodriguez: The most disappointing great Yankee ever | Hated Yankees

[…] Pete Rose and A-Rod check in to the Fox Sports Image Rehab Clinic […]

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1 11 2016
Jughead

Can not believe they put two of baseball’s most prolific cheaters on Fox Sports to cover the 2016 World Series. I have watch the series, however I refused to watch them.

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