When I think of Pete Rose, the first thing I think of is “nuance.” Pete Rose is a nuanced man, man. He has opinions on just about every thing, and you can bet there were all carefully considered. Such is the nature of an introspective guy like Charlie Hustle.
When Rose decides the “problem” with today’s hitters is their unwillingness to choke up on the bat, stating their desire to “hit 40 homers so they can get paid” outweighs any interest in hitting for average.
Not to say Pete Rose is wrong about everything, though hitting more home runs tends to be a better way of scoring runs, isn’t it? And the modern bats, ultralight and brittle as they are, make it easier to generate batspeed than in Rose’s day.
Now, if Rose wants to talk about players gripping way down on the knob of the bat? Then I’ll listen. Until that time, Baseball’s Hit King and Resident Nana sounds more like, well, your nana.
Ed. Note: The latest information graphic from the talented Craig Robinson of Flip Flop Fly Ball does a tremendous service: separating Pete Rose the notorious crook and scam artist from Pete Rose the highly excellent ballplayer. The Wins Above Replacement are of the Fangraphs flavour.
Via the Twitter feed of great Baseball Prospectus writer Tommy Bennett comes this incredible screen capped image of, I think, Pete Rose. It’s either baseball’s hit crown owner and most shameless huckster or someone’s disapproving Nana.
At the risk of generalizing, I think “bubbie” better applies than “nana” in this instance.