If Vegas actually had a betting line on Pete Rose making it into the Baseball Hall of Fame, it would have probably been taken off the board for “suspicious activity” after the events of the last few days. The odds improved significantly when Henry Aaron - a close friend of Commissioner Bud Selig - mentioned to reporters that he’d like to see Rose in the Hall of Fame, leading to a report by the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS that Selig was “seriously considering” lifting Rose’s lifetime ban.
But if ESPN is correct, betting on seeing Rose anywhere in Cooperstown other than selling autographs at a card table might be a sucker bet. Their sources are saying that Selig is not considering reinstating Rose, leaving him to be happy with his place in the Soup Bowl Haircut Hall of Fame (alongside sartorial luminaries as Moe Howard, Chairman Mao and Jim Carrey from “Dumb and Dumber”).
Personally, I could care less one way or the other - at this point, the only way Rose actually makes it into the Hall of Fame is through the Veterans Committee, and they are chock full of grumpy old men who would keep people out of the Hall of Fame for not wearing suits and hats on their train rides during road trips, much less betting on baseball. The only person I feel sorry for is Ray Fosse, as he has to deal with a new round of awkward questions about Rose turning him into a tackling dummy and ruining his career.
All of which Rose finds pretty funny, I guess:
And speaking of “suspicious activity,” I guess you can go ahead and add The Big Security Threat to Shaquille O’Neal’s list of monikers. While appearing on “The Mike Wise Show” a few days ago to promote his stint tonight on WWE Raw, he asked the hosts if they thought he could get into the White House and meet President Barack Obama if he dropped in unannounced. DC SPORTS BOG has the answer, and it’s a resounding “No.”
Shaq actually tried it yesterday, as part of a bet (1,000 push-ups) with one of his handlers. While the guys at the front gate were “nice,” they weren’t going to let Shaq act like this is a Tonight Show episode from 1982, and he’s Bob Hope interrupting an interview between Johnny Carson and an 82-year-old shoe collector to do a walk-through on the way to his latest special. Between the economy, the Middle East and studying the White Sox roster to find Walt Weiss, President Obama might have better things to do.
As far as Raw is Shaq went: he hung out with a leprechaun:
…and then kissed a sweaty guy prone to bouts of irrational anger:
So yeah, I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t want him hanging around the Oval Office.
Finally, Jim Bunning might be a Hall of Fame pitcher, but it turns out that the Republican Party has no problem pulling him early and telling him to hit the showers. The WASHINGTON POST says that the Senator from Kentucky is bowing to pressure within his own party and will not run for re-election in 2010, a political fall from grace that would have been almost unthinkable a few years ago.
Of course, it turns out that openly discussing when a Supreme Court Justice with “the bad cancer” is going to die isn’t the savviest political move. And his “lousy” fundraising so far for the race - he only $376,000 in his war chest - isn’t helping matters either. Or the persistent rumors that he’s dealing with Alzheimer’s-related dementia - you know, the “bad dementia.” All of which adds up to his seat being widely considered as the most vulnerable in the 2010 elections, making him a problem the Republicans couldn’t ignore any longer.
So what happens to the 77-year-old Bunning? Perhaps a seat on the Veterans Committee - or at least a table at a card show next to Pete Rose.
Other sports news that happened while you were accidentally shooting three people with your brand-new Taser gun.
- If the Washington Nationals were looking to enhance the trade value of Josh Willingham, they just received the Mother Lode of all gifts last night. He became the 13th player in MLB history to hit two grand slams in one game in the Nats’ 14-6 rout of the Brewers. To put this into perspective, Willingham had 14 home runs this season - 12 solo shots, and 31 RBI. So the real story here is that the Nationals actually loaded the bases twice in one game.
- Speaking of grand slams: Alfonso Soriano’s walk-off slam in the 13th inning gave the Cubs a 5-1 win over the Astros. Meanwhile, Matt Holliday had an RBI double in his home debut with St. Louis and Brendan Ryan had four hits as the Cardinals stayed a half-game back in the NL Central with a 6-1 win over Los Angeles.
- Yesterday we told you that the crowd of 180,000 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Brickyard 400 on Sunday was a huge disappointment. Turns out we weren’t the only ones who felt that way - the SPORTING NEWS says that Allstate will not be renewing their title sponsorship of the race.
- Police feel they are making a break in the case of former Memphis Grizzlies player Antonio Burke, who was shot in the leg and abdomen during a robbery of a dice game at his house on July 20 - they’ve arrested a 16-year-old as an accessory after the fact in the shooting.
- And it’s one, two, three punches and you’re knocked unconscious at the old ball game! At least it was in Irvine, CA as a baseball game turned rowdy, with a steal attempt turning into a brawl that left four people taken the hospital and two people arrested.
- Here’s what you need to know about Jerry Byrd Jr., a high school football coach in Shreveport, LA: he came to the Superior Bar and Grill to do two things - drink some beers and get arrested for disorderly conduct. And he’s been cut off from having more beers.
- If you’re young son is a budding tennis prodigy and you’re looking for a tennis academy for him, here’s a good rule of thumb: if the coach says he’ll need nude pictures of your kid for his computer records, you might want to look elsewhere.
- Anyone claiming to be”TheRealJoePa” on Twitter is a fraud, as Joe Paterno will have none of your “Twittle-do, Twittle-dee,” thank you very much.
- BALL DON’T LIE points out that nothing says “I love you” like Stephon Marbury Valentine’s Day cards. For that special, totally insane person in your life.
- You might remember Caleb Campbell as the former West Point football stand-out whose shot at the NFL was taken away from him when the Army backed out on a deal. Now he’s getting his second shot at athletic glory - this time as a potential Olympic bobsledder.