Speed Read: All Bets Off On Rose Hall Of Fame Bid

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.

Bud Selig, Pete Rose

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”).

Pete Rose in Vegas

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.

Jim Bunning

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.

Which player eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame for the first time in 2010 is most deserving?

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When Is A Sports Crowd of 180,000 Disappointing?

Normally, when you hear that 180,000 fans showed up for a sporting event, the sensible immediate reaction is, “Oh god, the stadium collapsed, we just had a horrific tragedy, I should call my family.” After all, the largest football stadiums hold little more than half that figure, and those are the largest field-based sports stadiums in America.

IMS stands
(Even the crickets won’t bother.)

Oh, but this is NASCAR, and six figures are de rigeur, not spectacles. More to the point, this is Indianapolis, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway holds up to 400,000 people; the fact that it hasn’t been attacked is the surest proof yet that America-hating terrorists either don’t exist or have been weakened into irrelevancy. So when only 180,000 people show up, we got problems.

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