Buster Olney is a baseball God. Or, at the very least, a baseball God’s favorite writer. It isn’t so much that there is a dearth of quality writers covering the sport in the world, and it isn’t that Peter Gammons is now less of an icon with MLB. It’s that his opinion matters. Take, for example, his most recent blog regarding the now contrite Pete Rose, in which he compares the behavior that has prevented Rose from reaching the Hall of Fame to other inductees of baseball history, whose behavior has been anything less than stellar.
Pete Rose bet on baseball, and for years, he lied about whether he bet on baseball. On Saturday, he broke down in tears and said he disrespected the game of baseball.
Is he sincere? Does he have real regret for betting and lies, or only over the fact that he was caught and that the consequences have been enormous?
I don’t know.
But I do know that his conduct falls within the blurry bounds of the sportsmanship and character standards of other Hall of Famers — standards so indefinite that they have been rendered meaningless. Except in the cases when the writers choose to invoke them, like bouncers standing outside an exclusive club and picking and choosing between the beautiful and the more beautiful and the most beautiful.
The opinion that the baseball writers, who are responsible for voting retired players into the Hall, are biased, unbalanced children is not new to anyone. But the fact that Buster believes, gives it credibility in that, Father Knows Best kind of way. You don’t want to disappoint your father, and there’s no one in baseball, upon hearing that Buster has called them out for their shortcomings or failings, that will say, “What does he know?” Nobody.
He has a new book coming out, and it’s on my list of books to read. Doesn’t even matter what it’s about.
In case you are the Tweeting type, you can follow Buster here.
For those who don’t follow me, or who aren’t aware, I’m a baseball nut. I watch it avidly. I play fantasy baseball. I’ve followed the Braves, as if I had been glued to the television at birth, since I was a pip-squeak. This season has been one of my favorite in a good number of years. Partly due to the Braves late inning heroics, and the fact that a guy no bigger than my shoe can win a game with a grand slam, and partly due to my ongoing war with a couple of ladies from Philly, who have yet to accept the fact that their days as Top Dog are slowly dwindling. I offered my take, my prediction if you will, on the outcome of this season, and I rather liked it enough that I thought I’d post it here.
Braves and Phillies both make the playoffs, meet in the NLCS, where Oswalt loses two games, and the Braves advance to the series in 7 to meet the Rangers. (why not?) Braves win in 6.
And in the words of Buster Olney, who ends every blog this way…today will be better than yesterday.