CINCINNATI — The dye job does Pete Rose no favors. It seems somehow to draw you in to him and to focus on the man’s girth, his jowly face, his stooped-overness.
But perhaps that’s the point. Charlie Hustle is 74 years old now, a blast from baseball’s past, and his presence at last night’s All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park simply reinforces what everybody has been saying: The man has been out of baseball for a long, long time.
It’s been 26 years since the late Bart Giamatti handed down a still-on-the-books lifetime sentence that keeps Rose out of the ballpark, out of the Hall of Fame, and mostly out of our consciousness. Yet, oddly, we usually only think about him when Major League Baseball itself hands him a special-occasion guest pass, as was the case last night.