I just turned on their pre-game show for the All Star Game, and there on the anchor desk is Pete Rose. This is something they've done on their weekly broadcast, but to be so prominent about at it the All Star Game is oh-so Fox Endearing.
Now, I'm sure there are people who think it's "about time" that poor Pete Rose has been let back in the game, since he's paid his dues. I'm not one of them.
For starters, I'm trying to figure out what part of "Lifetime Ban" isn't clear.
An lifetime ban, it must be noted, that Pete Rose agreed to.
Beyond that, this is a man who broke the most sacred rule of baseball, not to gamble on the sport. It's something that every player has drilled into them from their first game in the minor leagues every day through the time they play in the major. Players know it. Thou Shalt Not Gamble.
Pete Rose not only gambled when he was a manager, he lied about it for 20 years or so, insisting as vehemently as Lance Armstrong about not doping, that he never gambled. Despite the evidence. He kept insisting he didn't gamble. Only when he had a book to promote did he finally acknowledge that, yes, he gambled.
But it was just as a manager he said, and his defenders said. Never as a player. Never.
Not that that matters, mind you. It's still has unacceptably wrong. Perhaps even more so, since a manager controls all the decisions that go into a game.
But he only bet to win, he and his defenders insisted.
So what? If you bet to win, a manager can let a pitcher, for instance, stay on the mound longer than he should, just to win that game, even if it risks injury and longer term problems. But far more to the point, if you bet to win -- and lose the bet -- you're in hock to those you bet with. And the more you lose (even if betting to win), you risk serious problems. Deeply serious.
But it gets worse.
Because as I noted here only three weeks ago, evidence was uncovered that Pete Rose actual gambled on baseball in 1989 when he was a player. He has been lying for a quarter of a century.
And there Fox Sports is, trying to be oh-so counter-culture, having Pete Rose as an analyst. Perhaps he'll give the odds on who's expected to win tonight.
Does Fox have the "right' to have him on their broadcast? I suppose so. Then again, I don't know what negotiations went on with Major League Baseball, who tends to have the right to clear any announcer. Though as a pre-game analyst, that might be a way around such things.
But there are a lot of things we all have the "right" to do, but we don't. Because we know they're petty, small, pointless, wasteful, hurtful or wrong. And they diminish us by doing them.
Just as Fox diminishes itself by having Pete Rose as an analyst for the All Star Game.