However he truly feels, in a rather transparent bid to get into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Rose has shown a lot of belated contrition. Frankly, his "I'm Sorry I Bet On Baseball" world tour might carry a lot more weight if he weren't literally selling the message on baseballs.
I'll let others debate on whether Rose should be in the Hall of Fame. I'll just say this: As long as you are banned from the game, it seems somewhat incongruous that you could receive the highest honor in the game.
Speaking of which, for $500 Rose will send you an autographed copy of the official document with which he was banished from Major League Baseball in 1989. This paperwork originally was signed by A. Bartlett Giamatti, Fay Vincent and Charlie Hustle himself and set off a generation of Pete Rose wares that prop up the world's economy today.
You can only get this item at peterose.com, which is essentially a clearinghouse of Rose's life; it appears to have a larger inventory than the old Sears Roebuck catalog. You can get his signed autobiography for $99.99, but why read about Pete when you can break bread with him? That's right - dinner for four with Rose, in a Las Vegas steakhouse, goes for just $5,000!
(For that price, I'd order the porterhouse for two and a pitcher of Grey Goose, and I'd doggy-bag everything on the table.)
Anyway, I settled on the $8.99 bobble head for my dad - it occurred to me that his lackluster parenting might've had something to do with my lack of success - but I wholeheartedly recommend peterose.com for all your Pete Rose collectible needs. You cut out the middleman and we're talking "FREE SHIPPING."
Plus, they accept all credit cards and PayPal; apparently, Rose prefers your signature to his own.
Ask The Slouch
Q. Jim Nantz just got married on a golf course. Can I assume that's the only place Couch Slouch hasn't been married? (Tim Wagner; Indianapolis)
A. If I had wed on a golf course, to be realistic I would've held the ceremony in a sand trap.
Q. I thought I saw you in a mall in L.A. the other day and, surprisingly, you looked better in person than on TV. (Brian Hall; West Hollywood, Calif.)
A. I haven't been in a mall since 1989 (Bergen Mall). Perhaps you saw George Clooney.
Q. Ronald McDonald is taking part in several public libraries' summer reading programs. I didn't know Ronald could read - didn't he graduate from the University of Maryland? (Sean Leary; Richmond, Va.)
A. That's a clown question, bro.
You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just e-mail asktheslo...@aol.com and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!