What an interesting day this has been. A month ago, on January 13, I speculated that the first “double 13” of the year was an ominous thing, and there were still eleven more of them to go. Well, today was the second “double 13” of the year (and in our lifetimes), and I won’t soon forget it.
The Pete Rose piece that I wrote for ChicagoSideSports went viral, and has been picked up by many news outlets. I’ve seen my name in hyperlinks for the first time, and seem my name tagged in stories too. I’ve created lots and lots and lots of hyperlinks and tags in the time I’ve been writing this blog, so to imagine anyone doing the same with my name is humbling, to say the very least.
It’s also been very disappointing to see the vitriol that’s been thrown at me. I have thick skin, and there isn’t a name somebody can throw at me that I haven’t already been called at some other point in my life. So no worries there.
The anonymity of the internet leads people to believe they can say whatever they want about someone they don’t know and will never meet. And it turns out they can, sad to say. I don’t have the time or the temperament to seek out those who want to throw stones my way. If knocking me or a piece I wrote down makes them feel better, then I’m glad I could help them out in some way. And I’m glad I don’t have to live the life they do, either.
I did contact Topps for a comment about the piece, and if it was MLB’s decision–and not Topps’–to leave Rose’s name off of the cards, they had a chance to tell me that. The decision to use the Career Chase in the first place was probably Topps’ and not MLB’s. But the decision to tell me how many hits Starlin Castro–or any player who had their career hits total highlighted in this fashion–has was probably Topps’ call to make. By bringing hits into it, and thus leaving Rose out, Topps created this mess. They should have seen this coming when they did what they did.
I’m conflicted about Topps, since they have been on the receiving end of a lot of nasty comments about their decision. But then again, the amount of attention they are getting right now probably dwarfs what they usually get. As Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton will attest, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
It’s been quite a day, that’s for sure. It will probably be a long time before there’s another one like it. Or maybe another day is coming up in 28 days, when the next “Double 13” is upon us. I’ll find out soon enough.