As the hardreading staff has disclosed elsewhere, we did seven years in Ohio during a former life. Specifically, we were in Cincinnati from 1967-1974, and . . .
the one thing that kept us sane was this miniature Brooklyn Bridge across the Ohio River to Kentucky.
It’s known as the Singing Bridge because of the hum you hear as you drive across its metal grid roadbed. More important, it was John Roebling’s starter bridge before he (and his son and – especially – his daughter-in-law) built its lookalike in Brooklyn in the waning years of the 19th century. The Brooklyn Bridge was, at its opening in 1883, the tallest structure in the Western hemisphere and the longest span in the world: 1,600 feet from tower to tower.
(Fun fact to know and tell: On May 17, 1884, P. T. Barnum led 21 elephants over the Brooklyn Bridge to prove that it was stable. For the whole fascinating story, read The Great Bridge by David McCullough, who was once described as “the Herodotus of Hydraulics.”)
Anyway, the thing that drove us most insane during our exile in Porkopolis was The Big Red Machine, that insufferable 1970s incarnation of the Cincinnati Reds, which “a number of baseball historians [have claimed] were the second greatest team ever, after the famed 1927 Yankees.”
Nonsense. Everyone knows that was the 1961 Yankees.
Regardless, the Big Red Machinist we despised most was the reptilian Pete Rose, who’s back in the spotlight this week because the disgraced betmeister has been given a pass to tonight’s All Star game in Cincinnati by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, who’s also said he’ll consider lifting the lifetime ban of Rose, which could make him eligible for the Hall of Fame. Support is also coming from some of the current MLB All Stars, and from Boston Globe sportswriter Nick Cafardo, who writes sympathetically about Rose in today’s edition.
Rose issue thorny
CINCINNATI — There is no debate in this neck of the woods. Pete Rose should be reinstated. Pete Rose is a Hall of Famer. Pete Rose is “Our Bad Guy.”
Despite revelations by ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” last month that Rose also bet on baseball as a player-manager in addition to the Dowd Report saying he bet as a manager, Cincinnati has forgiven him for transgressions that got him banned from baseball 26 years ago.
So, apparently, has Cafardo.
When Rose is announced Tuesday before the All-Star Game as one of the Reds’ Franchise Four (along with Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Barry Larkin) the ovation likely will be spine-tingling.
And one wonders whether this might be the last baseball public appearance Rose will ever make.
Isn’t it time to forgive?
No it’s not. Never will be.