Top 10 active base hits leaders

I read yesterday that one of Pete Rose’s bats was being auctioned off, the one he used for his last hit, number 4256. And it made me wonder if that will ever be topped. I can’t imagine it will be, but stranger things have happened. Of course, the Baseball Hall of Fame still fails to recognize what Rose did on the field because of what he did as a manager off the field. But that’s for another post. Here is a look at the Top 10 active leaders in base hits:

1. Derek Jeter, New York Yankees (2824)—The classiest player by far in the big leagues today, and the epitome of someone who plays the game right and just gets it. I look forward to Jeter notching his 3000th hit, which will likely be next season.

2. Ivan Rodriguez, Washington Nationals (2781)—In his twentieth season this year, I-Rod is batting .331. No loss of bat speed with this guy, that’s for sure.

3. Omar Vizquel, Chicago White Sox (2724)—Amazingly, Vizquel is in his 22nd season and still looks like he’s 28 years old. I got to see him play in his prime in Cleveland, and he was/is the best defensive shortstop I’ve ever seen. But he has clearly racked up hits too.

4. Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees (2596)—Well, duh. The question is, though, will he eventually be the all-time home run king?

5. Manny Ramirez, Los Angeles Dodgers (2530)—Yeah, he juiced, and so did A-Rod. But these two guys still have to be incredibly talented ball players to rack up this many hits.

6. Garret Anderson, Los Angeles Dodgers (2515)—Steady and classy as well, but it’s just hard to believe Garret Anderson is 38 years old. Didn’t he just break into the bigs?

7. Johnny Damon, Detroit Tigers (2482)—Scrappy, solid player, and he just keeps on grinding. But do any of you remember Damon’s days with the Royals? I sure don’t.

8. Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves (2444)—Another guy who defines playing the game the way it was meant to be played, and he just keeps on hitting well into his thirties.

9. Vladimir Guerrero, Texas Rangers (2326)—He’s hitting .339 with 53 RBI on June 11. Vlad is another ageless wonder.

10. Edgar Renteria, San Francisco Giants (2213)—It’s kind of amazing that Renteria is on this list, even though he’s never had a 200-hit season. But he’s been reliable and consistent all these years.

Source: Baseball Reference

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Is there now proof that Pete Rose corked his bat?

The X-ray photo above is apparently Pete Rose’s Mizuno PR4192 bat, which he used in 1985 in efforts to break Ty Cobb’s all-time hit record. As you can see from the photo, the barrel of the bat is hollowed out and filled with cork. has the details about the sports collector that discovered the bat:

Schubert knew he had a unique bat from the beginning. The tape job was uncharacteristically heavy, and Rose had painted a white “14” on both the knob and the head of the bat. Most of Rose’s bats had his number on the knob, whether due to superstition or the practicality of finding it in the rack. But on the head? Well, that was a different story. Only a handful of known Rose bats have the “14” on the head.

A fellow collector urged Schubert to inspect the bat head, and he discovered a circular patch of rough wood under the white paint, about eight-tenths of an inch across. Could it be a drill hole?

Schubert had to know. He took the bat to an X-ray technician, who laid the bat on a table and punched a few buttons. Within minutes an image appeared on the monitor.

Many players use (or claim to use, after they’ve been caught) corked bats only in batting practice. If this bat turned out to be altered, there would be concrete proof that Pete Rose had used a corked bat in a game. Which wouldn’t come as a surprise to many.

“There was no question he wanted the record,” Taube says. “At that point in his career, he was going to do whatever he had to do.” A game-used corked bat would add to the mountain of evidence that ballplayers only take the rulebook as a suggestion, especially when baseball’s supposedly sacrosanct records are at stake.

“We never thought to look,” says Adam Wolter. “Usually you cork it for power. Pete didn’t need that or want that. But I guarantee a lot of people are going to be checking their own Pete Rose bats now.”

They have been. John Taube has a PR4192 with white paint on the head, concealing what appears to be a drill hole. Same goes for Chuck Long, an Ohio collector. And Steve Mears, a Southern California collector, also went and got his X-rayed.

Do yourself a favor and read the entire story. It’s bizarre.

Quite frankly, I don’t know what to make of this report. Not that I discount Deadspin’s reputation, but how easy is it to doctor a photo? It’s clear that those bats are corked in the article, but are they the same bats in the X-ray machine? Who’s to say that they didn’t take pictures of different bats?

That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Rose did cork his bat. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear anything about what Rose did during his baseball days. As the article points out, this is the same man that vehemently denied betting on baseball and now he charges people to autograph balls with, “Sorry I bet on baseball” written on them. He’s not the most honest person to walk the earth.

I’ll be interesting to see if one of the bigger media outlets picks up on the story and does its own investigation.

Selig considering reinstatement for Rose?

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig is seriously considering reinstatement for banished former player Pete Rose.

Lobbying for the move began five years ago but died when Selig became convinced Rose was not “reconfiguring” his life, the newspaper report said, part of the late commissioner Bart Giamatti’s demands on Rose when he was ruled ineligible.

“I think a lot of the guys feel that it’s been 20 years now for Pete, and would lean toward leniency and time served,” an unnamed Hall of Famer said, according to the Daily News. “If he had admitted it in the first place and apologized way back then, he’d probably be in the Hall by now.”
If Rose were to become eligible, it stands to reason he would have to be voted into the Hall of Fame by the 65 living members that make up the Veterans Committee.

Inclusion on the writers’ ballot expires after 15 years, but Rose has never appeared on their ballot except by write-in.

“I know there are still guys who feel strongly against him,” said another Hall of Famer, according to the report. “And I don’t know if that would change even if Selig clears him.”

This might be like comparing apples to oranges, but to me, players using steroids is 10 times worse than betting on baseball when you’re a manager. I’m not justifying what Rose did, but compared to what these selfish players did in the steroid era, “Charlie Hustle” should get a reprieve.

Gambling never helped Rose accomplish what he did on the field. Was he a scumbag for gambling on games he was managing? Yes. But he would be getting into the Hall of Fame based on what he accomplished as a player, which was (in short) quite a lot.

The Rocket is looking through rose-colored glasses

Last week, Roger Clemens went on ESPN radio to defend himself against allegations written in a recently released book, American Icon. He once again denied that his former trainer Brian McNamee had injected him with any form of performance-enhancing drugs and his former teammate, Andy Pettitte, still “misremembered” their conversation on steroids.

And at the conclusion of the interview, you could slowly see Clemens turning into Pete Rose. Both determined to bully the public into believing their innocence, with the hopes of clearing their name and reputation.

After being banished from baseball in the summer of 1989, Rose would go on various interview shows to vehemently deny the allegations brought against him. He would laugh at the suggestion that a meeting took place between outgoing baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth, incoming commissioner Bart Giamatti, and himself to discuss his gambling habits. That was his story and he stuck to it until 2004, when Rose took the money and wrote a tell-all book about his baseball gambling exploits. He wanted to beat baseball executives on their playing field, but it wasn’t game to them.

Clemens hired a media marketing firm that assists high-profile clients through PR crises, and they suggested getting his side of the story out to the press. Bad move. He said that it would be suicidal for him to take steroids with his family history of heart trouble. Clemens said that heart disease took the life of his stepdad and older brother. Hey, wait a minute! How can you inherit a genetic trait from your stepfather?

Clemens brought attention to a book that otherwise wouldn’t have received any media attention. Unfortunately, he sees this as a competition and challenges anyone to prove him guilty of steroid usage. Last year, Clemens told major league baseball to effectively “kiss his ass” following the release of the Mitchell Report. McNamee offers syringes with his DNA as evidence of steroid usage, and Clemens in turn files a defamation of character lawsuit against him. His competitive personality will eventually do him in.

A person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but just like Barry Bonds, the general public has convicted Clemens of using performance-enhancing drugs. And if he follows Rose’s script, the Rocket will eventually admit to his usage in a book deal a few years down the road. Assuming he needs the money, of course.

Pete Rose would back A-Rod for Hall of Fame

Even though he loathes the use of steroids in baseball, former player Pete Rose said that he would back an admitted user like Alex Rodriguez for the Hall of Fame.

“I’m willing to give a guy a second chance,” Rose said in an interview on “The Dan Patrick Show.” He later went on to say that steroid use is worse than someone such as himself betting on his own team to win.

“When you take steroids you have a direct outcome of the game,” Rose said. “That’s the integrity of the game. And when you can change records when you do something illegal, it’s just not right. … Baseball records are sacred. If you do something illegal to surpass those records, it’s just not good.”

Rose, however, considers Barry Bonds to be the all-time home run king because “he hit the home runs. … I don’t think anyone has proven that he took steroids.”

” … With Bonds, how many home runs are you going to take away from him?” Rose asked. “That’s a tough situation for the commissioner. … It’s a mess.”

I don’t question Rose’s sincerity in regards to saying he would back an admitted steroid user like A-Rod, but it’s interesting that he’s so willing to say that steroids are worse than a manager or player betting on his own team to win.

In one instance, you have players cheating in order to gain a physical edge on the field. In the other, a manager is influenced by the way he manages a game in which he has a financial stake. Neither is good for baseball and while you can make a claim that each wrong should be viewed separately, both actions shame the game.

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