COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- A dominant question here for the past 20 years has been the specter of Pete Rose's status, and there appears to be no end in sight.
Commissioner Bud Selig deflected a question at the All-Star Game about possibly giving the banned Rose another hearing, saying his status remains "under review."
Here in Cooperstown this weekend, some wondered whether the number of Hall-worthy players stained by steroids could actually help Rose's candidacy in coming years.
"I don't know," Hank Aaron said. "I think the Pete Rose thing is a little different than the steroids. To me it is. From what I gather, from commissioner to commissioner before Bud Selig was in, they think that the [anti-gambling] rules were so obvious on the [clubhouse] doors. I don't know how they eliminate that, really.
"If I had been Pete, I think I would have asked for forgiveness many, many years ago. And I've got a feeling that this country, the most forgiving country in the world, people would say, 'Hey, everybody makes a mistake.' He made a mistake, let's go on with something else.
"I would certainly like to see him in. He belongs in."
Is it too late for forgiveness?
"His career has been one that, I think, he needs to be dead in the middle of all of this," Aaron said. "I know Pete, he's a friend of mine. I sometimes feel sorry that he hasn't made it yet."
One of Rose's ex-teammates, Hall of Famer Tony Perez, definitely misses him.
"Pete should be in the Hall of Fame," Perez said. "I always say he should b in the Hall of Fame."
Likes: It was a very emotional Dave Stewart who watched his boyhood friend, Rickey Henderson, be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday. Stewart, the longtime major league pitcher, called it "one of the proudest moments in my life. I feel like my brother is going in." ... Former manager Sparky Anderson sitting next to former Yankees great Whitey Ford on the stage during Hall of Fame induction ceremonies Sunday. Sparky, Whitey, the shock of white hair atop each man's head ... perfect. ... The legendary Stan Musial was missed again -- he hasn't been able to travel here the last couple of years -- but they rolled a video of him playing Take Me Out to the Ballgame on his harmonica from several inductions ago and it was very well done. ... Wonder how Jim Rice would have done as a football player? The University of Nebraska offered him a scholarship back in the day. ... Former broadcaster Tony Kubek gave a very nice speech accepting the Ford Frick Broadcaster's Award. Among other things, he told Hank Aaron, "You've overcome, just like Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King and President Barack Obama." Kubek also said of Cooperstown, "This place is magical. Somebody put this here with a purpose." ... And finally, congratulations to friend Nick Peters of the Sacramento Bee, inducted into the writer's wing of the Hall. Peters, recounting his days when he was named as Alaska's Sportswriter of the Year, quipped that the best thing about being in Alaska was that he could see Russia from his house.
Dislikes: Not here in Cooperstown, on Hall of Fame weekend. Pure baseball, and a terrific place.
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"Oh baby, don't it feel like heaven right now
"Don't it feel like something from a dream
"Yeah, I've never known nothing quite like this
"Don't it feel like tonight might never be again
"We know better than to try and pretend
"Baby, no one could have ever told me about this"
-- Tom Petty, The Waiting