Saturday, February 1, 2003

Mail call

On weather, Pete Rose and cold ducks


Be careful when you open your e-mail. Pete Rose's fans and foes want to slide head-first into my idea of baseball's banned hit king getting treatment for his gambling habit.

"I hope Major League Baseball follows your suggestions. I love the guy. I just would love for him to get straightened out and be the Pete Rose that he can be." - Charlie Murdock, Symmes Township.

"You are so far off base that it is hard to imagine you have been in Cincinnati since this sad story started. Pete is not sick; he's a taker, a cheater, basically trash." - Charlie Comer, Landen.

Rose can admit he bet on ball games. Baseball can use that confession to reinstate him. Even put him in the Hall of Fame.

But that won't solve his problem. Or keep him from embarrassing baseball. Again.

Pete's sick. He's addicted. He needs help. For life.

If baseball wants to be magnanimous to Rose, it needs to attach some strings to the conditions for his reinstatement. Accept his confession. Then order him to get help. No treatment. No reinstatement.

"Pete Rose is a big boy now and does not need the help of anyone other than himself." - Stan Williams, College Hill.

"There's an old Ethiopian saying that applies to Pete Rose and others unwilling or unable to face reality. `He who conceals his disease cannot expect to be cured of it.' " - Bonnie Russell, Del Mar, Calif.

"My 15-year-old grandson asked me, `Who is Pete Rose?' I told him he was a baseball manager who bet on baseball. His response was, `Why did he do that?' Now I will let him read your column and get a truthful answer.'' - Joe Sabatini, West Chester.

Jerry Gels of Westwood felt my column contained "good practical advice for Major League Baseball and for Pete. And it will be ignored."

Turns out, Jerry played baseball with Rose "for one summer 45 years ago." He believes "Pete is a sociopath. He really does not care a whit what you or I or Bud Selig think about him."

Weather advisory

Cincinnatians dread snow. My column about the area's response to the dreaded white death during January's prolonged cold snap inspired a slew of readers to share their thoughts on the winter of 2003.

"I'm one of those mild-mannered grannies who has a `hissy' at the sight of the first snowflake. I will let you go now for I must get myself together to make that required run to the grocery at first light." - Ruth Crosthwaite, Mack.

Alan Bratton believes the white stuff brings out "some good qualities in Cincinnatians." Walking by Clifton's Burnet Woods Lake on his way to work, he sees people feeding the wild ducks.

"The colder it gets," he wrote, "the more people look after the little rascals.

"Anything that gets people out of themselves and connected to the `real' world is good. Anything that gets people caring for another being is better still. If only we treated each other as well as we treat the ducks."

Kindness of strangers

Rob Perry works at HSR Business to Business. The Sharonville advertising firm is mourning co-workers Kevin Pfirrman, Patrick Cunningham and Barbara Conry-Dressman. They died Jan. 16 in a traffic accident en route to a meeting.

Rob thanked me for writing about HSR's loss. He also expressed his thanks to the local and national advertising communities.

He noted that the expressions of sympathy in flowers, food, letters and phone calls "opened my eyes to how many good people there are in the world, how many people generous of spirit and resources, how many people are ready to lend a helping hand to strangers simply because they are in need."

Call Cliff Radel at 768-8379; or e-mail

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