Playing hooky on a beautiful day…

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Is it just me or do you feel like saying: “Screw it, I’m going to the ballpark today!”

I swear to God I’m looking out the window right now thinking it’s a PERFECT day to go Ferris Bueller and put this damned laptop down and go to the game! (Or games after last night’s weather?)

Voting for this Cal Ripken-Jon Ogden thing today has me really perplexed for many reasons. First, I know them both extremely well “off the field” and I like them both immensely.

I have an amazing amount of respect for what a pretty cool guy Cal is once the “milk and hot dogs and Apple pie” stuff disappears. The  “real” Cal is a pretty good guy and a lot more loose and fun than his public image.

And Ogden is a guy who I’ve always had a lot of fun with as well.

So, on a personal level, it’s a draw: there are no losers here.

But on the field I think Ogden is tremendously underrated and the casual Baltimore sports fan will only begin to appreciate his greatness and dominance AFTER Sept. 7th. His legend will grow because we’ll never see another one like him.

Ripken, on the other, had his legend outgrow HIM. He was an outstanding player on just about every level. But he had some “ordinary” years in the middle and at the end.

Other than Ogden’s toe at the end, his career was flawless. Really flawless and always played at the game’s highest level.

Let’s face it: you just can’t say that about Ripken, who had some memorably bad slumps in his prime as well as some magical 1991-like seasons as well.

And off the field both of these guys have been extreme class acts and it will be interesting to see how Ogden uses his “star” in retirement. If he does 1% of what Cal does through his outreach programs it would be a lot. So, Cal is going to win the “popularity” poll on this one for sure.

I could wimp out and go “private ballot” on this one, and believe me I’m tempted.

But I’m going to vote for Ogden because I think he needs deserves the vote and won’t win today.

One more thing:

While I’m on “class acts” have you gotten to see the HBO Bob Costas Live from last week in New York, the night after the All Star Game yet?

I’m only through one segment and Pete Rose is just unbelievable. He might be the biggest scumbag in the history of the game and he’s one of the many reasons I find it hard to “love” baseball or MLB anymore.

He’s so lacking any integrity or honor or class that it’s mortifying.

Rose is the only guy I can think of who is stupid enough to bet on baseball while he’s a manager, then lie about for two decades and then come clean about his “mistakes” and then do live television with The Strip in Las Vegas superimposed behind him for 20 minutes.

And he’s got a straight face while he stares at Jim Palmer and Dave Winfield and says he’s remorseful. While Vegas casinos are the backdrop around his head!

There’s really, really super bad P.R. in the world (See: Angelos, Peter G.) and then there’s Pete Rose “Live from The Strip” preaching virtue and why he belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Can you imagine Mark McGwire pleading his case from in front of the BALCO building?

Like I said, it’s a great day to go to a ballgame!