OK, I’m working on a

OK, I’m working on a book/Christmas gift list too. I’m afraid it won’t be quite as erudite as the Trunk’s, however. It’ll probably be more like the director’s cut of Vixen and the CD with six alternative versions of “Smoke on the Water.” Meanwhile, one comment on Pete Rose and Bill Clinton. Clinton was “Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!” as a Doonesbury cartoon announced during Watergate. Rose, on the other hand, was guilty of a number of things–stupidity, crudeness, having horrible friends, betting on a variety of sports. But he just might be innocent of the one thing that really matters–betting on baseball. Years ago, Bill James (who could easily have been a lawyer, but it would have been a waste of his talents) wrote a brilliant analysis of the case against Rose, and concluded that it fell short. His view was that, if studied carefully, the evidence showed that someone was betting on baseball from the phone in Rose’s house, but it wasn’t Pete. James conceded that Rose’s innocence couldn’t be proved from the evidence before the arbitrator either, but I was so struck by the quality of James’s analysis that I’ve always suspected Pete is innocent, as he has so long insisted.

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