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You Guys Are Nuts!

And I thought I was crazy.

By six am today, there were at least 1000 people in line outside Wrigley Field, in 20-degree temperatures, more than three months before the home opener.

Why? Because season tickets went on sale today. At least one woman slept out all night. There are packages from 23 games to all 81 games on sale, ranging from about $300 to about $2700 per ticket.

This is the first time I can ever remember that many people waiting to pay literally hundreds or thousands of dollars for season tickets. I cannot imagine what the mob scene will look like next month when single-game tickets go on sale.

And now, since everyone else has, I'll put in my $0.02 on the Pete Rose episode.

First of all, his timing is blatantly obvious -- he wanted to get the attention at this time of year because of the announcement that Paul Molitor and Dennis Eckersley, deserving folks, will be inducted this summer (and maybe next summer, Ryne Sandberg). But by doing so, he has damned his cause further.

There's no shading here, folks. Rose broke a rule that's posted in every major league clubhouse. He played more games than almost anyone, and managed hundreds. He couldn't not know. You can argue the merits of the rule, but it is a rule. And the penalty is clear. And he accepted it, despite a 1989 agreement with the late commissioner Bart Giamatti that Rose was not admitting or denying that he had bet on baseball.

And for 14 years he insisted he hadn't.

Now, for profit in his new book (which I shall not buy), he admits that he has? Gee, great motive, Pete. And is he repentant? Contrite? No, instead he says: "I'm sure that I'm supposed to act all sorry or sad or guilty now that I've accepted that I've done something wrong. But you see, I'm just not built that way."

I can see the public turning against him, and I like that idea. Pete Rose was indeed a great baseball player. But he's a lousy human being, and he broke rules that he knew were there, and even though he admits it now, he sure doesn't seem very sorry.

There's an excellent piece on ESPN.com by Jayson Stark today on this subject, and I urge you to click through and read it.

And if you want to know the real truth of what Pete Rose did to sully his own name and that of the game he professes to love, make sure you read the Dowd Report.