Sorry Pete

Jan 10, 2004

I don’t know about everyone else but I’m sick of hearing about Pete Rose and his troubles with baseball. It seems that every year, normally around Hall of Fame time, he grumbles and the media turns their eye on him. It’s playoff time people. Let’s forget about Pete. We’ve got football to talk about.

This year it’s especially bad, given that he’s finally dropped his version of a bomb. He lied about gambling. You don’t say? Next you’ll tell us that Clinton did have sexual relations with that woman. Uh Pete, got anything else to talk about?

He took 14 years to make the admission — 14 years of bold face lies to his peers, the public, and even an author of a previous biography — and the reasons are pretty obvious. He wants to sell his new book and he wants one last shot at the Hall of Fame, not necessarily in that order.

My personal opinion about Pete’s status in baseball has nothing to do with the Hall. If Rosey Pete is going to be in baseball, there is absolutely no question that he should be in the hall. His play was exemplary.

That said, I don’t believe he deserves to be associated with baseball at all. He committed the ultimate sin in sports: he threw questions — deadly questions — onto the field. Wagering adds a question mark to the end of every play. Why did the outfielder drop that ball? How come the pitcher can suddenly get no one out?

People often talk about the Hall of Fame being about accomplishments on the field. Off the field crimes — be they of personality , drug usage, or even criminal acts — do not factor into the decision. I generally agree. The problem with Pete is his acts did happen on the field of play, rather he bet from the dugout or not. His wagering cannot escape the spirit of his crime. His gambling landed him right where he should be, on the outside looking in.

I’m very much hoping that the commisioner leaves his ass on the bench where he belongs. The only person that would really benefit from Rose being in the hall is Rose himself. It would soften the resolve of a lifetime ban and do nothing but harm the sport of baseball.

A lot of sports writers are of the opinion that, eventually, he’ll get in, despite the fact that this admission has changed more than a couple minds in the opposite direction. I’m hoping they’re wrong. Maybe the commisioner will act like one for a change. But, then again, I wouldn’t bet on it.

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