With much debate over the should he or shouldn’t he with regards to Pete Rose and the Hall of Fame, maybe it is time to let everyone in.
By William Chase
In the wake of MLB commissioner Rob Manfred’s decision to keep the ban on Pete Rose, and therefore Rose still being on the outside of the Hall of Fame, I’ll say I agree with the decision.
Should he be in Cooperstown? No, he broke the Cardinal Sin of the game.
Is he a Hall of Fame talent? Absolutely.
Under the current setup, Rule 21 (d):
Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.
To those who oppose the ruling, or of those today who say surely it’s time to end the ban and put Rose into the Hall of Fame, I ask, is it? Has he really learned anything?
When then-commissioner Bart Giamatti handed down the lifetime ban, Rose needed to “configure his life to be considered for possible reinstatement.” As Manfred confirmed yesterday, Rose had not done that. He’s admitted to still gambling on baseball.
Those who point out the hypocrisy of MLB to promote FanDuel and DraftKings, they’re right. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, MLB. Either let players gamble if you’re going to promote those money games, or stay clear away from it all.
For fans who bring up the point that MLB is basically saying it’s okay to be a PED-user, assault someone, or commit any other egregious crime, but to see those players still active in the sport, it’s hard to refute.
When fans say athletes are more directly affecting and altering the game when they stick needles in their body, as opposed to, or more so than when an individual associated with a club is only betting on their team to win, because that person believed enough in their team that they’d win, they’re wrong.
First of all, Rose knew the rule. The rule that is plastered on all the clubhouses in and around professional baseball.
I don’t have sympathy for PED-users. Not in this day in age after MLB finally got serious about it and instituted drug testing and penalties, and then stricter penalties for offenders. Ped-users used, in attempt, to gain a competitive edge. Gamblers gambled for one reason: Money.
How can we believe Rose when he says he only bet on his team to win? He denied he even partook in betting on his sport for 15 years, though he willingly accepted his lifetime ban, admitting only, that he bet on other sports. Rose finally opened up about his betting as a manager in 2004, the time his autobiography came out detailing the events.
Cooperstown, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, is a place for all that is, and all whom are associated with the sport going back to before the 1900s. Everything imaginable, from the greatest of the greats, the ugliness that stains the game, and all the fabric that makes the game what it is, detailed on exhibit in Cooperstown, New York.
The omissions of course, are those exempt from the Hall by those with a vote that won’t vote them in, i.e. PED-users, and those who are banned.
Baseball is, and always has been, full of those that looked to gain an edge. From pitchers over time who scuffed and doctored the ball, whether Gaylord Perry and the infamous spitball, or those before him that used nail files to better manipulate the ball. From George Brett and the 1983 Pine Tar Incident, to gaining an edge today such as stealing signs, all tricks still ‘part of the game.’
Perry and Brett are among those players in the Hall.
Is the Steroids Era just, another way of ‘gaining an edge?’ Would it be better to put the greatest of the greats in the Hall, and be done with the debate over whether one did it the right way versus someone who had to use steroids? Or in Rose’s case, who gambled and very well could have had even more hits?
If Rose ever got in, you have to put in Shoeless Joe Jackson. Jackson, and the 1919 Chicago Black Sox, embroiled in the scandal to throw the 1919 World Series versus the Cincinnati Reds. Evidence, including confessions from Eddie Cicotte and Joe Jackson, would go missing from the Cook County Courthouse, leading to those involved being acquitted.
Despite Jackson’s admittance of knowing, or participating in the fix, according to the testimonies of retired pitcher Bill Burns, and his partner and former boxer, Billy Maharg, Jackson never attended meetings discussing the fix, though Jackson did receive $5,000.
Cooperstown, after all, is a museum dedicated to the sport, and should contain the good, the bad and the ugly. NFL players who are suspended four games but are nonetheless Hall worthy will get their busts in Canton.
There is no debate in other sports about the legitimacy of a player, and whether they should or shouldn’t be in their sports’ Hall of Fame when their numbers may have been aided by other means. If we really want to get into the knitty-gritty, wouldn’t we tear into players such as Willie Mays, casualties of the 1970s greenies saga?
Baseball, despite the ugliness, is considered pristine; the sport cherishes its sacred numbers.
Players of today who get caught with PEDs and suspended should know better right? We’re quick to ridicule, especially when those say they didn’t ‘knowingly take steroids,’ however shouldn’t we all know what we’re putting into our body? Especially an athlete, whose body is his or her’s livelihood. Sometimes it really is something as simple as a prescription that caused the red flag.
Regardless, if I’m a player, I want to be sure, and 100 percent sure again and time again, that anything I put in my body, even if it’s medically prescribed, is cleared for me to take.
Maybe it is time to let everyone into the Hall. Let the busts tell the story. Barry Bonds, 762 home runs, aided by BALCO. Pete Rose, No. 1 in hits, 4,256, gambled on team as player and manager.
Either abide by the rules in place, or let everyone in, steroids and gambling, the good and the grime.