North of the 400

North of Toronto, South of a championship

The right thing to do with Pete Rose

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In an interview on ESPN Radio on Wednesday, former Reds player and manager Pete Rose once again admitted that he bet on baseball on a daily basis.

Yes, he only bet on them to win, which is different, and yet the same, as just betting on baseball.

He also said in the interview that he longer cares about being in the hall of fame.

While this may be true, just as how he claims his betting record is true. In it’s own way, it doesn’t matter. He’s just looking to get reinstated and the question of him in the hall of fame will come up once again.

And, truth be told, Pete Rose should be in the Baseball Hall Of Fame.

Getting elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame should have little, if anything, to do with a player’s actions off the field. In the past it was never a problem, as players like Ty Cobb and Mickey Mantle were elected without any debate on their off-field activites.

After all, Cobb bragged that he once killed a man, was a violent racist and was alleged to have thrown a game (although that was never proven). Mickey Mantle was an alcoholic womanizer who was banned from baseball for associating with gambling in 1983 (he was reinstated in 1985). And despite these character issues, they were allowed in the Hall of Fame.

While’s the argument that what Pete Rose did was bad for the game, I’m not going to refute it. It’s true, betting on your own team has no place in sports.

However, how were his actions any worse then those of other Hall of Famers? Gaylord Perry’s illegal spitball pitch was successful enough to get him to Cooperstown.

How is betting on baseball any worse then using amphetamines, which are now banned by Major League Baseball? I would argue that it’s not, and perhaps even less. Yet players have used them since the 1970s, and numerous Hall of Fame members, such as Hank Aaron, used them.

Of course, there is a world of difference between taking drugs and betting on baseball: drugs only affect the play of yourself, for example, where betting would affect the play of an entire team.

However, at the end of the day, it has yet to be proven that Pete Rose bet on games as a player, and we only have his word, for whatever little it’s worth, that he bet on the Reds to win. Ten years ago, he said that he never bet on baseball at all. And in ten years, maybe he’ll admit to have bet on his Reds to lose.

Either way, it’s irrelevant when it comes to him being in the hall of fame. As a player – not as a manager – Pete Rose was very good, perhaps one of the greatest. And even despite his gambling, any mistakes he made as a manager should not have any impact on his playing career.

So put him in the Hall of Fame and let the Reds retire his number. Mention his 4000 hits and mention his gambling addictions. Let him on the field to witness the ceremony and never let him back. It’s the right thing to do.

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Written by M.

March 17, 2007 at 11:15 pm

Posted in baseball, MLB, Pete Rose

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