Counterpoint: Pete Rose Belongs in the Hall of Fame

Let me start out by saying I care about facts and rules when it comes to baseball. I umpire youth baseball (and girls fastpitch softball), so rules are important to me.

This diary is intended to be a rebuttal to this diary by T.LaDuke. For the purposes of this diary, I will stipulate that Pete probably bet on games as a manager and as a player. I will also stipulate that he may have bet against his team as well as for it. As far as whether he can tell the truth, it’s clear that he cannot, and frequently doesn’t.

I don’t however want to be included with those who say, “WHO CARES.” I do care about the game. I grew up in the SF Bay area and saw Mays, McCovey & Marichal. I waited 50 years to finally get a championship.

The problem with your first point is that baseball is no longer consistent with its message. Take a look behind home plate during any telecast these days and you’ll see a “Draft Kings” sign. They are the “Official Daily Fantasy Game” of Major League Baseball. An online gambling site. I just don’t see how MLB can promote gambling and yet continue to ban Pete Rose for participating in it.

You mention the Black Sox scandal, but don’t mention evidence shows some of the players refused to take the money, and clearly their play on the field shows they played their best even while knowing what was going on. Yet, they were still caught up in the scandal and forever banned from the HOF. That’s the just the start of it.

There’s clear evidence that in the ’60s and ’70s players were taking amphetamines to deal with the grueling season. No one has been kept out of the Hall because of that. I’m certain there are players already elected that were involved in that.

Then we come to the steroid era were players are being denied entry, even some who never tested positive. The very same sportswriters who vote for HOF membership turned a blind eye to the steroid use after the strike because baseball was dying and threatening their jobs. Once it became known, they acted as though they didn’t know about it and passed judgment without recognizing the hypocrisy in it.

We know there are players in the HOF who took performance enhancers even if we don’t know their names, but somehow everyone gets to virtue signal over the ones they don’t like, especially the ones who were rude to the baseball priesthood (sportswriters).

Today we have the electronic sign stealing scandal. Will all of the players on the Houston Asterisks Astros be denied access when their time comes? My bet is it’ll be completely forgotten by then. Never mind they clearly also “broke the rules.”

MLB needs to be consistent in how it deals with these issues, or stop pretending they care about the facts, rules, or even the integrity of the game. Otherwise, they are “Professional Wrestling.”