Let me start out with this statement so those of you who are here and don’t care about things like facts or rules when it comes to baseball I’ll save you some time.
Screw Pete Rose.
If you now want to learn something, you may continue reading.
President Trump yesterday jumped into the lift the ban on Pete Rose debate and tweeted this…
Pete Rose played Major League Baseball for 24 seasons, from 1963-1986, and had more hits, 4,256, than any other player (by a wide margin). He gambled, but only on his own team winning, and paid a decades long price. GET PETE ROSE INTO THE BASEBALL HALL OF FAME. It’s Time!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2020
If the President were to have someone treat him like Pete Rose has treated baseball since he was banned in 1989, I’m pretty sure that Trump would have had Rose flown to GITMO.
Pete Rose gambled both as a PLAYER and MANAGER on baseball games. Those that try to split the difference there are flat out wrong. He gambled while doing both and it is documented right here in ESPN story from 2015…
For 26 years, Pete Rose has kept to one story: He never bet on baseball while he was a player.
Yes, he admitted in 2004, after almost 15 years of denials, he had placed bets on baseball, but he insisted it was only as a manager.
But new documents obtained by Outside the Lines indicate Rose bet extensively on baseball — and on the Cincinnati Reds — as he racked up the last hits of a record-smashing career in 1986. The documents go beyond the evidence presented in the 1989 Dowd report that led to Rose’s banishment and provide the first written record that Rose bet while he was still on the field.
“This does it. This closes the door,” said John Dowd, the former federal prosecutor who led MLB’s investigation.
So Rose lied about betting on baseball until he had a book to sell saying he only betted on baseball while as a manager. That does not make it any better but for those that want to excuse Pete for everything, they continue to make this case. Hell, Pete was still lying about this in April of 2015 when he was interviewed on a radio show about betting as a player.
In April, Rose repeated his denial, this time on Michael Kay’s ESPN New York 98.7 FM radio show, that he bet on baseball while he was a player. “Never bet as a player: That’s a fact,” he said.
No, Pete. The only fact here is you keep lying about betting on the game.
Now the second excuse that Rose apologists make is that he never bet on the Reds to lose. Really? Have you seen the full Dowd report with the FBI investigation? No, you haven’t. So how do you know that he didn’t bet on the Reds to win, lose, win to make the mob guys happy back in New York? You don’t.
Oh sure you can say that “Pete said so” but the record of Rose and the truth is pretty tenuous at best.
When I brought this up on a Facebook thread recently I heard the obvious chorus of he has served enough time and he never bet on his team to lose blah blah blah. When I brought up the incredibly novel idea that if the report actually showed he did bet on the game to have the Reds lose, one person said “WHO CARES” and he was serious.
So you want Major League Baseball to become Professional Wrestling?
If the game is being fixed by players or managers behind the scenes than why would you watch? Part of the beauty of baseball is the matchups and what could happen with every pitch and every at-bat. If a pitcher knows the guy he is facing can help him or some of the boys in the clubhouse make the over on a game and throws a gopher ball for a homer would you think that is acceptable? If a batter that usually crushes a certain pitcher decides to take one for a really big bet is that ok? What if a golden glove outfielder misjudges a routine fly ball and lets it drop so some runs score?
Oh, that can’t happen you say.
Black Sox scandal of 1919.
That team was accused of throwing the Word series and the same impulses are alive today. Pete Rose is a walking embodiment of it. That is why Major League Baseball has one rule that must not be broken. The 1919 scandal almost ruined the game in its infancy and if fans think games are not on the level they won’t watch.
So how about if we do this.
Get Pete Rose to lobby M.L.B. to release the WHOLE investigation. Let’s see what all the evidence is and what the people around Rose that knew him for years thought. Let’s see how many more times Rose has lied in interviews about what he did.
Just as a preview though, Pete won’t do that. He knows what is in there. Remember he signed the paperwork banning him for life and he knew why.
Maybe that will change some pro-Rose into the H.O.F peeps right now but probably it won’t. It seems that those that aren’t into facts are worse than the jury for the O.J. Simpson murder trial. At least those people looked at all the evidence before dismissing it.
According to the Dowd report, Rose was deep in debt to the bookies to the tune of a couple of hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you had 20 or 30 players or managers across the league doing this how do you think that would affect the game?
Dowd himself summed it up nicely…
“The implications for baseball are terrible. [The mob] had a mortgage on Pete while he was a player and manager.”
Yes, they did and yes, it would, have horrible implications for the game.
Pete Rose will always be all times hits leader but he should never be allowed into the Hall of Fame. If you let him in than anyone schlub will feel free to do whatever because Pete got away with it. Those that love baseball do not want the game to be ruined like this and in the end, Rose did this to himself.
So let me say this again.
Screw Pete Rose.