Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Whither Pete Rose?

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©2015 by LeeZard

I admit I’m not the baseball fan I used to be but I still care about the game, especially its history. That is why I am upset by the decision from Commissioner Rob Manfred that Hits King Pete Rose will forever be banned from baseball because he bet on the game both as a player and manager.

That Rose did, indeed, place bets – even on his own team – is not in question. In fact, he stupidly admitted in his news conference after Manfred’s announcement that he still bets on baseball to this day. He definitely deserved a severe punishment. What bothers me is the commissioner’s – and Major League Baseball’s (MLB’s) – petty vindictiveness and hypocrisy.

What bothers me even more is that even though Rose technically could be eligible for a plaque in the Baseball Hall of Fame (HOF), that august institution still refuses to consider his entry because of the baseball ban. In 1991 the HOF passed a rule that bans anyone on baseball’s ineligible list from entrance into the hall. The HOF Board of Directors could easily reverse the rule.
How can MLB and the HOF turn their backs forever on one of the greatest players to ever lace up a pair of spikes?
Pete Rose’s Major League Records:

  • Most Career Hits 4,256
  • Most Games Played 3,562
  • Most AB’s 14,053
  • Most Singles 3,315
  • Most Total Bases Switch Hitter 5,752
  • Most Seasons 200 or more hits 10
  • Most Seasons 600 or more AB’s 17
  • Most Seasons 150 or more games played 17
  • Most Winning Games 1,972
  • 5 hits or more in Games 10XS
  • Only major league Player in History to Play 500 Games at 5 Positions
  • 1B(969) 2B(634) 3B(634) LF(671) RF(595)
  • Most 20 Games or more hitting streak 7XS
  • Most Total Times on base 5,929



Hall of Fame display. Photo by Leezard


And, while Pete Rose is denied his plaque in the Hall of Fame, the HOF doesn't mind exploiting him by displaying his uniform and other memorabilia.

I think MLB’s vindictiveness is blatant. Does Rose’s gambling really deserve a lifetime ban? Back in the day, the National Football League suspended two of its famous gamblers – Paul Hornung and Alex Karras – for one season.


 Hypocrisy? Let us count the ways.

·    Ty Cobb, the man Rose unthroned as The Hits King, was not only an evil spirited racist, he was a blatant cheater who sharpened his spikes to injure anyone who got in the way of his stealing a base.

·    Mark McGwyer, an admitted cheater/steroid user, apologized for his transgressions and immediately became the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals. Now, he’s the bench coach for the San Diego Padres.

·    Alex Rodriguez, Lie-Rod….’nuff said.

·    Gambling? MLB is in bed with at least one of the short-term fantasy league businesses, which have been banned in at least five states as illegal GAMBLING.

·    Many MLB stadiums have casino advertising on the scoreboard and/or on the walls surrounding the playing field.

Finally, one thing that has always struck me about this is that I’ve never seen it mentioned that Pete Rose probably has a gambling addiction. He shows the classic signs of an addict; he lies, directs responsibility away from himself and denies he has a problem. “I have myself under control,” he said at his post-Manfred decision news conference. And, as if to subconsciously flaunt his addiction, Rose held his news conference in Las Vegas.

 

The man needs treatment more than he needs the continued holier-than-thou punishment from MLB.

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