Sports   

My Prison Without Bars by Pete Rose

 

 

Fair Ball: A Fan's Case for Baseball by Bob Costas 

 

 

Pete Rose Bobblehead Doll 

 

 

October 2, 2004
(But Still Holds True Today)

Why Pete Rose SHOULD NOT
Be Admitted to the Hall of Fame

Pete Rose should never ever be allowed into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Ever. He committed the worst possible baseball crime -- one that undermines the game itself. He bet on his own team while he was manager of that team. By nature of his position as manager, he had the power to effect the outcome of games. Fans who attended Cincinnati Reds games in the eighties should demand their money back. For all they know, what they were watching might have been rigged.

And for that, Rose is OUT. Out of the hall. Out of baseball. Forever. No pardon. No second chances.

Just Say No

Some folks have reasoned that what Pete Rose has done is less of an offense than many drug addicts who have been given second and third and sometimes (in the case of Steve Howe) eight chances to redeem themselves and play the game again. But what Pete Rose did is by light years a more serious offense than playing the game while on drugs. He fucked with the economics and viability of the game itself.

There is only one thing that can kill baseball, and that's if the fans think the game is rigged. Then it becomes nothing more than professional wrestling, with a made-up ending. What makes sports appealing, as Richard Lewis once said, is that you never know what the outcome is going to be.

The Under-Over Guarantee

Rose has now admitted to the fact that he bet on his own team while manager, but, he says, he always bet for them to win. Hold on -- when you bet on baseball games you make two bets -- you bet who is going to win, and then you also have to bet the over-under -- if the teams are going to score a combined amount of runs under or over the spread. You've got to get both right to win the bet. So if the under-over is say 10, and Pete bets Cincinnati to win and takes the 'over', they've got to win and both teams have to score a combined 10 runs or more. So Rose as manager, can almost guarantee himself at least a draw on the bet, if not an outright win. Even if Cincinnati is losing, say 6-1 late in the game, all Rose has to do is keep an ineffective relief pitcher in to allow the other team to score runs so that they go over the 'over'. Same thing goes if he bets the under. Cincinnati's down 4-1 late. You bring in your ace relief pitcher to make sure to hold down the score.

Ever watch a baseball game and been mystified why the manager leaves in a pitcher too long? Or brings in the ace reliever even though the game is lost? Well the manager has his reasons. You would hope.       

If baseball allows Pete Rose into the hall of fame, it is basically condoning his behavior and saying it's ok to question whether or not the scores of baseball games are legit. And because of that, Pete Rose can never, ever be allowed in the Hall of Fame no matter how much he protests.

The Pete Rose Not in the Hall of Fame Industry

And Pete Rose has already received plenty of bounty from his Hall of Fame status. His not being in the hall of fame has become a million dollar industry. The newspapers and ESPN and other media have made millions off of it. Stories and movies and advertising and endless debates on talk show radio. It's become an event as much covered as men walking on the moon.

Pete Rose has cashed in on the hall of fame more than any Hall of Famer possibly could hope to, with extra publicity and resultant cash. Most Hall of Famers go quietly, humbly into the hall and they are forgotten about. Mike Schmidt cried when he retired, was lampooned for years afterwards, and didn't make a dime off it. If Rose had been inducted back in eighties, nobody under 30 years old would even know who he was today. For Pete Rose's own sake, if he's lucky, he'll not make the Hall of Fame in his lifetime.

I wish him well.

-- LouV

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Reader Feedback 

Pete Rose should most definitely be in the Hall of Fame. He has broken the most coveted of all records. HITS. He has more than any other man, living or dead. Forget that he was my generation's hero on the diamond. He was Charlie Hustle. He showed millions of kids how the game should be played. He earned the name Charlie Hustle. Yes, Pete had to be punished for the crime he committed. Gambling. And punished he has been. It's time to let forgiveness take it's turn at the plate, and for Pete to enter the Hall of Fame. Should it become a vote for the people, then Pete would without a doubt enter the Hall immediately. The controversy should end. Pete has been punished. Now let Pete's record stand on it's own merit. Let Pete In.

Marcus Tilley
Channelview, Texas

 

Pete Rose should be allowed into the HOF as a player, not as a manager.  With all his faults, he is still one of the greatest men to ever play the game.

Many other members of the HOF have backgrounds that leave a great deal to be desired but they were considered for their actions on the field, not off. 

There are many members of the HOF who are less deserving of the recognition and cannot match the accomplishments of Pete Rose.

Charlie Hustle should be voted in.

-- Unsigned