The timing may be suspect and the evidence is anti-climactic. Does the newly found evidence that Pete Rose bet on baseball as a player hurt his chances for reinstatement?
Frankly, there was not much chance of his reinstatement before Mike Bertolini's cryptic notes were released to ESPN. Even in a court of law, the scrawled "Pete" in Bertolini's notebook would not pass scrutiny. If I'm Rose's defense attorney, I could shed doubt easily. For all anyone know it could refer to Pete Gray, not Pete Rose.
That was not going to happen. Rose, though popular with fans of the game, has proven that he can't be trusted, period.
Rose is someone who can speak candidly about the game and his role with Fox Sports as a commentator is perfect for him. As long as he is an outsider, with insight, he will be informative and entertaining. He should stop there. On any other subject, he will flat out lie. When the subject is baseball and in particular the playing of the game, he is brilliant and a valuable source of information.
When that turns to the business of the game, he is a poor source. He not only a degenerate gambler, he is a bad gambler. Not only is he a poor business man, he is an untrustworthy and a pathological liar.
Then when called on it like bad gamblers often are, he threw his publicist under the bus and reversed his decisions. Pete Rose does what's good for Pete Rose and cares nothing about anyone but himself.
Still, with all this said, the Hall of Fame means nothing without his membership. How can baseball have a museum that maintains its history leave out one of its most historical players. It is a museum, not a referendum of morality. Baseball should be strong enough to admit its darker sides. It should acknowledge the steroid players like it does its players and executives from the past that also had character flaws.
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Babe Ruth was a heavy drinker. Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis was a racist, who systematically kept blacks out of the game for 27 years, besides being a corrupt judge, drunk with power. Talk about the integrity of the game, how can baseball claim to be the best in the world while excluding such talented players as Sachel Paige and Josh Gibson. It can't.
Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame, period, if for no other reason than to be the subject of a cautionary tale to players yet to be born.
The irony is that Rose himself couldn't give a damn about membership in the Hall. He can't make money off it to offset his gambling losses. He can stick it to baseball every year by gauging for autographs during the annual induction ceremonies.
|Professionally edited by ML Schirmer|
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