Commissioner of baseball Bud Selig was reported to have been rethinking Pete Rose’s lifetime ban from baseball. The story started when Hank Aaron was quoted during hall of fame weekend saying that “I would like to see Pete in, he belongs there.” Rose has been banned for 20 years for betting on baseball as a manager. The Commissioners office squashed the rumor from the Daily News almost immediately. According to Selig’s office there is no movement on Pete’s ban. According to the Chicago Tribune Selig was so angry about the Daily News report that he thought about issuing a statement to the contrary. Movement or no movement this gives me a chance to give my opinions on this situation. With no further pre-amble here they are.
Pete Rose is the all-time hits leader. He has played in more games than anyone else ever. They called him Charlie Hustle. He was a 17 time all-star. How many games did he tank on purpose as a player? I will tell you how many, none if you look at the stats. As a manager he bet on his own team and baseball in general. However, no one ever reported to my knowledge that he bet against his own team. Either way, he is wrong for doing that as a manager and should have been punished. With that being said, it has been 20 years, 20 long agonizing years. As a player I don’t think he blew any games ever. How can you hit the ball more than anyone ever and still blow games?
Gambling is a disease. It is an addiction that is hard to overcome. I have known many addicts in my life and they all do things they wouldn’t normally do to feed that addiction. This does not give him a pass. Rose was dumb for betting on the game. Of course people who say that what he did was just as bad as the use of performance enhancing drugs are just crazy. That is just plain stupid in my opinion. Bonds hit 73 home runs in a season and made a joke of the sport and 2 of the most hallowed records in the game. Pete Rose got into debt and bet on his team to win a game. He may have bet on them to win by 2 runs instead of 3 sure, but apples to oranges.
Baseball needs to lift the ban on Pete Rose. It’s time. Do I think anyone would hire him to manage, probably not? I do think though that he could be a hitting coach somewhere. He has helped A Rod out in recent years and he does pretty well last time I checked. Most importantly he needs his day at Cooperstown. He is the all time hit king and he got those hits with talent, heart, and hustle. Give him his day.
By Michael Genovese