Monday, December 28, 2015
As a lifelong fan of the Cincinnati Reds I suppose I'm supposed to be upset that Red legend Pete Rose has once again (and likely for all time) been denied reentry into the official baseball community and therefore eventual access into the hallowed Hall of Fame.
But I'm not.
Rose deserves his lifetime ban and any attempt to reconcile him and baseball has always been frustrated by the undeniable fact that Pete Rose, greatest living baseball hitter, is a degenerate gambler and has lied about his activities as such for decades.
There's no one who can deny his accomplishments, nor deny his tremendous grit and competitive nature which consumed his playing days. No one in my opinion can claim convincingly that he did anything as a player to undermine his team's efforts to win each and every game.
But as a manager the record is always going to be more murky. I cannot fathom that his desire to win ever caused him to actually decide to undermine the efforts of his teams in any capacity, but the clear and finally revealed confessions that he did indeed bet on the game in which he took part will always create a cloud of uncertainty and that's the same.
Pete Rose will not be a part of the Hall of Fame, though he will in all likelihood be remembered as a part of the game for a very very long time.
And that's as it should be. Many rush to point out that gambling is becoming much more normalized in society and within major sports as well. Football has all but given up being anything other much more than a vehicle for gambling in various modes and venues. Baseball still lags behind since its games number so many and the outcomes day to day are really such question marks.
It's shame and pity that Pete Rose will not be a part of the game's official history as he ought to be. But the pity is that we are all cheated and the shame is all on the shoulders of Peter Edward Rose Sr.