Today is June 23, exactly three weeks away from the All Star Game. The All Star Game marks the halfway point of the season. Up to this point, the hottest topic in the game has nothing to do with the players currently playing. The hottest topic hasn’t been Cole Hamels, Johnny Cueto or even Alex Rodriguez for that matter.
It’s been Pete Rose.
The topic has been ignited this year because of the new commissioner, Rob Manfred, and whether he believes in reinstating Rose after he was banned from baseball for life on August 24, 1989, for gambling on games.
Former Commissioner Bud Selig never wanted to reinstate him, so many wonder if Manfred will, especially with the All Star Game being played this year in Cincinnati, the place where Rose played 19 of his 24 MLB seasons.
To not see Major League Baseball’s all-time leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at-bats (14,053) and singles (3,215) would be odd, but not anything different.
Unlike Selig, Manfred is making the effort to hear Rose and thoroughly consider bringing back the legend. There’s talk that they will meet after the All Star Break regarding his reinstatement.
Yesterday, diary entries from 1989 were released that showed that Rose not only bet on games as a manager, but as a player as well.
But every game he bet on, he put his money on his team, the Cincinnati Reds. There’s no proof from the documents that were released to the public yesterday that he was “throwing games,” which basically lands us back at where we were on Sunday, or on Saturday, or even in January.
The proof from yesterday only strengthens Rose’s argument. He was banned from baseball not just for gambling, but for also intentionally losing games when he was a manager. The information yesterday had Rose betting for the Reds, not against them, which means that he was increasing his motivation to win and not to lose. When it comes to motivation, I guess we know where he got it from.
Yes, I completely understand that gambling is bad and that there is no room for it in baseball.
But at the same time, it’s been 25 years — that’s a quarter of a century.
You’re going to deny arguably the game’s best hitter from the game of baseball? But at the same time, Mark McGwire, who admittedly used steroids and broke home run records that he never deserved to break, can be a hitting coach on the Los Angeles Dodgers?
It doesn’t make sense.
They both cheated, just in different ways, McGwire affecting the game with his muscles, Rose with his in-game decisions (nothing has been proven yet of him throwing games as a player). McGwire should not be kicked from the game of baseball. But if he’s in it, Rose should be too.
Regarding the hall of fame, that doesn’t matter right now. Manfred doesn’t pick who goes in it, but the BBWAA does. With the writers who vote on it, the argument will be the same one as it is with supposed steroid users. Writers will argue both sides, but it will be split 50/50 and guys who are argued over will not make it in.
The same will probably be said for Rose if he gets reinstated, but this time a different argument: is betting on games, as a manager or player, enough to keep someone out of Cooperstown?
But right now, that’s not even an issue. What is the issue now is whether Rose deserves to be reinstated into Major League Baseball.
And from the information gathered, his achievements, and the length of time he’s been gone, he should at least be allowed back in.