With the recent inductions into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame, it is that time again when conversation turns to the plight of one Peter Edward Rose. The debate that has raged for years continues-should Pete Rose be in the Baseball Hall of Fame? Supporters and detractors lineup on both sides of the fence, each primed with arguments for or against the cause.
None of those really matter as the next decision will rest with the replacement for Bud Selig as baseball’s next commissioner. Selig has been an interesting case with the Rose situation, sometimes just throwing Pete a bone and then teasingly reeling it back in. His loyalty to Bart Giamatti has likely been the overriding factor in his continuing to put off a Rose pardon and he likely won’t before he leaves office in January.
My opinions on Rose are mixed. I have no doubt that his accomplishments as a player dwarf many of those already inducted into the Hall, but on the other hand I know that he can be an egotistical jerk at times. His stubbornness at the beginning of this whole mess may have been what cost him the most. My opinions aside, I decided to go the social media (Facebook) route to get your thoughts on the Rose situation and the comparison with the banned PED users and I got some interesting replies. Here are a few.
From Charles Mahaffey: “Pete should definitely be in the Hall of Fame for his baseball accomplishments but I don’t think he should have any involvement in the everyday operations of a baseball club.”
From Jimmie Whitley: “I definitely think he should be in the HOF. His mistakes later in his career don’t eliminate all of his hard work, dedication, and great achievements in the sport.”
From Tyler Brummett: “Pete Rose is one of the best hitters in baseball history. Betting has nothing to do with his play so he should definitely be in the HOF. PED’s have an effect on people’s performances but betting had nothing to do with his performance or accomplishments.”
From Dawson Little: “He should be in the Hall even though he definitely isn’t a great all-around person. Keep in mind that the PED users (Clemens, Bonds, McGwire) aren’t in the Hall yet either so you can’t use them to support your point. They are in the same boat as Pete, which is waiting outside of Cooperstown.”
From Matthew Patterson: “I believe Pete deserves to be in for his on-field accomplishments. Lying about his involvement in gambling for many years may have been a strike against him. As far as the players who used PEDs, most used when it wasn’t illegal and there is no certainty as to how many were using so you may as well put them in to.”
From Jim Walls: “The reason in my mind that Pete Rose is not in the Hall of Fame is that he kept denying that he bet on baseball. I believe that if he had admitted to it, rather than kept fighting it, he would be in by now.”
From Kelly Frost: “He should be in as a player. He hustled and was probably the best hitter ever. Pete is the greatest of all time.”
From Michael Parks: “Pete should be in as a player. His lifetime ban is ridiculous seeing as how A-Rod only got like 200 games. Pete’s done his time and is there any evidence he bet against the Reds? The only way betting would be so detrimental would be betting against them and managing to make them lose. Don’t all managers get paid to win? So if his bets were on the Reds to win, he was really just giving himself motivation to win more.”
One of the final comments I received and perhaps my favorite came from Ryan Mason. Mr. Mason makes this point which I heartily agree with.
“What grinds my gears about it is that MLB uses Pete when it benefits them financially. They run him out there for special moments and All-Century teams, but they refuse to place him in the HOF. They either need to let him back in fully or quit using him and his name when it benefits them.”
Obviously, the consensus here is that Pete Rose deserves a spot in Cooperstown. It has already been announced that Rose will be able to take part on next year’s All-Star festivities in Cincinnati, a decision which just reinforces the point of Ryan Mason that MLB likes to use Pete for their own good.
The debate will be never ending until some sort of decision is made, though the Rose critics will tell you that the decision was made 25 years ago, while the Rose supporters will tell you that 25 years is plenty of sentence for the crime. Whichever side of the fence you sit on, it is clear that no end is in sight. Perhaps a new commissioner will be lenient with Pete, perhaps not. Until then, you can still get Pete’s autograph if you have an extra 75 bucks laying around, after you pay for the trip to Vegas.