Originally Posted by BIGPOPPAPUMP
By Lyle Fitzsimmons
As a Cincinnati Reds fan, I’ve been saying it for 25 years.
Though he’s long been known for a loathsome personality, one Peter Edward Rose has more hits than anyone else who’s ever played major league baseball. Which means, without his plaque on the wall in the bucolic enclave of Cooperstown, N.Y., the National Baseball Hall of Fame is a fraud.
Meanwhile, just 69 miles northwest in the Syracuse suburb of Canastota, another such statement can be made about the home of stars in another sport. Though he had a career most would envy, if Arturo Gatti makes it onto the wall there next year, then the International Boxing Hall of Fame is an abject failure.
And with apologies to election-season poll heads, “likeability factor” should have nothing to do it.
While Rose is by consensus a lying egomaniac with a bloated sense of self, his performance on the field is measurably as good as anyone who’s ever gripped a bat. It’s a stark contrast to Gatti, who admittedly thrilled a generation of wide-eyed fans, but fell flat – literally – against the best of his peers.
Rose – a rookie of the year, an MVP, a three-time batting champion and a 17-time all-star – has been barred from enshrinement for more than two decades by voting rules concocted to punish him for being defiant, rather than reverential, when it came to explaining off-field foibles. [Click Here To Read More
Fitzsimmons demonstrates an "abject" lack of knowledge or understanding about baseball and gambling. It is an undisputed fact that gambling almost ruined professional baseball. the 1919 black sox scandal almost destroyed "america's game." After that scandal, there was 1 and only 1 cardinal rule in baseball--you do not bet on baseball. This is known as Rule 21D. It makes no distinction between betting for or against your team. it is a blanket prohibition. If you walk into any major league locker room, it is posted prominently in multiple places. Ask any player, hell, any bat boy, they know it is the ultimate baseball sin.
Pete Rose knowingly broke this rule. Not only did baseball uncover clear records of him gambling on baseball while he was a player (in 1985 and 1986), they had his daily gambling records as a manager in 1987. He bet on games he played in and managed. In light of this, Rose accepted, that's right, accepted a lifetime ban from the game. And he deserved it.
Rose's only "defense" is that he never bet against the Reds. Or so he says. He denied betting on baseball until 2004--15 years after he was banned. And by denied, I mean lied through his teeth every opportunity that he got. Moreover, baseball's investigators felt strongly that Rose had indeed bet against the reds and the only reason baseball never made formal findings as such was because Rose accepted a lifetime ban so formal findings wouldn't be made.
Rose's defense isn't a defense. Even if he didn't bet against the reds, which is doubtful, the rule bars betting of any kind. He put his neck in the noose. let him hang. The hall of fame is about more than just recognizing players that were great. it is also about recognizing players that made baseball, as a sport, great. great to watch, great to root for, great to be a part of. Rose forfeited all of that when he chose to bet on the game.