We baseball fans got some good news recently, when MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, wisely chose not to succumb to public pressure, and refused to reinstate Pete Rose. In 1989, Rose agreed to accept a lifetime ban. Now he wants back in. A typical Pete Rose move. His word means nothing.
Let's be clear. This doesn't mean Rose can't be enshrined in the Hall of Fame (that's up to the voters), and it doesn't mean he can't be mentioned in the HOF, because he's already mentioned there three times. He is honored by the HOF for most games played, most at-bats, and most hits. Manfred simply chose not to forgive Pete's many transgressions.
What transgression are we talking about? Let's start with the fact that Pete can't open his mouth without lying. He swore that he'd never gambled on sporting events, but was subsequently found to have bet on hundreds of football games.
After confessing to having bet on football, he swore that he never bet on baseball. Then he was found to have bet on hundreds of Major League baseball games. Oops. Do we see a pattern developing?
Then, after confessing to betting on baseball, he said that he never bet on his own team. But that also turned out to be a lie. He had bet on his own team. But then he insisted that he never bet on his own team while he was the team's player-manager. Alas, that also turned out to be a lie. Oops.
And now, for the big question -- for the only remaining question that really, truly matters. When asked if, as a player-manager, he had ever bet on his own team to LOSE, Rose said he absolutely had not.
But why would anyone believe that? He's already described himself as being a "helpless" degenerate gambler, and he's already established himself as an inveterate liar. In 1990, when the IRS nailed him for tax evasion, he thought he could lie his way out of it. Instead, the IRS put him in jail. He did five months in a federal prison. Oops.
So the question is this: Given that Rose has a propensity for lying, and given that he was a compulsive gambler, what on earth would stop him from betting on his own team to lose when, as a player-manager, he was in the position to make that happen? What on earth would stop him? Respect for the game? Ethics? Please.
If people honestly believe Pete Rose was too ethical a person to bet on his own team to lose -- especially when he had the "power" to help them lose -- I would challenge them to defend that position.
The more compelling argument is that the man lacks any semblance of personal integrity. He has no code, he has no ethics, he has no respect for the game, and he has no respect for himself. He was a magnificent baseball player, no question about it. But in every other regard he was bush-league. Oops.