Monday, July 27, 2009

The Saga of Pete Rose

Today we learn, Commissioner Bud Selig is considering lifting Pete Rose's lifetime suspension from Major League Baseball. With all that's happened in baseball, with the steroid's controversy, over the last 10 years, it's the least Selig can do.

If there's ever a player who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, it's Pete Rose. Few players in the history of the game played with the fire and desire, like Rose did. He is by far the hardest working player I've ever seen play. No player sacrificed his body for the sake of his team and the game in general, like Pete Rose did.

Rose is the all-time leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at-bats (14,053) and singles (3,215). He is second in doubles (746) and 6th in runs scored (2,165). Rose was a 17-time All-Star, the 1963 NL Rookie of the Year and the 1973 NL MVP. He holds the major league record with 10 200-hit seasons.

Rose received a lifetime ban in 1989 when he was found guilty of betting on baseball, while manager of the Cincinnati Reds. My question is, why should Pete Rose, the player, be punished for something Pete Rose, the manager, did? Considering what players have done to hurt the "integrity of the game" over the last 10 years, Rose's gambling looks like a misdemeanor.

At the time, Rose received his lifetime ban, steroid use was not even part of any baseball conversation. Gambling was the ultimate evil. Which is worse? Rose's gambling did nothing to pad his career numbers. He achieved his Hall of Fame career on pure talent and hard work. Steroids directly enhances a players performance. So why not a lifetime ban for those who knowingly hurt the game by using performance enhancing drugs?

If the Hall of Fame doesn't want Pete Rose, why is all his "stuff" there? Things such as bats, balls and uniforms from Rose's record breaking career are all on display in the Hall of Fame. So it's ok to recognize the records but not the man who broke those records?

I hope Commissioner Selig does the right thing by lifting the ban, so Pete Rose can be enshrined where he rightfully belongs, The National Baseball Hall of Fame.

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