Pete Rose, then we really need to think about how idiotic it is to shun Rose from the Hall of Fame any longer. Time has passed, the once most imitated ballplayer of the 1970's needs to be put on the ballot...Pete's taken his lumps...it's time.
Barry Larkin said of Rose during his Hall of Fame speech, a speech that was supposed to be all about Barry Larkin: "
"I wouldn't be in the big leagues without Pete Rose...Thank you Pete Rose. I love you man.”
Larkin also credited Rose for so much while they were with the Reds organization together. According to USA Today's piece: "Larkin credited Rose, who was in Cooperstown signing autographs, for talking with him in 1987 about "the pressures -- things that come along with being a (Cincinnati native) playing in Cincinnati."
This is a guy that played for and wanted to be like Pete Rose. This is a guy that learned from Pete Rose, admired him and appreciated him. Yes, Pete Rose gambled on baseball, and I'm not going to sit here and try to pinpoint when he did it and when he didn't. I know it took place as a manager and that's pitiful, but it's also 2012 and let's face it...Pete Rose IS baseball, yet baseball turned it's back on him.
The point is we are about to enter this "World of the Steroid era", and we are being ridiculous actually, trying to think about how the steroid era is going to affect future voting for the Hall of Fame. We are literally trying to do this logically, like it makes sense that all these guys that may or may not have "dabbled" in PEDs should be voted in or not. I don't get it. They actually cheated too, remember? They enhanced their bodies to hit more and better than others. Yet, these guys are the ones being considered for the Hall of Fame, a special group of elite players in the whole game! What? Well, if you're going to do that, I have news for you, Pete Rose IS elite too, when he played the game. Pete Rose didn't "juice", yet he's the one shunned. I don't get it.
Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire's, the Sammy Sosa's and Rafael Palmeiro's are the guys under a cloud of suspicion for PEDs and we are actually going to figure out how to vote for these guys. Sadly, eventually all of them will go to the Hall of Fame, but Pete never will. Yup, there have been op-ed's from people smarter than me saying, "How will the writer's vote in the steroid era?", yet God forbid someone says Pete Rose, you quickly hear a "He's banned," and they move on. Well, let's not move on any longer.
On a side note, Pete Rose was in Cooperstown yesterday, just a few blocks away from the Hall of Fame. Like I said earlier he was signing autographs. Check out this interview with Rose yesterday reflecting on Barry Larkin:
Come on Baseball, bring Pete back!