I don't know if any of you remember, but Pete Rose was an incredible ballplayer. Growing up, he was the guy you wanted to be. Nicknamed "Charlie Hustle", you understood why. He ran his ass off, he never gave up and wanted to be the best in his profession. He loved baseball and wanted everyone to know it. He once said: "I'd walk through hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball." If that doesn't tell you about just how much he loved the game, you just don't get it.
I grew up in Kentucky when I was very young. The Big Red Machine was a big deal back when I was a kid, and right before I was a Yankee and Guidry fan, I was a Pete Rose fanatic. I was also just about 6 years old. I thought this guy was the greatest player on earth, and that's because it was clear he loved the game. I wasn't a huge baseball fan, but at 7, I liked baseball and I liked him.
When Rose was banned for life from baseball, it was disturbing to me. Now, we all know he bet on baseball, and most likely he bet while he managed the Reds. Obviously that's a terrible thing. But now, years later Pete Rose has paid his dues. He's banned... blackballed... just plain banished.
The PEDs situation is severe in baseball.We have players that are fined, suspended and disappear only to come back. Some ever do it again. The whole thing stinks, but over time, I'm numb. Meanwhile, I look at Pete Rose, a guy that literally played his guts out and I'm saddened because still to this day, the guy is not recognized in baseball, yet, the irony is, he did so much for a fan like me... and talk me to love the game.
When Barry Larkin stood there at the Hall of Fame and credited Pete Rose for his love and passion of the game... it was then that I thought that maybe.... MAYBE people would open their eyes. I wrote ENOUGH'S ENOUGH. TIME FOR PETE ROSE TO GO TO COOPERSTOWN in July 2012. In it, I wrote:
"If Barry Larkin, one of the most respected ballplayers in the game, can give huge compliments to the all-time hit king 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."
I'm right, it IS time. Now, a few years later, Rob Manfred is doing something that Bug Selig didn't have the balls to do, probably because it's so controversial. Manfred said the conversation about Rose being reinstated to baseball was something he knew was coming... and a discussion, at least, will be had about it.
As FOX Sports writes:
"Rob Manfred might be willing to open the the door for possible reinstatement of Rose, who was banned from baseball in 1989.
'I have heard from his lawyer, and I do anticipate having a conversation about that,' Manfred told ESPN Radio on Thursday. Rose agreed to be declared permanently ineligible from Major League Baseball in 1989 for gambling on games while managing the Cincinnati Reds. While he initially denied the gambling charges, Rose came clean in 2004 and has been very remorseful ever since.
The 73-year old Rose can appeal to the commissioner for reinstatement.
'I've been very careful not to say anything about the merits of it because ultimately I'll have to make a decision there,' said Manfred. 'It's conversation I'm expecting to have.'"
And so, the door may open and it's about time. Oh, and don't listen to Forbes guy David Lariviere, who is totally misguided and ridiculous. In his column he simply writes:
"After all, Rose did agree to the lifetime ban. Why should it be reversed now? Because he’s remorseful and contrite about his sins? Maybe. But that doesn’t change the crime."
I write the following simply, probably because there's no thought involved... Hey David, here's the reasoning Sunshine... it's not that he's remorseful as much as it makes sense years later. Here's why; You have a guy like Alex Rodriguez, a guy who was pushed to a season ban because he lied and used PEDs.
Now he's coming back in 2015, where, as many already know, he lied twice... used many times and was tangled in whatever legal mess possible because of the wicked web of Biogenesis. And he, Alex Rodriguez, is allowed to come back to baseball... play and get paid doing it. All is forgiven apparently. But Pete Rose, a guy that literally bled baseball for years in the 1970s suddenly is irrelevant in the sport, all because he bet on baseball after his playing days, his golden years. Are you missing something? I'm not. My mind's made up! There needs to be a reinstatement, and Pete Rose is the guy. Thank God people aren't familiar with David Lariviere, because he's not very good.
Oh, and P.S... get a new picture. You look like pretty arrogance and your work doesn't reflect that arrogance. It's stale, obviously not researched and in my book, considered "filler."
Anyway... when all is said and done, Rob Manfred is doing the right thing. As I stated in THESE DAYS GIAMATTI WOULD PICK ROSE OVER BRAUN in August 2013, times have changed. It's a new era and if you accept PEDs users in baseball, you sure as hell could accept a guy that bet on a handful of games AFTER he played his heart out for years, becoming the all time hitting champion..
"...years later, with Bart Giamatti dead and PEDs rampant in baseball… the idea of gambling on your own club as a manager… forgive me… it doesn’t seem that bad. Now, don’t misunderstand me, betting on your own team is dishonest, but as Pete Rose said recently, read HERE: 'I picked the wrong vice... I should have picked alcohol. I should have picked drugs or I should have picked beating up my wife or girlfriend because if you do those three, you get a second chance. They haven’t given too many gamblers a second chance in the world of baseball... I made mistakes. I can’t whine about it. I’m the one that messed up and I’m paying the consequences... However, if I am given a second chance, I won’t need a third chance.'
I've stated this for a few years now and it's important to think about that if you're a baseball fan. Well, finally, maybe Rob Manfred is thinking about it. Pete Rose needs to be reinstated into baseball, but there's more to that. Pete Rose, a guy I grew up with, needs to be placed on the Hall of Fame ballot.
- 4256 Hits
- .303 BA
- 1314 RBIs
- Rookie of the Year
- 17 time All-Star
- 3 time World Series Champion.
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