View from the Cheap Seats: Pete Rose

The view from the cheap seats hears there is now evidence that Pete Rose gambled as a player in 1986, so what?! Did you think he just rolled out of bed a couple of years later, as a manager, and said “Let me try this gambling on baseball thing”? Of course not. We all knew he gambled long before, but no proof has surfaced that he threw games.

Pete Rose is not a saint. Far from it. Neither was Ty Cobb. He’s in the hall. Steroid era players will eventually be forgiven for their wrong doings. The numbers are already increasing for their votes.

By no means am I saying reinstate Rose with the ability to work in MLB again. He should be allowed to be voted into the hall of fame. Which won’t be an easy road past the veterans’ committee. MLB hall of fame voters are by far the most difficult and pretentious.

Until they prove that Rose was throwing games as a player, his legacy doesn’t change. Not in any shape or form in the past 25 plus years. We all have accepted that Pete Rose is a gambling degenerate and a liar. A manipulative personality and a phony. He’s also Charlie Hustle and the all-time hit king!

Two and a half decades is a long enough sentence for gambling on baseball. Folks get a lot less, for a lot more, like murder. Pete Rose was a competitor to the highest level, and it was eventually his downfall. Thinking he could out smart the gamblers, is an age old tale, but not an unforgivable one.

By all means, if MLB wants to note on his bust in Cooperstown, that he gambled on games, so be it. Future generations should know his legacy for the bad and the good. Rose is, and always will be, an enormous part of baseball history. Don’t take that from the Hall though.

Fans and writers can choose what image to remember when thinking of Pete Rose. Some will always hold on to the memory of his demise in front of an astonished nation. Some will remember his lies that followed. I’ll always remember his heads first slides into third, the home plate collision in the all-star game and his magical hit passing Ty Cobb versus Eric Show of the Padres. Pete Rose has paid for his crime. It’s time to forgive. For that matter, put Shoeless Joe Jackson and his (third highest ever) .356 batting average in the hall too. 95 years is plenty punishment too!


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