There has been a lot of sentiment lately to forgive baseball’s all-time hits leader, Pete Rose, allowing him to once again work in baseball and be eligible for the Hall of Fame.
But, as plans were being announced about a meeting between rose and baseball’s new commissioner, more revelations came to light about Rose’s gambling habits.
Scanned pages of a notebook alleged to be a log of the bets a go-between, Michael Betolini, placed for Rose were released Monday. The evidence is somewhat dubious because the pages are labeled only “Pete.” But they reflect large sums of money being wagered on sports including Major League Baseball Games at a time when rose was player-manager of the Cincinnati Reds.
Let this latest incident serve as warning to the leaders of baseball. If Rose is allowed to again be a part of the game and to be in the Hall of Fame, be prepared for even more evidence to emerge that will embarrass the game and threaten its integrity.
After all, hasn’t this situation been one surprise after another for the past 25 years? I can see the day where Rose is inducted into the baseball’s shrine in Cooperstown being followed by a day when evidence is produced that he struck out with the tying run at third base during a game in which he bet on the Reds to lose.
But even if that smoking gun is never found, what does it say about baseball’s sense of fair play when it allows Rose back in after the game after decades of lies about his involvement in gambling?
Is there any doubt, after years of being completely unrepentant, that Rose is simply putting on an act to benefit his own ego and his bank account?
That became fairly obvious to me when he started to sign baseballs for money inscribed “I’m sorry I bet on baseball, Pete Rose.”
One can be yours for the low, low price of $125 from various internet memorabilia sellers.
Rose likes to say that he wishes he was on drugs instead of addicted to gambling because he would have been forgiven by now. But rule number one for players and coaches is no gambling. It’s posted on the wall of every clubhouse across the majors.
Rose knew the rule and he broke it for one reason: Because he thought he was bigger than the game and he could do whatever he wanted.
He accepted a lifetime ban a quarter century ago to stop an ongoing investigation into his activities and now Rose wants to go back on his promise -- again.
Hopefully this latest evidence will finally put this controversy to rest. Rose has no place among baseball’s immortals. And there is no way he should be in a place to influence players or the outcome of games ever again.