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Pete Rose has paid his debt. Let him back into the game

Nov 13, 2013, 3:07 PM EST

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Let’s start with something completely different. Pete Rose played almost his entire career in a terrible hitting environment. People rarely talk about this because, well, with Pete Rose, there are always more interesting things to talk about. But it’s true. Rose played for 24 years when pitchers dominated the game. The average run-scoring environment in baseball history is about 716-runs per team. In Rose’s career, teams in his league averaged 655 runs per game. Runs were hard to come by in the 1960s and 1970s.

Well, you know the story of the time. The strike zone was huge. The mounds were high. The ballparks were vast. The baseballs were probably a bit deader.

Here are Pete Rose’s splits for his career:

303/.375/.409

OK, that’s pretty good — a .300 career average, a pretty high on-base percentage, a pretty low slugging percentage but Rose was a singles hitter. This rate numbers dropped significantly after Rose turned 40 too — he chased Cobb’s hit record and cost himself a few points in all three categories.

But the point here is Rose’s hitting environment. Baseball Reference has this great tool where you can neutralize a player’s numbers so that you can see what they would look like iin an average hitting environment. Rose’s neutralized numbers:

.312/.385/.420

Yeah, well, that’s a lot better isn’t it. Derek Jeter’s career numbers: .312/.381/.446. Hmm.

Of course, Jeter did not play in an average hitting environment. He played most of his career when offense was completely out of control. If Rose had played in JETER’S time, his splits calculate like so:

.324/.398/.436

Let’s go back to those Pete Rose neutralized stats for a minute. Rose,of course, had an amazing 4,256 hits (most ever), 746 doubles (2nd), he scored 2,165 runs (6th) and totaled 5,752 bases (7th).

Neutralized — all those numbers go WAY up. He suddenly has 4,525 hits. His 789 neutralized doubles would be just three behind Tris Speaker (meaning, no doubt, Rose would have stuck around long enough to break THAT record too). His 2,362 runs would be No. 1 all time. His 6,088 total bases would be third behind Hank Aaron and Stan Musial.

Rose reached base 5,929 — already 330 more times than any player in baseball history. Neutralized, you could predict him to have reached base more than 6,300 times in his career.

The point is simply this: Pete Rose was probably a better player than you think.

We are coming on 25 years of Pete Rose’s banishment, which seems unreal to me. It was 1994, I was working for an afternoon paper called The Cincinnati Post and was given the seemingly lousy task of trying to sum up the five-year anniversary of Rose’s suspension. At the time, Rose was refusing all interviews so there weren’t many options. We decided it would be worth it for me to go down to his restaurant in Florida and watch the man in action. He was doing a sports radio talk show from his restaurant. We figured it would make a good story just to stand back and observe.

When I got there — I’ve written about this before — the waitress asked me where I wanted to sit (I got there early; the place was empty). I told her what I was doing, and she said, ‘Well, Pete’s sitting right there so just go talk to him.” I told her that Pete wasn’t doing interviews and I really didn’t want to bother him and then be asked to leave the restaurant. She didn’t seem to follow what I was saying.

She said: “Yeah, but he’s sitting right there, why don’t you go talk to him?”

So I went to talk him fully expecting the brush off or the chase out. Instead, he kicked out a chair and told me, “Have a seat.” Rose spent the next three hours or so regaling me with stories and lies, memories and exaggerations, charts (yes there were charts) and observations, bitter feelings and hopeful cliches. At the end, there was no story to write.There was only a story to type. For the first time — but not the last — he had gift wrapped a fully-formed tornado of baseball fascination.

At that time, Rose was still insisting that he never bet on baseball at all. Later, he would admit to betting on baseball, later still to betting on the Reds, later he conceded that, yeah, actually he had a large standing bet on the Reds to win every night.*

*Rose has never admitted to betting on the Reds to lose. This is a pretty significant point of contention. Many people think Rose’s competitive personality and (admittedly confusing) love of the game would never ALLOW him to bet on the Reds to lose — that is to say that somewhere in that spaghetti maze of principles and ideals Rose believes in (or doesn’t) is a do-not-cross line that simply would not let him bet on his own team to lose.

Others say that’s ridiculous, he was a compulsive gambler who was often over his head and betting on the Reds to lose would have been too tempting.

Either way, Rose has given out more admissions than The Ohio State University but he continually insists he never bet on the Reds to lose — it’s the one constant. And after 25 years nobody has been able to prove otherwise.

The admissions and apologies through the years have been utterly Pete Rose, which is to say that the admissions always sounded incomplete and the apologies disingenuous. That’s Rose. He was a hustler, always. In the end, the hustling led him to a metal chair in a memorabilia store in Las Vegas where he signs autographs and smiles for photographs while barkers outside shout, “Come on in and see the Hit King!”

On the field, though, that hustling made him a singular player, a whirlwind who was always looking to take a little bit more than you were willing to give.

Rose as player: He is somewhat hard to explain to a younger generation. He ran full speed to first base on walks. He wasn’t the first to do it, nor the last (Steve Sax idolized Rose and would run to first on walks too), but it was tied up in his psyche. People thought that running to first base on walks thing was just shtick. They were right. It was just shtick. But when you repeat the shtick enough times, it becomes a part of who you are. Rose always ran to first. He did it because it helped make him famous and because it ticked off the other team and because every now and again — maybe once a season, maybe less — he might make it to second base because the pitcher and catcher weren’t paying attention. Most of all he ran to first on walks because Harry Rose wanted him to. Rose’s father is a big part of the story.

Rose hit those 746 doubles because he was always thinking about the extra base — not just in April when the weather was cool and his body still felt springy but in the irrepressible heat of late August when he felt like one giant bruise. He took the extra base when the score was close and the base mattered, but he also took it when the game was out of hand and the only person who cared about that base was Rose himself. He went five-for-five eight times — more than anyone ever — because he CARED about getting that fifth hit, no matter the score. Selfish? Yes. But Joe Morgan said that he only became a great player when he became more selfish like that, when he started to care about EVERY at-bat the way Pete did.

In short, Rose was a man obsessed by the game in the truest definition of that word — obsessed, adj., to be preoccupied continually, intrusively and to a troubling extent. He always knew his batting average; every day he figured it along with his other stats. He always knew the stats of the people he considered his adversaries. Garvey. Schmidt. Stargell. He could make a comparison at any moment. He did not sleep much.

He would show up at the park early every day. Early for others was late for Rose. He would take batting practice and fielding practice with a crackling energy, as if it was the first time. He would play every game, no matter how he felt, no matter how far ahead his team might be in the standings. “Pete, I’m sitting you today,” Sparky Anderson would tell him repeatedly toward the end of the 1975 season with the Reds up 20 games. “Like hell you are,” Rose would shout back.

He would run to first on walks, run out every fly ball, attack the ball on defense. He broke up the double play, and he dived head first even when there was no play, and he crashed into catchers who dared block the plate. People have always made a big deal about him running over Ray Fosse in the All-Star Game but what they never seemed to understand was that Rose did not have a choice in the matter. Fosse was blocking the plate (illegally, Rose still insists, since Fosse did not have the ball) and Rose HAD TO run him over. That’s where the story began and ended for Rose. You say it was just an All-Star Game? You say it was just an exhibition? You say it needlessly endangered the career of an exciting young player (who Rose had to his house for dinner the night before)?

See, you’re missing the point.

Fosse was blocking the plate. Rose HAD TO run him over.

Obsessed. He would sit in the dugout when his team was at bat and chatter incessantly and calculate stats in his mind and and think about lines he could use with reporters after the game. He closely watched teammates and looked for ways to help them — every teammate, seemingly, has a story about advice Rose offered. To this day, Rose is still ticked off that Ken Griffey took the advice of Joe Morgan and Johnny Bench and decided t sit on the last day of the 1976 to protect his batting title (Bill Madlock got four hits and took it away from Griffey, who entered the game late but could not salvage the title).

“No offense to Joe and Johnny, they were two of the greatest players this game has ever known,” Rose grumbles. “But what the (bleep) do they know about winning a batting title? I know about winning batting titles. I would have told Griffey to start the game and WIN his batting title. He should have asked me.”

When the games ended, Rose would recap the game with reporters (who generally loved him), with teammates, with friends, with anyone who would listen. Then he would go park his car in his driveway and find the West Coast game and listen to Vin Scully or whoever else until past midnight. Then he would go inside and replay the game in his mind.

All the bad things — the gambling, the womanizing, the shady company he kept — were (it always seemed to me) ways to keep from going crazy when he wasn’t playing baseball. The game was the thing that challenged his every fiber, the thing that made him whole, and if he’s in the right mood Rose will admit that he wasn’t much of a man away from the field. He was an inattentive father, a lousy husband, an addicted gambler, a public liar. On the baseball field, he was his best self.

His father, Harry, made him that way. They called Harry Rose, “Big Pete” He was the toughest man on the West Side of Cincinnati. Everybody said so. Big Pete made sure his son learned how to switch-hit, made sure he took every advantage, made sure he ALWAYS fought back. Big Pete made sure his son played ball all summer — they never once went on a summer vacation and Big Pete had his son repeat a grade rather than miss baseball for summer school. Yes, Big Pete raised his son to be a damn ballplayer. And Pete Rose became a damn ballplayer.

Rose has often wondered out loud how much different his life might have been had Harry Rose lived. The is Rose at his most poignant and self-conscious. Harry died of a massive heart attack when Rose was 29 years old and, already, a big league star. “He would have straightened me out,” Rose insists. “He would never have let me get out of control.”

Rose, of course, did go out of control. Divorce. Parent issues. Bad friends. Gambling debts. And along he way he broke baseball’s strictest rule.

Rule 21-d (second paragraph): Any player, umpire or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.

Out of context, this seems kind of a draconian rule. At its extreme, that should mean a dollar bet with your childhood friend should get you permanently banned. At its extreme, that should mean that being in a fantasy baseball league should get you permanently banned. At its extreme, that should mean that saying to your manager, “Bet you a quarter I get a hit here,” should get you permanently banned.

But the rule is there because in 1919 several Chicago White Sox conspired with gamblers and mobsters to throw the World Series. There was a no-tolerance policy after that black mark on the game, and the resulting rule offers no appeal, no parole and no forgiveness. Let’s make it clear: Rose’s gambling was not as benign as the examples in the last paragraph. He has admitted that as manager of the Reds he had a sizable and constant bet on his team to win.*

*It is important, by the way, the Rose bet on the Reds games. Betting on baseball games you are NOT involved with carries only a one-year ban.

Did his betting cause Rose to manage differently than he might have otherwise? The question doesn’t really matter — the rule is unambiguous — but I have never thought so. I am not downplaying what Rose did. He knew the rule intimately and broke it. I’m just saying that I don’t think he managed any differently. I’ve heard the possibilities about pitcher usage and lineup changes and bad moves meant to win a single game (or lose one). I just don’t believe them. I think Rose bet on baseball because he had a gambling sickness. I don’t think it affected him as a player or manager.

Others, of course disagree.

And — now what? Of course, the rule states very clearly what happens when you bet on a game you’re involved with: You “shall be declared permanently ineligible.” By the way, you will notice the rule does not say anything at all about a “lifetime ban.” The word “lifetime” does not appear at all in the entirety of Rule 21. I’ve heard people say that Rose should only be eligible for the Hall of Fame after he dies (thus serving a lifetime ban) but that’s not what the rule says.

Permanently ineligible. End of statement. No runs. No hits. No errors.

But, let’s talk about fairness. We all know what the rule says. But does it feel like this punishment for Rose fits the crime? Should the punishment for THROWING THE WORLD SERIES be the same as the punishment for betting on a team you manage to win?

Rose bet on baseball games. That’s bad. And the punishment has been severe. For almost 25 years he has been banished from his game, his name thrown off the Hall of Fame ballot, his presence unwelcome even in the ballpark that was on a street named for him. This is a particularly harsh punishment for Rose, who breathes baseball. It would not be so severe for someone who cheated baseball and didn’t care about the game.

Every so often in the last quarter century, Rose was told by any number of people that there was a way to get back in the game. He needed to apologize, no, he needed to apologize more intently, no, he needed to come clean, no he needed to come cleaner, no he needed to keep apologizing and keep coming clean. It did not seem to matter much to people that coming clean and apologizing are two things Pete Rose does poorly. His efforts, predictably, fell short and it all got him nowhere.*

*Let me add something here: I think it would have gotten him nowhere no matter what he said. This is the larger point. I don’t think Pete Rose could have apologized sincerely enough or come clean thoroughly enough to change his fate. I think the “all he needs to do is apologize” crowd were never willing to meet him in the middle.

Rose supporters often point out that murderers and drug dealers and violent criminals tend to get shorter sentences than Rose. I don’t think that’s a particularly valid comparison — taking Rose off the Hall of Fame ballot and refusing him work in baseball is not the same as putting him in jail.

But it does get at a general point. We tend to believe as a country that, most of the time, even for dreadful wrongs, there’s a way back. There are second chances. And those second chances are not just given to people who apologize in a fulfilling way or have a gift for seeming contrite.

Pete Rose played baseball with an intensity and love that might be unmatched in the game’s history. He cracked more hits and reached base more times than anyone ever. He represented a way to play baseball that inspired millions of people. Then, he gambled on games, breaking one of baseball’s most cherished rules. Rose is 72 years old now, and I think it’s time to let him back into the game. I don’t think anyone should ask him to apologize again or come any cleaner than he has. I don’t think anyone should expect Pete Rose to be something that he is not. It has been almost 25 years. He has paid his debt.

131 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. mungman69 - Nov 13, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    I don’t have time too read all of that crap and I don’t have time for Rose.

    • asimonetti88 - Nov 13, 2013 at 5:28 PM

      HBT tweets out links to the articles as well, unless that’s too long for you.

    • Old Gator - Nov 13, 2013 at 5:29 PM

      I think more likely there are too many words in it that you’d have to look up, and you don’t have time for that.

    • anxovies - Nov 13, 2013 at 6:25 PM

      People who don’t have tome too read don’t have much time too proofread, I guess.

      • 22yearsagotoday - Nov 16, 2013 at 7:59 PM

        Why not just say there’s a lot of dummies out there.

  2. clemente2 - Nov 13, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    After Paterno and Rose, I wonder for whom else Poz will make the case?

    • tomemos - Nov 14, 2013 at 12:33 PM

      What’s with the thumbs-downs here? This is exactly right. The only time Pos gets mad at someone is if they’re mean to one of his friends (see: Murray Chass)

  3. raysfan1 - Nov 13, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Joe,
    I’d like to see Rose in the HoF and be allowed to work in broadcasting ( but never in a MLB organization). I also do not think he managed any differently. However, what I believe is not the issue. Whether the any of the 8 accused Black Sox truly threw the 1919 World Series is also not the issue. The issue is perception and how it affects the bottom line. With gambling there is a perception that a player might not give his all every play and thus manipulate the outcome either by throwing a game entirely or shaving runs. If the perception is that the result is not legitimate, that “the fix was in,” then the sport risks being marginalized the way boxing has. That perception is a threat to the profitability of the business of MLB.

    Second point, I agree completely that no apology/confession will ever be complete enough for the “he must apologize/come clean crowd.” Everyone who has any inclination to forgive has done so already. (As an aside, this part is also true for the steroids-implicated players pre-2004.)

    • tomemos - Nov 14, 2013 at 12:34 PM

      “Second point, I agree completely that no apology/confession will ever be complete enough for the ‘he must apologize/come clean crowd.’”

      As a member of that “crowd,” let me say…try us. Let Rose make an actual apology, then we’ll talk. If people still refuse to forgive him, then they’re the ones who are being petty. As it is, it makes no sense to wave away someone’s lack of contrition by saying that contrition wouldn’t satisfy anyone. We don’t just say sorry to satisfy people.

      • raysfan1 - Nov 14, 2013 at 1:07 PM

        http://www.masslive.com/mywideworld/index.ssf/2010/09/pete_rose_offers_tearful_apology_says_he_disrespected_the_game.html

        He already has. Three years ago.

  4. aceshigh11 - Nov 13, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    There’s only one man who can get Pete Rose to come clean.

    Joe. Pesci.

  5. shermanridges - Nov 13, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    Joe Posnanski, as you were writing for the Cincinnati Post in 1994, you were young and not confident. Now, to open a paragraph stating “well, with Pete Rose there are always more interesting things to talk about.” Well, Joe, Pete is 72, and he has still many older
    followers who acknowledge Pete is most interesting to talk about. Perhaps if you come back to Cincinnati, at least for the 2015 All Star Game, Pete will be there, too, and wouldn’t it be great for Major League Baseball, and Cincinnati, for Pete to be on the field that day acknowledging his acceptance to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

  6. richwizl - Nov 13, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    He’s an arrogant jerk and I’ve never liked him, but he is one of the greatest players I have ever seen and he certainly should be put in the HOF, at this point. He has been humiliated and punished enough. His betting did not influence the outcome of one, single game, but these cheating steroid users certainly did and many of them will get in; some already have.

    • largebill - Nov 13, 2013 at 5:35 PM

      ” His betting did not influence the outcome of one, single game, but these cheating steroid users certainly did and many of them will get in; some already have.”

      You don’t know for a fact the things you state as facts. His betting may have affected games or may not have. The batters using PED’s were likely often facing pitchers who also used PED’s. We have no way of knowing whether it had any impact on the outcome of games.

    • redsghost - Nov 14, 2013 at 12:55 AM

      “His betting did not influence the outcome of one, single game”- you know you shouldn’t make up “facts” just to prove your point. So, you don’t he didn’t, how?

    • redsghost - Nov 14, 2013 at 2:59 PM

      “His betting did not influence the outcome of one, single game”- maybe not ONE, SINGLE game, but maybe 40 or 50 games.

  7. kane337 - Nov 13, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame for what he did on the field.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Nov 13, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      I don’t think the HoF requirements include being a good person or a smart person. I’ve never heard there’s any evidence that he cheated in order to win, or tried to lose because of a bet. If I’m wrong, keep him out. If I’m right, return his eligibility. And I was a Dodgers fan during his career, so I never cheered for him, though his 44 game streak was exciting.

    • Glenn - Nov 13, 2013 at 6:31 PM

      But he did get banned from baseball for life for what he did on the field – assuming you include playing in or managing games in which you bet on being “on the field”.

  8. greej1938l - Nov 13, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Thank you!!!! Well said!!!!!

  9. wetmorepsu12 - Nov 13, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    “Either way, Rose has given out more admissions than The Ohio State University.”

    Fantastic. “The” Ohio State University. Pompous a-holes.

  10. philsieg - Nov 13, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    There’s an old saying. If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime. Pete broke the most fundamental rule of the game. He was declared permanently ineligible and that’s how it should stay with respect to his association in any professional capacity with MLB or any of its teams. He should not be loowed influence over young ballplayers at any level.

    However, the HoF is a different case. The Hall changed the rules the year before Rose came on the ballot, barring anyone who was on the permanently ineligible list from being voted on. Change that rule, have a one-time BBWAA vote and if he makes it – and he will – then he’s in.

  11. mnwildfan15 - Nov 13, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    Rose bet on the Reds to win, ok does this mean that contract bonus for wins mean that the owners are betting on their managers to win? He was ahead of the times.

  12. jollyjoker2 - Nov 13, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    what I find funny … is that pete rose will get a lot more attention by not getting in than getting in. Trivia boards for the next 100 years. Sure – pete might be a little upset that he didn’t get the membership card – har har …but for the most part he should be thankful…I mean, we all remember james Collins or Robert doer and that list goes on. and on …Most people could name 5 – 10 players out of 300 – tops.

  13. mikebarnesnarizona - Nov 13, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Pete made his bed. Let him sleep in it. Now lets talk about something MORE IMPORTANT. How does the Seattle Mariners get rid of their dumb ass front office peeps??

    • buckimion - Nov 14, 2013 at 8:22 AM

      “How does the Seattle Mariners get rid of their dumb ass front office peeps??”

      Dye them red & green and put them out at Christmas. Don’t buy so many next Easter. :P

  14. gibbyfan - Nov 13, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Does anyone know what his deeal was—-did he sign off on not being partof the game and not being eligible for the HOF? The deal should be honored but if HOF was not part of it then…..let the voters decide

  15. perryt200 - Nov 13, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    There are sick people in this world. Parents that pimp out their kids, off the scale stuff.

    And there are really stupid people in this world. Just look at youtube.

    Particularly, I don’t care if the person that breaks into my house or tries to hurt my kids is sick or stupid. They just become “permanently ineligible” Somethings are absolute and in baseball it is gambling.

    Let’s have this discussion after Rose is dead. I don’t care if he is toothless and 99, I don’t want to see a grin and his arms raised at a Hall induction.

    If the play on the field means he should get in the Hall, why does he need to be alive? How many people in the Hall are already dead? After he is dead, put his name on the ballot. (I hope they vote NO) But if they vote yes, you can enshrine the stats, the achievement and Charlie Hustle; but you don’t need to enshrine the man while he is alive.

  16. anxovies - Nov 13, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    I saw Pete Rose play against the Cardinals in old Busch Stadium many times. There has been nobody like him since and probably nobody like him before except Ty Cobb. The way he played baseball was like nothing I ever saw and those of you who are too young missed a seeing an athlete who got 100% from his talents. He played to win and he played for personal success. I have a hard time believing that he would even think about betting against his own team. Without him the Hall of Fame is incomplete and a sham. Whatever his sins they did not intrude on the playing field.

  17. righthandofjustice - Nov 13, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    Lifetime baseball stats should have nothing to do with his lifetime suspension. He has been banned for 1/4 a century and he didn’t try to overturn his suspension for so long pretty much means he doesn’t have much leverage to get reinstated into baseball.

    I think his only chance is a presidential pardon, when he gets older and his health begins to fail.

  18. 8man - Nov 13, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    You had me at, “Pete Rose has paid his debt.” There were few better. And they are all in. I don’t care if everything said about him was true. The Hall is for baseball players. Leave the Vatican for saints.

    I think someone mentioned it, aren’t all the accusations based on his managerial career and not his playing career? Pete Rose, the manager, never gets in. Pete Rose, the player, well….

  19. Reflex - Nov 13, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    Pete can get reinstated after the Black Sox. He broke a rule that was stated very clearly in every clubhouse. He broke it knowing the kind of damage it could do to the game as a whole. The rule happens to have been one of the good rules in the game, one that truly affects the game’s legitimacy. He also was one of the early managers encouraging his players to use PED’s.

    He is not a Hall of Famer regardless of how great his career was. He is a disgrace and he should not be in(although his accomplishments should be). Nor should he be permitted to participate in major league baseball as anything more than a fan.

  20. Chipmaker - Nov 13, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    I don’t care if Rose gets in the Hall. The Hall sets its own policies — and their current ineligibility policy is pretty slipshod, but there it is — and could change them whenever it wants for whatever reason. So the pro-Rose-for-the-Hall faction should focus on petitioning the Hall on this matter, though it won’t work.

    Rose should never be reinstated to Major League Baseball’s graces. He is proven untrustworthy. No amount of apologizing or expressing regrets or coming clean will ever matter. However, there is one microscopic chance — Rose needs to substantially reform his life and distance himself from gambling. And clearly he cannot do this himself; his legion of apologists and enablers need to take personal, interventive action and start dragging his carcass to GA meetings on a regular basis (and there’s plenty of chapters in Las Vegas) until the message penetrates his thick skull. Of course getting out of Las Vegas would be a good start.

    Rose today is simply an older version of Rose 1989, the man who held his career in so little regard he was willing to throw it away, and did. That’s too bad, but he messed his bed and only he can clean it up, obviously with help. Rose is not my cause and I’m not interested in pursuing this, but his legion of fans and supporters have this roadmap to follow, which is not at all a good chance at reinstatement but is the only one he’s got (and which expires with his death, so get moving), if they’re serious about changing his situation. Unfortunately they all seem content merely to crab from their keyboards.

    Rose has not paid his dues or his debt as “permanent” has not yet expired. But he does have this one, tiny chance — total reformation of his life, such that jussssst maaaaaaybe he can be considered trustworthy again. He has to mean it, do it, and make it stick. Anything less, and reinstatement of Rose would just be lighting the same firecracker. Don’t fall for that.

  21. dutchman45 - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    Pete Rose is a embarrassment to Reds Fans and to baseball. I am a Refs fanatic but I have zero use for him. He ain’t joining Sparky in Heaven.

  22. redsghost - Nov 14, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    Fool me once, shame on you…fool me twice, shame on me.

  23. poultny - Nov 14, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    what’s your point. he committed the Cardinal sin. too bad for Pete. so sorry. your points about this and that make no sense. he should have thought about the consequences before betting on bssrball. period. he has never been sincere in his apologies regardless of his personality disorder or whatever you want to call it

  24. saintsfire - Nov 14, 2013 at 6:25 AM

    hall of fame what they going to wait till he’s dead? hard to turn that hustle off

    presidential pardon maybe.

    involved in baseball other than commentator/ throw out a pitch, most likely not

  25. numbskull111 - Nov 14, 2013 at 7:29 AM

    I find it amazing that a player that accomplished all of what Rose did….cleanly (i.e. no PEDs) is banned from baseball while others who changed long standing records in the game (McGwire, Bonds) while cheating are not banned.

    To me when you look at those two situations, the PED users changing records and the history of the game have done FAR more damage to the integrity of baseball than Rose’s bets.

    While McGwire and Bonds may never, themselves, be enshrined at Cooperstown….when you go there and read the records, their names are listed there (I don’t know if any of their equipment…jerseys, bats are in there or not.) To me, that is a travesty.

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