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September 14, 2010

Another Look

Reconsidering Pete Rose

by Bob Hertzel

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On Saturday night, given special dispensation by Commissioner Pope Bud I, the Cincinnati Reds honored their hometown hero, Peter Edward Rose, on the 25th anniversary of his 4,192nd career base hit, which made him Major League Baseball's all-time hits leader.

To honor Rose, who had been disgraced by his own actions and then by Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti, the only commissioner who was in and of himself the answer to a multiple choice test, was nothing really that significant.

Baseball teams honor their own all the time, but to allow Rose to participate in the ceremony was a step that if played out correctly might lead to some kind of at least partial lifting of the lifetime ban laid upon Rose by Giamatti for betting on his own team.

That Rose’s actions were reason to be banned from the sport cannot be denied. Nor was it in any way totally unexpected, considering that anyone connected with baseball knew that Rose was either a compulsive gambler or one who gambled often enough on horse racing, football, and basketball that it bordered on a compulsion.

The question is and always has been whether Rose’s suspension was too harsh and whether it was so harsh because of some vendetta Giamatti had for Rose.

Certainly there is evidence that Giamatti had been out to get Rose ever since the days he left the Ivy League setting of Yale to enter the real world and sport that he worshipped more for its poetic beauty than in any real-world sense.

Rose, if you were, was a rap song playing in a game Giamatti viewed as a sonata.

This is the way Giamatti saw the sport in the first paragraph of his essay “The Green Fields of the Mind”:

It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops. Today, October 2, a Sunday of rain and broken branches and leaf-clogged drains and slick streets, it stopped, and summer was gone.

There is no room in that description of the game for a tough “river rat” out of Cincinnati who played the game to win at all costs and was willing to do anything to get there. Their views of baseball were diametrically opposite, the game being a Sunday afternoon polo match to Giamatti and a Friday night barroom brawl to Rose.

Rose was, in many ways, the anti-Giamatti. There was the time when Rose broke Stan Musial's National League career hits record when he received congratulatory phone call from President Ronald Reagan and, upon being told that it was Reagan on the other end of the line, Rose grabbed the phone and said, “How ya doin’?”

Not since Babe Ruth had greeted President Calvin Coolidge by saying, “Hot as hell, ain’t it Prez?” had another come on to a President like that.

When Giamatti banned Rose for life after he had been proven to have gambled on baseball, it was not the first time he had suspended Rose, nor was it the first time when the suspension could be viewed as excessive.

In 1988, when Giamatti was National League president, Rose was managing the Reds and got into a confrontation with umpire Dave Pallone that escalated into something more than your normal argument, ending with Rose shoving Pallone. No one doubts or denies that Rose shoved him, just as no one doubts or denies that fans began throwing objects onto the field and Pallone had to leave the game.

Interestingly, during the 1973 NLCS, Rose slid hard into second base in Shea Stadium, popped up and began fighting with Mets shortstop Bud Harrelson. New York fans bombarded him with debris, a situation that didn’t calm down until that noted ambassador of good will, Lawrence Peter Berra, then manager of the home team, ventured into left field to negotiate peace with the fans. Rose was not suspended for that incident.

Yet when the smoke cleared following the run-in with Pallone, and Giamatti had his say, Rose was suspended 30 days.

This is what Murray Chass, the New York Times baseball writer at the time, wrote:

The suspension, imposed by A. Bartlett Giamatti, the National League president, was the most severe ever levied against a manager for an on-field incident. Leo Durocher, then the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, was suspended by Commissioner A. B. (Happy) Chandler for the entire 1947 season for ''conduct detrimental to baseball,'' but the action had nothing to do with on-field activities.

“The most severe”? Was that called for? Bill Madlock of the Pittsburgh Pirates had shoved his glove in the face of umpire Jerry Crawford in 1980 and been suspended for just 15 days.

Lenny Randle of the Texas Rangers had also gotten a 30-day suspension, but that was for beating up his own manager, Frank Lucchesi, in 1977. In 2005, Texas pitcher Kenny Rogers was suspended 20 games for an outburst that sent a television cameraman to the hospital. And another Texas pitcher, Frank Francisco, would draw a 15 game suspension for throwing a chair at a fan in a lower box seat near the bullpen in Oakland during a 2004 game.

But Rose got 30 days from Giamatti for his actions against an umpire, actions that did not maim or scar him.

With that as history, is it not fair to assume that there was some agenda that Giamatti had when he nailed Rose for gambling. Certainly he had precedent in the Black Sox scandal of 1919, but those White Sox players were fixing a World Series, not betting on his own team to win.

The National Football League had given Paul Hornung and Alex Karras only a year’s suspension for gambling on NFL games and associating with gamblers, but all parties apparently kissed and made up as Hornung is now a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Is it now time for baseball to come up with some kind of compromise on its position with Rose, to at least open the doors to the Hall of Fame to him? Certainly he is no lock even if he is given a special election by the Baseball Writers Association of America, which never had a chance to vote on him, or by a committee chosen for the purpose of deciding if he belongs in the Hall of Fame. But it seems only the right thing to do, considering the circumstances and the accomplishments of the man involved.

Bob Hertzel is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Bob's other articles. You can contact Bob by clicking here

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74 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

robustyoungsoul

At the risk of being glib - no.

Sep 14, 2010 05:54 AM
rating: 8
 
BillJohnson

No, no, no, no, no, and what ever happened to Baseball Prospectus' principles?

Sep 14, 2010 06:00 AM
rating: -1
 
Patrick M

BillJohnson, BP is not the Borg. Individual BP writers are capable of having differing opinions on a subject. There is also no indication that the opinions in this column are also the official position of BP.

Sep 14, 2010 06:31 AM
rating: 6
 
dianagram

COMING SOON .... BORG PROSPECTUS .... cutting-edge analysis of top Borg prospects, featuring the JERIRYAN projection system.

Sep 14, 2010 10:52 AM
rating: 4
 
Ira

and all teams will be battling for 7th place. out of 9.

Sep 14, 2010 11:21 AM
rating: 0
 
dianagram

Replacement ... is futile.

Sep 14, 2010 11:32 AM
rating: 1
 
Patrick M

I am not saying I agree with rehabilitating Rose, of course :)

Sep 14, 2010 06:32 AM
rating: 0
 
Meurso

"Is it now time for baseball to come up with some kind of compromise on its position with Rose, to at least open the doors to the Hall of Fame to him?"

No.

This article is misdirection at best. If you're going to make the case for Rose to be reinstated, you have to directly confront the reason he was banned. How long a suspension Rose got for bumping an umpire and how that compares to Francisco's penalty is simply irrelevant. And holding up the example of what the NFL did in a similar situation is a better argument *against* reinstatement than for.

And the "he only bet on his own team to win" canard is naive in several ways.

The only compromise that I could imagine being comfortable with is to consider enshrining Rose posthumously. (Which would even fit somewhat logically with a "lifetime" ban.) And then only if his plaque directly referenced his banishment and the reason for it. And even then I'm not going to argue with those who object to going even that far.

Sep 14, 2010 06:32 AM
rating: 12
 
Dailey247

I've long thought that a "lifetime ban" should be just that: a ban for a person's natural life. Punish them for the hurt they inflicted on the game, but preserve the integrity of the hall (ha!) by making sure it presents a complete history of the sport. So put Shoeless Joe in there already.

However, since it's looking more and more like the hall is just going to pretend the Bonds, Clemens, and MacGwire's never existed, can you give me a good reason why I should care about who is and is not a "Hall of Famer?"

Sep 14, 2010 07:56 AM
rating: 4
 
wpmulligan

What a load of crap.

Begin with an evidence-less, anti-intellectual, ad hominem attack against a dead man, then make a false comparison.

Perhaps Rose deserved a harsher punishment for the 1988 incident because, unlike all the other men mentioned, he was a manager and not just a player.

Rose violated the only restriction in baseball that carries a "death penalty" punishment, then spent years denying it, then gave a half-assed, self-serving apology. This piece is nothing but an attack on Giamatti followed by several irrelevant comparisons.

Sep 14, 2010 06:47 AM
rating: 14
 
Paul Andrew Burnett

Because he was a manager, he would not have had the MLBPA's support in a grievance of his punishment, so it's no wonder he'd be subject to a harsher penalty than a player who could appeal it.

Sep 14, 2010 11:01 AM
rating: 2
 
onuhwt

I agree he knew he was breaking the rules when he did it and he knew the ramifications of his actions. This has no wiggle room and is plain black and white. This isn't like the steroid issue which has a lot of gray area.

Sep 14, 2010 06:49 AM
rating: 2
 
JDMilstead

It is not just Giamatti who believes a manager, as the on-field leader, might be held to a higher standard than a player; and that a physical act against an umpire is most threatening to the game's order. There was no other example given by the author, among these lesser suspensions, as serious as Rose's.

Sep 14, 2010 06:56 AM
rating: 6
 
ScottyB

100000% agreed. Managers should be and are typically held to a higher standard than players, and owners moreso than that (recall Titans owner's insanely high fine for flipping off fans?)

Sep 14, 2010 15:23 PM
rating: 2
 
Paul Andrew Burnett

"Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti, the only commissioner who was in and of himself the answer to a multiple choice test,"

I don't know what this means. Is it a reference to his use of "A" as an initial rather than using his first name?

Sep 14, 2010 07:14 AM
rating: 0
 
wpmulligan

It is an attempt to make the man, in fact his very name, a joke. And if he is a joke then anything he did can be dismissed as a joke, too.

Sep 14, 2010 07:26 AM
rating: 10
 
Johnson Magic

What a complete load of horse shit. This is nothing more than a borderline libelous attack on Giamatti.

Can you support the statement "certainly there is evidence that Giamatti had been out to get Rose"? What supports your notion that ABG had a purported vendetta?

ABG applied his powers to punish in a progressively strict manner in the hope of changing behavior. That Rose's psycopathy knew no bounds is not evidence of a "vendetta" on ABG's part.

Rose is a convicted felon. He has been and remains a pathological liar. He lied both to baseball and federal authorities, even in the face of incontrovertible evidence laying bare his lies.

Rose was unquestionably a driven accumulator of a single stat. Start a discussion about his relative greatness around the merits of his "rate vs total" accomplishments.

But save the "the bitch set me up" nonsense for a Queen City barroom.


Sep 14, 2010 08:00 AM
rating: 10
 
ATLExile

"precedence"

precedent

Sep 14, 2010 08:02 AM
rating: -1
 
Richie
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

Gosh you people hate Pete Rose around here. "How dare someone suggest Rose's sentence be commuted?!? He must hate Giamatti! EVIL!!! EVIL!!!"

Sep 14, 2010 08:46 AM
rating: -6
 
houstonuser

Right--The guy who read books was the bad guy and bootstraps guy was a victim. Sure. At least you did not call Giamatti a sissy. I kept waiting for that. Here is a review of Richard Hofstadter's Anti-Intellectualism in American Life so we can see this strain of thought is as old as the hills.

http://mtprof.msun.edu/Spr2008/weltzrev.html

Sep 14, 2010 09:03 AM
rating: 3
 
Richie
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I used to peruse a chat site where many, many chatters absolutely hated/detested/abhorred/wanted to boil in oil Peyton Manning. I eventually figured out that they saw 'PEY-TON' as the rich kid who got the really pretty girl they had a crush on back in school.

Dudes, Rose is not the tough kid who beat up on us all back in 6th grade. Heck, when younger he may have bore no resemblance whatsoever to Nelson Muntz. Even if you just viscerally hate blue-collar white guys in general, let go of it a little bit.

Sep 14, 2010 09:08 AM
rating: -6
 
Meurso

Presume much?

Most people I talk to or read that dislike Rose do so because they dislike his ethics, and by extension the potential damage to baseball, not because he was a tough-guy redass.

Sep 14, 2010 09:33 AM
rating: 2
 
John Collins
(110)

Geez Richie, many people on this site have defended Pete Rose and advocated for his eligibility for the HOF. What people are most irritated about here is that this article is full of ad hominem attacks and material irrelevant to what penalty Rose deserves.

Sep 14, 2010 21:50 PM
rating: 2
 
djwells

Bravo to Prospectus subscribers for the well-deserved beat down of Mr. Hertzel.

Rose gambled on baseball. Gambling or the appearances of gambling calls into question the very integrity of the game. If the question, "I wonder if this game is fixed?" is ever asked en mass by the fans of the game, then baseball is finished as a professional sport. Giamatti understood this and acted appropriately. Baseball learned its lesson in 1920 and has not forgotten it.

Sep 14, 2010 09:12 AM
rating: 9
 
Ryno23

Wow. I can't believe the level of viciousness in these responses.

Was it wrong for Pete Rose to gamble, at all, on the game of baseball? Yes.

Has Pete Rose served the most severe penalty for his actions AS A MANAGER over the last 20 years? Yes.

What did Pete Rose do AS A PLAYER do to deserve a lifetime ban? Nothing.

He has served his punishment. Now it is time to come up with a compromise for the HOF for his contributions as a player -- INCLUDING listing what he did AS A MANAGER on his HOF plaque.

So .....

"Is it now time for baseball to come up with some kind of compromise on its position with Rose, to at least open the doors to the Hall of Fame to him?"

Most certainly.

Sep 14, 2010 09:18 AM
rating: 1
 
jlefty

There is no Pete Rose as a player/Pete Rose as a Manager. Only Pete Rose as a man.

Sep 14, 2010 12:31 PM
rating: 2
 
dianagram

Isn't Rose's gear from his 4,192 game in the Hall?

Shouldn't that be sufficient recognition, given his ban?

Sep 14, 2010 09:29 AM
rating: 4
 
69wildcat

No, no, no, a thousand times no. The day that Pete Rose gets into the Hall of Fame is the day that I stop watching professional baseball for good. The reason that sports, all sports, is so compelling is because we genuinely do not know who the winner is going to be until the game gets played. If participants are allowed to gamble on the outcome of games, then spectators can no longer know for sure if the contest is 100% honest and the game sinks to the level of professional wrestling. Rose gambled on baseball games in which he was a participant and then lied about it for years. To this day Rose makes personal appearances at casinos (I realize that this is not illegal and he is entitled to make a living, but if he was really sincere you would think he would not do that). I don't have anything against Rose personally, I admired him as a player, at least until the end when he started putting his personal goals ahead of the team. However, he thought, and continues to think as far as I can tell, that he is bigger than baseball and somehow exempt from its rules. Not so and no Hall of Fame for Pete Rose.

Sep 14, 2010 09:33 AM
rating: 2
 
jgbauer

This is the most wrongheaded post that I've ever read at this site. Anybody who thinks that Rose should be forgiven for gambling on the game while managing a team might as well be writing for a pro wrestling blog, because that's what baseball would be if the Commissioner's office sanctions what Rose did. I don't know anything about Bob Hertzel but saying that Rose's penalty was too harsh and that if "played out correctly" the lifetime ban of Rose should be lifted reveals either that Hertzel too lacks a moral compass or, more likely, that he is a Reds fan and wants to gloss over this shameful episode of an otherwise proud franchise. Sorry Bob, but you get the warts with the championships.....

Sep 14, 2010 09:43 AM
rating: 1
 
Slingerland65
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I am amazed by the level of hatred for Rose, not that anybody but his mom could love the guy. If I recall correctly, Rose only bet on his team to win, never to lose. How is that related to fixing games? Or am I mistaken?

Sep 14, 2010 10:02 AM
rating: -6
 
BillJohnson

Slinger, I don't "hate" Pete Rose. I have never met the man. I hate what he DID, which was to gamble on baseball games while he was in a position to affect the outcome of games. That is the ultimate, unforgivable baseball sin, for all the reasons that have been stated here -- and, prior to this article, over and over again, consistently and articulately, in practically every author's writing at BP ever since BP has existed. Keeping the ban in place isn't about "hating" Pete Rose. It's about loving baseball, and hating what he did to put it at terrible risk. Why is that so difficult to understand?

Sep 14, 2010 10:26 AM
rating: 3
 
TADontAsk

The problem with betting only on your team to win is that on the days you don't bet on your team, it's going to be interpreted as you think you're going to lose, and the gambling community would interpret it as such.

Sep 14, 2010 10:35 AM
rating: 13
 
BP staff member Ken Funck
BP staff

Moreover, games aren't played in a vacuum, and a manager who bet on his own team has an incentive to manage his roster to win that particular game to the exclusion of the next one by, say, burning up his best relievers. There's no question in my mind that any betting, even on your own team to win, undermines the validity of the result.

Sep 14, 2010 10:59 AM
 
ferret

There is a great issue missed when Rose is defended by the "he only bet on his team to win" argument. That issue is the games he didn't bet on. Did he expect to lose them because he burned up his pitching on the "win" games? Or that he rested his best hitters or saved them for the "win" games?

There is no forgiveness for this activity. If baseball can not be trusted to try to win games then it might as well disband.

Sep 15, 2010 15:41 PM
rating: 2
 
Richie
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

This is a 'culture war' issue on this site. Pete Rose is the most hated human being on it, and I do not (intentionally) exaggerate.

As houstonuser's post shows, it goes far beyond gambling on baseball. People here have set Rose up as emblematic of the type of human being they hate. Ergo, even a writer writing 'maybe we should stop hating in this one way' is committing rank heresy, and needs to be shouted down as forwarding pure evil.

Sep 14, 2010 10:13 AM
rating: -7
 
comish4lif

I don't think that you have to "hate" Pete Rose to think the lifetime ban is warranted. I don't hate Pete Rose. But he accepted a lifetime ban for betting on baseball. That's bad enough - but then he spent 15 years denying and disparaging MLB for much of that time. Finally, when he decided that he could make money on a book, he admitted to the gambling and then released the book a few days before the HOF voting was announced. It's sad. Put me down for a "No" on the reinstate Pete Rose ballot.

Sep 14, 2010 11:04 AM
rating: 3
 
jgbauer

Read the two comments above, and maybe you'll begin to understand why even otherwise neutral baseball fans deplore what Rose did. It is about gambling and then telling lies, and that's enough to elicit the responses you're objecting to. If you are correct that there's a culture war, it's between people who believe in following rules/laws and people who don't.

Sep 14, 2010 11:12 AM
rating: 4
 
garethbluejays2

I have a problem with the idea that despicable people should be kept out of the hall. The only criteria in my Hall would be the talent shown on the field. If you are the all time leader in any major category, you are in. Put a disclaimer on his plaque by all means - and then go and do so for everyone else, especially those who played before integration. I have greater loathing for racism than betting.

Sep 14, 2010 11:24 AM
rating: 2
 
TADontAsk

Even the induction process states that voting should be "based on the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship and character." It isn't simply just leading any category. The fact that there are questionable characters already in the Hall shouldn't be a green light for more.

Sep 14, 2010 12:07 PM
rating: 2
 
Ira

I think we're all missing the point here.

There is an assumption that Pete Rose would really like to be in the HOF and that baseball is being really awful to him by keeping him out. In my opinion that's not whats going on here.

Pete Rose is not an idealist. He's a realist. I'm not a resident of Cincinnati, but I'm sure someone who is from that portion of Ohio could tell you that Pete is still a public figure in the area. I'm sure he still does commercials. I'm sure he still does memorabilia shows. I'm sure he still has several sources of income associated with his fame as a former Red.

Would being in the HOF change that? No. Pete Rose is famous. More famous than Joe Morgan, Don Sutton, Early Wynn, Robin Roberts, Joe Sewell, or any number of Hall of Fame players, not to mention those HOF managers. So what does getting into the HOF buy Rose? nothing.

What Pete Rose REALLY wants is to manage again. To coach. To get out on the field and interact with players, throw batting practice, help a guy out with his swing, show him how to field a grounder the right way, etc. Barring that, Pete would love to join the media, be a color analyst. Its not like he'll be worse than Harold Reynolds or Joe Morgan or Rob Dibble or any of those ex-jocks providing "color" next to the real broadcasters out there.

That's what Bud is going to prevent. I'm sure that if you asked Bud Selig which would be worse, Pete Rose in the HOF or Pete Rose in a dugout, he'd say "dugout" before you could even finish the sentence. Plus, to be honest, Bud Selig isn't keeping Rose out of the HOF. The HOF made the decision that Rose could not be on the ballot while he was suspended. That doesn't stop writers from writing his name onto the ballot. But curiously, there's been no campaign to get him put on the ballot that's had his endorsement.

Sep 14, 2010 11:34 AM
rating: 7
 
Richie

Two issues here. The one Bob Hertzel addresses, 'I think Pete Rose ought to go into the Hall of Fame now that this much time has elapsed'. I tend to disagree with this sentiment.

The other being 'how dare a BP writer propose such a horrible terrible immensely immoral thing?' I reallyreallyreally disagree with this sentiment.

Sep 14, 2010 11:42 AM
rating: 3
 
John Collins
(110)

No Richie, it's not the guy's thesis that is horrible. It's that he argued for it in such an awful way. Give us a decent argument for the conclusion and you won't see such vitriol. This column is just way below the standards established by BP.

Sep 14, 2010 21:54 PM
rating: 2
 
Johnson Magic

I have no problem with someone advancing the discussion of Rose's HOF candidacy. As I said in my original post, Rose is a single stat accumulator...argue if that warrants HOF inclusion.

This article was a baseless attack on a commissioner who properly applied his responsibility to punish. It's horrible in any context. But it's also useless in advancing a discussion on Rose's credentials.

Sep 15, 2010 06:08 AM
rating: 1
 
cggarb

Why is it baseless? Hertzel lays out his case that Giamatti did not like Rose. Whether based on Giamatti's alleged fancy-boy sensibilities or something else, there's evidence that he judged Rose more harshly in the Pallone incident than appropriate.

(One thing Hertzel doesn't note is that Pallone inadvertently(?) poked Rose below the eye, drawing blood. Rose's shove was an immediate response to this. IMO, that's mitigation.)

I agree with Richie that there's a great deal of deep-seated Rose hatred evidence here. Hertzel's hardly-original article has brought out a surprising amount of twisted panties and even a few cases of the vapors.

Sep 15, 2010 11:35 AM
rating: -2
 
jgbauer

Fair enough. Hertzel should be allowed to write whatever garbage he wants. It's a free country. I just think his position is pretty untenable.

Sep 14, 2010 11:57 AM
rating: 2
 
comish4lif

I'm not even sure that he made a clear argument for his case.

Sep 14, 2010 12:00 PM
rating: 3
 
wpmulligan

He didn't. The piece is a hatchet job on Giamatti which reduces to the logical circle of "Giamatti gave Rose a stiff suspension because he had a vendetta against him as proved by the stiff suspension he gave him."

Sep 14, 2010 12:15 PM
rating: 7
 
garthhewitt

When people write about Rose, why do they so often forget that he was a manager when he was betting on games? He had control of players' careers and health. I could forgive a player for betting on his team to win, but not a manager.

Sep 14, 2010 12:06 PM
rating: 0
 
conwell

I want to preface this statement by saying I do not forgive Pete Rose. Likewise, I do not think Pete Rose should ever be allowed to be employed by major league baseball again.

However, I do think he should be put into the Hall of Fame (or at least considered) at some point. I'm OK with holding off until his death. If we want to make it a lifetime ban, let's limit it to a lifetime. However, on his plaque it should have a line that says something like:

"Major League Baseball banned Pete Rose for life when as a Manager, he bet on baseball."

When kids go with their parents to the Hall of Fame and read the plaque, it becomes an educational experience and emphasizes MLBs position on gambling. Something similar should happen with Shoeless Joe.

Sep 14, 2010 12:41 PM
rating: 2
 
flyingdutchman

Pete Rose is ineligible to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Who cares what Bob Hertzel's personal opinion is? His meandering thoughts on Bart Giamatti shouldn't mean any more to anyone than his thoughts on Paul Giamatti's last movie.

If he had some new information, a new way to to look at the issue, or simply a coherent argument one way or the other, fine, let's hear it. Otherwise, this is an empty piece about a moot point.



Sep 14, 2010 13:15 PM
rating: 2
 
amazin_mess
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LOL....wow...some serious Rose hatred going on.

I agree with Hertzel.

Sep 14, 2010 13:19 PM
rating: -7
 
carnifex

Bob Hertzel and several commenters have referred to Rose's lifetime ban. Rose isn't under a lifetime ban. He's been declared permanently ineligible under rule 21(d). That's why Joe Jackson isn't eligible for the Hall. The ban doesn't expire when you do.

This is a common misconception, and is often used to say that's why Rose should be inducted after he dies. It's a spurious argument.

Sep 14, 2010 13:28 PM
rating: 3
 
conwell

Whether or not the rule is currently in place is irrelevant to the argument. The rule can be changed.

Sep 14, 2010 13:46 PM
rating: 1
 
Lou Doench

It should also be pointed out that said rule was only instated after Pete had accepted his "lifetime" ban. The Fay Vincent pushed the BBHoF to institute its rule. Joe Jackson wasn't voted in by the writers, who made a principled stand. I'm quite certain that Pete accepted his ban with the idea that he would be able to make things up behind the scenes ala Hornung. Then Giamatti died, Fay Vincent refused to talk to him, and the whole thing ground down into 20 years mindless feuding.

Also, Mr. Hertzel, as a longtime subscriber i'd like to apologize for the amount of self righteous bullshit being flung about in this thread. It seems the standards of BP's readers has slipped in recent years.

Sep 28, 2010 10:13 AM
rating: -1
 
misterjohnny
(925)

+1 on the opinion that this piece was a ABG hit job.

And in my book, lifetime means lifetime.

Sep 14, 2010 13:34 PM
rating: 2
 
misterjohnny
(925)

Let me rephrase that, permanent means permanent.

:)

Sep 14, 2010 13:35 PM
rating: 1
 
flyingdutchman

"LOL....wow...some serious Rose hatred going on."

LOL? Grow up.

Do you seriously believe that the ani-Rose-for-the-HoF positions expressed in this section are the result of some sort of Pete Rose hatred? So everyone hates Pete Rose and is just looking for an opportunity to vent it, to have it validated in the public sphere? Good thing these gambling charges came along!

Or just maybe it has to do with principles, especially where the importance of upholding the integrity of the great sport of baseball is concerned. Go back and read the comments. A few people may hate Pete Rose. Maybe it's because he's acted like an ass a thousand times over, and maybe it's because he bet on baseball. Sounds to me like most of these people are simply nterested in upholding the standards of institutions that they care about.

Pete Rose bet on baseball, and baseball has harsh rules against betting on baseball. These rules were put in place for a reason, and the Hall of Fame has decided to follow suit. Go back and read some history about it, and then think about how crappy it would be if we all wound up thinking of baseball the way that we now think about boxing or harness racing.

I love Pete Rose the player. I wish there were more guys who played with his brand of exuberance and hard-nosed panache. This has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not he should be ineligible to either the Hall or MLB. I love baseball more than ever hate Pete Rose, which I don't. I hate Brett Myers and Gary Sheffield, but I'm not about to start a movement to ban them.

Sep 14, 2010 13:44 PM
rating: 2
 
flyingdutchman

Oops, bunch of typos in there. Sorry. I just hate Pete Rose so much that I can barely manage this keyboard!

Sep 14, 2010 13:47 PM
rating: 0
 
devine

Yawn.

Pete Rose has a permanent place in baseball history. His story is told over and over again, by people who admire him and people who don't.

I'm not sure why when writers write articles like this one, anyone even notices, much less argues. Whose mind is going to be changed?

The one observation I have is that many of the articles on this site obviously have a tremendous amount of preparation behind them: research, a search for alternative hypotheses to consider, etc.

Hertzel's pieces here are different. They read like personal ruminations, like he lit a decent cigar, poured a finger or two of scotch, and then knocked out 1,000 words on a subject he's talked about around the pool table a hundred times already.

Which can be fun to read, I suppose. But it's such an odd fit here.

Sep 14, 2010 13:50 PM
rating: 10
 
John Carter

Pete Rose agreed to his lifetime ban from baseball - including the Hall of Fame - after his closed door meeting with Comish Giamatti. The two parties agreed to end it there, so why stir it up? The Hall of Fame is full of ridiculous omissions, anyway.

Sep 14, 2010 13:52 PM
rating: 1
 
John Carter

The trivia question might have something to do with his Acadamy Award nomninated and Emmy Award winning son Paul or the picture Paul's character held in the movie Sideways that was of him and his real life dad Bart. - Or, it was the he was the youngest President of Yale - or the shortest termed Commissioner of Baseball.

Sep 14, 2010 14:04 PM
rating: 0
 
kcboomer

The article thesis might have some value (Rose for the HoF) but the supporting evidence is lame and certainly not the kind of reasoning we expect from BP authors.

Look, the guy bet on baseball games of teams he managed. Do you understand how serious that is?? The guy had total influence who would play for his team in those games and the situations they would be used in. Unless you could show that once he bet on a game involving his team he always bet on them you are stuck with the rather obvious notion that he was doing less than his best to win the games he didn't bet on.

Do you recall Rose's conduct every year during HoF week?? Instead of laying or staying away he showed up every year to get his bonanza in autograph fees and distract from the inductees day of honor. You might recall he even allowed his tell-all book to be released immediately after the announcement of Molitor's and Eckersley's election to the HoF. He did this callously and without regret. He simply wanted to generated publicity for his book. In this case it backfired.

And for fourteen years he lied to us. Lied to us in a most relentless manner before finally fessing up. And for fourteen years his sycophants and toadies in the press told us what bastards we were for keeping him out of the HoF. Do these people have any pride??

The only argument that is left for Rose is the simple "is twenty years enough". No B.S., no half-truths, no whining and gnashing of teeth as if he is the offended party. That's it.

And we should answer this question before we put him into the ground. For myself, if it was decided that he could face election through the VC process and that all living HoF members would have a vote and that their vote would constitute half the electorate I could live with that.

Sep 14, 2010 14:26 PM
rating: 2
 
Richie

What and how many sycophants does Pete Rose have in the press? The coverage I've seen has been overwhelmingly negative. As Bill James has observed.

Sep 14, 2010 16:28 PM
rating: 0
 
Tony Mollica

In my opinion Pete Rose deserves to be in the Hall of Fame for what he accomplished as a player. I also believe that he should never be allowed to manage or work for a baseball team for what he did as a manager.

Sep 14, 2010 17:50 PM
rating: -2
 
R.A.Wagman

The Hall of fame is for all but the most infamous?

Sep 14, 2010 17:57 PM
rating: -2
 
greenengineer

I grew up in Cincinnati in the 1960's and 1970's. Pete was my hero. He was every kid's hero. We all ran to first base when we drew a walk. We all batted with a weird crouch. I even had his haircut.

When the accusations came out, I gave Pete the benefit of the doubt. I believed his story. This country is a forgiving place - I figured if he was gambling, he could just claim "addiction" and beg for forgiveness - since he wasn't begging, I thought he must be telling the truth. (I still wonder what might have happened if he took that path 25 years ago.)

20+ years later we find out he has been lying all along. Foolish me for ever believing him. You reap what you sow. Pete had everything, and wanted more, wanted to get away with it. Well, too bad. To hell with him. Keep him out of baseball, out of the HOF forever. He still has his money, and his fame. Its not really a harsh punishment, he leads a nice live I'm sure. But he earned his banishment, his infamy. I have no sympathy.

And I grew up reading Bob Hertzel in the Cincinnati. These rambles down memory lane show just how far BP has strayed from its original mission.

Sep 14, 2010 18:50 PM
rating: 4
 
jgbauer

I could not agree more, especially with your final statement.

Sep 14, 2010 20:56 PM
rating: 2
 
John Collins
(110)

I might be able to be convinced that Rose should be in the HOF, but this column was awful. How did this get past BP editors?

Sep 14, 2010 21:59 PM
rating: 7
 
VDracul

If Pete Rose ever makes the hall of fame, it will a cold day in hell for baseball. At least the steroid users tried to win and didn't consort with gamblers. To believe that Pete only bet on the Reds to win is a farce and even if it is true, he violated the most obvious and dangerous rule.

On a side note Pete makes more money being the martyr with his own "hall of fame" right down the road where he sells his autographs, presumably so he can go bet on horses.
He lied for 20 years and only confessed to sell his book. A great player but one with no ethics and no integrity. He belongs in baseball purgatory with the elite 8 black sox.

Sep 14, 2010 22:18 PM
rating: 0
 
Tarakas

Why Mr. Hertzel is certainly entitled to his opinion, I do not understand what a piece like this is doing on this site. It simply is not argued well. Let's assume that Mr. Hertzel is correct, and Giamatti did not like Rose and had treated him unfairly in the past.

Mr. Hertzel needs to address some issues. For example, Rose has admitted he violated a baseball rule, a rule whose origins and punishments predate both men's involvement with the game. Regardless of who was commissioner, Pete Rose should be "declared permanently ineligible." That is clear if you read Major League Rule 21.

Regardless of personal histories of parties involved, I find it reasonable to say someone banned from life from an organization as a consequence of breaking one of its most fundamental rules should also not be eligible for its highest honor.

In short, whether Giamatti disliked Rose, had abused him in the past, was known to kick puppies, stole candy from children, or regularly sniffed glue, isn't really an issue when discussing whether someone rightly banned from a sport for life can then receive its highest honor.

Sep 15, 2010 10:19 AM
rating: 4
 
Tarakas

I meant to start "While Mr. Hertzel is certainly entitled..." Sorry.

Sep 15, 2010 10:28 AM
rating: 0
 
awayish

The HoF is full of not only "disciplinary" or moral judgments but also political/institutional biases. Significant figures in baseball history like miller are not in but crappy owners of red sox are "honored."

Since the HoF clearly sucks at passing proper and fair value judgment on people's legacies, why should it insist on the legitimacy of its moral judgments against rose etc. Just treat it into a "hall of significant figures in baseball history" and only record brute facts and honest stories. Let the fans and visitors pass judgment on their own.

Sep 15, 2010 11:22 AM
rating: 1
 
Tarakas

The flaws of others in the Hall of Fame or in the Hall itself do not absolve Pete Rose of his crimes or invalidate the punishment.

Yes, there are mistakes in who is in the Hall of Fame. It doesn't mean we should make more.

A Hall of Significant Figures in Baseball History would have to include all sorts of people--how about all of the Black Sox? They were so significant that baseball had to create rules in response to their behavior (the very rules Pete Rose broke). McGwire, Bonds, Clemens and Palmiero would belong because of the significance of their steroid use, regardless of their performance. How about Mario Mendoza, whose ineptitude withe the bat was so legendary we now have the "Mendoza Line." We would "celebrate" the significantly bad and the significantly villainous, along with the stars.

I'm not too interested in that Hall.

Sep 15, 2010 13:12 PM
rating: 0
 
awayish

I'm not saying the hall cannot be a place of celebration, it's just that in celebration one does not need to celebrate a whitewashed and mythologized version of baseball history. negative aspects of the game's history as well as its development has to be acknowledged as well. the hall isn't some kind of production from a marketing department.

Sep 16, 2010 15:09 PM
rating: 0
 
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