From The Dugout
By Keith LeClair
Pete Rose: Hall of
Fame, or outside looking in?
That's the million
dollar question gripping the sports world this past week after Pete Rose
finally admitted betting on baseball games while he was a manager. The
question now will be asked — is that enough to clear his name and get
him into the baseball Hall of Fame?
This controversial question may never go away for years to come. Many
oppose Rose and feel he should never be inducted into the Hall of Fame,
while others think his name should be etched right up their with the
all- time greats.
It's indisputable that Pete Rose is one of the all time greats to ever
play the game, collecting over four thousand hits and being named to the
all star game seventeen times. Pete Rose played the game hard everyday
and was often called Charlie Hustle for his reckless abandon style of
play. His notorious head first slides became overshadowed when he ran
over Ray Fosse in an all-star game, knocking him out with a dislocated
shoulder and ending his season.
I grew up in the Pete Rose era and truly admired the way he played the
game. Pete Rose was not your prototype great athlete that made things
look easy. He was a blue collar guy that had to out-hustle everyone else
to become the player he was. Very seldom did you ever see Pete wearing a
clean uniform at the end of the game and amazingly he was rarely on the
Pete Rose was the type of guy who you loved to manage and hated to coach
against.he was a player that would try to win at all cost, which helped
propel the Cincinnati Reds to their dominance in the 70s. A player of
his style and nature is a rare commodity in today's game. Whether you
love him or hate him, you cant deny what the man accomplished as a
player throughout his career.
Now the million dollar question. Should he be included in the baseball
Hall of Fame despite his ties to gambling during his tenure as a
manager? This past week he has admitted to betting on baseball games,
but said that he never bet against his own team. Nor did he place any of
those bets from the clubhouse from which he managed.
The main question that is being raised now is how much influence did he
play in deciding the outcome of games. Was he managing to win games or
to cover the spread? I cannot answer those questions, nor can anyone
else except Pete Rose and the other folks involved. I have a hard time
understanding that a man can place over 500 bets on baseball games
without a single coach on his staff not knowing. That seems rather
suspicious given the amount of time a staff spends together throughout a
162-game season. But nonetheless, the fact is Pete Rose bet on baseball
games, which is one of the worst taboos in the game.
In every locker room across Major League baseball and throughout the
minor leagues is a poster warning you on gambling. So, it's not like the
topic is never brought to your attention and the consequences that will
follow if your temptation becomes to great.
With all this said it's about time I give you my take on this situation
and open it up for debate. I will just pretend to be Bud Selig for a day
and drop the hammer down on Pete Rose, whether to reinstate him or ban
him from the game forever. First, I must say Pete Rose's attitude
towards what he has done to the game with his gambling addiction has
stunk. He comes across very arrogant and unapologetic about what he has
done in his gambling endeavors. The man has a severe gambling addiction
and it appears he really doesn't care, nor wants help. This attitude of
deceit and lies over the years is what has turned off many fans and
owners over the years.
Although I personally do not like the way he has handled himself, I must
ask myself should we ban him from the game forever. The answer is yes. I
don't think Pete Rose should ever be given another chance to manage a
big league game again or work in any organization that involves MLB or
minor league baseball. For years, he bet on the game and has shown no
remorse for doing so yet. I have seen no indication in his demeanor that
would say he has changed. He knew the risk when he began betting on
baseball and must stand up to those responsibilities that come with
This may seem awfully harsh, but one thing that will taint the game
worse than anything is gambling. Yes, I know all about drug use or
steroid abuse and all the other players that have had second chances.
Although, these are great questions, the impact it has on the game is
not the same as managers and players betting on the game. If Major
League baseball didn't take a firm stand on gambling, we would enter
into another Black Sox scandal of the modern era. I will say that
steroid abuse is going to impact the game on statistical history, which
also is another alarming debate. But that's a topic for another day.
Now that I have banned Pete Rose from the game, let's talk about the
Hall of Fame. In my mind, Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame
without a doubt. What he accomplished on the field should not be judged
by what took place when he was a manager. The man has more hits than
anyone else that has ever played MLB. As a player, he gave his heart and
soul to the game with more passion than anyone in history. What is the
Hall of Fame to begin with? It's a collection of statistics that
measures whether you have the numbers to get in or not. It's not based
on whether you're a good guy and how popular you were during the days
If that is the case, many guys that are in the Hall of Fame today would
have to be kicked out. Ty Cobb was perhaps one of the dirtiest players
ever to lace up a pair of cleats. Pete Rose deserves to be in the Hall
of Fame whether you like him or not. In my eyes, banning Pete from the
game is punishment enough and has nothing to do with his accomplishments
as a player.
Well, I stuck my neck out on the line writing on this controversial
subject, now its your turn to respond. What do you think? Let's take a
poll. Should Pete Rose be banned from the game or reinstated? Should
Pete Rose be in the Hall of Fame or never be inducted.
Fire your best pitch at ole Condo:
Sound off to Coach LeClair about Pete Rose...
02.23.07 10:27 AM