Pete Rose is not a likable person. His behavior, whether on or off the field, remains despicable. But should he have to die to make the Hall of Fame?
Pete Rose is the modern-day equivalent of Ty Cobb. Each possessed a burning desire to win that was freely exhibited in the way they played the game.
“Spikes High” Cobb, and in those days they wore metal spikes, earned his take no prisoners’ reputation to the game, even reveling in being known as a son-of-a-bitch.
Likewise, Pete Rose has been known to sign autographs at card show on a picture of his infamous “sack” of Ray Fosse during an exhibition game, the 1970 All-Star Game.
Cobb, as we know, resides in the Baseball Hall of Fame, collecting 222 votes in 1936, the most of any candidate in that era, earning election with 98.23 percent of the vote.
The Violent Character Of Ty Cobb
This, despite an instance in which Cobb went into the stands to attack a heckler who was missing most of the fingers on both his hands.
And when fans tried to intervene, Cobb shouted back, “I don’t care if he got no feet”.
An avowed racist, Cobb, for reasons unknown to this day, once attacked a black groundskeeper during Spring Training in 1907.
Upon witnessing the attack, the man’s wife came to his defense, only to be placed in a stranglehold by Cobb.
Believing that Cobb was about to kill the woman, his teammate Charles “Boss” Schmidt intervened to end the tumult.
Pete Rose Is Not Hall of Famer Ty Cobb
Pete Rose is not a violent person. The only violence Rose ever inflicted has been on himself, making unwise and counterproductive choices in his personal life.
Pete Rose is an admitted gambler who made the mistake of not staying with dog races, football, and basketball to feed his addiction.
He bet on baseball when he was managing the Cincinnati Reds. To this day, Rose insists he never bet on games in which his team was playing.
MLB didn’t believe him, telling Rose, baseball’s self-proclaimed Hit Man with 4.256 hits, “Yer out – forever”. Go away and don’t ever come back.
“Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss”
A few days ago, Rose and his team of lawyers petitioned MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred with yet another plea for reinstatement.
It remains unclear as to whether or not Manfred will grant an audience to Rose, but it’s equally clear that he should.
That is because baseball has surged far beyond Rose’s gambling addiction, eagerly entering into the realm itself to reap the billions of dollars on the table as profits received from people just as afflicted as Rose.
Baseball today reeks of a cheating scandal and a rash of domestic violence incidents. Suspensions are commonplace, and MLB can’t keep the pace, making “Investigator” one of the fastest-growing job categories in the sport.
This Time It’s Different, And Rose Has A Point
Pete Rose wants only to know why one-year suspensions for sign-stealing schemes to cheat during games, to the point where reasonable arguments claim the 2017 and 2018 World Series was “stolen” from the Yankees and Dodgers – are the orders of the day?
Rose also wants to know why Jose Reyes, Domingo German, Aroldis Chapman, and a slew of others can commit acts of domestic violence resulting in “sentences” levied by MLB that fall well short of the life without the possibility of parole he received.
Manfred owes not only Rose but all fans of baseball answers to those questions.
Justice Under Attack And On The Line
As mentioned in the opening, Pete Rose is not a likable person. In some quarters, he is viewed as a scoundrel and a white-collar criminal duly convicted of income tax evasion.
This is not to argue either that Manfred should have levied the death penalty, banning AJ Hinch, Carlos Beltran, and soon to be convicted Alex Cora, with a lifetime ban from baseball.
But this is to suggest that justice delayed is a little better than justice denied.
We, the people, have just been through a three-month ordeal that was all about justice.
It was determined that President of the United States did some things that were “wrong”.
But it was also a verdict that rendered his actions not to be justification for removal from office. Most Americans believe that was a rational decision made by the U.S. Senate.
Interestingly, it was President Donald Trump advocating for Pete Rose and his placement in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Pete Rose deserves the same measure of jurisprudence from the Commission of Baseball, and eventually, the Baseball Writers of America when they cast their votes for entry into the Hall of Fame.