Originally Posted by GAC
The difference is though -at least IMO - is that while Rose broke a rule concerning gambling, his "Ruthian-type numbers", unlike Bonds, didn't come from performance-enhancing drugs.
Bonds was a helluva ballplayer. IMO, with his natural talent and ability alone (like his Dad), he would have put up solid career numbers that would have probably guaranteed him a spot in the HOF.
But his ego got in the way when he saw what McGwire and Sosa were doing, and all the attention they were getting, and he used steroids which, IMO, inflated those numbers to a certain degree.
Rose not only broke a rule, but IMO, due to his ego, flaunted it, and deserved to be punished, and punished severely. But to what degree of severity? Isn't almost 25 years enough? Even criminals within our society, who have done far worse then a Pete Rose, are given the opportunity at a second chance.
Pete Rose not only lived for the game of baseball, gave it everything he got, but contributed greatly to the game. And while his gambling shouldn't (and won't be) forgotten - he'll always have that hanging over his head the rest of his life no matter what - those wrong actions shouldn't overshadow, or cause us to ignore, what he contributed to the game.
Some sort of compromise needs to be reached between MLB and Pete Rose. IMO, it has gone on long enough. And I think most of us who are now older, and grew up as a kid with Rose, the player, would agree.
He should be in the HOF for what he accomplished on that field. He should never be allowed to manage again at the major league level; but I think Pete - and I think it's something he'd love to do - should be allowed to work somehow within the ranks of the minors.
Give the guy a chance to redeem himself somehow towards a game that was his passion in life while he's still alive.
That's my take.
Here's the thing on PEDs, and I know I'm in the minority: I don't care. I really don't. Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, et al. were full-grown adults that voluntarily chose to use PEDs even with the risk of detrimental side-effects. While not "everyone" did it, it was during a time when a lot of things were allowed in MLB, and MLB essentially gave it all tacit approval with a wink here and a nod there. The 1994 strike was a signifcant blow to the popularity of the game, and if 'roid-fueled HRs got butts back in the seats and eyes on the TV screen, Selig & Co. were cool with it. And really, "steroids" were an issue going back to the 80s, notably with Jose Canseco...I can still recall the '88 ALCS and Red Sox fans chanting "STERRROIDS, STERRROIDS". And in '96, there was Brady Anderson hitting 50 HRs. MLB didn't care.
I don't need self-righteous "guardians" to look out for my kids. That's my job. If they ever make the decision to take PEDs, that's my fault, not Barry Bonds', nor some writer for giving him a HOF vote.
So the rules have changed now...now MLB "cares". Fine. The rules are known. Get caught, get suspended. I just think it's silly to say I'm going to apply circa 2010-henceforth rules to what you did in the 90's and early 00's.
As for Pete Rose, I pretty much agree with you. To me, the good he did for the game: running to first on a walk, head-first dives/slides, balls-out hustle, far outweigh the betting. And I think he still could offer some "good" to the game if only allowed to do so.
Either way, it's really just not a very big pebble in my shoe. On my List Of Things To Worry About, Pete Rose or Barry Bonds being the in HOF doesn't even get honorable mention. I think they and a few others should be in, but whether they are or not, oh well, I still have to get up to go to work tomorrow.