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Thread: Pete Rose, a block away and impossibly far from the Hall of Fame

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    Member Pacman Fever's Avatar
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    Pete Rose, a block away and impossibly far from the Hall of Fame

    July 27, 2013 at 11:48am EDT

    There’s no great way to get to Cooperstown from New York City. But they’re all kind of great. No matter which series of winding state roads you take to get from the Thruway to the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, you’re sure to pass expanses of green Catskills, mountain lakes, quaint little towns, and cornfields. Bob Ross stuff.

    Pete Rose loves baseball, so Pete Rose loves Cooperstown. And Cooperstown — the Hall of Fame notably excepted — seems to love Pete Rose back. I chatted with Rose for over an hour on Thursday as he signed autographs at Safe at Home Collectibles, about 100 yards from the Hall. Nearly every fan that approached Rose came prepared with an anecdote from Rose’s career or a remark about the way he played. And Rose earnestly matched them all, recalling specifics from long-ago games and dolling out advice.

    “My son’s a switch-hitter, just like you,” says one man, nodding toward a nervous kid wearing a baseball cap pulled low over his face.

    Rose looks at the boy, who is no older than nine.

    “You know the tough thing about switch hitting?” the all-time Major League hits leader says. “Don’t practice the new way so much that you get out of the original way. There’s only one switch-hitter in the history of baseball that I know of that was a natural left-hand hitter, and his name was J.T. Snow…”

    “Thank you, Mr. Rose,” the man says. “I hope you make the Hall of Fame.”

    “You’re going to bat left-handed two-thirds of the time,” Rose calls after the kid.

    I love baseball, too. And I left for Cooperstown convinced that a manager gambling on baseball, as Rose did while piloting the Cincinnati Reds in the late 1980s, jeopardizes the game’s integrity in a far more sinister way than any of the sport’s recent and oft-lamented performance-enhancing drug scandals.

    Players taking steroids are, for better or worse, still doing everything they can to win ballgames. Players or coaches gambling on baseball threaten the fundamental nature of the contest, which assumes that both teams are working to succeed.

    Rose knows so much about the game. He shares historical tidbits and contemporary observations with equal ease, and across the course of our conversation he weighs in on everything from batting grips to Robinson Cano’s pending free agency to MLB team facial-hair policies of the 1970s. He acknowledges that what he did was wrong, and he knows he broke the rules. But he doesn’t see a parallel between his ban and the bans given to eight members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox.

    “That’s not like my case!” he says. “I didn’t bet against my own team. I didn’t throw any games. Those guys threw World Series games, you know that? That’s a big difference between that and betting on your own team every night. That’s like a guy in the Kentucky Derby riding the No. 3 horse betting on No. 2!”

    But how could a manager stop himself from managing differently on the nights he’s betting?

    “That’s why I bet every night,” he says. “I managed one way every night, to W-I-N.”

    No one but Rose can say if that’s true. But given everything we know about Pete Rose, it sure sounds believable. Rose is Charlie Hustle, after all, as legendary for his head-first effort as he is for his record. He is the guy who fractured catcher Ray Fosse’s shoulder in a home-plate collision to win the All-Star Game, way before the All-Star Game even pretended to count.

    To an outsider, it’s easy to imagine the various ways someone betting on baseball games he’s involved in could compromise them. But maybe to a guy like Rose it’s more difficult to comprehend. Maybe the almost unimaginable drive and competitiveness required to play 22 Major League seasons, those qualities which helped Rose make 17 All-Star teams and rack up 4,256 hits, prevent him from even conceiving of working toward any end but a win.

    “I just needed something extra,” Rose says. “That was my mistake. Managing wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough incentive for me.”

    A father and son approach. The son takes a seat next to Rose for a photograph, and the father boasts, “His uncle’s first cousin is Mike Piazza.”

    “Mike Piazza,” Rose repeats. “He should be being honored here this Sunday. That’s my opinion. He’s the greatest hitting catcher in baseball history, no question about it. Best all-around catcher is Johnny Bench.”

    Neither Piazza nor any other living player will be honored in Cooperstown on Sunday. Piazza, like every great player of the late 1990s and early 2000s, fell short of the necessary votes this year because he hit lots of home runs and played his best baseball during the sport’s so-called steroids era.

    Piazza never failed a test and was not listed in the Mitchell Report. In his 2013 autobiography, he denied taking performance-enhancers beyond the over-the-counter Androstenedione and amphetamines – baseball’s once-ubiquitous “greenies,” which Rose dismisses as “diet pills” that provide only “false confidence.”

    “This whole community suffers when these guys deserving to make the Hall of Fame don’t make the Hall of Fame,” Rose says of Cooperstown. “It’s bad for the whole damn village.”

    If that’s true, it’s hard to tell Thursday. Youth baseball tournaments in the area, coinciding with Induction Weekend, have the shops and restaurants in the area bustling with young families. It’s almost impossible to find street parking anywhere nearby.

    I happen to believe steadfastly that great baseball players should make the Hall of Fame regardless of off-field indiscretions, and that the Hall should eliminate the character clause from its annual ballot. It seems pointless, or at least ill-considered, to punish great players who used steroids when the Hall already holds plenty of guys that scuffed balls and corked bats and distributed greenies.

    “It’s not all altar boys in there,” says Rose.

    Rose knows he made a mistake, and wants a second chance. He believes that if he’s reinstated, he can help baseball. He says he would love to visit minor league camps during spring training to tell young players his story and explain how they can learn from it.

    But what if Rose is already helping baseball by sitting there in the memorabilia shop shaking hands and signing cards a block away — but indelibly removed — from the Hall of Fame? Rose has come to Cooperstown for the induction every year since 1994. He stays in an apartment above the store, shows up 15 minutes early for his scheduled autograph sessions and stays a half-hour late. He accommodates media requests and calls into radio shows around the country to discuss baseball’s latest controversy in light of his own.

    He wants to win, again, but in his efforts to do so, he serves as a walking, talking reminder to all he encounters of what happens to baseball insiders who bet on baseball.

    Still, if I’m to maintain that steroids users deserve spots in the Hall of Fame on the strength of their on-field accomplishments, it’s silly to argue that Rose does not. All 4,256 of his hits still count in the box scores, after all. And it feels a bit coldhearted to say that a man so dedicated to baseball – even one that committed competitive sports’ cardinal sin – does not deserve the game’s forgiveness after some 20 years spent toiling in purgatory, here in baseball heaven.

    Cooperstown is a beautiful place and it exists in service to baseball — one of our most beautiful pastimes. Pete Rose did something ugly, as did Barry Bonds, as did legions of ballplayers throughout the game’s history.

    It’s impossible to know whether the punishments these players have received at the hands of baseball, the media, and even the fans are just. Without knowing what these players think – without being them – who is to know if they feel genuine remorse, or if they even should? And no matter how frequently or vigorously we claim otherwise, we just can’t really say for certain whether rigidity or leniency is better for the game or the children or the Hall of Fame itself.

    “What athletes do today, even me, we make these commissioners jobs hard,” Rose says. “Bud Selig doesn’t want to go through all this (stuff) right now. It drives him crazy, probably.

    “We’ve just got to find away to get athletes – including myself – to be more responsible.”

    http://ftw.usatoday.com/2013/07/pete...gambling-peds/
    Hitler finds out the Royals signed Jonathan Broxton: http://www.yourepeat.com/watch/?v=hB...=youtube_gdata

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  3. #2
    Member CmdrCody's Avatar
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    Re: Pete Rose, a block away and impossibly far from the Hall of Fame

    Nice article, I just wish he hadn't lied to all his fans saying he didn't do it. That sort of makes him the Ryan Braun of his day.
    Reds fan since 1968 win or lose.

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    Re: Pete Rose, a block away and impossibly far from the Hall of Fame

    Personally, I think it's ridiculous that players like Rose and Bonds are kept out of the HOF. It's a bunch of self-important writers, many of whom haven't even covered baseball in any meaningful way for years, who arrogantly and self-righteously appoint themselves as the "guardians" of baseball. Please. Pete Rose should be in, and as much as I don't care for Bonds, his Ruthian-type numbers dwarfed his contemporaries and he also belongs.

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    Re: Pete Rose, a block away and impossibly far from the Hall of Fame

    I won't be patronizing the HoF until he's in, and will never be there if it's done posthumously.

    Made a big mistake, and he paid for it dearly. It's time to move on.
    Rounding third and heading for home...

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    Re: Pete Rose, a block away and impossibly far from the Hall of Fame

    I made my first visit to Cooperstown last year. The Hall of Fame is well worth a visit, and Pete Rose is "there." He doesn't have a plaque but (at least last year) Rose memorablia is on display. It is not necessary to induct a player into the HOF in order to remember him there.
    Besides, when an institution deems Bowie Kuhn (and eventually Bud Selig) to worthy members of the HOF, the honor has lost some luster.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

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    Re: Pete Rose, a block away and impossibly far from the Hall of Fame

    I honestly think that both styles of 'cheating' should be allowed in the HOF. Look at McGwire, Sosa, Conseco, and Bonds. They are the result of an era of juicing. A case can be made that they sacrificed their bodies to win games. They still swung the bats and still showed up to all the games. Plus as evidenced with Biogenesis, the testing and catching of users is still behind the science of PEDs. I am willing to bet that at least 1 if not more guys in the Hall have at least juiced before since testing was not that sofisticated.

    Even so, Pete's betting is still a sin to the game. But it only affected one team for a few years. Guys using PEDs have affected history as unthinkable records were broken and names from history forgotten. Pete's playing days warrant him at least ballot consideration. The fact that the juiceheads get their names on the ballots is a joke.

    The writers should think about children and upcoming ballplayers. Who are they going to be more inspiring and awestruck by when roaming the exhibits in the Hall? Seeing some insanely built power hitter hitting 73 homerun in a season montage or see Pete Rose run to first on a walk or do a head first slide into third or knocking out Fosse at homeplate?
    2013 Attendance: 6-0
    4/3/13, 4/16/13, 4/17/13, 8/3/13, 8/21/13, 9/7/13

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    Re: Pete Rose, a block away and impossibly far from the Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by BungleBengals View Post

    Even so, Pete's betting is still a sin to the game. But it only affected one team for a few years. Guys using PEDs have affected history as unthinkable records were broken and names from history forgotten. Pete's playing days warrant him at least ballot consideration. The fact that the juiceheads get their names on the ballots is a joke.
    Pete was gambling on games for a long time, not just a few years.

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    Re: Pete Rose, a block away and impossibly far from the Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Pete was gambling on games for a long time, not just a few years.

    Doug, I dont want to get into a huge debate over this....but have you read the report. Or have you just skimmed the dowd here and there.....it took me 3 weeks to read it all.....3 weeks. I have done numerous reports on Pete rose when I was a English major and again when I went to law school....there is a lot one can learn from simple reading the report and researching his life. A simple yes or no will suffice if you have read the entire report or not.

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    Re: Pete Rose, a block away and impossibly far from the Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by lidspinner View Post
    Doug, I dont want to get into a huge debate over this....but have you read the report. Or have you just skimmed the dowd here and there.....it took me 3 weeks to read it all.....3 weeks. I have done numerous reports on Pete rose when I was a English major and again when I went to law school....there is a lot one can learn from simple reading the report and researching his life. A simple yes or no will suffice if you have read the entire report or not.
    I read his book where he admits to gambling on the game as both a player and a manager. I have never read the report. Don't really need to.

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    Re: Pete Rose, a block away and impossibly far from the Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I read his book where he admits to gambling on the game as both a player and a manager. I have never read the report. Don't really need to.
    thank you for the honesty.

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    Re: Pete Rose, a block away and impossibly far from the Hall of Fame

    I wish he did not warm up Rob Murphy every game

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    Re: Pete Rose, a block away and impossibly far from the Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by lidspinner View Post
    thank you for the honesty.
    Of course. There is no need to lie about something so trivial.

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    Re: Pete Rose, a block away and impossibly far from the Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Of course. There is no need to lie about something so trivial.
    I never once thought you were lying or would lie....I admire your professionalism with Baseball and how you handle your opinions.....I was merely asking because most people I debate Pete rose topics with see far from educated about Pete....now, I am not saying your not educated simply because you did not read the dowd, but reading it from from to back and in its 100% entirety, I was educated to a completely different phase of "the Pete Rose life"......I went from being a fan but still someone who was mad and hurt and embarrassed that my childhood favorite player was a cheat, to seeing a different side of the whole story.

    Let me give just one example....I have hundreds but this is a simple example. A bookie in the report had just filed bankruptcy and was not doing good as a book maker or in his real career as a restaurant owner.....Pete had used this bookie for about 2 years off and on.....this bookie was paid 100k for his testimony by an associate of Dowds....this "bookie" basically had 1 client and that client was Pete.....now, once you research this cat and see that he was truly not a bookie, yet was just a friend of Pete's that Pete would use to place his bets then you also can find how's Mr Dowd referred to this one guys testimony to about 95% of his "findings".......again, I am not saying Pete was innocent as even Pete himself has said he used this restaurant owner as his bookie, but this guy was paid and paid well and was broke.....it doesn't prove innocence but I do think it proves that some of the report could have been forged but "bookies" who were financially paid very well to provide info on Pete....I have a hard time putting my faith in a person who is only giving his side of the story based on how well he is paid.

    Lets fast forward to the biogenesis report.....the owner has been paid by MLB....we don't know how much just yet but we know that baseball sent people to his house and offered money to talk.....think about that, he already has "dirt" on all these players cheating, you think he might create a little more dirt or make it sound a little worse than it truly is if he thinks MLB is going to keep coughing up the coin? Sure he is. So if arod bought hgh just once from this guy and he has 100% proof, he might tell MLB that Alex bought hgh 100 times just to keep them wanting more info and paying more moment,,..after all, who is going to believe Alex? This whistle blower has already proved that Alex bought hgh when Alex denied it....so who is going to believe Alex now? All the while this biogenesis owner is sitting back making tons of cash by telling lies and possible forging documents to prove his lie....all they have is written on paper....he could have wrote those names down on paper once he realized MLB would pay topmdollar for good info on good players......think about it, how many AAA players are on the list? How many .200 average hitters? The guy gave big time names.....maybe that's all he helped, but just maybe he is telling a fib in order to make some cash, just as I think some bookies did in the dowd.....in both cases they are still wrong and stil need to be punished but I just don't know how much I can trust.

    Reading the dowd will open some eyes if you read it with an open mind...if your already convinced that Pete gambled on every reds game and gambled them to lose then reading it might not help your opinion any.

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    Re: Pete Rose, a block away and impossibly far from the Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by NorCal Reds Fan View Post
    Personally, I think it's ridiculous that players like Rose and Bonds are kept out of the HOF. It's a bunch of self-important writers, many of whom haven't even covered baseball in any meaningful way for years, who arrogantly and self-righteously appoint themselves as the "guardians" of baseball. Please. Pete Rose should be in, and as much as I don't care for Bonds, his Ruthian-type numbers dwarfed his contemporaries and he also belongs.
    The Hall of Fame is about more than stats. It is also about integrity, honor, and professionalism. Bonds and Rose fail, miserably, on all accounts. Rose became a clown when he started chasing the dollar bill anywhere it would lead him and became an embarrassment for baseball, the city of Cincinnati, his family, and himself. The fact that people still defend this joke is beyond me. Should he be honored in the same hall as Ruth, Aaron, Bench, Morgan, etc. No way, IMO. There are items which lament Rose's accomplishments. That is enough. Why slime a building of honor by allowing Rose and Bonds in? Knowing Rose, he will probably demand cash (no checks) to show up anyway.

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    Re: Pete Rose, a block away and impossibly far from the Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by armybrat45103 View Post
    The Hall of Fame is about more than stats. It is also about integrity, honor, and professionalism. Bonds and Rose fail, miserably, on all accounts. Rose became a clown when he started chasing the dollar bill anywhere it would lead him and became an embarrassment for baseball, the city of Cincinnati, his family, and himself. The fact that people still defend this joke is beyond me. Should he be honored in the same hall as Ruth, Aaron, Bench, Morgan, etc. No way, IMO. There are items which lament Rose's accomplishments. That is enough. Why slime a building of honor by allowing Rose and Bonds in? Knowing Rose, he will probably demand cash (no checks) to show up anyway.
    Cobb was 1,000x the scumbag Pete, Bonds or McGwire ever were. If you want to protect whatever imaginary integrity the you believe the hall has, protest to get Cobb kicked out.

    If trash like Cobb get 98% of the vote, then Pete, Bonds etc. at least deserve to be on the ballot


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