Over a quarter-century now? Already? That's how long Pete Rose has been out of baseball. Now, here comes the All-Star Game to Cincinnati, where Rose collected many of his 4,256 hits and two of his three World Series titles while playing for, managing, and yes betting on his beloved Reds. Flashback to 1970: It took a split second. Rose essentially ruined catcher Ray Fosse's promising career in the famous head-on crash at home plate in the All-Star Game. Collisions became part of Pete's style, his identity. They seemed to happen all the time - often enough to rival any NHTSA test site. It's how Rose played the game. He was the quintessential Charlie Hustle. A linebacker, chest out, always launching head-first...fear be damned even when consequences followed. Unfortunately, one colossal consequence caught up to him when he collided with one of baseball's golden rules - one that has no give. And Rose was the one who got wrecked. He gambled and lost. But with Rob Manfred on board as the new MLB Commissioner, momentum might have begun to swing in Rose's favor for potential reinstatement to the game. Maybe he'd paid long enough. Then one more piece of damning news dropped in June - documentation appeared showing that Rose bet on the Reds AS A PLAYER. He had denied doing that. Rose, it seems, always lies and denies...until clear evidence forces him to come clean. Unfortunately, THAT has become the identity of his post-baseball life. Prior to the latest revelation, Manfred generously gave the ok to allow Rose a place in next week's All-Star festivities. The Commish doesn't appear to be pulling back on that allowance. After all, baseball needs the ratings and the attention. Rose will be recognized July 14th as one of the Reds' "most impactful players" and will be an analyst for Fox. Definitely worth seeing... I'm on record as saying old #14 should never be reinstated into Major League Baseball. Not after breaking the game's most sacred rule...a rule that he saw spelled out in front of him on the walls of every clubhouse he ever entered. The "no gambling on baseball" edict wouldn't have been so present if it weren't so important. Pete never got it. As for the Hall of Fame, I would like to see Rose in Cooperstown. His incredible career is part of the game's story. In order for that to happen: 1) MLB must re-write a rule enacted shortly after the betting scandal and allow even players who are banished from the game on the ballot. 2) The veterans committee would have to let him in... Even if #1 happens, #2 is no guarantee.
WHAT'S WRONG WITH BETTING ON YOUR OWN TEAM?
People say, "but he bet on his own team.. why is that so bad?" When unsavory characters in the gambling world (like the ones Rose had dealings with) want their money and WILL get it, why not gamble on the one thing in which you have a hand in affecting the outcome? Seems like a distraction to the integrity of the game to me. And when you only bet sometimes on your own team, doesn't that reflect on your confidence in your own team when you DON'T bet? Especially as Manager when you're responsible for the lineup card?