Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Why Pete Rose Will Never Make the Hall of Fame

During the investigation into Pete Rose's gambling Major League Baseball found evidence, or had a strong indication that Rose got in too deep with gamblers and the only way to get out was to fix a game.
That's when Commissioner Bart Giamatti called Rose into his office and decided it would be too damaging for the game if this got out.
So he offered Rose a deal, keep quiet, accept a lifetime ban, apply for reinstatement in year and Giamatti probably assured Rose he would reinstate him.
Unfortunately for Rose, Giamatti died before he could live up to his end of the bargain, and his successors, Fay Vincent and Bud Selig, have too much respect for Giamatti to go against what they believed were his wishes.

That’s my theory, but assuming I am wrong about Rose fixing a game (or more than one) there are still a lot of other reasons to keep him out.

1) He lied about not betting on baseball for 14 years. Then he admitted he did bet on games, and on the Reds, and eventually said he bet on the Reds to win every night. But how can we believe him. The fear of another shoe dropping is definitely part of the reason for his Hall of Fame exclusion.
2) He knew the rules, and he knew the punishment, yet he still committed the crime. If you go to live in a Middle Eastern country and you know they chop your hand off for stealing, then you steal something, you deserve to have your hand cut off, even though I think that punishment is too severe. In this case I think the punishment is just right.
3) The Baseball Hall of Fame is not directly run by Major League Baseball. The Hall has a rule not to consider players for inclusion if they are on baseball's banned list. It is very unlikely baseball will ever remove his ban and allow him to become a coach or manager, so unless the Hall changes its rules he'll never be eligible for induction.

Note: Pete Rose says he will never see a Paul Giamatti movie. He says he and Bart Giamatti (father of actor Paul) agreed not to discuss their meeting and he felt betrayed when Giamatti came out with the now famous speech:

"The banishment for life of Pete Rose from baseball is the sad end of a sorry episode. One of the game's greatest players has engaged in a variety of acts which have stained the game."

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