Pete Rose’s Hall of Fame Scenarios

As the NFL regular season nears its end, entire articles are published, both in print and online, about what scenarios teams need to clinch a division title and/or a playoff berth.

But scenarios for a baseball player to "clinch" enshrinement in Cooperstown?

Yes, there are such things — at least with respect to one player.

And you get only one guess as to who that player is.

But just in case you haven't figured it out, let's throw out the first scenario: It involves Major League Baseball establishing an expansion team in Las Vegas, having existing teams move being far more frowned upon in baseball than in football (but it might become frowned upon as much in football if the city of St. Louis wins its lawsuit against the NFL for allegedly violating their own rules when they allowed the Rams to return to Los Angeles in 2016).

This, of course, was the final punch that knocked out the NFL's anti-gambling crusade (when the Raiders moved from Oakland to Las Vegas last year), after the league started openly promoting both DraftKings and FanDuel, and did not stop doing so when both morphed from clearinghouses for fantasy nerds into flesh-and-blood Vegas sports books.

With a franchise in the capital of gambling, Major League Baseball would look every bit as hypocritical in maintaining its self-righteous, judgmental attitude toward gambling as the NFL would have.

A second, and related, scenario involves Shoeless Joe Jackson.

In the event that Jackson ever does get into Cooperstown, it will become that much more difficult to keep the player who is the subject of this article out — since where the former openly admitted to shifting toward center field from his left field position, leading to the Reds hitting an inordinately high number of extra-base hits to left field against the White Sox in the 1919 World Series (even though he was never charged with a single error in the entire series), it has never been proven that the latter ever bet against the Reds (interesting that the Reds figure in both cases) while managing them, even though good arguments can be made that he did so (he agreed to his lifetime ban from baseball as a "compromise," what he got in return consisting of having baseball halt its ongoing investigation of him; the theory goes that had the investigation continued, it would have revealed that his betting against the Reds did in fact occur).

The third scenario would be a public apology, coupled with a sincere admission of guilt — unlikely based on the man in question's grating narcissism.

And a fourth scenario would be for him to be enshrined posthumously, with or without Jackson meeting the same bittersweet fate — the coward's way out for a commissioner and 30 owners not known for their courage.

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