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MLB - Pete Rose Belongs in Cooperstown

By Eric Maus
Saturday, December 14th, 2002
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After being branded with a Scarlet Letter by Major League Baseball, good ole Pete Rose, the greatest Reds player of all-time, has spent the past 13 years making guest appearances on TV and radio shows, cameos at baseball events, and was even the lucky recipient of a Tombstone Piledriver at Wrestlemania XIV.

Rose's baseball life forever changed back in August of 1989 when the 17-time all-star and former National League MVP agreed with Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti to a lifetime ban following an investigation of his gambling.

Now, a lifetime ban is pretty serious unless, of course, your weapon of mass destruction is cocaine.

In 1992, Steve Howe was nailed for purchasing a gram of cocaine in Montana and Commissioner Fay Vincent gave Howe a lifetime ban for violating a drug aftercare program, and the lefty became the first player ever to be given a lifetime ban for substance abuse. That November, Howe was reinstated when an arbitrator argued that the pitcher depended on the cocaine for helping him with his Attention Deficit Disorder.

Why the double-standard?

Howe was given a second chance, but Rose, after 13 years, has yet to receive one -- and he deserves it.

For the love of God, give him one already.

Yes, Rose made a mistake. He shouldn't have gambled on baseball. We acknowledge that.

But, is it justifiable to excommunicate the man over something as petty as gambling?

No. Unconditionally, no.

The same people that want Rose out of the game eternally are the one's who will parade him around when they need a ratings boost. Hypocrisy at its finest, yet typical of Major League Baseball.

So, now, is there anything he can do to mend his relationship with the game?

It's time for Rose to be a man, step up to the podium, play this sad little game, and admit to the Baseball Grand Jury he was wrong. Then, he must apply to the office of Bud Selig for reinstatement to Major League Baseball. The Office of the Commissioner must reinstate him. He would then be an eligible Hall of Fame candidate for the Baseball Writer's Associate of America Screening Committee.

Daryl Kile gets his name on the Hall of Fame ballot and Pete Rose can't? That's absurd.

Rose belongs in Cooperstown. A man who played for 24 seasons, collected 4,256 hits, most ever, and had a 44-game hitting steak belongs in the hallowed halls of baseball's elite.

Rose had more career doubles than Ty Cobb (746 vs. 724), more runs scored than Tris Speaker (2,165 vs. 1,882) and set an all-time record for playing more than 150 games a year or more in 17 seasons.

He's proved his worth on the field and that's what the Hall of Fame should be about.

If the criteria for eligibility were based on one's moral character, there wouldn't exactly be an abundance of plaques gracing the walls of Cooperstown.

Cobb was one of the meanest SOB's to ever live, should he not be in the Hall of Fame? When Juan Gonzalez hangs it up, will he be excluded from baseball immortality because he had four wives? Bobby Cox beat his wife, is he ineligible?

Did Rose somehow tarnish the image of baseball any more than these guys? Of course not -- and everyone knows it.

Fans of the game want Rose reinstated. They understand a player of his caliber deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Major League Baseball only makes itself look foolish for allowing this farce to continue.

It's time for Major League Baseball to do something right, reinstate Pete Rose. He may not get my vote for sainthood, but does for the Hall of Fame.

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