The Super Bowl is more than two weeks away, but it’s a beautiful Texas day. The sun is out, the temperature is 65 degrees, and I’ve already caught a case of spring fever. Or, should I say baseball fever.
I fell in love with baseball 55 years ago when I moved to St. Louis and saw my first Cardinals game. It was Stan Musial’s final season and Pete Rose’s rookie year. I must confess that I’m a Pete Rose fan.
There I said it. I’m a Pete Rose fan, and today I’m going to be a Pete Rose apologist. We’re just a few days away from the announcement of the results of the 2019 Hall of Fame voting to see who will be inducted.
It’s unlikely that Rose will ever be inducted into the hall because he was banned from baseball after admitting he bet on major league baseball games while managing the Cincinnati Reds in the late 1980’s.
It seems ironic to me that Rose’s sin was unpardonable, while the likes of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will probably make it into Cooperstown some day in spite of using illegal steroids. Was Rose’s sin really worse?
There is documentation that Rose bet on more than 400 games while managing the Reds, including 52 Reds games. But I have never heard anyone provide documentation, or even accuse Rose of betting against the Reds.
This is a huge, albeit overlooked point. If the passionate Rose crossed the line to bet on games he managed, he broke the rules. But if Rose bet against the Reds, he’s a bad guy that should have gone to prison years ago.