By In Stuff

A Roadmap for Rose

Over at NBC, I talk with a crisis manager about Pete Rose … and how he might pave his way to the Hall Of Fame.

I also put up a blog post over at Hardball Talk about Buck O’Neil … I can’t believe it was seven years ago today that he found out he was not elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Time moves.

A few other pieces that might be coming:

— A look at Silver Linings Playbook

— A story about RBIs

— A father and son playing catch

— The man who changed the way we watch games.

— How swimming has changed a young girls life.

— Thirty years of backup quarterbacks.

— The best pitcher in baseball history

— A report from the Sloan Conference

— A report from the SABR Analytics Conference

— Learning to play tennis again

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32 Responses to A Roadmap for Rose

  1. Pete Rose should get in the Hall of Fame on his first posthumous opportunity.

    • Jim Berry says:

      Whole heartedly agree. His accomplishments warrant a place in the Hall of Fame, but his disregard for the integrity of the game should not allow him to be ‘honored’.

    • Rob Smith says:

      Yep. Agree. I can live with a bronze statue of the guy, I just don’t want him giving a self aggrandizing speech followed by him signing HOF programs on the steps of Cooperstown for $50 each.

  2. ZelmoOfTroy says:

    As a voter, I’d never check a box for him. Every major leaguer knows there’s one rule you don’t mess with, and he ignored it because he was Pete Bleeping Rose and rules didn’t matter. But I wouldn’t grouse at this point if he were put on a ballot — as long as he remained ineligible to work in baseball. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but …

    Nah. I’m not really sorry at all.

  3. Yeager says:

    Quick thing as I can’t comment on the actual Hardball Talk site – MUST the article be split in two pages? Is it possible to get a printable version of the entire article at least? Small things I know but they make the experience annoying compared to, say, Sports on Earth. Or Joe Blogs.

  4. mickey says:

    Please write and then post entries rather than post about what you might write in the future. No points are awarded for intending to write something. Also, I may write a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird (working title: Boo Radley Takes a Bride), so be on the lookout for that.

  5. Jeff Harris says:

    Mickey, you may not be familiar with Joe’s method of operation. He sends out a list periodically of possible stories, and sometimes even lets us readers vote on what we’d like to read next (iPad review anyone?).

    • mickey says:

      I am familiar with it, and that’s why I posted this. I invoke the Nike Ultimatum: Just Do It. Don’t tell me about it. Maybe these lists a leftover from Joe’s newspaper days when reporters periodically had to compile lists of story ideas, and often got credit from their editors for coming up with story ideas even though they never actually produced the promised articles.

    • Rob Smith says:

      I kind of like the list. Plus it gives us an opportunity to object… like with the pre HOF list, where a few of us asked for more HOF posts. We got it… in spades. Probably more than we wanted, actually…. but it’s nice when a writer obliges his fans with the stuff they want to read. That’s pretty uncommon, wouldn’t you say? I think this is why Joe has so many fans…. quite a few for a blogger anyways.

  6. I’m excited by the list of potential stories. Looks like some great stuff coming! That’s one busy man with all those topics on deck. I like seeing it. Shows me, as if I didn’t know, how hard Joe’s working and reminds me that I need to keep coming back to Sports on Earth to read him.

  7. Joe, you’re as delusional as Pete Rose if you think there is any place for Pete Rose in Major League Baseball. There isn’t, and never will be again.

    There IS a very simple, easy way he could get into the Hall of Fame, however. It’s a way he COULD have embraced years ago, but stupidly and arrogantly chose not to.

    He COULD have stated publicly “I admit, I gambled, and I broke the most important rule in the game. I know I can never be trusted to coach, manage, or work in Major League Baseball again. But I think my record as a player speaks for itself. I think I deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. Please, Commissioner Selig: I accept the lifetime ban you’ve imposed. I deserve that. But please allow the writers to give me a yea or nay vote.”

    IF Rose had said that, I believe Bud Selig would quickly have said, “Sure.” But Rose DIDN’T say that. He was too smug, too sneaky, and too dumb to do that. Instead, he worked the media, and tried to use them to wage war on his behalf. Rose spent decades kissing reporters’ backsides, and many of them (Joe Posnanski definitely included) have been eager to repay the favor. Indeed, MANY writers have been far angrier at Selig for banning Rose than they ever were at Rose for cheating!

    In a way, of course, I’m GLAD Rose is such a smug jerk. If he hadn’t been, if he had shed a few crocodile tears and made some phony shows of remorse, he MIGHT have gotten his way. Instead, he lied for decades, then finally said, “Okay, okay, I cheated, I admit it- now reinstate me!”

    My take: Pete Rose deserves his plaque in Cooperstown. He ALSO deserves to be banned from baseball for life. If he’d just acknowledge the latter, he’d GET the former. But as long as he thinks he can manipulate writers like Joe, he’ll never do that.

    • Rob Smith says:

      Amen brother. It’s not like Rose “just” gambled on baseball while employed as a Manager of the Reds. A Manager, who whether he did so or not, had the ability to impact the game with his moves…. and therefore threatened the integrity of the game. No, he lied about it loudly for years, and only changed his tune when (after 20 years) he finally figured out that nobody believed him & he wasn’t getting into the HOF. So, in a self serving move, designed only to reopen the possibility that he might get into the HOF, he finally admitted the truth. Look, gambling has been the #1 and only “you just can’t do it” act in baseball since 1909. That was made clear with the banned for life edict handed down to the BlackSox. Anyways, I’ve always said that I’m fine with Rose going into the HOF…. post mortem. He doesn’t deserve to stand up on stage and make a speech about how great he is….. even if he did have enough hits to eventually have a bronze statue.

  8. Yeager says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. I personally have never really cared whether Pete expressed remorse. And I’ve always felt the punishment imposed on him was draconian. I would like to see a simple three-tiered punishment system:

    5 (or 10) year ban for betting on games involving other teams
    20 (or 25) year ban for betting on your own team to win
    Lifetime ban for betting against your team

    Yes, Pete knew the rules before he did it, but they used to hang people for stealing horses. The horse thieves knew the punishment too. Which is to say, knowing the punishment before you do the crime doesn’t make the punishment just.

    It just seems to me that a 25-year ban is ample punishment for Pete’s crime. I don’t care if he repents or changes his ways or apologizes. If you get sentenced to 10 years for rape, and you serve the 10 years, we don’t require you to repent or apologize. We might require those things to let you out before the 10 years are up but if you the 10 years, you get out.

    He did the crime, he’s done the time, let him out of jail.

    • Rob Smith says:

      He has been given a “Lifetime Ban”. That’s the punishment for gambling on baseball…. especially if you’re managing a team and making bets on your own team directly from the clubhouse. That is, and has always been the baseball equivalent to being a serial killer. What is unclear about that? I don’t see any Tim Donaghy fans out there saying he should be reinstated after 25 years and eligible for the NBA HOF (key word being “eligible”). The bottom line is that when you have a Lifetime Ban, it’s meant to be well…. lifetime. To get back in, you can apply for reinstatement. For that to happen, you’re going to have to show that you’ve learned your lesson and drastically changed as a human being. Has that happened with Pete Rose? Hardly. The guy still pimps himself out whenever possible, he always has his handout, and he’s still betting on the ponies hanging out with marginal people. So, it’s not about remorse. It’s the fact that Rose is still the same guy as he always was…. just older, fatter and more miserable.

    • Who said anything about Pete’s punishment being “unclear?” I just think a lifetime ban is too harsh. It leaves no room to differentiate between betting on your team and betting against your team, and while both are terrible, one is clearly worse. I’m of the opinion that a 25-year ban is a more appropriate penalty for what Pete is known to have done than a lifetime ban.

    • soxmann says:

      In fact, having your horse stolen was a pretty life-impacting event back then. Very much more important than anything that has ever occurred on a baseball field. Ever.

      Horses were a pretty large percentage of most people’s net worth. And if you rode 25 miles into town to get supplies and your horse was stolen, that was an event of a lifetime. Society saw the need to try and discourage that behavior.

  10. 陳朗 says:

    Pete Rose needs to get in line behind Joe Jackson and Buck Weaver for reinstatement talk.

    • Rob Smith says:

      Right. If Joe Jackson can’t get in, even though he was illiterate and hit the cover off the ball all series (despite taking the money), how on earth does Rose expect to be reinstated? It’s not happening. People want to insert their moral relativism into the subject…. “well he never killed nobody” or “Ty Cobb was a bad guy too”… “so Rose should be in the HOF”. That’s BS, and misses the point entirely, (I have an old Logic Professor could teach an entire class on where these arguments fall apart) and fortunately baseball agrees.

    • clashfan says:

      Seriously. Joe Jackson has ‘served’ his lifetime ban. Elect the guy already.

    • Rob Smith says:

      Nice one clashfan!

  11. denopac says:

    I’d like to clear up one detail. Rose et al. are not “banned for life.” The actual syntax is “permanently ineligible.” Shuffling off their mortal coils will not free them from their predicaments.

    • clashfan says:

      However, many players have been reinstated after such a ban; Rose was strongly considered for such reinstatement before letting his mouth run ahead of his brain.

      Shoeless Joe Jackson was not put under such a ban; it didn’t exist until after he and half the team were thrown out of baseball. They were told they could never play professional baseball again–and powerful people prevented them from doing so. Jackson didn’t (to the best of my knowledge), but it wasn’t a ban from the Hall of Fame.

      In 1991, the HoF chose to never induct someone if they were still under such a ban. That’s why Rose isn’t in; if the ban is lifted, he might get inducted. But Jackson was never under a permanent ban, only a lifetime one. He should be in.

    • denopac says:

      Clashfan – you may very well be right, but

      claims that Jackson has been permanently ineligible since 1920. I don’t know who to believe. If you have reason to believe the wiki page is wrong you should set the historical record right.

  12. CB says:

    C’mon, how about a post on what everyone REALLY wants? A detailed list of advice about exactly how to help repair the reputation of a child-molestation enabler. You’re the expert, after all!

  13. Ed McDonald says:

    I’d like to see Pete in the Hall just to get him out of Las Vegas. That story you wrote about him signing autographs in Vegas just made me sad.

  14. I remember many, many years ago — maybe you remember it, Joe, since you’re a student of the man — reading an article about Pete Rose where his ex-wife said something I’ve always remembered, or think I have anyway. As I recall, her line was, “The same qualities that made him such a great baseball player made him a lousy husband.”

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