By In Baseball

Still Hustling

From NBC SportsWorld:

Pete Rose is a great storyteller, when he’s in the mood. He’s a funny guy, when he’s in the mood. He’s a good guy to hang out with, when he’s in the mood. Like I say, I have a soft spot for him. And beyond that, I’m on the record saying that I would vote for him for the Hall of Fame.

But all this has nothing to do with his appeal to be reinstated to baseball. Manfred had one concern and one concern only: If Pete Rose were allowed back in, would he embarrass the game?

And to determine this, Manfred needed just one piece of evidence — a piece of evidence Rose himself provided in their conversation.

Pete Rose still bets on baseball.

Oh, he does? Great. That’s a wrap, folks. Please tip your waitresses on the way out.

Still Hustling

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24 Responses to Still Hustling

  1. Exactly what I thought. He bets on baseball? He has 25 years to get his case together and he still freaking bets on baseball? I’ve always said that Pete is a derelict gambler who has a very thin attachment to the truth. There have always been tons of revisionists that don’t seem to care about any of that despite it’s rather obvious impact to the game if Rose became part of it again. I think Rose just took the legs right out from under all the deniers. Rose has always said who he is. Sometimes through the truth, but usually through uncovered lies. He’s really not all that lovable to those that are really close to him. He’s a sad human being living out his life gambling in the number one gambling town. Leaving Las Vegas could have been made about him.

    My only hope is that we no longer have to hear about how Pete should be part of the game. Though I suspect that argument will now turn to the HOF changing it’s rules since Manfred teed that up with his comments. Nice job Manfred. You keep him out of baseball, as you should, then wash your hands of the HOF decision. Nice.

    • thoughtsandsox says:

      It will still be his decision. Manfred is on the HOF Committee or Board or whatever they call their decision making panel.

    • SDG says:

      The HOF decision is the only one that matters. Rose is on FOX Sports already, and even if he were allowed to rejoin baseball, no team would touch him. It’s not worth it. Besides, he’s 70. And doesn’t need the money anyway. So this all seems like a waste of time for everybody.

      But the HOF is the one thing Pete Rose wants, and his fans want. And the one thing he actually deserves. And we’re going to be having the discussion about the HOF and the character clause for the next 20 years wrt to steroids and the character clause, so we should just have that discussion involving Pete Rose, get it over with, and let the issue die already, one way or another.

  2. murr2825 says:

    Keep him out of baseball. Put him on the ballot-I’d vote for him as a flawed human being but great player who wanted to win more than just about anybody. He would NEVER get in while he’s alive so it’s a moot point. But then everyone can just shut up about it.

    Someday, after he (and many of us) are dead, he will get in to the Hall where he belongs. They’ll write on his plaque “banned from baseball for life for,gambling on the game” and everyone will be happy. Sort of.

    • SDG says:

      I suppose if you’re really cynical, you can say you won’t have the HOF discussion about him until he’s dead, thus letting him know that he will never profit from the higher prices his autograph would bring.

  3. MikeN says:

    What can we expect from Harper if signs with Colorado?

    • Dan says:

      Marginally more singles/doubles, lots more triples/homers. FanGraphs has the National’s park factor as 100, and Colorado’s as 117, for both 2013 and 2014, with most of the difference coming in the isolated numbers for triples and home runs.

    • Stephen says:

      Well, whatever it is, it would sure be fun.

  4. Eric B. says:

    Pete would lose money if he got back in baseball because people would forget about him, he would no longer be relevant as the loveable iconoclast and he wouldn’t be able to sell his autograph in Vegas anymore.

    In short, Pete is smart enough to keep the money train rolling!

  5. Bill Caffrey says:

    Joe: The comments don’t seem to be working on the $500 Million Man.

  6. Pat says:

    “Giamatti had so badly wanted it to end differently …. Then, it all went bad.”

    What’s the line from Cocktail? “Everything ends badly; otherwise it wouldn’t end.”

    Anyway, I’m pretty sure that even if he were reinstated, Pete Rose couldn’t hit .300 and play third again. And I’m also pretty sure that there are no teams that would hire him in any other capacity. I mean, are there really clubs clamoring for Pete Rose? Do the Mets think that, if only they’d had Rose in the dugout, they could have managed the World Series to a Game 7? Even the worst manager in all of baseball, does anyone think his club would look at Pete Rose at the age of 70 and think, “yeah, if only”?

    There’s a very good chance I’m completely off my rocker on this. But I really suspect the impact of Rose’s reinstatement would have been entirely ceremonial.

    • Kuz says:

      Pat – Then I’m off my rocker too. It never entered my mind that if reinstated, he would be hired in any on field or off field operations capacity.

    • Brent says:

      Agreed. And the fact is, he gets to do some stuff with baseball anyway. He was an analyst for FOX this year, because MLB’s ban doesn’t extend to their broadcast partners. I am certain that the Reds have been allowed to have him on the field whenever they honor the BRM teams. What else would he get to do if he was reinstated?

      • SDG says:

        Exactly. The whole thing is about the HOF and the HOF only.

        Maybe Pete Rose prefers it this way. Would anyone remember Shoeless Joe if he were in the HOF?

  7. Freddie says:

    Entrance into the HOF is only something a baseball writer with a HOF vote cares about anymore. I’m pretty sure Pete Rose doesn’t stay awake at night hoping to be “allowed back into baseball.” As a kid, I used to dream about visiting the HOF. Now, I wouldn’t walk across the street to do go. The all-time hit leader isn’t in; The all-time home run leader isn’t in; the best pitcher in the history of the game isn’t in. At some point, it isn’t a HOF anymore.

    • Marc Schneider says:

      I understand your point but there’s a lot more to the Hall of Fame than the plaques. The Museum itself is much more interesting. If you like baseball, you are making a mistake, IMO, not going just because of who does not have a plaque. In fact, the plaque room is pretty boring.

  8. Respectfully, I disagree. I think Pete Rose IS an embarrassment to baseball (look at Joe’s article from a year or two ago about his shlocky and money-grubbing Vegas signing sessions). I don’t know if Rose is an addict to gambling (the Olney’s and Law’s of the world were speculating to that effect on today’s Olney podcast), but I do think that the admission that Rose gambled on baseball was just an excuse (albeit a perfect one) to keep Rose out of baseball.

    I have always been against Rose being pardoned by MLB. What he did is the one unforgivable sin in baseball, where the penalty must never be in question. But to have the guy out in the wild, without any plan or hint of a plan (as far as the public knows) as to how he could get back into the MLB tent, and then be told that he is out because he, a private citizen without any links to baseball, bet on baseball, seems like an excuse to me.

    • Karyn says:

      I would not be surprised to learn that someone from MLB had told Rose exactly how he needed to behave for two-five years. I would not be surprised to learn that Rose thought he could hustle that guy, that the rules didn’t apply to him.

  9. John Leavy says:

    John Dowd himself has said many many times, “I wish I could have had a beer with Pete and talked to him one on one. I’d have told him that people are forgiving, and that all he had to do was admit his guilt, show some remorse, and promise to seek help. If he’d done that, I really believe he’d be back managing the,Reds today.”

    Dowd has,always been100% right about Pete Rose, just as the arrogant sphincter boy Bill James has been 100% wrong. But you know what? I’m glad that Pete, like James, is too smug ever to admit error. I’m GLAD Pete couldn’t bring himself to shed the few crocodile tears that would surely have gotten him reinstated.

    Pete Rose never deserved a second chance, but he would have gotten one if he hadn’t been so confident he could scam his way back. I think it’s great that he repeatedly shot himself in the foot.

    • wjones58 says:

      This sad never ending story is also the only reason anyone knows the name of John Dowd. Anytime it seems that Rose might get close to coming back, here comes Dowd. Not defending Rose at all, but I also think Dowd is quite the self-serving one as well.

  10. KHAZAD says:

    How long are we going to talk about this. It’s over. It was over before this happened.

    What Rose did years ago was completely wrong, but using the fact that he places legal bets on baseball now in a town where sports betting is legal in a time period where he has zero connection to MLB is just an excuse. They were never going to reinstate him anyway.

    But even if they had, it would not make any difference. The MLB did say he could participate in third party activities (like working for the network during the playoffs this year) as well as ceremonial activities with prior approval by the commissioner, and really, even if he had shockingly been “reinstated” that is about all that would have happened as a result anyway.

    It’s not like a team is going to hire him as a manager or front office person at this point in his life, and even if he had been made eligible for the HOF, the chances of the BBWA ever voting him in is somewhere very close to zero. There are way too many members who use their votes in a punitive fashion for Rose to ever get any traction at this point anyway.

    The whole time this was going on, the purpose of it was for Manfred to make an official statement on it so that it would continue to be upheld and so that he would be on record with his opinion. He was able to grab a few headlines, come across as fair and reasonable by seeming to give it a new look, and now he won’t have to constantly have questions about the possibility of reinstatement every time he does an interview with a media representative during the rest of his tenure.

    • Marc Schneider says:

      I generally agree, but I think you are wrong about the writers not voting him into the HOF. I think a lot of the writers think he should be in and are seemingly less upset about Rose than they are about the supposed PED guys. I think if he was reinstated, he would be voted in, in part because people do not think that his hits record is “tainted.”

      I think he should be in the Hall, but I’ve always thought of Rose as a self-promoting phony even before the gambling. Running to first base on walks and running over catchers in exhibition games doesn’t really impress me that much.

  11. John Leavy says:

    You know, Joe’s pal Ken Tremendous loves to scoff at fans of players like David Eckstein. He mercilessly mocks the idea that there’s any value to being “gritty” or “scrappy.” To him, the idea that ANY player can reach the major leagues through sheer determination, without serious skills or athletic ability, is absurd.

    But Joe pretty much buys into the idea that Pete Rose had no physical gifts, but became a star through grit, pluck and hard work. When do you suppose Ken Tremendous will fisk Joe for his silliness?

    • Ian R. says:

      Ken Tremendous poked fun at fans of David Eckstein (and Darin Erstad and Juan Pierre and others) because they argued that his “grit” and “scrappiness” provided some kind of intangible value, something that made him significantly better than his mediocre on-field performance would indicate. Pete Rose was anything but a mediocre player (at least, in his prime), and Joe claims that, through sheer determination, he exceeded his physical gifts in a tangible way. They seem like superficially similar arguments, but Joe’s has actual evidence to back it up.

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