Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Z_CNHI News Service

June 19, 2014

Baseball should reinstate Pete Rose

It would be simple to study Pete Rose’s record as a player with the Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies and determine whether he should be elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame. Certainly. Absolutely. Without a doubt.

But because of Rose’s foolish choice to bet heavily on sports, especially baseball, there's never been a vote about his worthiness to be inducted in the game’s shrine in Cooperstown, N.Y. After a long investigation conducted by Major League Baseball, Rose was banned from the game.

There was every reason to agree with Commissioner Bart Giamatti’s decision in 1989 to end Rose’s association with baseball. It meant little that Rose held the record for career hits. He knowingly broke one of baseball’s sacred rules, and there was a steep price to pay.

Rose, who once accepted the cheers and accolades of a champion, faced a life of shame and ridicule.

Many years have passed, and the once-great player has survived by signing autographs along the Las Vegas strip and about anywhere else someone will give him an appearance fee. It’s as if he’s been imprisoned but not locked behind bars.

This summer marks the 25th anniversary of Giamatti’s ruling and certainly will draw a public review of Rose’s actions and the appropriateness of his lifetime ban. In fact, it’s already begun.

This week Rose served a day as manager of the Bridgeport, Conn., Bluefish, an independent league team, and again expressed hope that one day his lifetime ban will be lifted. He sounded contrite in an interview with ESPN’s Darren Rovell: “I’ve waited 25 years but I’ve done so because I was the one who screwed up. And if I were given a second chance, I would be the happiest guy in the world.”

The question to consider, as in most matters where rules were broken and punishment assigned, is whether Rose has repaid his debt to his profession and a loving fan base? Has the fallen been punished enough? Is he truly repentant?

Over the years I’ve had little mercy for Rose. He was a person with great skill but little integrity.

Yet, at times it was difficult to reconcile my feelings for him as one of the greatest players of all time – especially as an athlete who led his hometown team to championships – with that of a ballplayer whose achievements were masked by mistrust and suspicion.

I’ve now changed my mind. The time has come for Rose to be admitted to the Hall of Fame. He has lived with shame for long enough.

There are those who think the cardinal sin he committed can never be erased or repaid. That’s their opinion.

Given the problems that baseball and all professional have faced over the years - especially the carefree use of drugs - Rose’s ban is worthy of a second look.

Public opinion polls continue to show strong support for acknowledging Rose’s achievements. It would also seem appropriate that any plaque for him note his long banishment from the game. It’s all part of his story.

How this could happen and by whom is unclear. If Giamatti banned him, it would seem right that Bud Selig, the outgoing commissioner, reinstate him before leaving office at the end of the year. It might be similar to a president pardoning someone as he leaves the White House.

Rose has been a conflicting figure for as long as he’s been around the game. He’s not alone. Baseball has long had those who tarnished the game with their misdeeds - the Chicago "Black Sox" who threw the 1919 World Series;  Detroit’s Denny McLain, who was as accomplished at embezzlement as he was pitching; and all those players associated with steroids and performance enhancing drugs.

There’s no question about Rose’s guilt. There should also be no doubt that he’s paid a high price for his crime.

Tom Lindley is a CNHI sports columnist. Reach him at tlindley@cnhi.com.

Tom Lindley is a CNHI sports columnist. Reach him at tlindley@cnhi.com.

1
Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Rodden, Danny.jpg Sheriff accused of lying about relationship with prostitute

    The sheriff of Clark County, Ind., faces an eight-count federal indictment that accuses him of lying about paying a prostitute for a sex act and giving her a badge so that she could claim a discount rate at a hotel.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL's image

    Pro football training camps should be all about, well, football. But the talk around the NFL is about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension, Tony Dungy's indelicate remarks about Michael Sam and Jim Irsay's largesse. What kind of league is Roger Goodell running?

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando
Seasonal Content
House Ads
Twitter Updates
Front page
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide