Class Warfare Blog

January 8, 2014

Baseball Sniffery

Filed under: Sports — Steve Ruis @ 10:45 am
Tags: , , ,

It is Baseball Hall of Fame time and there will be the usual stories, about worthy players who did not get in and unworthy players who did. The reason for this of course, is that there are no definitive standards for entry into the Hall of Fame. Many people do not even know that the Hall of Fame is not a part of Major League Baseball, but a private organization.

It is also an occasion to dust off the “case” of Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds. Rose accepted “permanent banishment” from MLB due to a betting scandal. The games that Mr. Rose bet on included even those of his own team, but there is no evidence that he ever bet against his own team (The investigator, Mr. Dowd, claimed “that he believed that Rose may have bet against the Reds while managing them.”) The point being that as the player-manager of the Reds, Mr. Rose would be in position to affect a game he bet on to lose but not in a position to win a game he bet on. Winning games is hard enough, but throwing a game is possible.

So, Mr. Rose has been denied his rightful position (having acquired more hits than any other player in history, etc.) among the pantheon of all-time greats due to his violation of a baseball rule “thou shalt not bet on games.” But his betting activities were discovered after Mr. Rose had retired, so MLB had no avenue to punish Mr. Rose for his peccadillo except to jigger a block to his entry to the Baseball Hall of Fame, with which it is not connected except by subject.

The solution is simple: Mr. Rose was ostensibly the Player-Manager of the Reds at the time of his betting, but his playing days were quite over. So, deny him entrance into the Hall as a manager, but allow him to come up on the ballot as a player. His credentials are as good as anyone who ever entered the Hall, so eventually the voters will do the right thing and allow him in. Actually, I have little faith in the voters because they make up their own rules, one of which is to punish those who violate the sanctity of the game, which surely has to be a joke as baseball’s history is replete with overt racism, murders, guns on the field, umpires being beaten, etc. Sanctity my ass. Baseball has always been a sport rough around the edges, like boxing and football, and if boxers and football players with criminal records can get into their shrines, why not Mr. Rose? At least he deserves a vote.



  1. Indian/Pakistani betting (racketeering) on cricket has become so precise that tens of thousands of dollars are placed on individual balls delivered. (In cricket a bowler bowls 6 balls, which is called an “over,” then another bowler bowls 6 from the other end, another “over”). All sorts of things can go on in a single delivery (much like baseball) from a wide, to a no-ball, a bouncer, whatever. The corrupted Indian/Paki players were delivering specific balls in specific overs, making it next to impossible to ever reveal the illegal gambling.


    Comment by john zande — January 8, 2014 @ 12:03 pm | Reply

    • This all came about because of some “fixing” of baseball games and, overduing it as always, betting was outlawed, even though if you bet upon one’s own team to win, it could only motivate those players so betting. Pete Rose wasn’t the most likeable player but his nickname tells you eberything you need to know “Charlie Hustle.” He played the game all out and very, very well. While I wasn’t a fan of his I respect his accomplishments and I think he was bullied into his present position which is unseemly at best.

      I guess I could say I would be “bowled over” if his critics were to relent. (That is a cricket term, no?)


      Comment by stephenpruis — January 8, 2014 @ 12:31 pm | Reply

  2. Enough hypocrisy! Pete Rose, imperfect but human, deserves to be in the Hall of Fame!


    Comment by drakodoc — January 8, 2014 @ 10:08 pm | Reply

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