Baseball's All-Star Game was played Tuesday night in Cincinnati, and new Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred allowed former Reds player Pete Rose to participate. He has even said he'll review Rose's case, to see if the all-time hits leader should be reinstated. Here are ten dumb arguments in favor of Rose that Manfred is likely to hear.
10) Rose's hit record is not listed in Cooperstown. Actually, it is. And Cooperstown has Pete Rose memorabilia. The Hall of Fame just doesn't honor him as an inductee.
9) Major League Baseball is hypocritical because it gets money from gambling. Vegas lets people bet money on card playing. But casinos don't let the dealer place side bets, do they? Fans may bet, but employees can't. Hopefully, this example will help you understand why.
8) Pete Rose only bet on his team to win. Well, that's what he claims. He also claimed he never bet on baseball, and then later admitted he bet only as a manager, not a player. Now we know he bet as a player. We already know he made very questionable decisions while managing the game. It's only a matter of time before we learn more truth about his gambling habits.
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7) Legalizing gambling won't hurt Major League Baseball. A Boston columnist said that because players make more money, they won't gamble. Rose wasn't gambling because he was on welfare or food stamps. Other well-paid players admitted they would have gambled if not for the well-known ban that Pete Rose violated.
6) Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame because of his records. He isn't enshrined as an inductee, because the induction criteria include "playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, their contributions to the team." With the gambling and lying and team manipulations, Rose fails 80 percent of the criteria. The English teacher doesn't overlook plagiarism because the student would have received an "A+" otherwise.
5) Other jerks have been accepted into the Hall of Fame. Columnists often bring up how Adrian "Cap" Anson once told a black player to get off the field, and claimed it somehow led to a lengthy 1888-1947 ban on blacks in baseball. Perhaps Anson's place in the Hall of Fame should also be reexamined. But because Anson did something bad, that doesn't mean Rose should be reinstated. A murderer can't say he should be pardoned because Mexican gangster "El Chapo" killed more people.
4) Pete Rose played the game the way it was meant to be played. Sure he ran the bases hard. ut every clubhouse says "No Gambling" as its number one rule, and Rose broke that. Rose knew about that rule, and what happened to the 1919 Chicago White Sox. It's not as if this is an obscure rule.
3) Pete Rose said he should have beat his wife instead. Rose actually said, "I picked the wrong vice. I should have picked alcohol. I should have picked drugs or I should have picked up beating up my wife or girlfriend because if you do those three, you get a second chance." in a radio interview. He could have said that other people did bad things and were forgiven, and he deserves another chance. But look what he said instead.
2) Baseball's ban on Pete Rose is similar to the ban on blacks. I kid you not. This insinuation has actually been made. Blacks were banned for how they were born. Rose was banned for breaking the rules. These are totally different arguments. It's an insult to black players.
1) Baseball will have "no integrity" unless Pete Rose is reinstated. That's right. Some writer actually claimed this. So baseball has "no integrity" unless it breaks its number one rule? In true Orwellian fashion, this is saying "three strikes and you're safe!"
No, the Pete Rose ban needs to continue, as there is no really good reason for admitting him. The moment MLB reinstates Rose, it will become the equivalent of professional wrestling, as players and managers will have a green light to manipulate outcomes as they see fit.
John A. Tures, professor of political science at LaGrange College; firstname.lastname@example.org.