Pete Rose has kept to his lie about betting on baseball for just over 26 years: He never bet on baseball while he was playing. That statement may be proven to be yet another in the list of non-truths we’ve heard over the years when professional athletes get backed into a corner by huge accusations.
Pete Rose has been recently standing behind the revised statement he made 15 years ago while being grilled by the media and all of baseball: He only bet on baseball when he was a manager.
Sorta reminds me of the half-lies a desperate husband tells a desperate housewife on those acid-reflux inducing reality shows: No baby, I never slept with your mother…or sister, I never would do that. OK, OK, so I only slept with them once, but I was really drunk and it was while we were all on vacation. Drunk vacation sex doesn’t count!
From ESPN’s Outside The Lines:
• In the time covered in the notebook, from March through July, Rose bet on at least one MLB team on 30 different days. It’s impossible to count the exact number of times he bet on baseball games because not every day’s entries are legible.
• But on 21 of the days it’s clear he bet on baseball, he gambled on the Reds, including on games in which he played.
• Most bets, regardless of sport, were about $2,000. The largest single bet was $5,500 on the Boston Celtics, a bet he lost.
• Rose bet heavily on college and professional basketball, losing $15,400 on one day in March. That came during his worst week of the four-month span, when he lost $25,500.
“This does it. This closes the door,” said John Dowd, the former federal prosecutor who led MLB’s investigation.
Charlie Hustle just had the nail hammered into his Hall Of Fame coffin with more bat-speed than any of his 4,256 career hits.
I’ve always been on Pete Rose’s side when it came to being inducted into the Hall Of Fame, I think he should be in the Hall as a player. The man transcended baseball and is the all-time hits leader, he’s arguably the best hitter in the history of the game. Yet he’s not in the Hall Of Fame, because he’s a degenerate gambler.
Babe Ruth was a misogynistic alcoholic, Ty Cobb reportedly was a complete asshole of a human being, and do I really need to get into the steroid talks? How many guys are in the HOF now that used steroids in the 80’s and 90’s?
It’s not smart to compare apples and oranges, but in the case of baseball aren’t they all just…apples? They all played the same game with roughly the same rules that has always silently condoned cheating and turned a blind eye to certain kinds of cheating.
Spitballs, Vaseline curve balls, pine tar, stealing catcher’s signs, stealing coaches signs, scuffing the ball and corked bats have all been lessor infractions that were secretly embraced as baseball lore or history of the game. It’s part of what tied the new age generations of players with the “old school” players from the baseball yester-years. The same stories about Babe Ruth calling his shot in the 1932 World Series could have been followed up with stories of drunkenness and smacking around a few of the lady-folks in the stands after the game.
I’m not saying what Pete Rose did was/is better or worse than any other cheating that baseball tends to overlook, but he’s still one of the greatest baseball players that put on a jersey. The man has 4,256 career hits!!
Put him in the Hall Of Fame now, but don’t let him ever work for a team again. He’ll have to continue living with the reality of who and what he is off the field.
Inevitably and unfortunately, these will end up being the last two images anyone will remember of Pete Rose, IN ORDER: