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'Tis All a Cheat
2007-03-14 21:05
by Mike Carminati

When I consider life, 'tis all a cheat.
Yet fool'd with hope, men favour the deceit;
Trust on, and think to-morrow will repay.
To-morrow 's falser than the former day;
Lies worse, and while it says we shall be blest
With some new joys, cuts off what we possest.
Strange cozenage! none would live past years again,
Yet all hope pleasure in what yet remain;
And from the dregs of life think to receive
What the first sprightly running could not give.

—John Dryden, Aurengzebe. Act iv. Sc. 1.

No treaty is ever an impediment to a cheat.

"I bet on my team every night. I didn't bet on my team four nights a week. I was wrong… I bet on my team to win every night because I love my team, I believe in my team. I did everything in my power every night to win that game."
—Pete Rose.
Today on Dan Patrick's radio show, Pete Rose made this admission that, in my opinion, seals his fate forever.

Baseball's misconduct rules are quit explicit in this area:


(d) BETTING ON BALL GAMES. Any player, umpire, or club official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has no duty to perform shall be declared ineligible for one year. Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.

Rose admits his guilt. He bet on a "baseball game in connection with which [he,] the bettor [had] a duty to perform". Well, not just one game, but many, many games, seemingly every game for some portion of his professional career. I suppose it was, as the Dowd Report alleged (and quite unsuccessfully), during his tenure as manager in Cincinnati.

So Rose is not just banned for this lifetime but many, many lifetimes to come, in case he sold his soul to the devil (or Ray Walston) and plans to come back as Tab Hunter a few more times.

The ultimate irony is that had Rose just kept his mouth shut, he probably would have been reinstated by now. Bud Selig was seemingly floating the idea of his reinstatement. Ex-teammates who were eminent representatives of the game, like Hall-of-Famers Joe Morgan and Mike Schmidt, were speaking favorable about his rehabilitation.

And then came Rose's juicy memoir, My Prison Without Bars, in which Rose first admitted that he bet on the Reds, but to win. Now comes his admission that he was basically addicted to betting on the Reds, but always to win, as if that makes it OK.

Apparently, Rose felt that this admission would clear the way for resuscitating his baseball career. Many in the media had asked for Rose's contrite admission. It appears that they got what they asked for, but the only problem is that he is now clearly unredeemable to the baseball world.

Could baseball possibly make an exception to one of most basic procedural rules, which is in part credited with saving the game after the Black Sox scandal, for Rose? Why not for Buck Weaver? Or Joe Jackson? Heck, even the Eliot Asinof-indicted members of the White Sox have a better (or is it bettor?) case than Rose. They at least did not have the rule codified while these players threw the World Series.

And yet Rose is surprised that he has yet to be reinstated, especially given that he is "the best ambassador baseball has." If true, that is a shockingly sad statement. What about the sixteen thousand or so major-leaguers that never bet on a game?

Rose know, however, that it's "all about dollars… If [Rose] was [sic] ever reinstated. If an owner don't [sic] want to win and draw people, don't call [his] number." Hey, allowing the winning team to slaughter the loser after the game would probably put fannies in seats, but would be problematic on many levels (most of all, how do you recruit enough talent to sustain a 162-game schedule, given that even your best teams are going to be killed off at least 60 times a season).

Shockingly, though, the ESPN poll that accompanies their Rose article shows that more than two-thirds of the over thirty-two thousand respondents feel that Rose should be reinstated. Now, I know that American voters are dumb—how else do you explain Sanjaya?—but Rose is one of the most clearly guilty individuals this side of the Bush administration.

Please America turn your back on this charlatan. He's a ruthless (or Ruthless) self-promoter. Always has been, always will be. He was a hot dog when he ran out walks much to the burbling pleasure of the baseball commentators of his day and the facile analysis. He was allowed to insert himself into the lineup and extend his career ludicrously longer than he should have without a peep from the media.

Rose was a great player once, but he always enjoyed a free ride when it came to his eccentricities. The media chose to see them as endearing and his persona was born. That was fine when he was still operating with the strictures of the game. Now that he repeatedly admitted to breaking the game's most basic procedural rule, it's time to close the book on Peter Edward Rose, Sr.

He should never again be allowed to manage. He should be barred from induction in the Hall of Fame for all time. In short, any involvement that Rose should have in the game is all in the past, as a cautionary tale, not in the future as a thriving representative of the game.

2007-03-14 21:21:03
1.   Bob Timmermann
I always consider John Dryden, Sophocles, and Pete Rose to be "The Big Three."
2007-03-14 21:37:04
2.   Mike Carminati
Too bad Beane couldn't pay their salaries and had to split them up.
2007-03-14 22:50:53
3.   Ken Arneson
You see kids? Let this be a lesson to you. Never, ever confess.
2007-03-15 02:36:22
4.   Murray
Who bets on the same team to win all the time unless it's the Globetrotters? What a dope.

I also like that Rose says he's the best ambassador the game has. With ambassadors like this, who needs an army?

2007-03-15 11:27:53
5.   rbj
Well put Mike.
2007-03-15 13:01:24
6.   bryanf

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