During a interview on Pittsburgh radio, Pete Rose said the following:
I made mistakes. I can’t whine about it. I’m the one that messed up and I’m paying the consequences. However, if I am given a second chance, I won’t need a third chance. And to be honest with you, 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. They haven’t given too many gamblers a second chances in the world of baseball.
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
I’m uneasy standing behind Pete Rose, a guy who I’ve never liked, but he makes a great point. As has been said, “we (society) look down more on (cigarette) smokers than we do deadbeat dads.”
Pete Rose is a guy who gambled on his own team as a manager. Sure, he “always bet on his team,” but it’s still despicable. Maybe he manages a game more aggressively due to the money he has riding on the game. Who knows how it affects his managerial actions and other teams across the league. Betting on his team (rather than against) is certainly no excuse. That being said, if Pete Rose was a user of illicit drugs like Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden or so many NBA players (Michael Beasley or, according to the Onion, the entire NBA) he would be in the Hall of Fame. If he was an adulterer like Michael Jordan, he’d be in the Hall of Fame. So it’s not a character issue keeping him out, at least not logically. It’s a matter of damage to the game.
One question we should ask is “did Pete Rose have a legitimate addiction or did he purposefully cheat the game?” I say let the voters make the decision for themselves, just like they will do for those who cheated the game and showed a lack of character in other ways. If I were a Hall of Fame voter, I wouldn’t vote him in, but I’d want the option.
Pete Rose has since apologized for the “beating up my wife or girlfriend” comment. You can listen to the whole interview here.
Ryan Kantor is an author at Reading Between the Seams. He is a life-long Yankees fan and a proud Clemson alumnus, residing in North Carolina, where he works in marketing research. For more stories like this, you can visit his personal blog at RyanKantor.com and follow him on Twitter at @Ryan_Kantor.
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