“I am terribly sorry for my actions and
for my bad judgment in ever wagering on baseball, and I deeply
regret waiting so many years to come clean,” said Rose
on the ESPN Website.
The interview with Gipson coincides with Rose’s new autobiography
My Prison Without Bars, which contains the whole story of his
betting and his regrets over what he did.
Will Rose’s confession be enough for one of baseball’s
greats to finally have his name removed from baseballs ineligible
list and his accomplishments recognized so that his plaque may
be placed in the Baseball Hall of Fame? Or will his confession
still leave Rose without baseball’s highest honor, Cooperstown?
Rose was placed on Major League Baseball’s permanent ineligible
list by the commissioner at the time, A. Bartlett Giamatti, on
August 23, 1989 on the grounds of allegations made in a 225-page
report done by John Dowd, an investigator hired by MLB. That
report stated that he bet on 412 baseball games including 52
games played by his own Reds team, though he never bet against
his own team.
During Rose’s 13-year career he became one of the greatest
baseball players ever to step onto the diamond. He established
himself as the all-time hits leader in baseball history with
4,256 hits, surpassing the great Ty Cobb on Sept. 11, 1985. He
is the only player in MLB history to start more than 500 games
at five different positions. He played on three World Series
teams and six pennant-winning teams. He was the MVP of the National
League in 1973, won three batting titles, and has the National
League record for the longest hitting streak, which stands at
If those numbers don’t speak for themselves what does?
The fact that Rose finally came out publicly reassures the
baseball world that he finally realizes what he did tarnished
and his name. Nonetheless, no one can ever take away the numbers
that Rose put up as a player, and no one in 19 years has had
as many hits as he did. The only way baseball and its fans can
honor that record is to forgive him for what he did as a manger.
Coming out with the truth was belated, but the important fact
is that he finally did come out with the truth.
There is no evidence Rose ever gambled as a player, only as
a manger. MLB honors players and managers, but no one is
honoring Rose as a manager. So
isn’t the Hall of Fame a place where players are to be honored for their
accomplishments on the field, rather than what they do off the field? That is
why it’s called the Baseball Hall of Fame, not the good citizen’s
Hall of Fame.
Rule five of the Hall of Fame states that “Voting shall be based upon the
player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character,
and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”
Rose demonstrated all of the above during his playing career.
he did as a manager that hurt him and MLB. But he is not going to be going into
the Hall as a manager.
It’s unfortunate that Rose became addicted to gambling. If he had have
been addicted to drugs, instead, the 15-year debate might have never started.
Baseball has a drug rehabilitation program for any player who
tests positive for drugs. Once a player tests positive, he
is suspended from baseball until
he goes to the rehabilitation center. Once he is released, he is free to come
back to baseball for a second, third, or fourth chance. But there is no gamblers
unanimous with meetings to go to if you get caught gambling. No second chances
for gamblers. Is that fair?
For example Steve Howe, a pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers
during the 1980’s,
was suspended during the 1984 season. A year later, Howe, resurfaced in the majors
where he stumbled from team to team until June of 1992. That year MLB commissioner
Fay Vincent gave Howe a lifetime ban from MLB for violating a drug aftercare
program, when Howe was caught purchasing a gram of cocaine in Montana. Howe was
reinstated back into baseball five months later when an arbitrator argued that
the pitcher depended on cocaine to help him with his Attention Deficit Disorder.
If that’s the case, Rose should have hired an arbitrator to say that gambling
helped him solve his money problems off the field.
Rose’s case is simple. He just wants in the Hall of Fame. He is not asking
to become a manager again: he doesn’t want to be actively involved in baseball
again. He just doesn’t want to be forgotten for what he did on the field.
Cooperstown already has 28 Rose items on display Now all the
Hall is waiting for is the final piece to the collection,
the plaque of “Charlie Hustle.”
Rose has done all that he can do to help his case in the reinstatement
process. Now the ball is in current MLB commissioner Bud