Are we finally done with the whole "Put Pete Rose in the Baseball Hall of Fame" thing now? Ever since Rose voluntarily accepted a lifetime ban from baseball by Commissioner Bart Giamatti we have heard ad nauseum from Rose apologists who say he should be inducted because the Hall is only about what a person does on the field--and Pete only gambled on baseball when he was a manager. Well that defense was blown out of the water this week by a report from ESPN that a newly-discovered notebook shows Rose was betting on games as a player as well.
This new revelation should come as no surprise to anyone. The Pete Rose Saga has been a continuous cycle of accusation, denial, discovery of evidence and eventual admission. The reason Rose volunteered to take the lifetime ban is because the agreement would allow him to continue to deny ever betting on baseball. And Rose kept up that façade for several years--until finally admitting to betting on the sport--but never on Reds games--in a "tell all book".
The "I never bet on the Reds" garbage went on for a few years until Rose thought their might be a glimmer of hope for re-instatement--at which time he went on the TV interview circuit to "finally come clean" and to admit that he did in fact bet on Reds games--but only on them to win. (Which logic would tell you that if he did not bet on them on certain days--usually when he bullpen was spent--that he was heading to the ballpark with the expectation of losing that day, or else he would have put some money on his own team, wouldn't he?)
Since then, we've put up with the "he never gambled while playing" narrative for several years. And MLB was going to allow Rose to take part in All-Star Game festivities in Cincinnati next month. Many saw it as yet another opening for Pete to get in the good graces of the baseball world and to build support for his latest re-instatement push. And right on cue, more of his lies are exposed to the world. It wouldn't surprise me if Pete uses All-Star weekend to "finally come clean" (again) and "really put all of this behind him".
Somehow, there will be some sycophants who STILL insist on putting Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame. "Just put him on the ballot and let the writers decide" they will implore. But we all know what will happen if that does take place. One of the scumbag bookies that took Rose's bets--or one of the "collectors" of those bets--will come out with accusations that Pete offered to throw games in order settle his debts. And the cycle of denial will start all over again--until Rose figures out a way to make a few bucks on "finally, finally telling the whole story".
Or we can just keep Pete Rose where he belongs--as far away from baseball and the Hall of Fame--until the punishment he willingly accepted: a LIFETIME ban runs its entire course. And then we can consider his eligibility without having to put up with all of the lies.