One of those “like and share” memes showed up on my Facebook feed this morning; it pitches the idea that former Major League Baseball star Pete Rose deserves induction into the baseball Hall of Fame.
I want to “share” this view: Absolutely not! There is no way Rose should be inducted into MLB’s hallowed shrine.
OK, I get that “Charlie Hustle” is the all-time hit leader. I realize he won three batting titles during his career playing for the Cincinnati Reds, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Montreal Expos. He was one of the leaders of the Big Red Machine in the early 1970s. Yeah, the guy was a serious overachiever on the baseball field. Rose wasn’t blessed with great natural talent, but he worked his a** off to achieve excellence on the baseball field.
He also had a gambling problem. He bet on baseball games. Rose got caught doing it.
The baseball rulebook has a significant penalty attached to those who are caught gambling on baseball games. It calls for a “lifetime” ban from the game. That means, as I have interpreted it, that he can never be brought back into the game. Thus, he cannot be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Second chance? Forget about it!
Criminal defendants get sentenced to lifetime prison terms “with no possibility of parole.” I am not equating what Rose did with criminals who commit crimes such as murder or sexual assault, but the baseball rulebook does not stipulate a provision for a suspension of the “lifetime” ban from baseball.
You may accuse me of being a harda** if you wish. My love for the game of baseball is intact. Pete Rose sullied his on-the-field accomplishments by succumbing to his off-the-field weakness.
He doesn’t belong in baseball’s Hall of Fame.