Friday, August 21, 2009

Gambling on Baseball

Baseball fans were entertained by the always-quotable Rickey Henderson at the most recent induction ceremony for the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, but another familiar face was once again missing. Pete Rose (baseball's all-time hit leader) was once again passed over for election to the Hall of Fame and missing from the festivities, banished from baseball for gambling on games.

While it's hard to argue that "Charlie Hustle" screwed up (especially since he even bet on his own team while managing the Cincinnati Reds), many feel that Rose has suffered enough for his bad behavior, especially in light of all of the steroids allegations and scandals in recent years.

Major League Baseball threw the book at Rose when he admitted to betting on games, as at the time he was the poster child for a misbehaving athlete, but his exploits seem very tame today in light of other scandals that have erupted in recent years, including rampant steroid use, drug problems, dog fighting rings, drunken driving manslaughter charges, and pistols accidentally going off in night clubs.

Only time will tell if Rose makes it into the Hall of Fame despite his love of gambling, but if commentator Jim Gray has a say in the matter, it may still be a long wait:


Scotty said...

In my opinion Pete Rose has to be in the Hall of Fame. He has paid his dues, he has apologized for his actions, and other Hall of Famers are now speaking out in favor of Pete's induction, namely Hank Aaron.

My problem with the lifetime ban for Rose is this, gambling on baseball has nothing to do with the outcome of a baseball game. Yes he bet on his team while he managed them, however as baseball fans and players know, no matter how hard you try to win, sometimes you lose and no matter how hard you try to lose, sometimes you still win. I am anxiously waiting to see how those with Hall of Fame votes treat players who have been linked to PEDs. These athletes took substances which enhanced their abilities and very often helped affect the outcomes of baseball games.

While I don't agree with what Rose did, I think it is a huge strike against the game of baseball to not allow its all-time hit king into the Hall of Fame. I am especially afraid that if and when the people decide to allow Pete to enter the Hall, he won't be around to see it and that would be an even bigger injustice than keeping him out.

GM-Carson said...

I'm all for Charlie Hustle being inducted. Well said Scotty.

Burton said...

Hear Hear!

tamtam said...

i'd like to see pete rose inducted into the HOF too. i agree, scotty-betting on baseball has nothing to do with the outcome of the game. it may influence the way you manage the game to make it the desired outcome, but the act of gambling on the team itself isn't gonna change the game any more than if the team wears grey uniforms on a day they normally wear red uniforms.

if pete rose is still rejected, then all the PED users can kiss their HOF chances goodbye.

Elizabeth said...

While I read your recent article on gambling and professional baseball with great interest. I can’t help but wonder if the problem begins in the minor leagues.

Did you know that a certaini California Baseball Commissioner is a HUGE high roller in Las Vegas? Perhaps this double standard facilitates the continuation of gambling in the Majors! It surely makes me wonder why a player could be banned for life for gambling, while a Commissioner gambles regularly with no questions asked.

Can’t help but think there is a direct correlation in bad behavior here!

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