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Counterpoint- Why Pete Rose should NOT be in the Hall of Fame....
Posted 01 December 2011 - 02:19 PM
Nothing personal, but I couldn't disagree more. I have read much about this topic(including all 225 pages of the Dowd report), and I am kind of a baseball history geek( a geek in many other ways too), so I would at least like to offer a counter-point.
PART 1 HISTORY-First you have to understand "gambling" in the historic context of baseball. The scandal of the White Sox of 1919(which there appears to be evidence now that they got the idea of throwing the series from the '18 Cubs...insert index finger in collar and pull) would have ruined baseball forever if it had not been for Babe Ruth. Most baseball historians view Babe and his success as literally saving the game from possible extinction. So fair or not, gambling was/is considered a more heinous crime due to that fact. All MLB players are made clear of this fact the first time they enter a clubhouse. So yes, players have used amphetemines, doctored baseballs, and cheated in many other ways. One of the most famous homeruns of all time, Bobby Thompson's shot heard 'round the world in the '51 series, has now been confirmed to have been the result of an illegaly stolen sign, thus Thompson knew what was coming. So i understand the want to compare gambling to all of these other infractions, but like the uniqueness of baseball's anti-trust exemption, gambling is the most unforgivable sin in the game.
PART 2 DOWD REPORT AND PETE'S RESPONSE- The Dowd report proves Pete bet on baseball. The common shout is "but he only bet on the Reds!"
First of, as alluded to in other posts, there is some evidence that he bet against them and on other games. For the sake of argument, let's just say he only did bet on the Reds. Here is why this is an unforgivable sin against the integrity of baseball. Like most gamblers, Pete lost more than he won. So let's say he is "chasing it" and wagers more money than he normally would on a meaningless game(for the Reds) against the Braves. Pete is going to make moves he might not normally make out of desperation to win that game. He uses pitchers he might not normally pitch, may throw them longer than he normally would, he does everything to win that game. Now, you would argue that the Braves are also doing everything to win that game, but the Braves also must keep an eye on tomorrow in a 162 game baseball season. Unless he has already contacted his bookie, Pete is not as worried about tomorrow's game. This sets off a domino effect that could have ramifications on the entire league with too many variables to even fathom. The Red's pitchers are gassed out for the next game, which allows the Braves to clinch? Pete rests players on days when he is not wagering on the team? Pete sets up his rotation to coincide with bigger bets? I could go on and on and on. It is an unforgivable act.
Ah you say, America is a forgiving society! Look at Michael Vick, Ray Lewis, and Rob Lowe(keep on naming them if you would like!) The catch is you must show remorse. Not only did Pete deny, deny, deny for 20 years, he was a complete ass-face about it. Playing the persecuted martyr, against overwhelming evidence. Then he comes clean(kind of) and expects all to be forgiven and still acts like a complete jerk about it. I know, I know there are many jerks, racists and thugs in the Hall, but they didn't bet on baseball. They also don't go to Cooperstown on Hall of Fame weekend, a few blocks from the actual "Hall", and sign baseballs.
PART 3 COMPARING HIM TO STEROID CHEATS- This is a very slippery slope. Why do career "spit-ballers" Phil Niekro and Gaylord Perry get to be in the hall, and not Mark McGwire? It's almost like when these pitchers did this it was considered "cute", even though they were breaking the rules. However I would refer back to my part 1, concerning the historic impact of gambling. Right or wrong, cheating to win in baseball is looked at differently than gambling.
It affects the integrity of the game as well, but not necessarily collectively as a manager betting on a team. However, I can see both sides of this point.
PART 4 ONE OF THE GREATEST TO EVER PLAY- Numbers wise, without a doubt he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Even using new fangled advanced metrics he comes out pretty good(75 career WAR). So I am not arguing his numbers aren't deserving of the Hall. Baseball reference puts him as the 33rd best hitter of all time. Many of his numbers are due to his longevity and durabilty(admirable qualities). How did he have almost 900 plate appearances one year! A versatile, yet average defender. Hall of Fame career. He just does not belong with names like Musial, Williams, DiMaggio, Mays, and Frank Robinson.
So have at it Sam, tear my arguments to shreds, I will take no offense whatsoever. I enjoy a good, clean, solid baseball debate! Maybe I am tainted because of the memory of him cheap shotting Ray Fosse in an All-Star game, or when his hit streak was broken and he was whining that Atlanta pitcher Gene Garber was "pitching like it was the 7th game of the World series" to end his streak. As a kid I initially liked him as a player, who wouldn't? However as a human being, Charlie Hustle leaves a lot to be desired.
Posted 01 December 2011 - 03:57 PM
Posted 01 December 2011 - 03:59 PM
Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:07 PM
I believe the reason that he agreed to the ban was precisely that!
I am with you and think that he should not be allowed in. and in regards to him agreeing to a ban, If Rose agreed to a ban what did he get in return? - Why would he ever agree to that unless there was a signifcant return? Maybe he agree to it to cover the evidence that he bet against his own team. This is pure speculation on my part, but why would he agree to it?
MLB, while completing their investigation, was willing to issue their report (the Dowd Report - http://baseball1.com...se/dowd-report/) without making any 'affirmative determination' of Rose's guilt regarding baseball betting. Rose, in the agreement, admitted that MLB had a "factual basis to impose the penalty" of his lifetime ban. (http://baseball1.com.../agreement.html)
Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:16 PM
Excellent post Chris, thanks for saying the thoughts I've had on this. Rose definitely deserves to be in, but not in his lifetime.
Not sure I agree that he should only be let in once he is deceased. The player deserves to make it, or not make it. It should make no difference whether he is around to enjoy it. "You can go to the hall, but only once your dead, cause we don't want you to enjoy it." Sounds a bit cynical to me.
Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:20 PM
Yeah, but he agreed not to be. Forever. In writing. Whether you think he deserves it, even whether he thinks he deserves it (now), he agreed to that in writing. It seems pretty cut-and-dried to me.
Well written article as always Chris, also very classy. And I too enjoy a good debate. Now that being said, I think that the worst thing that a baseball player can do is steroids. Steroids give the user an unfair advantage, not to mention that it makes the whole sport look bad. My point is, cheating is cheating, and I think that if baseball is going to allow hitters like McGuire, who used steroids, into the HOF ballot then Rose deserves to be on the ballot.
RE: steroids. I have nothing but contempt for those who used performance-enhancing drugs throughout baseball's history (ok, 'cept for Doc Ellis). But I think that Chris' comment sums the difference between steroids and gambling really well: "[When gambling] Pete is going to make moves he might not normally make out of desperation to win that game. He uses pitchers he might not normally pitch, may throw them longer than he normally would, he does everything to win that game..." because he has adirect, personal, financial stake in the outcome.
Steroids, while they skew stats and force changes to players' approaches to the game, don't affect the game in the same way.
On a side note, Sam, I really appreciate your presence here on the boards. You've got great skills at provoking thoughtful debate, whether music, movies, or baseball.
Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:26 PM
the Hall of Fame is filled with inequities, and I read a very interesting book about the family who runs the HOF in Cooperstown....very political and also kind of creepy, the MLB is only a partner with them.....the idea that Abner Doubleday invented the game there on that field is a total sham.....
I plan on writinig an article some day about how stupid some of the HOF voting is...I have been there though...it is cool
Posted 01 December 2011 - 07:02 PM
Al: With every bullet, so far.
Posted 01 December 2011 - 07:44 PM
Comparing gambling in baseball to steroids is not the same. Steroids we're ignored and that ignorance became a affirmation to use steroids. Gambling was never ignored and every player knew that it was the Cardinal Sin of baseball.
So randomly connecting the dots into a conspiracy theory one get Cardinals-Reds-Communism. It's all makes sense, Rose=Lenin and LaRussa=Stalin but who is Trotsky?
Posted 01 December 2011 - 08:05 PM
Posted 01 December 2011 - 10:13 PM
thumbnail this was supposed to be a picture of Trotsky...I need to go to bed
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