So he finally admitted that he bet on baseball. Now he expects to be reinstated into baseball and elected to the Hall of Fame. No way, says I.
By betting on baseball he irreparably damaged the game and his admission does not mitigate that damage. The fact is that Rose lied publicly and, presumably, privately about his betting for 13 years and in the process insulted the game and its fans.
Now he wants us to believe that while he bet on baseball he never bet against his own team. Why should we believe him now? Because he’s got a book coming out on Thursday? Please. Think you can hustle me a second time, Charlie?
There’s no question that his accomplishments on the field qualify him for the Hall of Fame. But his misdeeds off the field – first the betting itself then lying about it – disqualify him because they damaged the game.
He hasn’t even said he’s sorry. He’s said he “accepts responsibility.” The least he could do at this point is sound contrite. Instead he sounds as if he’s making this admission to a) satisfy a requirement for reinstatement set by the Commissioner and b) sell some books.
Forgiveness and absolution go hand in hand, but they are not inseparable. The Commissioner should forgive Rose for his past transgressions – both betting and lying, but he should not reinstate him. Reinstatement implies absolution and one cannot be absolved of one’s sins while remaining impenitent.
Rose agreed to leave baseball for life in 1989. He should stay gone.
Yes, I realize that I’m a hard-ass. I did not, however, just discover that. Yes, I realize that my arithmetic is faulty. He’s been lying about this for over 14, not 13, years.
My cynicism is not diminished by realizing that the 2004 inductees into the Hall get announced tomorrow. Rose shows again how little respect he has for the game.
And the title of Rose’s book? My Prison Without Bars. Please. Pete Rose the victim? Bullshit. He does not get my vote for parole.