Major League Baseball's Commissioner, Rob Manfred, issued a statement yesterday in which he declared that Pete Rose's lifetime ban from all things associated with baseball will be upheld. Pete had petitioned MLB to remove the ban from over his head and allow him back into the game at some level. Rose was originally banned from baseball after admitting that he placed bets on the Cincinnati Reds to win baseball games while he was on the team as a player/manager. This took place from 1985-87.
According to a story in the Associated Press written by Joe Kay and Ronald Blum, "In one of his first major actions, Manfred said in a four-page decision the career hits leader admitted he has kept on betting legally on horse racing and professional sports, including baseball." Horror of horrors! Pete Rose, since being banned from baseball for the rest of his life, has done what millions of other people have done over the past thirty years, he has placed bets on baseball and horse racing. I had no idea that placing bets on baseball and horse racing was such a terrible sin. I placed a bet on baseball once. I took the "over" on the Rockies one year and put $20 on it. I ended up winning and doubling my money. Should I confess my sin to my fellow believers and seek forgiveness from Mr. Manfred for doing so?
The decision by the new commissioner of MLB is filled with self righteous proclamations that only reveal the depth of the hypocrisy that exists within that disgusting organization. Here, in part, is what he wrote, "In short, Mr. Rose has not presented credible evidence of a reconfigured life either by an honest acceptance by him of his wrongdoing, or by a rigorous, self-aware and sustained program of avoidance by him of all the circumstances that led to his permanent ineligibility in 1989....Mr. Rose has never seriously sought treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and oppositional defiant behavior, conditions he said in his 2004 had afflicted him. Mr. Rose's public and private comments, including his initial admission in 2004, provided me with little confidence that he has a mature understanding of his wrongful conduct, that he has accepted full responsibility for it, or that he understands the damage he has caused."
Are you kidding me? Mr. Commissioner, please explain to me why Mr. Rose should be expected to stop betting after he was thrown out of baseball? What possible difference does it make to you what he does in his spare time after he was banned from baseball forever? Why, oh why, should Mr. Rose be expected to present "credible evidence" to you, of all people, that he is not involved in recreational betting on baseball and horses? What possible difference could that make in any decision regarding his reinstatement to MLB?
Dragging out a couple of mythological mental illness that Pete allegedly suffers from does not aid the Commissioner in his case. So what if Pete Rose is hyperactive. So is Nolan Arenado, the all-star, gold glove, soon to be MVP third baseman of the Colorado Rockies. That does not make him a disgrace to the game of baseball. Indeed, it makes him who he is, just like Pete's hyperactivity made him into the all time hits leader in baseball. And I love the diagnosis of "oppositional defiant behavior." From the name I can tell that this "mental illness" is nothing more than the fact that somebody gets mad when some stupid person with power and authority abuses that power and authority to hurt him. Not being angry with MLB for what it has done to Pete Rose would be the weirdly dysfunctional response. Responding in anger and defiance makes perfect sense. Maybe Pete should sue MLB for not reinstating him on the grounds that he is not responsible for his present and prior behavior because of his mental illnesses.
The most galling statement in the entire report is Manfred's allegation that Pete Rose caused "damage" to baseball. I would like to know exactly what that damage was. Was it his effort? Was it his superb hitting? Was it the creation of legions of loyal fans? Was it his love of the game that spurned him to play well into his 40s? Was it his 4,256 career hits? Was it the fact that he is the only player in major league history to have played over 500 games at five different positions? Just what damage did Pete actually do?
I know some will say that he hurt the game by betting on his own team and, I will admit, that was a stupid and illegal thing to do. But please note that Pete always bet on his team to win. He never bet on his team to lose so it is not possible to accuse him of throwing games in order to win bets. He bet on his team to win because he thought they would win. I don't see why that is a bad thing, although it was against the rules of baseball and needed to be addressed by some sort of discipline, just not with a lifetime ban.
If we want to talk about harm done to baseball, let's talk about a few other fellows, shall we? Barry Bonds holds the career home run record as well as the single season home run record of 73, set in 2001. The only reason he holds those records is because he used steroids and other performance enhancing drugs for a large part of his career. Bonds made a mockery of baseball by using drugs to aid him in his quest of the home run records and when confronted about his illegal drug use he routinely lied and accused others of being out to get him. In addition Barry was a total jerk. He was rude and insolent as perpetual steroid users often are. Mr. Commissioner, please explain to me how Barry Bonds has not done more damage to baseball than Pete Rose ever did. And while you are at it, please answer that same question for Barry's drug partners, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire. Why are these men, or at least two of them, still gainfully employed by MLB teams?
Alex Rodriguez is another sterling example of someone who has done tremendous damage to baseball and yet is being ignored by the Commissioner, except to lavish him with praise. A-Rod, as he is known, is a despicable human being who continues to be showered with praise yet who has done nothing but harm to the integrity of the baseball record books. I have posted to this blog about A-Rod in the past and if you want to read his sordid story, go here.
While I am on the topic of low-life maggots masquerading as human beings, have you considered this truth? Major League Baseball's record on domestic abuse is worse than the NFL's. Go read this article if you want to find a whole host of men who are still involved with baseball despite making the habit of whooping on their women.
And while I am on the topic of illegal behavior, why have the guys seen on this graphic not been banned from baseball (or the other sports shown here) for life? As of today the only other person on baseball's "banned for life" list is Marge Schott. Some of you will recall she was the infamous owner of the Cincinnati Reds who once claimed that Hitler was a nice fellow who did a lot of good things, until he went too far, whatever that meant.
But let's not stop here. Adultery is a crime so serious God commands the death penalty for those who commit it. How many MLB baseball players have committed adultery? In the eyes of God those men should be dead for their sins but baseball not only turns a blind eye to that truth, it pretends as if adultery is a total non-issue. Now that is hypocrisy at its highest level.
The refusal by the Commissioner of MLB to reinstate Pete Rose is one of the most outrageous acts of unconscionable hypocrisy that has ever been seen in professional sports. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people who have done incalculable damage to the reputation of MLB and they are all walking around today basking in the adulation of the public. Meanwhile Rose, who has done no discernible damage to baseball at all, has received a lifetime ban and spends his life sitting in Caesar's Palace signing autographs to make a living. Here is the Mad Welshman shaking his hand.
Pete Rose is not a criminal and he should not be banned from MLB. Something is desperately wrong with MLB and it does not look like it is going to be fixed anytime in the future. How sad it all is.