Thursday, June 25, 2015

Rose to the Occasion

A rose by any other name would still put fifty bucks on the Padres at home
Here are the things you need to understand about the latest Pete Rose gambling "revelation":

It has been known for a very long time that Pete Rose bet on baseball when he was a player. The problem being, the source for that information was a criminal figure, citing him would have conjured up all sorts of deniability arguments, and it was easier for Dowd and Giamatti to nail Rose to the wall with the incontrovertible proof that didn't include testimony from a guy whose middle name was "the".

It has been known for a very long time that Pete Rose is a liar. He's the equivalent of the six year old kid who tells the grownups what he thinks they want to hear, and when he inevitably gets caught, doesn't understand what the big deal is. He has lied about betting on baseball. He has lied about betting on baseball while playing. He has lied about drug use. He has lied about just about everything imaginable - seriously, if you got one-of-a-kind autographed memorabilia from Rose, get it checked - and yet a certain subset of the baseball writing community insists on buying his latest round of malarkey because Rose reminds them of themselves when they were unathletic 11 year olds without a fixed position on their little league teams.

It has been known for a very long time that Pete Rose voluntarily signed a lifetime ban from baseball. That he was aware of what he was signing when he signed it, and that he had at least a basic understanding of what the word "lifetime" meant. That he then immediately started lobbying against the thing he had signed on a platform that could best be described as "aww, but ain't I cute?" demonstrated once again how lightly he valued his word. That numerous other folk lined up behind him waving various degrees of willful ignorance of what Rose had actually signed demonstrates how much reading comprehension has slipped in America.

It has been known for a very long time that the Hall of Fame's decision to ban Rose from induction as a player - there's plenty of evidence of his deeds in there - was not directly tied to the pledge Rose signed and then started trying to renege on. The Hall is not part of MLB and it makes its own decisions. They decided to ban Rose, and the commissioner has no formal ability to change that.

It has been known for a very long time that most of the "reinstate Rose!" crowd has little to no grasp of the facts listed above. This will not stop them. The latest revelation will not stop them, either - they're already regrouping and saying, "well, it was much worse that he bet on games as a manager".

To which one can only say: No. Stop. This is not about Pete Rose any more. This about you feeling good about a guy you loved as a kid. The actual guy, the lantern-jawed, greenie-popping, lying, gambling, cheerfully unrepentant huckster who appears completely unaware of the definition of the word "consequences", he's just a symbol at this point. Let it, and him, go.
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