In honor of opening day of baseball season I thought I'd share why Pete Rose deserves to be in the Hall of Fame...when they make a hall of fame for complete dumbasses.
Many people believe that Pete Rose should be in the baseball Hall of Fame but I couldn't disagree more. I've been told by people that the Hall of Fame is about what you do on the field, not off since there were plenty of bad guys in the Hall of Fame. I agree with this statement but there's one problem:
He bet on baseball.
Why is this a big deal? It's the ONLY rule you can break and be kicked out of the game. Ever since the 1919 World Series which resulted in eight players being banned from the game (remember Shoeless Joe Jackson and the movie Field of Dreams?) it has been against the rules to bet on baseball. In fact, posted on EVERY major league baseball clubhouse is a sign that explains what will happen if you bet on baseball.
The reason betting on baseball is wrong is that if someone in the game gets behind on gambling debts they can be forgiven a debt if they throw a game and give the person they owe a big pay off. It's easier to throw a game than it is to have your legs broken. The important part of the rule isn't just the betting, IT'S PRESERVING A FEELING THAT FANS OF THE GAME CAN BELIEVE THE OUTCOME IS REAL.
Everyone who plays baseball in the big leagues knows that betting on baseball will get your ass thrown out. Allow me to put it in better perspective.
Evidence came out that Pete Rose bet on baseball because he had a gambling habit that was in excess of $10,000 a day. He was suspended and came before the commissioner of baseball. At the meeting he denied betting on baseball. At this same meeting they had a sealed envelope of evidence...they told Pete they would either open it up and let the press see it or keep it sealed and he could agree to being banned from baseball with a chance to appeal in one year. Amazingly Pete who said he NEVER bet on baseball took the ban. His appeals since have not been heard because everyone knows he's a liar.
Pete continued to deny that he bet on baseball up until a few years ago but now says that he bet for his team rather than against it. Do I believe him? Actually I do but it doesn't matter to me and here is why:
Pete Rose bet on baseball at a time when baseball wasn't doing so well. This was before the park renovations and the revived interest in the game. Many articles in national sports magazines were talking about the passing of America's pastime. So at a time when baseball as a game was not doing well, Pete bets on the game. The very game that gave Pete Rose wealth was being repaid by his betting. When this came to light those in charge had no choice but to throw him out to keep their game legitimate. The banning of Pete Rose from baseball and its Hall of Fame sends a message to every current player of the game. In return fans are enjoying a resurgence in the game's popularity because they believe that the outcome is probably real. (For the Seattle Mariners real = bad)
When they open up the Complete Dumbass Hall of Fame (it'll probably be in Oregon somewhere) then I will support Pete Rose's induction on the first ballot.
Pete Rose - The Dumbass of Summer.