Tuesday, May 25, 2021

On Pete Rose, Again

MLB’s embrace of legalized gambling has once again provided an opening for Pete Rose dead-enders to clamor for their hero’s reinstatement and argue his Hall case. Leaving aside the well-covered reasons why the shift in gambling mores doesn’t retroactively make Rose right, the new landscape makes it more, not less, important for Rose’s lifetime ban to remain as such.

Current players, and in fact all baseball employees, need to see that violating Rule 21(d) results in the end of your baseball life, no exceptions. Now, more than ever, we need Rose -- a serial violator of that most critical clause -- to be the example of what happens when you bet on baseball, even if you’re the Hit King.

Pete Rose will do more for the game as a pariah than he could ever do pardoned. In his absence from the game, he serves as a warning to those who now live and play in this more lax environment: Don’t bet on baseball. Ever. You’ll end up like Pete Rose.