August 12, 2003

Pete Rose back in baseball in 2004: ....according to the good folks at baseball prospectus

posted by oliver_crunk to baseball at 08:36 AM - 27 comments


posted by garfield at 08:46 AM on August 12, 2003

I'm sorry Bud Selig, but this still won't save your legacy. In fact, a large number of fans will think even LESS of you because of this. So basically, what this states is : if you do something wrong and get caught, don't apologize or admit guilt...just stonewall for a long time and eventually they'll cave and you'll be free and clear. Stupid stupid stupid.

posted by grum@work at 09:00 AM on August 12, 2003

I had a co-worker, who is a baseball nut, say something about how he though Petey would be coming back in the next two years. It sure does look like it. In fact, a large number of fans will think even LESS of you because of this. Possibly, in the way that those that think that Rose should've been in all along will remain pissed and those that think that Rose should never have gone in will become pissed. Nothing like alienating both factions of a debate.

posted by Ufez Jones at 09:21 AM on August 12, 2003

This is great news. Even if Rose is guilty of gambling on baseball, 15 years of exile and shame are sufficient punishment. I hate the fact that baseball made Shoeless Joe Jackson and Buck Weaver remain ineligible to their dying days. Fans deserve a chance to fully celebrate one of the greatest players of our lifetime, Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame, and if some baseball executive wants to hire Rose, I don't see why that should be prohibited.

posted by rcade at 09:50 AM on August 12, 2003

If some baseball executive wants to hire Rose, that should be prohibited because: 1. Gambling scandals (not just the Black Sox, though they contributed) nearly flat-out killed baseball once; 2. Rose is remorseless, possibly in denial, about betting on games, including games involving his own team; and 3. To have such a person involved in the day-to-day operations of a ball club, especially managing a team, might tempt a man who appears to be a gambling addict -- and would at the very least risk perception of impropriety. Gambling by players or managers in the early 20th century devastated baseball's fan base. The one fundamental thing about sports is this: you have to believe the games aren't fixed. Allowing any gambling at all puts that in jeopardy. The Hall of Fame is a separate issue that I might wiggle on, though I still don't support his inclusion. But Rose involved in baseball again? No way.

posted by jeffmshaw at 10:05 AM on August 12, 2003

"The one fundamental thing about sports is this: you have to believe the games aren't fixed." Really, then why do millions of people enjoy the WWE? I think if one is playing a sport, what you say is true. Otherwise, for the consuming veiwership, entertainment takes precedence, and then that 'suspending disbelief' part of the psyche earns its stay. The temptation factor involved with Rose getting back to day-to-day operations, after the year probation, is a very valid point. As any addict knows, though it may hide, the temptation never goes away completely.

posted by garfield at 10:16 AM on August 12, 2003

why do millions of people enjoy the WWE? The perfect reason why Rose shouldn't be allowed back, unless MLB wants to become the WWE. I'm not much of a baseball fan and I don't have strong opinions on baseball but the most eloquent (and sensible) arguments I have heard have been that Rose shouldn't be allowed back, ever.

posted by Mike McD at 10:27 AM on August 12, 2003

Garfield, I see your point about WWE: I'm a lifelong wrestling fan myself. I think the answer to your question is that people get (and expect) different types of entertainment from "worked" sports than they do from non-worked, i.e. "real" sports. Wrestling is about drama, which is why suspension of disbelief is required -- when you're watching a movie, you're entertained even though you know Bill Murray isn't REALLY trying to kill that fake-ass gopher; when you're watching Chris Benoit, you're entertained even though you know the Crippler Crossface doesn't hurt. I always thought wretling was more akin to a play than to a sporting event. Baseball and other "shoot" sports, for most people, are about authentic achievement. [Not that wrestlers don't "achieve" athletic feats -- but the aim is different, to win instead of purely to entertain.] Anyway, I think it's apples and oranges. Wrestling wouldn't be near as entertaining if it wasn't rigged, because the wrestlers work together toward a goal; baseball wouldn't be entertaining at all if it WAS rigged, because all achievements would be considered suspect. Why else was it news when it was discovered that Bobby Thompson's Giants might have stolen signs? Why else do people care if Sammy Sosa uses a corked bat?

posted by jeffmshaw at 10:37 AM on August 12, 2003

Really, then why do millions of people enjoy the WWE? Because they know it's fake (except for the little kids). It hasn't been marketed as "real" for almost 15 years now. It's strictly a violent soap opera now. They enjoy the characters and the drama. Even if Rose is guilty of gambling on baseball, 15 years of exile and shame are sufficient punishment. How much "punishment" is it if he a) doesn't have to admit he did anything wrong b) has continually denied doing anything wrong c) can still make money off his name and accomplishments Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame The interesting note here is that Rose might not get on the 2004 HOF ballot because his return to baseball may be too late. Therefore, he would become eligible in 2005, his very last year (according to the rules) for being on the regular HOF ballot. If the writers don't give him the necessary 75% of the votes (and there are significant numbers against his reinstatement), then he would have to wait to be elected by the Veteran's Committee. And if he doesn't get enough support there... In the end, it is quite possible that he still might not get into the HOF, even if he is given the chance to make it. And I guess that would be the sweetest end to this awful story.

posted by grum@work at 10:39 AM on August 12, 2003

Pete Rose and Carl Lindner are adults. Why should they be protected from the temptation of working together, on the chance Rose might break the rules again and engage in an activity practiced by millions of Americans? As for gambling and sports, 1919 was a much different era. Gambling is pervasive in our society today -- states run lotteries and allow numerous forms of gambling. Office pools and fantasy sports are huge. March Madness and the Super Bowl are widely wagered. The idea that one man could gamble again and erode baseball's fan base is a bit far-fetched -- especially when you consider that every poll of fans is strongly in support of reinstatement. Incidentally, Rose is practically a lock for the Hall of Fame if he appears on a ballot. I guess the adults who vote for that honor should also be protected from themselves.

posted by rcade at 10:46 AM on August 12, 2003

It's strictly a violent soap opera now. They enjoy the characters and the drama. The same could be same for the NFL. I'm not defending the merits of the WWE, I'm just saying the industry is called sports entertainment for a reason.

posted by garfield at 10:49 AM on August 12, 2003

What has Rose done these past 15 years? Do you really think he is going to want to come back and actually work. I doubt it. He might make a decent base coach or bat boy but other than that he is probably going to just wait to get into the Hall. I am sure there a few vintage baseball teams who wouldn't mind having him on their roster.

posted by jasonspaceman at 11:07 AM on August 12, 2003

MLB says report is false

posted by corpse at 11:25 AM on August 12, 2003

rcade, it's true that gambling is pervasive in society, but most members of society aren't capable of affecting the outcome of their wagers. Baseball people are. Just as stock traders are forbidden from using inside information to make purchases and sales, the occupation baseball people choose forces them into certain constraints. The issue isn't just about one man, either. This rule is posted in every major league clubhouse, and it's been enforced one way for about 80 years. Make an exception for Rose -- especially without admission of guilt -- and that sends a message to everybody that the rule isn't to be taken seriously, or at least literally. I'm also not suggesting Rose, Lindner or the Hall voters be protected from themselves. I could care less what happens to Pete Rose. I do, however, care what happens to baseball.

posted by jeffmshaw at 12:08 PM on August 12, 2003

A spokesman for Major League Baseball denied this report. Baseball Prospectus stands by its story. it's kind of weird for this information to be coming from bp....but since i'm a loyal reader and think of their writing highly.....i'll give them the benefit of the doubt.....what does everyone else think of bp breaking this story?.....i was listening to WFAN (NYC sports talk) on my lunch and there was no mention of it.....i guess they still aren't considered a reliable source.

posted by oliver_crunk at 12:16 PM on August 12, 2003

Corruption is endemic in boxing and yet the sport manages to stage events that are trusted enough to be wagered on by millions. Several fixed-game scandals have occured in NCAA basketball, and yet March Madness is hugely successful and a popular event for gamblers. The inclusion of a former gambler in baseball is not going to derail the sport, especially at a time when it has much bigger problems to worry about in terms of salaries, labor disputes, and its rapidly aging fan base. Pete Rose has been banished for 15 years -- a sentence longer than some murderers face in prison. How does that not qualify as taking the rule seriously?

posted by rcade at 12:18 PM on August 12, 2003

The story is probably true, it just not being presented to the media/public the way MLB intends. rcade, I completely agree. People need to realize corruption is as american as applie pie, or as human as a biped.

posted by garfield at 12:30 PM on August 12, 2003

I'm losing interest in baseball as it is. Reinstating Pete Rose will put the final nail in that coffin. Baseball only has one important rule and he broke it. Yet another typical Selig move, fixing something that wasn't broken. If Rose gets in and they continue to keep Shoeless Joe out, I'll never watch another game. Behold Bud's legacy, ye mighty, and despair.

posted by alex_reno at 02:49 PM on August 12, 2003

Shoeless Joe should never EVER be allowed into the HOF. He took money to throw a World Series. That's even worse (like comparing 1st degree murder with manslaughter) than what Pete Rose has been implicated in. Rob Neyer breaks down the "Free Shoeless Joe!" arguments. That's not to say I think Rose should get in and Jackson should stay out. I think they should both be left out of the hall. In fact, when Rose finally goes to his grave, I think they should erect two statues OUTSIDE the HOF. Shoeless Joe's statue can be near the entrance, and Rose's statue can be near the exit. It would be a nice reminder to everyone how good a baseball player they were, but would also remind them why they AREN'T in the HOF.

posted by grum@work at 03:49 PM on August 12, 2003

I think Pete Rose should be allowed into the hall-of-fame provided he apologizes for what he did to baseball. One condition and, should he choose to accept it, he should be free to take his place with the rest of the good ballplayers (and not necessarily good men). I also don't think it's right that anyone should be prohibited from hiring him onto their team. I mean, the owners should be allowed to hire whomever they think will help their ball club the most and should bear the risk of having him on their team, as well as the responsibility of keeping him from ruining baseball again; after all, it is their privately owned business. This being said, I'd have to think long and hard before putting Pete Rose on my ball team, simply because I don't condone what he did. However, if other owners decided to condone it, I'd have no problems with him sitting in the opposing dugout whatsoever.

posted by therev at 03:56 PM on August 12, 2003

Rob Neyer's amazingly disrespectful piece on Shoeless Joe isn't very persuasive. His comments about Ted Williams and Bob Feller, characterizing them as "a few eldery ballplayers with too much time on their hands and not enough autographs to sign," are incredibly obnoxious. Eliot Asinof, the author of the book Eight Men Out, says "there is little indication that during the Series itself [Jackson] did anything to throw the Series." Given that -- and the existence of Shoeless Joe's glove and other memorabilia in the Hall that would supposedly be tainted by his presence -- I think it's time to put him on the ballot.

posted by rcade at 06:29 PM on August 12, 2003

It might be disrespectful, but I don't think it's inaccurate or filled with lies, right? He did take money to throw the series. He did admit to this in a sworn and signed statement. He did testify under oath that he agreed to throw the series. Ignoring the fact that Neyer is disprespectful to Williams and Feller, I don't see what you are basing your argument on, rcade. The batting averages in games they won/loss, the inexplicable triples to left field (I don't think I've ever seen ONE triple hit to left field in all the years I've watched baseball), the comments from his teammate not involved in the fix... And remember, it's not called the National Baseball Hall of Fame, it's the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Just because Shoeless Joe has memorabilia in the museum part (since there is a Black Sox exhibit) doesn't mean he can be in the Hall of Fame Gallery. The Black Sox scandal (and the Rose fiasco) are parts of baseball history and should be remembered in the museum portion of the building (Rose had donated 20 items to the hall already). But that doesn't mean the scandalous players themselves should be honoured in the Hall of Fame Gallery.

posted by grum@work at 10:34 PM on August 12, 2003

I'm all for letting Rose in if only to never hear his name again. By no means do I feel he should be allowed in. One rule, and he broke it. He knew the rule. He made the bed etc. etc. Baseball is bigger than any one player, and it has its share of problems. Putting Rose in the hall will have no long term value for baseball. Pete Rose needs baseball more than baseball needs Rose. Still, its never going away until he's in. So let him in and disregard the fact that it sets a precedent for letting anyone who gambles on baseball back into the sport, and maybe even coaching. It'll be worth it for the story to die. I'm not for it however, if Rose is allowed to be associated with baseball again (ie. coaching). Fans deserve a chance to fully celebrate one of the greatest players of our lifetime Growing up Rose was an inspiration to me. He made the most of limited physical talent, probably more than anyone I've ever seen. He was a versatile player who hustled his butt off, and he was a very good player for a very long time. But I don't get the whole 'greatest players of our lifetime' bit. Stats aren't everything, but you can't ignore them, and Rose's, while good, are certainly not great.

posted by justgary at 11:11 PM on August 12, 2003

I don't see what you are basing your argument on, rcade. I'm basing it on Asinof, a much stronger authority on the subject than Neyer. Eight Men Out is the definitive book on the Black Sox scandal, and Asinof does not accuse Jackson of throwing games. Inside-the-park homers occur in left field, so I don't think it's particularly extraodinary for triples as well. However, the "triples to left field" bit from the 1919 series sounds fishy, and according to at least one account is bogus. A look at the play-by-play accounts from that series shows that none of the Reds triples went to Jackson. I think that Jackson, while deserving of being kicked out of baseball for knowing about the fix attempt and doing nothing to report it, should have been reinstated in his lifetime and belongs in the Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame has never been about good citizenship; it's about on-the-field greatness. If we're going to keep out players for being cheats, gamblers, or bastards, let's start by evicting Ty Cobb, who beat up an invalid fan at a game.

posted by rcade at 07:27 AM on August 13, 2003

Justgary: If 4,256 hits only qualifies as "good," how many did Rose need to qualify as "great"?

posted by rcade at 07:29 AM on August 13, 2003

Justgary: If 4,256 hits only qualifies as "good," how many did Rose need to qualify as "great"? A record of longevity. Which is an accomplishment in its own right. Don't get me wrong, I think based on stats and certain intangibles he should be in the hall. But if you start breaking down the stats I don't see a great player, at least anywhere near the level of 'greatest of our lifetime' imho. He played 25 years. Career average 303. Hit 16 HR once, averaged about 6 a year. Very good player for a very long time.

posted by justgary at 12:28 PM on August 13, 2003

Ty Cobb beat up an invalid? Damn! And wasn't the Babe a major prick too?

posted by garfield at 12:53 PM on August 13, 2003

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