October 10, 2002

Former Los Angeles Kings owner Bruce McNall, imprisoned 70 months for defrauding financial institutions of more than $200 million, was an invited guest at the retirement of Wayne Gretzky's Kings jersey last night. Gretzky visited McNall several times in prison. "For him to maintain the friendship and loyalty that he did, it was just amazing," McNall told Toronto Sun hockey columnist Al Strachan.

posted by rcade to hockey at 10:38 AM - 6 comments

I didn't know McNall was out of prison until he showed up in an NHL 2Night retrospective last night about Gretzky. If McNall can be a part of ceremonial events in spite of his crimes, baseball ought to find a way to allow Pete Rose similar treatment. The scope of what Rose did is miniscule compared to McNall bilking others out of almost a quarter billion dollars.

posted by rcade at 10:43 AM on October 10, 2002

But McNall helped hockey's image in California. His shady business dealings had nothing to do with the sport. Rose (probably) bet on baseball games. He tarnished the image of baseball. and I'm not deliberately picking on everything you say rcade, honest...it's just a coincidence...

posted by grum@work at 11:11 AM on October 10, 2002

Even if all the charges against Pete Rose are true, so what? Baseball needs to get over itself and let fans celebrate one of the greatest careers in the history of the sport. Banning someone who tarnished the image of baseball, when the sport is run by someone who tarnishes it further every time he opens his mouth, is a joke.

posted by rcade at 12:32 PM on October 10, 2002

rcade, are you nuts? Pete Rose gambled on baseball; he didn't just tarnish the game, he brought its very integrity into question. Baseball is not keeping the fans from celebrating him and his career; ask the thousands who showed up to his softball game before the Reds' demolished their old stadium, or the thousands who've paid him good money at a card show for his autograph. What Rose did put himself beyond the pale. Should Ken Lay ever be allowed to run a public company again? Should Richard Nixon, were he alive, ever be allowed to run for public office? The answer of should Rose ever be allowed anywhere near baseball again is the same.

posted by Cap'n Swing at 01:37 PM on October 10, 2002

Fans will never be able to fully celebrate Rose's career while he's banned from baseball. Personally, I believe he probably bet on baseball games but never against the Reds while he was managing them, though there has never been a legitimate inquiry to establish the proof of any of these accusations. The Pete Rose FAQ does a good job of covering the particulars of his ban. However, even if it's all true, 13 years is more than enough disgrace to heap upon the guy. Michael Jordan has some interesting gambling issues also, yet I don't hear much talk he should be banned from basketball. These lifetime bans are too much; drug abusers like Daryl Strawberry and Steve Howe got second-, third- and even fourth chances. Rose deserves one today.

posted by rcade at 03:23 PM on October 10, 2002

According to a story today on ESPN, McNall was booed by fans when he was introduced during Wednesday night's game.

posted by rcade at 03:14 PM on October 11, 2002

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