Should Pete Rose be put in the MLB Hall of Fame?

It was one of many steps that resulted in players getting paid what they were worth. Bookies can’t afford to rig an MLB game, they could cause some occasional harm and scandal, but nothing like the Black Sox scandal is going to happen again, and wouldn’t have happened in the first place if Comiskey’s players could have bargained for their salaries.

If we’re being consistent about it, he should certainly be in the Hall. Lots of players who have openly admitted to cheating are in; the rules about gambling are nothing more than Puritanical absolutist nonsense. Either make being “clean” an eligibility criterion, or put him in.

Except Manfred is allowing him the accolades at this year’s All-Star Game,Selig allowed him accolades on the All-Century team in '99. It’s an inconsistent hit and miss thing with Rose. That’s why I feel he should be in as a player and out as a personality.

As a native Cincinnatian who grew up less than a mile from Pete’s boyhood home, and a lifelong fair weather Reds fan, I really, really don’t care. It would be nice if he got in just so people would STFU about it.

It’ll be interesting to see if that’s subject to change after this news.

TriPolar, I see your point, I just don’t think I agree with it. I don’t think that getting into trouble with gambling and having lots of disposable income are mutually exclusive.

See, I don’t understand that line of thinking. The rule against gambling is for players, managers, etc; people who could use to their position to influence a game. It’s not a rule against gambling on baseball. It’s to protect the integrity of the game, not to instill some kind of “Puritanical nonsense”.

Didn’t notice this before, but yes that’s my belief. I don’t think it’s cured all ills, and I can’t prove it is so, but I can’t see anyone in major professional sports ending up betting on his own team’s games unless he’s under duress or a compulsive gambler like Rose was. Individuals won’t sink the sport, the Black Sox scandal was about a team effort to rig games, certainly a danger to the sport, but I don’t think something that could happen today.

Agreed, it could change for sure. However only cuz it’s fresh… if it had come out a couple years ago, He’d be in this year, no question. MLB is the old stodgy grandpa, with short term memory problems but long term grudges.

Even if he bet on his own team it corrupts the game, especially as manager. If as manager he bet on his own team he might overwork a pitcher to try to get the one win to make his money to the detriment of the rest of the season. Or he might pull a pitcher and wreck his confidence for future games in order to turn it over to someone he trusts more. Even as a player, he might take an unnecessary risk of injury to say dive into the stands after a ball if he has thousands on the game.

One thing I’ll say for Pete Rose, gambler or not, he never played at less than 100%. There’s a reason his nickname was Charlie Hustle. That’s part of what is so stupid about the whole gambling thing on his part. He’s tarnished that reputation.

One of the reasons it won’t happen is because of those rules. When you consider the stuff we already know about (an NBA ref gambling on games he refereed, a Detroit bookie just getting 6 years for a point shaving scandal in college hoops), I think its pretty clear that gambling will certainly find ways to influence the outcome of games if those rules are not in force.

There’s my point, they go after the guys they can afford to corrupt, a ref and college players.

Anyway, I didn’t say no rules, and I did say I that Rose did bet on his own teams, didn’t matter whether he bet for or against them, so I said he has to be banned. But if it was a player who never bet on his own teams, it would look pretty bad keeping the guy out of the Hall of Fame for that.

I used to believe that Pete should get into the hall as a player since his sins occurred while he was a manager and as a player he was fantastic. Now that there is proof of him betting while still a player I don’t think there is any way to let him into the hall until he’s dead.

I think the same should be true for the steroid players it is impossible to determine where they would have fallen without steroids so we should not honor them for their tainted achievements. That being said they are part of baseball history and should be placed in the hall posthumously.

I think he should be in the Hall of Fame. Full disclosure, I’m not a baseball fan and I don’t care about betting. I also don’t think any of the people who were on PEDs should be in the hall or have their records officially counted.

My reasoning is that while Rose may have gambled to influence a game, he couldn’t really make himself better than he was through betting. Its not like he can bet that he’ll hit 5 home runs and then do it. So his records, if untainted, could only go up. On the other hand, PEDs artificially inflate one’s stats, so an average player becomes good, and a good player becomes great. Since it can only go down, the current Bonds home run record for instance is somewhat less than what is recorded.

Past uses by players of alcohol, cocaine, and other drugs are not as blatantly a performance enhancement as PEDs, so I’m fine with letting druggies, drunks, and stoned players into the HOF. I see them like I see coffee: an obvious improvement, but slight enough to simply support what a naturally great player can do.

This. I don’t want to insinuate that anyone here who is arguing for keeping him out is okay with players who use performance enhancers getting in, because nobody has implied it. But MLB itself clearly takes that position. I don’t condone rule-breaking, and if Pete Rose was issued a lifelong ban, then that should be enforced. But for MLB to remain so adamant about the issue of banning someone for betting on games on the side while continuing to treat the issue of having such a large percentage of its players using performance enhancers with a resounding “meh” makes MLB seem like kind of a racket. After all, betting on games is against the rules, but it doesn’t necessarily directly affect the outcome of the game. Performance enhancers do, especially when so many players use them now that a lot of them do it, not so they can get an advantage, but purely so they don’t end up too disadvantaged against all the other druggies they go up against.

I’ve never been into sports, but I started taking an interest in baseball as a game a few years ago. I’d heard for a long time that use of performance enhancers was rampant, so I went online to see if I could get an estimate of how bad the problem is. Obviously no one has exact numbers, but I saw estimates as “low” as 20% of players using (which is still bloody high), while Jose Canseco (who presumably has reason to know) estimates it’s as high as 80%. And I can’t see that MLB does all that much about it. They make a token effort to look like they care, but they don’t really seem to. Oh, but Pete Rose bet on games, so he has to be banned for life! We don’t want to send the wrong message about rule-breakers!

Maybe I’m just cynical, but my hypothesis–not backed up by hard evidence, and possibly totally unfair–is that this is because betting on games doesn’t affect viewership, while steroids produce more home runs and higher scores and therefore more exciting games that get more people tuning in and watching the advertising. So they don’t want to stop it because it’s profitable for MLB to let them get away with using. I welcome evidence that I’m wrong, because it’s a pretty sickening hypothesis. I don’t support lifting the ban on Pete Rose, because rules should be enforced and punishments stuck to. But like I said, it seems like a racket to me that this is the issue they choose to take a hard-line stance on while a far worse form of rule-breaking continues to fester and spread throughout the organization.

So the short, less ranty version of my answer to the OP is, “No, he shouldn’t, but MLB isn’t consistent enough about enforcing its own rules, so I don’t trust the motive even if I support the action itself.”

Let’s say I have a bet for my own team for tomorrow’s game, but not tonight’s game. Tonight, the game is on the line in the 8th inning. Am I going to waste my best relief pitchers on a game that I don’t have a bet on or am I going to put in the second best unit and save the best for tomorrow?

I say put him in (it’s a sad commentary on baseball that both the Home Run King and the Hits King are both players that the league would rather erase from history), but put on his plaque, in big letters, “Bet on baseball, earning distrust, scorn, and banishment from the league” before mentioning his hit totals and his reputation for hustle.

Yes. He should be in. His gambling is irrelevant to his performance as a player.

No one comes close to him in terms of his various records. And that should get him in. That he gambled is unfortunate but doesn’t make his hitting prowess any the less outstanding or, in fact, any the less unique. His accomplishments as a batter are unique. So if the HOF is about the best players, how can he not be in?

There are several problems with making Rose’s situation comparable with PEDs.

  1. The rule on gambling was put in place in 1921, and has never been less than crystal-clear. The various anti-PED rules were more-or-less put in place as the PED era was ongoing, and at various stages it was not always clear to players/doctors precisely what things were prohibited, what was allowed, what was allowed but only under certain circumstances, what the penalties were, etc. It’s very easy to say in the abstract, “don’t take PEDs,” but professional athletes are often taking various kinds of supplements … most of which are perfectly legal. There was a lot of haze.

  2. PEDs threatened historical continuity, gambling threatened the game’s viability. Yeah, it sucks that Barry Bonds passed Hank Aaron, but the bottom line is that even when it was fully known how widespread juicing was, fans still came to the games. Fans still watch the NFL and we know half those guys are juiced out of their minds. In contrast, the 1919 scandal was seen, properly, as an existential threat to the pro game as a commercially-viable competitive activity. You may insist that that doesn’t make a moral difference … in which case I can only envy you your innocence.

  3. Half the league was doing it. Again, that may not hold any water with people who expect sports to have some kind of ethical purity to them, but the reality is that if 1/3 of the 1976 NL all-star team was known to gamble on their sport, and another 1/3 were suspected to, Pete Rose wouldn’t be in the pickle he is. They weren’t, so he is. If you ban/cast out the guys who were known to juice (A-Rod/Clemens/Andy Pettite); you’re leaving untouched the guys who were not proven, but widely suspected/alleged/very likely guilty (Bret Boone); and if you do it to them, then you’re left with the guys where people always wondered about, even if there was zero evidence (Piazza); and even with that, you’re left wondering “hmmm … is there any evidence Griffey didn’t juice?” There’s simply no end to it. Just fix the problem, close the books, and move forward. At the end of the day, it’s a less reprehensible stain on the game’s history than the fact that the sport wasn’t fully integrated until the 60s/70s. Accept it for what it was, and move on.


He did nothing wrong

he never bet against the Reds