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Pete Rose is a disgrace to baseball


I love baseball. If soccer is deemed “The Beautiful Game,” baseball should be called “The Elegant Game.” I won tickets to Friday’s Cub’s game against the Marlins. The tickets were on a patio in the far corner of right field. All the food and drink were free. It was too hot and humid to drink beer or eat. Every now and then, you could see the humidity hanging in the air on the field. The Jumbotron showed the pitcher. His arms were glistening with sweat.

I still enjoyed the game. Wrigley Field was filled almost to capacity. Aside from the heat and humidity, it was a great afternoon. There is nothing better than being in a ballpark watching a baseball game.

Along comes Pete Rose, again making the news for all the wrong reasons, embarrassing himself, and tarnishing the game of baseball. What should have been a celebration of a past World Series turned into a nightmare for the Philadelphia Phillies and Major League Baseball.

After attending an on-field celebration of the 1980 Phillies, Rose refused to answer questions about allegations from a 2017 lawsuit. “It was 55 years ago, babe… Asked later by another reporter, he said: “I’m going to tell you one more time. I’m here for the Philly fans. I’m here for my teammates. I’m here for the Phillies organization. And who cares what happened 50 years ago? You weren’t even born. So you shouldn’t be talking about it, because you weren’t born.” (NYT)

No one ever told Pete Rose that “no comment” is the appropriate response in situations like this. He had to put his big ego and bigger mouth on display for the world to see. It guarantees he will never get into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

For several years, there have been attempts by fans, some supposed sports journalists, and others to get Pete Rose into the Baseball Hall of Fame. His astounding playing record makes him eligible. Rose’s past conduct does not. Pete Rose was investigated and admitted to gambling on baseball and placing bets on the team he managed, the Cincinnati Reds. There were allegations he associated with members of organized crime because of his gambling.

Major League Baseball punished him with a lifetime ban from the league, making him ineligible for nomination into the hall of fame. So, let’s stop all the nonsense about nominating him. He will never be nominated unless MLB lifts the ban. MLB should never lift the ban, not even posthumously. Rose is a disgrace to the game and the league.

In 2017 there were allegations Rose had sex with minors in the 1970s. One, Jane Doe, came forward claiming he had sex with her when she was 14. Rose said he thought she was sixteen, the age of consent in Ohio. Rose was never investigated or charged as the Statute of Limitations lapsed long before the allegations came forward.

His responses, quoted above, are another reason Rose should never be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Rose showed he has no class. He is crass and crude. He later apologized to the female reporter who asked the question, but the damage was done.

One could argue the question was inappropriate for that time and place. But “no comment” would have been an appropriate response. Calling the reporter “Babe” was totally inappropriate and sexist. Rose does not understand or care that people still care about what happened over fifty years ago when it comes to allegations of sex with minors by sports “heroes.”

Pete Rose ruined what should have been a celebration. He turned it about himself and not the team he played with. His responses were cringe-worthy and beneath the dignity of Major League Baseball. Pete Rose will be remembered for his baseball record and his disreputable behavior. His conduct across the board disqualifies him from the Hall of Fame forever.

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