Sports Law Blog
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Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Rose Admits to Betting on Baseball: Unless you have been living in a cave, you know that Pete Rose has a new book out admitting that he bet on baseball and on his own team, but denying that he ever bet against his own team.

ESPN has an article here, including an assertion that Rose bet from the clubhouse.

FindLaw has an article here.

The New York Times has an editorial today calling the confession "lame."

The Sports Business News has an article stating that Rose's confession should not be trusted.

The fact is that Rose took 14 years to admit what everyone already knew-- he bet on baseball and deserved the ban handed down by Major League Baseball. I am not certain why this admission should change anything. If a man convicted of murder confessed 14 years later, he would not be released from prison. In addition, he would not receive a reduced sentence for "coming clean." Rose tarnished the game in his actions, in his banishment and now in his confession. Peter Gammons said it best and I paraphrase: Why would someone who claims to love the game of baseball time his confession to overshadow this year's Hall of Fame inductions? The answer: Pete Rose has always cared more about himself than about the game of baseball.

So, should Rose be inducted into the Hall of Fame?

Gammons has reversed his initial thought and now says he will vote no if Rose is on the ballot. A number of other voters would also vote no, and even the Cincinnati Enquirer states that his confession does not change a thing. Others, however, still argue that his playing career should be separated from his subsequent actions.

In his admission, Rose has proven once again that he just does not understand the situation and thinks himself above the game of baseball. Many people, like Gammons, once believed that if Rose came clean, they would vote him into the Hall of Fame. However, the manner of Rose's admission, which focused much more on making money than making things right, have infuriated those voters who supported Rose and threatened his chance of entering into the Hall.

As for this writer, I believe that Rose deserves entry as a player, but his plaque should include that he was banned from the game in 1989. This would allow all Hall visitors and history to reflect on Charlie Hustle the player while always remembering that he became Charlie Hustler the manager.

I think a similar plaque should be erected for Shoeless Joe Jackson, whose supporters have been following the Rose story carefully.