Pete Rose: 'Permanently Ineligible'
Should Pete Rose be allowed in the Hall of Fame?
This year's National Baseball Hall of Fame votes are in, and the oldest arguement of this generation is bound to resurface. MLB rule 21 (D) states (and is signed and seen by EVERY player) : "Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible."
This is what players have the most difficult time with. Fans want to forgive Pete Rose and allow the most unforgiveable sin through baseball's pearly gates, yet one steroid accusation and you are shunned by all. Not a conviction, mind you, just an accusation. There is no other reason for Barry Bonds to only receive about 35 percent of the vote every year. He is arguably the greatest hitter EVER in a 5 year span. I have never seen a more feared hitter, and assume I never will.
Pete Rose is not the first to break the rules of gambling in Major League Baseball. The 1919 Chicago 'Blacksox' scandal was infamous, long before Charlie Hussle's run in with MLB. Shoeless Joe Jackson was every bit the greatest of his day, as Ty Cobb was and Babe Ruth was about to become.
He took money from Chicago Mobsters to throw the World Series against the Reds, yet his numbers never showed it. Jackson's 12 base hits set a World Series record that stood until 1964, and he led both teams with a .375 batting average. He committed no errors. He threw out a runner at the plate. A jury found him and his teammates not guilty, but new Commisioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis banned him and the others for life: "Regardless of the verdict of juries, no player that throws a ballgame; no player that undertakes or promises to throw a ballgame; no player that sits in a conference with a bunch of crooked players and gamblers where the ways and means of throwing games are planned and discussed and does not promptly tell his club about it, will ever play professional baseball."-- Kennesaw Mountain Landis.
Instead, let's argue WHO SHOULD BE IN THE HOF.
Tim Raines, from 1979-2002 was the 'Rickey Henderson of the National League'. He hit for power, was a good fielder and stole the 4th most bases of all time! Playing for Montreal in his prime is what hurt him. Andre Dawson and Gary Carter moved onto Chicago and NY during their primes. Rock Raines should not be penalized. He also won two World Series rings in New York. That just adds to one of the greatest outfielders we will ever see.
Jeff Kent is the other guy who is being left off that I take offense to. He only is getting 16 percent of the vote, but Craig Biggio is in the HOF? Voted in just last year. Same era, these men crossed similar paths. Nothing against Biggio, but look at these comparisons:
Kent hit 9 points higher. He had 86 more homeruns. Over 300 more RBI. Honest engine; Kent was a more dominant player.
Pete Rose, may not have ever thrown a game (that jury is still out, because Rose has never came completely clean), but he did 'conference with a bunch of crooked gamblers'.
I will leave you with this to chew on: If the 3rd highest batting average in the history of baseball can't get reinstated, then neither should Pete Rose. Let Shoeless Joe Jackson into the Hall, and then we can talk.
There are a few more that we will state our case for Sunday 11amET-NoonET on The ArmChair QuarterBack Radio Show. You can listen here LIVE on 1021news.com, AcqbRadio.com or replay the podcast on Podbean'.