Pete Rose bet on baseball! And now, 15 years later he is sorry. Why should anyone care?
I grew up discussing this very controversy with my dad, a sports fanatic. It was one of the few things we could really get deep about and I loved to hear his wise and experienced opinion on the subject.
My dad’s feeling (at least the last time we spoke) was that Rose should just admit, apologize and then stand on his baseball record (a very impressive record indeed) – and then in time he would rightfully be inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame. I naturally assumed that my dad had the right attitude and was correct. These days I just don’t know.
The problem isn’t that he didn’t do what we asked, it was when and how he did it. I am a firm believer that we are in bondage to sin. Truly, we can not free ourselves of our compulsion to do what is wrong, especially when inherently selfish motives are involved, like greed, gluttony, and lust. These alluring sins are just too tied into the human psyche to be avoided. That is why the world is full of fat, lying, cheating, money-grubbing individuals. It applies to all of us at some point in our lives.
So it could be said that Pete Rose was just being human. Isn’t he allowed to be human? Not in baseball. Baseball is our sacred sport – it stands for what it means to be an American. It is a sport of elegance, heroes, set and defined rules, gallant behavior and above all – NO FUCKING CHEATING. Why is cheating frowned on so fervently in sports, especially baseball? The Black Soxs scandal of 1919. Thanks to that scandal, Americans almost lost their beloved pastime. People lost faith in the baseball dream and their heroes and since that time the game of baseball and its leaders and rulemakers have bent over backwards to make sure the game’s integrity has stayed intact and unmarred from scandal.
So that brings us back to Pete Rose. I agree with my dad, a man as graced with natural baseball talent as Pete Rose, with incredible career stats to boot, by golly he should be in the Hall of Fame, except for one thing.
He isn’t sorry and he waited too long. The time to apologize and come clean was then and the motive should have been guilt and remorse over dragging the game of baseball through scandal-slime. But that’s not what Pete did, Pete waited years and years to see if he would be forgiven without having to admit to wrongdoing, and then when he finally admitted he BET ON BASEBALL while performing his managing and coaching duties, he did so without any real contrition.
Essentially Pete Rose is saying, “Look, everyone knows I was great baseball player and I can push the buttons of the purist baseball lovers of the world and stand on my vast sports achievements. They will be forced to acknowledge my role and put me in the hall of greats where I belong. So what if I fouled and sullied the game with the lowest, most heinous crime one could commit in baseball, I AM PETE ROSE DAMMIT.”
Well, sorry Pete this is one baseball lover who feels the only day you should be
honored for your skills is the day AFTER you die.
On second thought, apology NOT accepted.