Sports Briefs: My Wild Gambling Rose

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Chris: There is one thing about Pete Rose that every person, young or old, man or woman, baseball purist or progressive, Methodist or Baptist, conservative or liberal, dog or cat can agree on: he has never managed to have an attractive haircut. There are not many people who walk into a barbershop and ask to look like Moe from the Three Stooges. I assume Rose either requested this, or he owed a substantial gambling debt to his barber. Or possibly both, considering one could use the same term to identify both Moe and a knowledgeable bettor: “wise guy.” 

Joe: Pete Rose was a great player. No one ever played the game any harder than Charlie Hustle. Pete is the king of hits and played on championship teams. As a person, Pete lived his life with all the hustle he demonstrated on the field. He made some decisions that have had a great impact on his family and professional career. 

Brad: I think Pete Rose was a great player and a decent person too in the beginning. I think he made some poor choices that affected both his private life and his career. He showed poor character by continuing his bad choices.

Ralphie: What I think about Pete Rose as a person is that it depends on your age. I went to the Hall of Fame Induction this year, and I met him and got his autograph. He was very nice to me, but when my uncle got his autograph, he said he wasn't as nice. I think he's a nice guy except that he made a bad choice on gambling.

Chris: It has been 25 years since Rose signed the lifetime ban himself, agreeing that it was a “fair” punishment for him to be permanently excommunicated from Supercuts. After receiving his ban in August of 1989, the Cincinnati Reds won the World Series in 1990. I believe it was around this time Rose became desperate for his prohibition to end, mostly because he knew, had he received a World Series ring, it could have been pawned off to pay gambling debts. 

Joe: I believe Pete has paid the price for his betting on baseball games. I think he should be allowed to be considered for the HOF. 

Ralphie: I think his lifetime ban should be dropped because a lot of people bet on games, so he should be done with that stupid old ban. He's probably been teased about it too much, and I think he's had enough.

Brad: I don't think his ban should be dropped. He knew what he was doing was wrong, and he still chose to do it. Dropping his consequences for his actions is not a good message to send to players or fans or to people who look at athletes as role models.

Chris: Rose lied about not gambling on baseball games, not gambling on his team and was convincing up until the point where he would offer to bet whomever he was talking with that he didn’t bet on baseball. After 15 years of denying he bet on baseball failed to end his lifetime suspension, Rose decided to try another tactic: acknowledging that he bet on baseball, apparently thinking that admitting to what he was given a permanent respite for would be a good subject for a book. 

Joe: Pete's betting on baseball was bad enough, but to deny it for years made his situation even worse. 

Brad: Rose's worst error is definitely lying about the betting for so many years. He should have admitted his mistakes, not make more mistakes by lying for years. That's multiple wrongs.

Ralphie: I think his worst error was foolishly lying about his gambling for so many years after. Sure, I lie about some stuff, but not about stuff as serious as gambling. 

Chris: I can see why Rose decided to go by “Pete,” rather than “Peter,” as he would have most likely been confused for either an apostle, a Ghostbuster or a rabbit. 

Joe: Pete Rose is fully deserving of being voted into the HOF, based upon his on the field performance. I believe Pete Rose has paid the price for his violations and should be considered for a vote into the HOF. 

Ralphie: Oh, yeah, I'd like for Pete Rose to be in the Hall of Fame because then, I would have more Hall of Fame cards, and I would have a Hall of Famer's autograph!

Brad: No, he shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame. His pattern of problems shows that he doesn't deserve the same honor as the other players who earned it.

Chris: Should Rose be reinstated, it would mean the definition of the word “lifetime” would change from “forever” to “at least 25 years.” It would also be baseball’s equivalent of the scene in Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty,” where Maleficent describes the newly-released Prince Phillip, who is, “Free to go his way. Off he rides, on his noble steed, a valiant figure, straight and tall! To wake his love, with love's first kiss,” except that the prince she describes is roughly 125 years old. Should Rose be reinstated now, baseball would be releasing a 73-year-old who has a gambling addiction, aspirations of managing or being in a front office and an insatiable craving for Ensure.

Ralphie: I think the new commissioner will not let him back in, but I wish he would.

Joe: I think the new commissioner will address a few other issues before lifting the ban on Pete Rose, but I do believe the ban will be lifted. 

Brad: I think the new commissioner should leave it as it stands. If Rose is ever allowed back into baseball, his capacity should be limited to the assistant level, not as far as head coach, and he should not be eligible for any honors or awards. There are way too many players and coaches who are more deserving of those awards.

Ralphie: What I think of him as a player is he is a fantastic batter and fielder. He hustled on and off the field. I wish I had been alive to see him play even one game.

Try on a new pair of Sports Briefs with the Gab Four every Friday. Find out more about Joe, Chris, Brad and Ralphie, and read their solo columns on their individual pages.

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