Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Sunday Morning Muse

So, Pete Rose has finally admitted that he bet on baseball games while he managed the Cincinnati Reds.

What does this mean to the average baseball fan today?

Rose has been out of the game for a long time, most fans probably cannot remember how his teams finished when he managed the Reds or unbelievably how he stood in the batters box.

How does his admission that he bet on games effect his status in 2004? Is his mea culpa enough to lift the cloud over his transgressions?

The question becomes would any owner bring Pete Rose back into the game in any on field or front office capacity if he was reinstated by the commissioner? What would Tom Hicks do? George Steinbrenner? Peter Magowan? The group that owns the Mariners? Steve Schott? Art Moreno in Anaheim? The AOL folks in Atlanta?

Baseball has had its share of publicity stunts over its long history. Babe Ruth coaching for the Dodgers, Satchell Paige pitching for Kansas City in 1964, Dizzy Dean leaving the broadcast booth to pitch a game for the St. Louis Browns at the end of the 1947 season (he lasted four innings, if I’m not mistaken), Minnie Minoso getting into a game when he was 60 years old and of course Bill Veeck’s stunts (midget in the game) when he owned the Browns and White Sox.

Pete Rose is a novelty in today’s world, a short range publicity stunt if hired, and I don’t see any team giving him the reigns to a multi hundred million dollar franchise just to draw some fans, even if reinstated to the game by the commish. It would be risky business at best.

Because he bet on the game, the biggest no no in baseball, he should never step foot inside a dugout again in an active capacity, even if Selig gives him the green light to be part of baseball again.

That’s my opinion.

Should he be enshrined in Cooperstown?

Click below for the answer!The Hall of Fame is a private museum located in a small village (Cooperstown) in upstate NY. The HOF relies on foundational support, tourism and the Clark family trust (Singer sewing machine) for operating capital.

Years ago any special momento of baseball ended up in Cooperstown without question. Today, the HOF representatives must fight EBay for significant baseball memoribilia.

The HOF honors the great players of the game, who when tapped for admission have an induction ceremony the last weekend in July each year.

Over 20,000 folks usually make it into the small 2,000 person village, creating a New Year’s Eve type atmosphere for the four day weekend.

Big bucks flow into the coffers of the HOF in July.

The HOF hierarchy wants Pete Rose to be included in its museum. He would guarantee record crowds for at least the first few years he returned for the ceremonies. Estimates range that between 50 and 75,000 fans would attend his induction.

So, for finacial reasons the HOF wants him in.

Is that reason enough to let the all time hit king in to assume his place in baseball history.

No, but the key word is history. This museum honors baseball history, and I say whether good or bad, the story must be told. Not telling the Pete Rose story in Cooperstown smacks of censorship to me.

Pete Rose accomplished things on the playing field no other batter ever did, he had more hits than Ty Cobb, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Wee Willie Keeler or anyone else whoever played the game.

Current members of the HOF who played the game in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s certainly led lives that would be considered scandalous today. Betting in the baseball world was rampant, fixed games were rumored to have occurred all the time.

More than likely Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker two of the best of all time, conspired to fix a late season game one year. For many reasons they weren’t suspended, although they lost their jobs as managers after the story broke.

Can you imagine the scrutiny that would have been under today trying to explain the highly suggesstive evidence that cost them their jobs?

My feeling is Pete Rose’s story should be told in Cooperstown. He should be inducted as the all time hit king, Charlie Hustle. Let him explain his shady post playing past in his induction speech. If he makes a fool of himself doing it, then that is the way he will be remembered, but every fan should have the opportunity to view his positive accomplishments on the ball field in the ultimate baseball museum.

What is wrong with telling the truth? Yes kids, he had the most hits ever, he got the most out of his ability, he led the Big Red Machine of the 70’s, but he bombed out as a manager because he bet on baseball.

Apparently, the commissioner has insisted that Rose at least admit he gambled while managing the Reds. His soon to be released book will address that issue.

Would I allow him to have a managerial position in baseball? No, but I wouldn’t deny him his place in baseball history. His punishment, banned for life from the field should stand, it fits the crime that was clearly proved against him. You don’t plead Nolo Contendre unless they have the goods on you, ask any criminal lawyer.

The next step will be up to baseball. Let’s hope that they give the HOF the OK to include Rose on the next ballot, the HOF needs the dough and baseball fans who remember Rose need the closure.

Results will be announced Tuesday of this years HOF ballotting by the ten year members of the BBWAA, baseball writers of America.

Paul Molitor with over 3000 hits is a lock, Dennis Eckersley. the dominat closer for the A’s teams of the late 80’s looks like a good bet too.

Personally, I think Goose Gossage should go in before Eck. Gossage was the most feared closer in the game for a longer period than Eckersley and was more in the mold of Rollie Fingers (two plus innings for a save), than the one inning and I’m out Eckersley.

Also, I still think Bert Blyleven deserves to be in too. Check the all time pitching records, although he fell about 14 games short of winning 300, he is in the top ten of many all time pitching categories.

For some reason, there is abig difference between winning 286 games and 300, while there doesn’t seem to be as much discrimination against a hitter who finishes with 2950 hits as compared to 3000.

Relievers are tough to evaluate. How many saves are ensure enshrinement? 300, 400, 500? Relievers are still a work in progress. Gossage and Bruce Sutter should be in if Eck goes in, and I think they should be considered first.

Only six weeks or so until spring training. If you listen closely you can almost hear the bat hitting the ball.


1 glenpark { 01.04.04 at 2:17 pm }

Pete Rose was an unforgettable player, he had a signature style and an unquestioned passion for playing the game. In spite of his records, he was a team player, and he participated in the dominant teams of the NL when he was active. The Reds messed up by letting him go, and when they brought him back at the end of his career, seemed unable to avoid making him manager.

As a manager, he was a flop. He never did the simple things any manager must do to organize a game and direct his players and coaches. He never valued being a skipper, he seemed lost when game strategy came up. He used to coach 3B just be on the field, and used to spend much pregame time in the batting cage. He seemed to be touring the NL as a barnstormer instead of leading the Reds to competitive levels. Compare his managerials style to Mckeon’s, remember that incredible WS against the A’s when the Reds swept.

MLB needs the Rose matter settled. To me the best way is to just lay down the evidence and let the PR and history writers make their own opinions about it. If Rose is now stipulating to gambling activity, there is no reason to block him, as a player, he is undeniably HOF caliber. But this will lead to other MLB issues, especially the resurrection of the Black Sox case, and the whole due process issue related to that story. Still, Rose as a player should be in the HOF.

As to Rose’s credentials in the current game, he should be strictly limited. He gambled, and worse, he covered up and denied gambling for a long period of time. He voluntarily broke the codes of conduct, which all participants in the game pledge to, and there is no place for him on the field, in the dugout, etc. However, to the extent that he can sell himself and reclaim his opportunities, his full disclosure at this time should not preclude him from any media or broadcast opportunities.

The first time I saw Rose play was in the old Polo Grounds his rookie year, he and Hal McRae were amazing rookies breaking into a Reds squad which had been in the WS agaist the Yankees in ’61. Rose showed as a very young player an absolute love for the game of baseball — and I think this fire inside him is still there. There is a tragedy in this story, because MLB lost a real asset when Rose turned to gambling.
Its time to heal the situation.

The NBA handled Jordan’s gambling in an enlightened way –lets all hope for an enlightened solution to this story.

2 Anonymous { 01.05.04 at 6:06 pm }

I liked Fay Vincent’s opinion to lift the suspension with the proviso that Rose spend two years touring the country, meeting with youth groups and stressing the evils of gambling prior to lifting the suspension. But if there is evidence that Pete fixed games to win bets and relieve his bookie bill, no deal. And I suspect he did just that.

3 Anonymous { 01.05.04 at 9:01 pm }

You know personally I’m tired of hearing this or that about Rose. Bottom line is I’ll pay money to watch this guy perform. I really don’t care if he had a gambling problem. And I really don’t care if he bet on the sport that he knew best. You truly think he was the only one? His only crime was he got caught.
His true crime was for being felony stupid.

Why is his faulty character or vice in life any worse than the hundreds of others that inflict the majority of people who are in the hall of fame or are playing the game today. Walk the hallowed halls of Cooperstown some time. Are drug addicts, alcoholics, wife cheaters, spouse abusers, rapists, or bigots any less guilty of soiling the honorable name of America’s pastime? Unfortunately the hall represents a microcosm of our society and gives the term “America’s pastime” a whole different meaning.

Is he solely responsible for jeopardizing the integrity of the game? If baseball was so truly concerned over their reputation and “integrity” you’d think that they’d find someway of fulfilling their obligation to the nation and it’s loyal fans to avert the numerous work stoppages we’ve had to endure over the last twenty years and just play the damn game. Face it the game has degenerated, (mostly due because of free agency), to a bunch of self centered, money driven, emotionally and socially stunted spoiled rich kids who can’t relate one iota to the hardships of having to pay the monthly rent much less having to shell out fifty bucks to watch them do what most of us would gladly do for free.

You know I don’t even like Pete Rose but that sentiment has nothing to do with his gambling. It has everything to do with the kind of ballplayer he was. As a Red Sox fan, to me he was like a Yankee. He and the Big Red Machine were perennial winners. They beat us in what I consider the best World Series ever. Rose was tough as nails and would run over you like a train if you stood in his way, (ask Ray Fosse). He dove head first during a slide resembling half human half superman. He didn’t concern himself with getting hurt because he’d play hurt and still dive head first again into third. My only regret is that he never wore a uniform that said Boston across the chest.
I wonder what Pete Rose would say to Manny Ramirez when Manny sat dressed in uniform on the Red Sox bench and didn’t feel up to pinch hitting when the team needed him the most. Pete never was a great manager like he was in playing the game but if he was managing the Red Sox that day I can guarantee you that Manny would have had a bat in his hand and standing in the box. Or else both he and Rose would be down the tunnel with bloody noses. At least you’d know who was in charge.

You can keep Pete’s stats. Keep all those hits, runs, and homers. Keep all those World Series titles and all-star appearances. That’s not why he belongs in the hall. He belongs there because of the way he played the game. And for his love of the game.

By the way. If he was playing tonight in some Triple A meaningless game at Cashman Field I’d be the first one at the window with my fifty bucks.

Vegas Vic

4 marty { 01.05.04 at 9:29 pm }

Excellent, excellent comments. I had the opportunity to meet Rose for the first time this past September at a charity softball game in Berkeley, our interaction about Willie Mays versus Barry Bonds (protection in the lineup) was one of my highlights in 2003. Rose has a knowledge of the intricacies of baseball that is on the highest level of anyone I have interviewed, his answers were genuine and I thought to myself how much the game has lost not having him as a commentator.
His latest revelations come as no surprise, we all knew he bet on baseball, the evidence was overwhelming leading to his no contest plea.
Now, here’s my point, if Pete doesn’t acknowldege how wrong his actions were and how threatening his selfish acts were to the entirety of the game, the public will react negatively to any plan to “clear his name”. It seems to me that Pete gets poor advice and he must show some contrition or he will be viewed as any other criminal would, “Yeah I did the crime but it wasn’t a big deal or it wasn’t my fault.” I’ll be listening to his interview on ABC Thursday with these thoughts in mind.
It may take a little time for the public to come to this position, but eventually his shallow admissions without any thing more, will be given little weight. He’s in for some tough questions from a good reporter.
Regardless, the museum in Cooperstown and baseball history would not be complete without his inclusion, for better or worse, he’s part of the story.

5 Anonymous { 01.06.04 at 2:42 pm }

Hey Marty,

Eck and Monitor just got into the Hall as you predicted. Congrations to both men.

Your pal, Edgar Martinez, A’s Fan

6 Anonymous { 01.07.04 at 10:19 am }

The Pete Rose solution is not that complicated. Let him into the Hall of Fame based on his efforts on the ballfield. Banish him from baseball based among other factors on his pitiful efforts to absolve himself from blame for his past behavior.He contends that he never bet against his own team, never was influenced in his baseball decisions as a result of bets he made on the game. He is an admitted liar. There is little reason to believe what he now says. He displays no contrition respecting his behavior. He doesn’t understand, apparently, just how damaging to the game’s integrity his actions could have been.

7 Anonymous { 01.07.04 at 10:29 am }

Ordinary people do not care that Rose bet on baseball. Plus, there are racists in the Hall of Fame. Sure, that’s looking in hindsight. But gambling today in comparison is less of an “evil” than racism was at that time period. The MLB will be making a big mistake if they continue to make too much of an issue out of it. Course, Rose needs to be sincere about apologizing too. Let him into the hall.

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