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January 05, 2004

Pete Rose confesses

A lot of people think this is a big story, and I guess it is.

Up until this weekend I had been inclined to think that Rose got a raw deal, and that he should be forgiven. But in the clips I've heard so far he doesn't sound very remorseful. He's been kinda saying, it's not really my fault cause baseball's rules are too strict on this and they made me do what I did.

Well, maybe gambling-addiction IS a disease, and should be treated more like alcohol and other drug addictions. And maybe baseball's penalties ARE unreasonbly harsh, and as a result create a strong disincentive to confessing.

But Pete, you didn't just refuse to talk about this, you said you DIDN'T DO IT. You lied to us.

At least pretend that you're sorry and want our forgiveness. You lied to us, that's the thing many of us are concerned about, not the bets.

[Shelia O'Malley got me to thinking about this just now.]

Posted by jghiii at January 5, 2004 06:32 PM
Posted by: beth on January 6, 2004 07:21 AM

At this point in time...why do we even care.

Posted by: sherman on January 6, 2004 01:50 PM

Confession is good for the soul, Beth. I'd try to tell my favorite Jack confession story here -- but I'll only get my comment deleted. Poor Jack -- it's tough running a blog when people have known you and your secrets for so long.

But in the spirit of confession, I'll now admit that I bet on baseball too. That stupid playoff game 1978 playoff game between the Yanks and Red Sox and Bucky Dent's (MOM ALERT!) god-damned home run. I had bet a bottle of good vodka with this guy Smitty at U Hartford that I met thru Scotty Ducott who was sorta going to school there (in the way you can go to a school without actually going to classes). Smitty was from Brooklyn and lived on the same dorm floor as Scotty and I had to bring the bottle down to the next party (which in those days at UHa, was like the next day) and we shared it and he didn't give me too much of a hard time. I don't remember much about the night.

Posted by: red on January 6, 2004 03:12 PM

Hey there. I just received an email from a huge baseball fan friend of mine and he said something which I'll share:
"He knew what he was doing was against baseball rules, he was violating the very thing that was set-up for him to have an extraordinary life. There are men out there that have lived and died bitter lives of disappointment and regret because they couldn't play in the big show like he did. He got to play in the Major Leagues and he broke a serious rule. Now he must pay the consequences. He had an extraordinary run, but it should be over. Not out of malice or a sense of punishment but out of a sense of honor and integrity for the game. Something that sends a message to younger players that upholds the glory of this pastime and the sense of honor it instills in those rare, rare few lucky enough to play."

As a baseball fan myself, I agree.

Posted by: sherman on January 6, 2004 03:30 PM

Gotta disagree. After several years of intensive work with college athletes, I've learned that sports are not honest or honorable even. Integrity of sports? That barn door has been open and the horse ran away a long time ago.

Is Pete's betting any worse than Mantle playing while drunk, the steroids that so many have swallowed, the homophobia and sexism, the cheating on their wives (Hi Wade Boggs!), or the worse sin of all: singing a contract to be a NY Yankee?

Pete did it well on the field. He hustled like no other. So off the field he made some bets. I don't think that's enough to keep him out of the Hall of Fame.

Posted by: beth on January 7, 2004 07:31 AM

So just because everyone else behaves badly, is that an excuse. Maybe the difference is, that he was in a position to affect the outcome of any game, possibly so he could win a bet.

Posted by: sherman on January 7, 2004 01:03 PM

I think my point, which admittedly got pretty lost, was supposed to be that other people have done bad things in their personal life.

Pete should be honored for what he did on the field, not any phone calls he made to bookies from the dugout.

Pete claims he never bet against a team he was playing for -- so he never compromised any games. And if he did have insider info -- well god bless him and Martha Stuart too. If you get a chance to screw over your mob-protected bookie with insider info, then I say all power to you.

Power to the Gamblers! (you have to imagine me raising my fist as i say that.)

Posted by: Jack Hodgson on January 7, 2004 01:28 PM

I'm not completely in favor of black-balling him just because of the gambling, but I do think that things off the field can be a legitimate part of something like the Hall of Fame selection.

For example, if the selection were to take place now, should OJ Simpson be put in the football Hall of Fame?

Posted by: sherman on January 7, 2004 02:20 PM

Yes, but his statue would have the hands painted red.

It's time for us to stop using athletes as role models and just consider them athletes. Honor them for their achievements on the field -- but outside life should be irrelevant.

Posted by: Jack Hodgson on January 7, 2004 02:41 PM

We don't use atheletes as role-models, they just ARE role-models. It's human nature, and it's not gonna change.

Posted by: sherman on January 7, 2004 02:56 PM

No -- it's the exact of what you said.

Using athletes as a role model is a social construct. Certain societies makes them heroes -- it is not an inherent part of winning at sports.

Society could decide to change what they use for role models. For instance, it might be better to emulate Advisors. Everyone would wear shorts and pick on guys older than them.

It's time to realize that just because some fool has good hands or feet does not make him/her a good person to hold up as an example. And the blame for having such poor role models comes from society.

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