Saturday, January 10, 2004


Is the world going crazy that we’re debating Pete Rose should ever again be allowed near the game of baseball?

Note to Pete: Those giant red letters in your clubhouse that proclaim “No betting on organized baseball” (or to that effect; they’ve changed the words a little over the years) should be a huge clue. And those little black letters that say “permanently ineligible” might be clue No. 2. (Rule 21(d) -- fully posted at least twice in every Major League Baseball clubhouse.)

On television yesterday, I saw one high school kid, two minor leaguers and two former Major League Baseball players compare this to doing “14 years of time for a crime” and now he should “get out of jail.”

As far as I’m concerned, Rose is no worse than a serial murderer committing crimes against the national pastime. He bet on baseball, and the same as Gary Ridgway is locked out of society, Rose should be locked out of the game of baseball for every one of those crimes that deserves a life sentence.

(Now, I’m not actually comparing him to Ridgway ... but sheesh ... Rose just admitted to the worst thing you can do in organized sports, and we’re still debating whether life is too much punishment?)

Sorry, Peter Edward Rose, the former president of Yale had it right 14 years ago: You screwed up in your baseball world as much as the worst criminals do in the real world.

Shoeless Joe Jackson at least couldn’t even sign his own name, let alone make millions of dollars after being banished just by showing up at every autograph show this side of the UMT. And Joe’s not in the hall because of finger-pointing by a bunch
of people who knew he was a dupe ... you, Peter Edward Rose, went on “60 Minutes” and looked so bad for the game that oddsmakers wouldn’t even lay down against you and Shoeless Joe, or any of the seven other guys, on who screwed up more in hurting the game. You win. But you knew that was an easy bet 14 years ago. If you’d just have shut up and gone fishing or managed St. Pete’s team, or something other than grab the “Me Factor” by the groin all these year, maybe you wouldn't look like you’re the Green River Murderer of baseball right now.)

The sheer beauty of this is that there is no way Pete Rose will be voted in during his two years of eligibility. And then he’ll get hung out to dry, hard, by the veterans committee.

“I admitted I killed the integrity of the game last year to ‘Bud’ ... but it was only a few times a week ... why is it taking me so long to get a plea bargain taken care of that lets me out early?”

The arrogant, competitive, dumb, whiny, brilliant baseball player SOB.

(By Eric LeMay)

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