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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

If McGuire or Bonds Get Into HOF, shouldn't Pete Rose?

I was having a conversation with my friend "Buzzy" earlier and he was talking about baseball. As it always does, the conversation came around to steroid use, the hall of fame and previously long standing records. I grew up as a Cincinnati Reds fan. When I was a kid, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench and the gang were kings. I can't really condone gambling while participating, but then I think about the people who have already forgiven Bill Belichek and the Patriots. The steroid users and the New England staff were cheating and Rose was gambling. They may get a pass while Rose is tarnished.

I may be biased, but I doubt the MLB will run Bonds and others out of town, never to return, as they did to Rose. I think the numbers should speak for themselves, but unfortunately there is a "yet to be determined" MLB era that will forever be a black eye to the league. I don't think you can do anything but put an asterisk on a whole era of baseball. It's too difficult to compare the numbers.

If I were one of the players who did pretty good, but didn't juice, I would be outraged. I'm not sure who I would be angrier with, the players who brought a cloud over the game, or the league who looked the other way. Just like back in the playground days, the cheaters ruin the game for everyone else.

I don't believe that Rose's gambling has ever effected the out come of a game in which he was participating. That said, his actions did far less damage to baseball than the current parade of players who keep popping up in steroid probes. Is it fair that Pete Rose gets banned for life and these other players walk away with an asterisk? Where's the parity in that?

It's time for professional sports to clean it's own house and restore the integrity of their respective leagues. There is far too much money involved to not have strict enforcement of cheaters. I thought that Commisioner Goodell took a step in the right direction in handling the Patriots videotaping. I just don't think he went far enough. He could have hit them a lot tougher in the wallet. The fines he levied could be recouped by raising t-shirt prices 50 cents. Why wouldn't he park Belichek at home for a season and make an example out of him? I mean come on, Pac Man shoots up a strip club and he's out for just a season. It's not exactly exemplary behavior but again, it's not cheating. In the old west you would get shot under the table for cheating (shhh...don't tell Pac Man). Kidding aside, it does go to show how serious the integrity of the game should be taken.

So, I'll ask again and again and again....Why is Pete Rose forced to watch from the sidelines? I just don't get it...
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