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In a game of steroid-abusers, Pete Rose deserves reinstatement.

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While setting Team Cuba’s starting lineup and pitching staff this morning, I glanced over the day’s headlines and saw “Selig reportedly mulling Rose reinstatement.

And I hope it’s not a cruel joke.

I understand why Pete Rose was banned from baseball. Betting on games you have a stake in certainly brings the very integrity that forms an essential part of the game into question. The Black Sox World Series scandal of 1919 set the precedent for Rose’s ban and it was completely justified. Rose’s constant and adamant denials during the late 1980’s and on were also idiotic and cemented Major League Baseball’s right to a hard and fast punishment.

However, I’ve always believed that punishment didn’t fit the crime.

Pete Rose’s character, as a human being, is undeniably murky. But as a player, the same can’t be said.

I hope he's sliding into the Hall.His 4,256 hits is the most all-time; more than the Georgia Peach, Hammerin’ Hank, the Splendid Splinter, the Iron Horse, and the Babe. His 3,562 games played and 14,053 at bats is the most all-time; more than the Iron Man, the Man, Yaz, and Bonds. The list of players ahead of (he ranks seventh) and behind him in career total bases, which is an extremely telling stat, is a laundry list of Hall of Famers. Rose was also a 17-time All Star, a former Rookie of the Year, a World Series and National League Most Valuable Player, a Roberto Clemente Award winner, and a two-time Gold Glover.

For more than two decades, Charlie Hustle was baseball: all dirt, bat, ball, spikes, and consistency.

As far as we know, Rose never partook in any of the substances that so many current player’s careers have been tarnished by. As far as we know, all of Rose’s accomplishments came completely naturally.

Yes, Rose made a fatal mistake. But does that mistake justify excluding, and there is only so much room for debate here, Major League Baseball’s Greatest Hitter of All-Time?

The fact remains that the Baseball Writers Association of America is still debating whether or not to enshrine the one-dimensional Mark McGwire, a player who, if one discounts his 1998 and 1999 steroids tainted campaigns, should not even mentioned in the same breath as the Hall of Fame. Why should players like McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro (who failed an MLB administered test!) even be considered for the Hall of Fame while baseball’s all-time hits leader has never been given that luxury? Are their offenses so far apart?

Pete Rose deserves his rightful place alongside Cobb, Clemente, Williams, and DiMaggio.

I hope this isn’t a cruel joke.

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  1. Baseballbriefs.com tracking back In a game of steroid-abusers, Pete Rose deserves reinstatement….

    Baseballbriefs.com tracking back In a game of steroid-abusers, Pete Rose deserves reinstatement….

    Baseballbriefs.com

    July 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm


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