Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Pete Rose Is No Shoeless Joe

You've got to know when to hold'em
Know when to fold'em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
Lyrics from song "The Gambler" by Kenny Rogers

Rose had every opportunity to be forgiven in the past 26 years, every opportunity to get back into the sport. But Rose was out of baseball because he bet on baseball, and lied about it for years afterward, and he continues to bet on baseball, as he acknowledged to the commissioner -- only after first saying he doesn't bet on baseball. Really, he gave no choice to Manfred, who has made what likely will be the final decision from Major League Baseball on Rose in his lifetime.  

Why major league baseball can continue to ban former player Pete Rose from entering their hall of fame? Integrity!  Integrity!  Integrity!

Pete Rose, after all these years, still wants to be reinstated and forgiven for his "crime" of betting on baseball while a player and manager of the Cincinnati Reds.  As with most addicts, until they've thrown the monkey off their back, denial and avoidance of confronting their addiction are excuses used to enable their continued engagement in the activity.  

If Pete Rose wants so bad to be reinstated, how is it that he continues to engage in the activity that caused him to be banned in the first place?  Time has not been kind to Mr. Rose.  Over time, most people grow wiser and are humbled by life through their experiences. 

Mr. Rose does not appear to be like most people; he continues to selfishly think of himself first and foremost, with little room for repentance. He wants others to change the way they view him when he hasn't changed the way he views his criminal actions nor others and their rules. He feels entitled to a reward after throwing aside the rules that such an award is based on.

The gambling sickness calls for it's addicts to be bold, unyielding and uncompromising in their commitment to betting. There is no room for humbleness or compassion when gambling. Sounds like the same principles needed to compete in sports at a high level, as long as one follows the rules. 

Unfortunately Mr. Rose, to his detriment and that of baseball fans, broke the rules of baseball. He lied about it for years and yet continues his plea for MLB reinstatement with no effort on his part to disengage from gambling and seek help for his addiction. That's why gambling addiction is a sickness; the victim is the last to admit to it and take responsibility toward addressing the problems it causes in one's life.

A rehabilitated Pete could possibly do wonders for many an addicted gambler, especially those professional athletes who continue to bet on sports. And we know they're out there. How MLB allows Pete to work as a sports analyst when the man still admits to gambling is beyond me. The sick leading the sick I suppose. Or more like money leading the sick, a case and point when it comes to gambling.

At some point Mr. Rose will need to take a good, long look in the mirror and admit that his gambling ways has cost him more than just major league baseball hall of fame recognition; it's cost him his integrity and character as a man.

I'd probably be more in Pete's corner if he just accepted who he has chosen to be and not try to force MLB into a position of honoring him.  Be a man Pete and just walk away from baseball with your arrogance and selfishness. You'll be remembered as a great major league baseball player. The honor of being called a Hall of Fame baseball player is reserved nowadays for those who gave without trying to selfishly take away from the integrity of the game. 

Wanna see what a guy who deserves reinstatement and voted into the MLB Hall of Fame looks like?

Look no further than Shoeless Joe Jackson. Joe, from what I'm lead to believe, admitted to taking the money and painfully accepted the consequences of breaking the rules of major league baseball. Even if Joe didn't take the money and a shady lawyer coerced him into making a self incriminating statement, he lived by his word. His word was "bond."

Sorry Pete, you're no Shoeless Joe

No comments: