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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Jack (Who is called Jack) Any folky baseball fans? (26) RE: Any folky baseball fans? 26 Oct 99


The thing about the Rose situation is this.

Since 1920, baseball has had one inviolate, draconian, absolute rule. This rule is posted on large signs in every clubhouse from the majors on down through the minors. It is one of the first topics covered at the beginning of every spring training. Veterans are instructed to tell warn rookies about it, coaches are instructed to remind veterans about it, general managers are instructed to remind coaching staffs. It is written into the basic contract of every professional player. If they could, the commisioners office would tattoo it on the inside of the players eyelids.

It is paraphrasable as follows.

We don't want you involved in gambling, especially gambling on sports. Don't befriend gamblers. Don't place bets. Stay away from it. BECAUSE IF WE FIND OUT THAT YOU ARE INVOLVED IN GAMBLING ON BASEBALL WHILE PART OF AN ORGANIZED BASEBALL CLUB IN ANY CAPACITY, YOUR LIFE IN ORGANIZED BASEBALL WILL END, UTTERLY, PERMANANTELY, AND SWIFTLY! BELIEVE THIS WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND MIND. WE WILL CONSIDER MERCY FOR ANYTHING ELSE EXCEPT THIS. AT THE MOMENT YOU ARE FOUND GUILTY, YOU WILL RECIEVE NOTHING MORE FROM ORGANIZED BASEBALL FOR THE REMAINDER OF YOUR NATURAL LIFE AND BEYOND. JUST SO YOU KNOW THAT WE ARE SERIOUS, IF YOU ARE FOUND TO FRATERNIZE WITH GAMBLERS SO THAT THERE IS SO MUCH AS AN APPEARANCE OF MISCONDUCT, WE WILL SUSPEND YOU, NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE (yes even you Mr Steinbrenner).

It is baseball's equivalent of the signs you find on the fences of some military installations. IF WE FIND YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS FENCE WE WILL SHOOT YOU WITHOUT WARNING!

So in that context, comparisons with other sports or other infractions like drug abuse, cheating in games, or criminal activity off the field are irrelavant. Rose is not being judged in comparison with other players in baseball, or other players in other sports, nor in the context of other kinds of violations. It is being judged against the most well explained, highest priorty rule in the world of sports. Once the commisioners office determined that Rose broke this rule, they had no other course of action before them. They still don't, even though in their hearts they probably wish they did. The decision is wildly unpopular with the fans. It represents nothing but sadness for the game.

As far as what Pete Rose deserves, my view is that he earned a great honor, and in the end, willfully threw it away, and that's his own fault.


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