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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? 28 Oct 99

The warnings about gambling that baseball gives its employees are clear. Once you are discovered, you will be cut off from anything to do with organized baseball. You won't be allowed to work in baseball, you'll lose your eligibility for the Hall of Fame. You'll be banished from clubhouses. You won't be allowed to represent players in any way. You will become an anathema. (They might even forfeit their pension for all I know).

Thats what they tell them, over and over again.

And after 60 years of giving that warning, they discovered someone breaking that rule, and as if that wasn't bad enough, to their horror and incredible grief, it was Pete Rose.

Volumes have been written about our passion for the National Game, that strange enduring and unexplainable love. And in our lifetimes, if there was one player that personified that passion in its purest form it was Pete Rose. With other players there has always been that shred of doubt as to whether they actually loved the game as much as we do, or whether it was 'just a job'. With Rose we knew he loved it as much as we did and more. What's more, he still does. That makes his ban from the Hall unbearably sad to us. We want to deny it, to make excuses, to call for exceptions. Like in Romeo and Juliet, our hearts crave a different ending, anything but the one we are asked to accept, it is just too much to endure. "Can't you just ban him from working in baseball?" we cry. "Shouldn't we ignore his crimes and focus just on his performance? Isnt there something we can do, and exception we can make?"

But suppose we do. What are we saying? Or better, what are we asking baseball to say, the next time it gives its warning about gambling to its players and employees?

If you gamble on baseball you will be banished from the game and lose any future rewards or honors it might have bestowed on you--unless (a) you are Pete Rose, (b) that makes the fans too sad, (c) its unpopular, even if you refuse to admit the truth or apologize for it.

And dammit we meant it!

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