Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Letter Regarding Pete Rose

To the Lima News: (Parts in parentheses were edited out by the newspaper before publishing).

Thank you for publishing the commentary by Mike Schmidt on the Pete Rose situation. I applaud Schmidt for having the courage to speak out on this (controversial issue).

While Rose's handling of the situation has not been very good, I ask people to keep in mind that Pete is a baseball player, and not a politician. Bud Selig, on the other hand, *is* a politician, and he has bungled this situation horribly. Under the agreement Pete signed 20 years ago, he has the right to apply for reinstatement. This he has done. And what has been Selig's response? Simply to say it is "under advisement". I think Bud Selig owes a more thoughtful explanation to Pete Rose and his numerous fans; he should issue a detailed statement explaining what his thinking is. (He may say that Pete should never be reinstated; if so, it would still be preferable to the silence he has exhibited so far.)

The Hall of Fame board is equally culpable here. They could rescind their ill-advised decision that nobody on the "banned from baseball" list is eligible for the Hall, and let the voters consider Pete (for admission). What the board is not appreciating is that Pete's betting took place when he was a manager, not a player. Pete would be admitted as a player, not as a manger, and hence it should be his playing career which is looked at in considering whether he should be admitted.

Further kudos are due to Schmidt for having the guts to compare what Rose did to the many players in the past 20 years who have cheated the game by using steroids. These players are still making many millions of dollars each year, far more than Pete made in his career, and have been largely free from any sanctions (due to the head-in-the-sand attitude of the Players Union).

(It is important to distinguish between people of vision and political hacks. Former baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth showed he was one of the former when he reinstated Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays early on in his all-to-brief tenure as commissioner in the 1980's, after Mays and Mantle had been banned by former commissioner Bowie Kuhn for working as greeters at an Atlantic City casino. By contrast, Bud Selig has demonstrated that he is a political hack.)

No comments: