Hurricane Pete continues to swirl again around the baseball arena. Once again, the supporters and nay-sayers alike emerge from the wood works to voice their opinion on baseball's all-time hits leader. Legendary baseball athletes are also torn on the issue on whether or not to unban Pete Rose. Some say that he has paid his debt with a ban of 20-years, others say that is not enough. Rose voluntarily accepted banishment (orchestrated by the late A. Bartlett Giamatti) 20-years ago today for suspicion of gambling. This is important to note, because he was NOT banned for gambling, only that he agreed to the punishment. Thus, he was not banned for gambling.
Of course, had he not agreed to the banishment, he would have eventually been found guilty of gambling, thus enforcing the Commissioner to ban him anyways. Either way, Rose could not win, and he chose to take a hike voluntarily. This situation is very similar to your job. If you knew that you were about to get fired, would you quit? Some people probably would just to avoid the blemish of the firing on their record. Rose took the same route, thinking that he might have a chance, someday down the line by a more sympathetic commissioner. Bud Selig has proven to be anything but sympathetic.
Selig continues to lead Charlie Hustle on, almost teasing him, with thoughts of revisiting Rose's application for reinstatement. Selig knows that he has very few friends among the baseball world (especially among the fans), so choosing a side on this issue could possibly cause him to lose more friends.
Perhaps Selig is testing the waters to see if there is significant support for Rose to gain reinstatement. One such idea I have is to allow the fans to vote for Rose's reinstatement. MLB has taken some much away from the fans over the past 15 years (strike, other labor disputes, rising ticket prices, inter-league play, etc.) that perhaps allowing the fans to have a crucial vote in determining the destiny of such a controversial topic could be beneficial to the lingering sport. My idea would be to simply put the vote on the All-Star ballot during the 2010 season. They could even restrict the voters to only those in attendance in order to boost ticket sales.
If I had the ballot card, I would vote not to allow him back into baseball. If I had the ballot card 6 years ago, then I would vote differently.
I was one of those that believed the former member of the Ohio Army National Guard when he claimed that he did not bet on baseball. Perhaps I was young and naive, perhaps I wanted to believe. Baseball is a numbers sport, and I am a numbers guy. I strongly felt that anyone with such astounding career numbers as Rose deserves enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame. However, once he admitted to his wrong-doing, I quickly changed my stance. I felt cheated, duped, and embarrassed. Rose bet on baseball knowingly that the act was against the rules. He bet on baseball knowingly that this could lead to a lifetime ban. Despite these warnings, he continued to indulge in his gambling habit. I have no problem with gambling, I do so myself, but I certainly would not bet on anything that affects my job.
So the question now stands, if you had a vote, would you vote for reinstatement?