I love baseball. No secret. I hate anything that gets in the way and makes the game suspect or unwatchable. Things that get in the way: steroids, HGH, Tim McCarver blathering, and gambling on baseball by people who have a stake in the outcome of the game, i.e. players, managers, front office folks.
It’s that last one that spurs me to write today. Pete Rose, the player, was exciting, inspiring and one of the great hitters of the game. He was also a jerk, a bully and a gambler. He lost his managerial job, and any hopes of getting another job in Major League Baseball when it was discovered that he had gambled on the outcome of games, including games he managed. For many years, Rose swore he never ever ever ever gambled on baseball. Sadly for him, but no-so-sadly for baseball, justice and the American way, the evidence was overwhelming.
Finally, after it became clear that Rose was becoming an after-thought and a ‘never-ran’ in his hopes of entering the Hall of Fame, Rose issued a meek mea culpa and admitted that he might, just might have gambled on baseball, but not on games he managed. This mea culpa JUST HAPPENED to come out when he was peddling a book.
Everyone but Rose’s immediate family and dog realized that Rose was after publicity. We knew his tears were mock and more appopriate for the crocodiles of this world.
Now, several years later, and several appeals to return to baseball denied, and with his name dropping once again off the radar, GUESS WHAT…Rose is admitting that he bet on EVERY game that he managed, because ‘he believed in his team’ so much.
I call BS. The report issued by the Dowd Investigation stated that Rose gambled on SOME of the games he managed. The truth is, Rose was not a ‘blind’ gambler. He studies his Racing Form and he studies the football injury reports, and he certainly KNEW when his team had a better chance to win. I’m guessing he bet on his team in those games. The absence of a Rose bet in other games tipped people off to perhaps bet against the Reds.
Rose’s admissions have trickled out when he wants something: entry into the Hall of Fame or increased book sales. When the current fervor erodes, look for a slightly more damning self-admission, and also try to figure out what exactly Rose wants THIS time.
* Outside of dictators, death squad members, right-wing talk show hosts that make jokes about killing Mexicans, the people behind the god-awful ‘bbq’ ‘sandwich’ I purchased at the Preds game on Tuesday night and the truly lucifer-ific person who devised how cell phone minutes are computed.