Nice piece by espn's Outside the Lines over the weekend about Pete Rose. Jayson Stark follows it with his own piece and thoughts about the Rose situation.
I'm generally not a huge fan of Joe Morgan, but that's because I think he's a lousy announcer and played on a team that beat the Red Sox in the 1975 World Series. As a player and representative of the game, though, I have a lot of respect for him. I generally like him in those roles. And I like the genuine feelings he has for Pete Rose as a friend and ballplayer. It is very admirable.
But I think Joe Morgan is wrong. In reference to their comments made about Rose's inclusion in the game or the Baseball Hall of Fame in the OTL piece, I think Fay Vincent is entirely correct and Joe Morgan is well-meaning, but wrong.
The tragedy is not just that Rose is a fallen hero. He did not fall, he threw himself off of a cliff. Then he refused to admit his fall, his injuries or the authority of gravity.
There was never really much doubt in anyone's mind--except maybe Mike Schmidt's--that Rose bet on baseball while a manager and even bet on his own team. Rose signed an agreement with the Commissioner of Baseball that banned him for life. But his obstinate refusal to admit his gambling publicly and his repeated attitude and behavior toward the issue was disgraceful.
Being in the Hall of Fame is not a right. It is a privilege. Rose earned that privilege, but then flushed it down the toilet. I think Stark's piece is generally right on the money.
I hope Stark and Fay Vincent are right and that Rose never will make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame. And while I admire Morgan more than before--he's moved to tears talking about his friend in the piece--I think his judgment is clouded by emotion.
Kiss My Ass, Pete.