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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

McGwire a Champion While Rose is Still Banned

          Lost in the hype over the comeback win of the World Series by the St. Louis Cardinals, the debate over a Wild Card team getting home field advantage in Games 6 and 7 in the sport where it means the most, and the proceeding retirement of Tony LaRussa, is a fact that should be bigger than all of that.

          Mark McGwire is getting a World Series Championship ring as the Cardinals hitting coach.

          And Pete Rose is still banned from baseball.

          After helping take baseball fans on a fraudulent chase for the single season home run record along with Barry Bonds years ago, McGuire now gets to call himself a world champion in the game he soiled. He’s coaching players at the very thing at which he had to cheat to be great – hitting.

          Yet, the undeniable Hit King, Pete Rose, isn’t even allowed to be at a Major League game unless he buys a ticket.

          McGwire admitted back in January of 2010 that he used steroids on and off throughout his playing career. He denied that it helped him hit home runs, which merely proves he’s still struggling to admit what he really did – cheat to play the game at its highest level.

          By sheer coincidence, I was reading a Sports Illustrated from August over the weekend. I hadn’t tossed it yet without reading it a little more thoroughly because Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha was on the cover. The Point After was by Phil Taylor describing a day with Rose.

          The story paints a familiar, and somewhat seedy, picture of the man with the most hits in Major League history. He signs his name and appears at memorabilia shows for money. Another coincidence has local sports talk station 97.5 The Fanatic regularly advertising an upcoming lunch with Rose in the area – for the price of a ticket.

          Taylor reports that Rose will sign baseballs admitting to almost anything these days, including his sin of betting on baseball which got him a lifetime ban from the game.

          It’s not a pretty picture by most measuring sticks. But it shouldn’t cloud the issue that it’s time for Major League Baseball to reinstate Rose.

          As I’ve said before, there’s no doubt that what he did was wrong. In the past I’ve said he should never be allowed to manage again, though McGwire’s status makes me wonder. It’s probably not an issue any more anyway as Rose is now 70 years old.

          But not allowing him into the Hall of Fame is just wrong. He’s been banned from the game since 1989. He’s served more than a fair punishment, far more than McGwire and the Alex Rodriguez’s of baseball have ever been punished for using the more egregious crime of using steroids, and it’s time to lift the ban.

          I get all the problems with a manager betting on baseball, though as far as I know Rose was never accused of betting against his team. That means his biggest offense in terms of baseball might have been managing a particular game too hard to win at the expense of the next game.

          McGwire cheated to be good at the plate (regardless of his claims), just like all the other steroid users. They cheated the fans and the record books.

          No one ever questioned how Rose played the game. This is Charlie Hustle. This is the guy who balled over a catcher and basically ended his career because he hit him so hard – in an All-Star Game with nothing but pride at stake. This is the Hit King.

          As a member of the Phillies in the early ‘80s, Rose was one of the reasons I fell in love with baseball. So, yes, I’m more than a little biased. But I don’t see how anyone who cares even a little bit about baseball isn’t disturbed by the juxtaposition of McGwire and Rose.

          MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has a lot to fix in baseball. It’s time he checked lifting Rose’s ban from baseball off the list.


Kuldeep Randhawa said...

Very brief blogging site thanks for sharing your thoughts to us...


Rob said...


Nov 3, 2011 07:01:42 AM, wrote:

Kuldeep Randhawa wrote: Very brief blogging site thanks for sharing your thoughts to us...


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