(KPIX 5 COMMENTARY) – Third time’s a charm for most people. Not Pete Rose.
Baseball’s all-time hits leader failed in his third attempt at reinstatement. This time, it was Rob Manfred’s turn to sit on his throne and slam the gavel, throwing Rose out on his rear end onto Park Avenue.
The commissioner cited more evidence that Rose gambled on the Reds while he was manager, still gambles today, and all the other B.S. that I’m flat out of tired of hearing.
“Mr. Rose has not presented credible evidence of reconfigured life either by an honest acceptance by him of his wrongdoing, so clearly established by the Dowd Report, or by a rigorous, self-aware and sustained program of avoidance by him of all the circumstances that led to his permanent ineligibility in 1989,” wrote Manfred in a statement.
Let me translate for you. Rose gambled on the Reds, lied about it, finally admitted it, still gambles on baseball and just isn’t being a very good boy.
At the root of the problem is that Rose gambled on baseball and the Reds. I get it. He could and possibly did alter the outcome of games. He deserved banishment. He deserved exclusion and alienation. But for God’s sake, man, he was banned in 1989! Hasn’t he paid for this crime?
You know who else altered the outcome of games? Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and the rest of the ‘Roid Ragers. And you know something? They lied about it too. They changed outcomes of games, they tainted record books and denied it all the way to the frickin’ bank.
Baseball doesn’t like to link Rose and the Roid Ragers because, well, it’s just not good policy. You see, Bud Selig knew about the Ragers, just like the managers, the players, the trainers and the fans. Everybody was in on the fix because the homers were flying and the money was rolling in. Then Canseco went and crashed the party.
Manfred one more time on Rose, “…an honest acceptance by him of his wrongdoing.” Seriously? What did McGwire say to the Congressional Committee? “I didn’t come here to talk about the past.” Palmeiro? Sosa? Where was the “honest acceptance” of those game-changers?
Last year I interviewed Tony La Russa in front of a packed house in San Jose. I began one of my questions by asking, “Now, about Pete Rose.” That was all I needed to say before the place started cheering.
Baseball as American as apple pie? Those are some rotten apples, man.
See you on TV.