Yesterday afternoon I was monitoring the MLB Network when I heard a panel discussion of Alex Rodriguez approaching another big milestone: 3,000 hits. A few days ago Rodriguez passed 2,000 RBI; Rodriguez is number 4 in RBI. Rodriguez is only number 29 in hits but a bigger deal is being made of that for some odd reason.
Alex Rodriguez: 2,001 RBI and a Space Odyssey. Sunday, June 14, 2015
During the discussion of Rodriguez, host Brian Kenny and former player Cliff Floyd both stated how impressed they were with the achievements of Rodriguez but that his use of performance enhancing drugs (PED) ruins his entire record for them. Nothing Rodriguez did before, during and after his use of PED has any validity for them. Rodriguez might was well not even exist.
Later, I had two TVs going: Yankee game on the YES Network, U.S. Open (golf) on Fox Sports One when the golf disappeared and a pre-game show started at 8:00 PM featuring Pete Rose, banned for gambling on baseball games while he was manager of the Cincinnati Reds in the 1980s. I was surprised to see Rose (and his odd appearance) and could not help but think of the irony of how he and Rodriguez were being treated on the same day on the league's TV network.
Later during the Yankee game Rodriguez went 2 for 4, plus a walk in the 9th inning. That left him with 2,999 hits. Yankee fans at the Stadium were obviously delighted with the possibility that Rodriguez would get that third hit. The 9th inning walk was on four pitches, all way inside. You had to wonder if the Miami pitcher was deliberately denying Rodriguez the opportunity even if it hurt his team. Yankee fans booed a lot.
Pete Rose is scheduled to be part of the All Star game activities in Cincinnati in July. No doubt his old fans will treat him with affection despite his transgression. Many baseball fans think that Rose has suffered enough. But what has he suffered? Not having a coaching job? Not being eligible for the Hall of Fame? Four of the six Hall of Fame criteria deal with character, only two with stats. In addition to his lifetime ban Rose served time for not paying his income tax. Not murder but not anything admirable.
For me their transgressions are not close. Rose should remain banned at least for each day he lied about gambling on baseball: 14 years, starting with the day he finally admitted that he had gambled. Therefor Rose should have a long way to go to even be considered much less actually re-instated. Rose hangs out in Cooperstown, signing autographs. He also does that at a Casino in Las Vegas. Tacky at best.
Rose broke a fundamental rule, which was created because seven members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox took money from gamblers to intentionally lose the World Series to ... the Cincinnati Reds. A bit of irony there. For me Pete Rose can remain outside forever.
Alex Rodriguez served his full punishment, which was much more severe than that of Rose. Rodriguez was not allowed to play for an entire season, much longer than anyone else with a similar offense. Further, Rodriguez was not considered for commutation and so does not need to allocute or apologize. Rodriguez does not owe anyone anything. There's plenty more in this post:
Conduct unbecoming: HBP, gambling, PED. Thursday, April 23, 2015