The big story right now isn’t who’s going to get into the Baseball Hall of Fame this year (although everything points to Paul Molitor and Dennis Eckersley, both deserving in my eyes), but who might be on the ballot last year.
It’s interesting to see how the Pete Rose story developed. Of course rumor started last year about secret talks between Bud Selig and Rose, with some veteran players coming to bat for Charlie Hustle.
Then, Baseball Prospectus made the headlines in even mainstream publications and websites by scooping everyone and writing a story saying Rose’s reinstatement was imminent (well, at least by the end of 2004). Prospectus might not get the credit they deserve, but they were right.
Then just a week or so ago, Rob Neyer speculated that things would break with Rose’s book release.
And the rest, as they say is history, as Rose finally admitted that he bet on baseball. He said he never bet on his own team (never proven, but there’s still some speculation), and for that, we should feel sorry for him. And opinions are across the board on whether he should be reinstated. My opinion is, I’m all for giving a guy a second chance. But with some conditions. I don’t think Rose should be able to manage. It’s just way to risky. I also think they should put Rose on probation. Say maybe 3-5 years. Where he can act as a spokesman for the game, attend events, but would not be able to join a team in any capacity, and wouldn’t be allowed to be put on the ballot for the Hall of Fame.
Then, after a period of scrutiny we can make a better decision. Yes, Pete Rose has had to wait, but the risks are just to great to the integrity of the game to just open the door completely and invite him back into the house.