Pete Rose, the legendary Cincinnati Reds player and manager, has lodged yet another petition for reinstatement to baseball.
His latest attempt for a pardon cites the current situation surrounding the Houston Astros cheating scandal, specifically the stunning lack of any real punishment in that case.
We all know Pete Rose bet on Reds games. That’s bad, but there’s one important caveat: There’s no evidence he ever bet against Cincinnati.
That would be a different conversation.
If anything, his bets highlight just how much he believed in his team and himself.
That’s why Rose’s reinstatement petition has widespread support, including from the most powerful man on the planet – U.S. President Donald Trump.
Trump isn’t a latecomer to Pete Rose’s reinstatement campaign. He’s been banging the drum for the controversial baseball outcast since before he arrived in the White House.
The question is: Does support from someone as polarizing as Donald Trump help or hinder Rose’s cause?
There are fans who previously backed Rose’s reinstatement but are now questioning that stance purely based on Trump’s endorsement.
You can’t be seen backing a Trump guy, right?
And Pete Rose is a Trump guy.
He’s never hidden his support for the president. He sent him a signed ball in the lead-up to the 2016 election imploring him to “Make America Great Again.”
But forget about politics. And forget about the Hall of Fame for a minute too. Consider that Pete Rose’s ban from baseball has now lasted over 30 years.
During that time, we’ve seen Mark McGwire, who admitted to using steroids during his playing career, be allowed to coach within the league.
Commenting on the steroid era in baseball and how it should relate to the Hall of Fame, Peter Gammons of the MLB Network summed it up:
I judge players by their eras and who they played against. I finally just decided, you know what, they’re so great that they should be in the Hall of Fame because it’s a museum of baseball history.
Should such a statement apply to someone like Pete Rose too?
Given the scandals that have plagued him over the past three decades, it’s easy to forget that he was a hell of a player.
He’s still the all-time leader in hits, games played, and singles – just to name a few of his records. Then there are his three World Series rings, along with an MVP and two Gold Glove awards.
If we’re judging players on how great they are, Pete Rose deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Full stop.
Steroids can help a player hit the ball harder and run faster.
A betting slip can’t.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.