Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Baseball Writers Display Mixed Emotions

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball
Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Commissioner
245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor
New York, NY 10167
(212) 931-3800

Dear Mr. Commissioner:

In the small amount of reading I’ve done, I’ve come across some interesting quotations. The magnitude of individuals involved with Pete Rose’s circumstances has already astonished me. It would appear that Rose’s best chance to get voted in -- the Baseball Writers Association of America -- has come and gone. I learned this from a USA Today article that’s not quite as old as the others I’d come across. Rod Beaton, the article’s author, quotes several baseball writers and their varying opinions on whether or not they’d vote for Rose’s selection to Cooperstown. He cites Minneapolis Star Tribune writer La Velle Neal III as having mixed emotions. Neal writes:

"It is rather disturbing that he would use a method of making money (writing a
book) in order to admit his guilt," but later adds, “If Pete Rose is reinstated
by Major League Baseball, he should be considered for the Hall of Fame. If he's
on next year's ballot, I'd probably vote for him. He is the hit king. If we
start using character to determine who enters the Hall of Fame, you would have
to go back and re-evaluate a lot of people already in.”

This (the latter part) is a point I believe I have made before. Many athletes (including those in Major League Baseball) have made mistakes and told lies, some, it is speculated, did so before Congress, or pretended not to be able to speak English all of a sudden. I don’t mean to weigh one offense against another, but a mistake is a mistake.

It would also appear that some that would vote Rose in would prefer to wait, a sort of imposed punishment for his actions and lies. We’re going on 20 years since Giamatti’s ban, a span that’s closing in on the amount of time Rose’s professional baseball career stretched. How much time is due punishment? I’d say 18 years is a nice round number. Let’s end this before 20 and get this ban lifted.

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