Sunday, December 15, 2002

Fay Vincent, former MLB Commissioner, continues his personal vendetta against Pete Rose, one of the all-time great baseball players. His NY Times op-ed says:

The evidence collected by the commissioner's office — betting slips in Mr. Rose's handwriting, the testimony of his bookie — seemed overwhelming. Mr. Rose, the all-time leader in hits, had bet on his own team repeatedly. He committed baseball's capital crime. But Mr. Rose would admit nothing, so Bart was left with no choice. Mr. Rose was banished from the game and placed on the permanently ineligible list.
The statement is very unfair to Rose. Rose cooperated with the investigation, and admitted to having an extreme gambling habit, illegally betting on basketball and football, as well as various legal bets. See this FAQ for general info. He adamantly denied betting on baseball. Rose and the MLB Commissioner agreed to sort of a plea bargain in which Rose admitted that he did wrong and accepted being banned from baseball, but did not admit to betting on baseball.

Rose obviously thought that he'd be reinstated after a couple of years, because the Commissioner agreed not to pursue the allegation that he bet on baseball. But Commissioner Giamatti immediately reneged on the deal, claimed that he had proof that Rose bet on baseball, and died of a heart attack a few days later.

I think that Giamatti's friends are carrying out a vendetta against Rose because they blame him for killing Giamatti. Rose was not even accused of committing baseball's real capital crime, which is to deliberately throw a game. Everyone always said that played his best. Rose is not accused of betting against his own team, either. Pete Rose belongs in the hall of fame, and should not be blackballed by some petty league officials.

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