For Fans Who Should Know Better

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Mudville: June 22, 2024 8:17 am PDT

Already the odds are out there, the odds of the Oakland A’s moving to Las Vegas. You know, Sin City, the betting capital of the world.

The odds are 5/4 the A’s move to Vegas, according to Betonline.ag.

Over at SportsBetting.ag the A’s are 7/4 to relocate to Vegas.

MLB and betting are big business together and you see it everywhere at the ballparks and on TV with FanDuel and DraftKings and others. It’s the lay of the land now and I get it, fans want to get in on the action. Just watch five minutes of Ken Burns “Baseball’’ and betting and baseball have always been linked, now more than ever.

Considering all that, isn’t it past time for baseball to take Pete Rose off the suspended list, somewhere he has lived since 1989? He signed an agreement with baseball accepting the indefinite suspension and two years later a rule was passed, if you are on that list you are not eligible for the Hall of Fame.

Nearly every year that I went up to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown for Hall of Fame Weekend, I would stop by and visit with Pete in the back of a baseball shop where he was making money signing autographs. I’d usually be with Bob Nightengale and Scott Miller and we would just sit around, have some laughs and Pete would talk about baseball with passion and tell Pete Stories.

Pete Rose was born to do two things, hit a baseball, and talk about baseball.

Everything else is secondary. Pete knew us from his playing and managerial days. In my days of covering the Padres it was always fun to visit with Pete in his managerial office at Riverfront Stadium.

“Pete Rose made his mistakes, plenty of them. He also got more hits than anybody in the history of the game. All bets are off.”

He welcomed the writers and always had a host of questions about the visiting team, pumping us for information, for his job and his other job evidently, betting on MLB games.

Pete would make fun of himself as well. I remember one conversation he was relating a story from high school and the way I recall it, regarding some high school event, he said, “Now was that the first time I was in 10th grade or the second time?’’

That was Pete.

Pete Rose is 80 years old now, totally hooked up in the Vegas lifestyle and that includes his betting picks for UPickTrade that can be found on Twitter @UPickTradeBets.

It’s legal – and Pete is involved – and he will let you know a couple a winners, he thinks, if you want that advice from the All-Time Hit King. MLB is partners with gambling operations and Pete is feeding from the trough, too.

With all that in mind here at Baseball or Bust, Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame. He should have a plaque that tells of his achievements, and of his bad deeds as well. It’s time, and with all the crazy changes baseball is making like fake runners – that by the way, impacts a bet – and everything else including the banishing of minor league franchises, shifts, strikeout totals that have never been seen before, new rules that have arrived, and are still coming, and don’t forget steroids and electronic sign stealing, why can’t baseball find a little corner in the HOF Plaque Gallery for Pete Rose?

Pete has never been on the ballot so don’t blame the baseball writers, one way or another. For the sake of the history of the game, Pete Rose should be in the Hall and I feel the same way about Shoeless Joe Jackson as well.

It seems that everything can change with the game except one thing, keeping Pete Rose out of the Hall of Fame.

``Who, me``? Could it finally be time for MLB to let all time Hit King Pete Rose in to the Hall of Fame? (Getty Images)

Just think of all those Reds fans who would love the moment. In 2015 during the All-Star Game in Cincinnati I visited with hundreds of fans that week and nearly everyone was pulling for Pete to be in the Hall of Fame, warts and all. I was amazed at the love that was there for Pete Rose and that love is still there today. Reds fans are great fans, Cincinnati has always been a great baseball city.

I believe this should happen as much for the fans, and maybe more so, than for Pete Rose. Rose has shown us time and again that he is a survivor. You may hate what he did, but he’s still around. You had to appreciate the way he played. There was only one Charlie Hustle.

Just consider this: Pete Rose totaled 4,256 hits, beating the previous mark held by Ty Cobb at 4,189. Third on the list is Henry Aaron at 3,771. Derek Jeter is sixth at 3,465. To find a current player you have to go to 14th place to see Albert Pujols with 3,253 hits and he was just DFA’d.

This current class on the upcoming HOF ballot will include Alex Rodriguez who is 22nd with 3,115 hits and David Ortiz. To really get a grasp of how many hits 4,256 hits really are, consider this: The Great Mike Trout, who is in his 11th season and is the best player in the game – he also by the way cut down his Launch Angle this year to make more contact – owns 1,418 hits.

Pete Rose has Trout by 2,838 hits.

That puts the Pete Rose hit total in perspective.

I spoke with Hall of Fame Baseball Writer Hal McCoy, 80, who has covered it all in Cincinnati and there are things he really, really dislikes about Pete Rose, but he also told BallNine, “I think Pete has more than served his time. People always bring up Joe Jackson too and I believe he should be in also.’’

There is a bit too much canceling going on in this world right now in all quarters and I would like to see baseball celebrate some baseball things. What is wrong with having a celebration? And betting has become such a part of the game. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens have not yet made the Hall but at least they are on the ballot and they could get into Hall via veterans committee decisions in the future if they don’t make the cut.

Pete Rose does not have that option available to him right now, so he just goes along being Pete Rose and is partnering up with betting outfits. Can you blame him?

When he signed the deal with UPickTrade, Rose explained his reasoning, telling CNBC, “I watch two or three games a day, I live in Las Vegas, and it’s easier for me to use my expertise to help guys pick games as opposed to betting on games. I tell you who I like and why I like them and I think I can be pretty successful at it, you need a lot of luck because a lot of strange things happen in a sporting event and I’m looking forward to helping guys who want to try and win some money… and baseball is getting smart because football was making money on gambling and basketball was making money in gambling, hockey was starting to make money on gambling so baseball they’re in bed with the gamblers now, which is not a bad thing.

“I mean if people are going to bet, help them out where they can win. It’s all legal. That’s the important thing about what I do.”

His advice is simple when it comes to betting baseball.

“I look at the way the pitcher is performing right now,’’ he said. “Is the team playing good right now. Is it a road team? Are they playing good on the road? Is it a more superior home team? What players are out that mean a difference to a team? If your star player is out, you’re not going to score as many runs. If you are not going to score as many runs, the opposition has got the chance of winning. You have to be real particular with who is playing in the game, Who may be playing that’s hurt, those kind of things.

“It’s all about injury. Picking baseball games is all about injuries and all about pitchers. Are your best pitchers pitching? Are your pitchers good on the road? Are they better at home? Who’s hot right now? Who’s not? Because baseball seems to carry trends,’’ he said. “The trends stay intact for days at a time and that is what you got to watch.’’

Kind of like the Mets, who have won seven straight.

“I’m not going to try to be an expert on eight, nine, 10 games,’’ Rose added. “That’s too difficult. I am going to concentrate on two or three games at the most. I might throw a basketball game in there because I really watch basketball. I might throw a hockey team in there, okay. There are a lot of sports going on and I follow all the sports because they start getting sports out here at 9 o’clock in the morning.’’

There you have it, right from the horse’s mouth.

Speaking of horses, Rose touted Essential Quality to win the Kentucky Derby, not Medina Spirit.

Across its banner, UPick has a picture of Pete Rose with his name and this hashtag #INPETEWETRUST

The point of all this is that it is abundantly clear that Pete Rose is not going to stop being Pete Rose.

Yes, a rose is a rose is a rose, but a thorn is a thorn is a thorn, too.

Gertrude Stein knew all that when she wrote the poem “Sacred Emily’’ back in 1913. That was the year Shoeless Joe Jackson hit .373 for the Cleveland Naps with a 1.011 OPS and finished second in the AL MVP voting to Walter Johnson. Two years later he was essentially sold to the White Sox. His MLB career was over after the 1920 season. Go to the www.shoelessJoeJackson.org to learn so much more about Shoeless Joe.

Jackson was 32 years old when he played his last game in the major leagues. Shoeless Joe finished with 1,772 hits.

Pete Rose would finish his career with 2,484 more hits than Joe Jackson.

Whenever I would sit down with Rose he would talk about winning, that is what drove him. One of the great statistics he throws out there is that he played in 1,972 winning games. He gets passionate about the subject. Rose played 24 years in the majors

He recently did a podcast with Drinkin’ Bros Sports where he threw out this fascinating information about his 24-year career that spanned from 1963-1986, with the Reds, Phillies and one year in Montreal.

Former Cincinnati Reds player Pete Rose, center, sits with Reds greats, from left, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Dave Concepcion and Barry Larkin during a ceremony to retire his No. 14 before a game against the San Diego Padres in Cincinnati. (Photo: John Minchillo / AP)

“Let me tell you guys a stat, this is interesting, okay,’’ Rose said. “I’m going to give you guys that I played with, teammates of mine. (Johnny) Bench, (Mike) Schmidt, (Barry) Larkin, (Joe) Morgan, (Tony) Perez, Frank Robinson, Tim Raines, Andre Dawson, left-hand pitcher Steve Carlton, right-hand pitcher Tom Seaver. Every position, my teammates, were Hall of Famers. Now, whatever player can say that? Think about that. I got to play with a Hall of Famer at every fricking position. That’s why I won so many games.’’

That is amazing. And points like that get lost in the Pete Rose Betting Controversy.

In addition to the most hits ever in the game, Rose also played in the most games 3,562, had the most plate appearances with 15,890 and the most at-bats, totaling 14,053.

When he broke Ty Cobb’s record for most hits on September 11, 1985 at Riverfront Stadium against the Padres and Eric Show, who sat on the mound during the celebration, Morgan was in the broadcast  booth, along with Ken Wilson. Morgan said: “Pete Rose is baseball… The only thing I’m disappointed in is that I can’t be down there to shake his hand right now.’’

Rose was born in Cincinnati and Wilson noted: “It’s his game, his town and it’s his moment.’’

The two men captured the moment and the man.

At that time Pete Rose was baseball. Yes, he went on to screw it all up betting on baseball, but that’s Pete, too.

He received his ban when an investigation by John Dowd showed Rose bet on baseball games, including the Reds, the team he managed.

Rose would love to get his chance to be on the Hall of Fame ballot. He will always be the all-time hits leader. He will always be Pete Rose, a thorn in baseball’s side but there should be a door opened here. There are saints and sinners in the Hall of Fame. And then there are all those Hall of Famers who were teammates at one point or another with Pete Rose.

Morgan, Seaver and Robinson have died in the last two years. Pete Rose is 80 and is still playing hard, playing to win. Pete Rose has been kept out of the Hall of Fame long enough.

That Rose group of 11 Hall of Fame players needs to be 12. Let Rose have his day in Cooperstown. Baseball has changed in so many ways, and there has been the recent cheating scandal with the Astros and the long-playing steroid controversy.

It is time for this change to take place as well. Pete Rose made his mistakes, plenty of them. He also got more hits than anybody in the history of the game.

All bets are off.

45+ years, columnist at NY Post for the last 23 years prior to joining BallNine. Elected to the NY Baseball Hall of Fame. Former SportsTalk Host (KFMB), ESPN’s First Take and Cold Pizza contributor. Frequent guest on radio shows and podcasts nationwide. Author of seven books. Seen in episode 10 of ESPN’s “The Last Dance” (the one with Dennis Rodman). First baseball interview he conducted was with Thurman Munson. Now you know why he is America’s Most Beloved Sportswriter.

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