Major League Travesty: Why Pete Rose Should Sue Major League Baseball

October 12, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

Mr. Darcy Fournier

The debate about Pete Rose and his eligibility for placement in the Hall of Fame is well documented, with passionate arguments for and against his induction.

I am not a “fan” of Pete Rose. However, I am not oblivious to his contributions to the game, and the poor choices he made along the way.

I am equally not oblivious to the political football this has become, and how poorly this has been handled by just about everyone, Rose included.

The points of contention are as follows…

The Major Argument for his Induction: Rose is the all-time baseball hits leader. In fact, Rose holds 17 major league records, and seven National League records. He was a switch hitting machine that batted over .300 for his career, appeared in 17 All-Star games, and was a major part of three World Series championship teams.

He is a former MVP and a former Rookie of the Year. He was a switch hitter that could play anywhere in the field. He hustled on every play, and one would be hard-pressed to find his equal in the history of the game.

The major argument against his induction: He violated one of baseball’s rules by betting on baseball as a player and a manager. He lied about it for decades before admitting to the charges.



He agreed to a permanent ban, but did so because he was told that he could apply for reinstatement a year later. Rose had no clue that offer was just window dressing. The MLB never had any intention of letting Rose back into the game.

That’s the first reason to file suit.

There are of course other arguments that have nothing to do with what the man did on the field that others raise against Rose being allowed back into the game or elected into the Hall.

He evaded taxes. He is, according to some, of dubious character. His detractors will tell you he was selfish, and played too long in his quest to break the all-time hits record.  As a player-manager in his final years, some say he put himself in the lineup at the expense of younger players such as Eric Davis in his selfish pursuit of the record.

Those arguing these points conveniently forget that there was an organization behind him that allowed him to do just that.

He eats cornflakes without milk and knows where the weapons of mass destruction are. Okay, sorry about that…but hey, might as well argue that too, as it makes about as much sense as any other argument.

He appeared at such events that some appear to be “beneath” the game. Events like Wrestlemania, in which he dressed himself as the San Diego Chicken, and was pile-driven onto his head and into oblivion by a behemoth named “Kane”.



Can anyone picture DiMaggio doing something like that? Of course not, everyone knows that being known as “Mr. Coffee” is of the highest class.

It has been proven that Rose bet on baseball. That is clear. He violated the rules. It was proven by an independant investigation and by his own admission. He clearly violated the rules of the game. We get it.  

The only difference between Pete Rose and those in the Hall is that he got caught. What are the chances that some, many or all of those in the Hall violated rules of the game?

I would be willing to bet the odds are pretty high. I wonder if Pete would give me action on those odds. Sorry Pete, my bad.

The one thing that stands out like a sore thumb in the sad saga of Pete Rose is the fact that it was never proven that he bet against his own team. If this could be proven then a ban would be justified. It has not been thus far and therefore the ban seems political and petty.

When some argue that it was never proven he bet on his team to lose, it is often countered with the argument that it does not matter because in betting on his team to win he might be tempted to manage to the tune of his bets and not to the integrity of the game or the safety of his players.

Every manager in the game does everything they can to win. Ask any manager if they would bet on their team to win and all would say yes. Rose actually did. He believed in his team. 



It seems that the real sticking point, and the real reason why Rose has been denied, is the dark cloud over that question. Did he bet on his team to lose? He denies he ever bet on his team to lose, and there has been, to date, no proof to believe otherwise.

It seems that the MLB operates on the “I think they did, so therefore they must have” rule of thumb. Screw the Constitution, we’re Major League Baseball.

It is here that Rose has yet another reason to sue the MLB.

In the era of steroids, iconic records have fallen to less-than-iconic players that cheated, or appear to have. Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and company have all been accused of using performance enhancing drugs that greatly affected the history and integrity of the game.

They have not been banned from making a living off memorabilia. They have been placed on a silent, not formal, ineligibility list, because those that vote on the process have an ‘opinion” they used PED’S even though it has not been conclusively proven. Yet they have not been asked to sign such an agreement as Rose was.

The Mitchell report, baseball’s joke of an independent investigation into steroid use, names 103 players that had violated baseball’s performance-enhancing drug policy. However, it has been agreed that the 103 names should not be released, because it would hurt the integrity of the game.



The players union would fight and file suit against any attempt to release the names, so hidden they remain. The MLB and the Players Union cover their ass when it is convenient, and Rose’s buttocks are left hanging out to dry.

Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, and David Ortiz, among others, were rumored, admitted to, or have since been leaked as being on the list. Their numbers still stand, and they still make money.

Those 103 players mentioned in the report violated the rules of the game much like Rose, but unlike Rose they damaged the integrity of the sport. They altered outcomes and manipulated stats.

Of all of them, Alex Rodriguez is the only one that gets a pass. He admitted to using, and while he may not have been entirely truthful, he still admitted to it. Therefore, his stats from the years he admitted to using should be stricken, and then he should be judged on his career stats minus those years.

The others on the list should be banned from the game, stats stricken, and exiled.

Rose is a different animal.

He admitted, finally, to gambling. He still denies he did not bet against his team. It has not been proven. Therefore there are no stats to wipe, no integrity violated. Let the man back in.


Doesn’t every manager “bet,” in a sense, on his team to win? What more could Joe Girardi, the Yankees‘ current skipper, do to make his team win that Rose did as a manager? Did Rose inject his players with super juice to make them pitch better? Did his players fly?


The only difference between Joe Girardi, or any other manager, and Pete Rose, is that Rose bet, literally, on his team to win.

Put a plaque up about the player. Induct the player. He was never getting in as a manager, so why worry about it?

Don’t get me wrong, Rose’s actions are not commendable or excusable.  He is not exactly a sympathetic figure. However, since it can’t be proven that he damaged the integrity of the game, he should be allowed to be part of it once again.

He should be in the Hall of fame for his actions on the field, and nothing more.

Pete Rose the man deserves the reputation he has. He earned it. The Hall of Fame does not elect those based on their character…they elect those based on what they did on the field.

Pete Rose, the ballplayer, is getting screwed.

Pete Rose should sue for his right to be back in the game. He should sue for his right to be elected. He should sue for his inability to earn a living from the game.


The Hall of Fame is for performance, not personality. He is not the nicest guy on the bus, but in comparison to Ty Cobb, a Hall of Famer himself, Rose looks like an angel.

There are several in the Hall that don’t belong. There are many that should be in there now and have been overlooked. Rose is at the top of that list, and it’s about time he is rewarded for his contributions to the game as a player, and is inducted into the Hall where he belongs.

Until then, the Hall of Fame is nothing but an elitist club that is a stain on America’s pastime.


Read more New York Yankees news on BleacherReport.com

readers comments
  1. austin on July 28th, 2014 6:44 am


    good info….

Yankee Tickets

Yankee Tickets

Shop Yankee

Shop Yankee