I found some more interesting commentary on the Rose thing. First, at USS Mariner. It’s a response of sort to the Only Baseball Matters commentary. Here’s my favorite passage:
I am, actually, going to say something about the Rose case. Some people who’ve long defended Rose have now taken the tack that this whole saga is somehow MLB, or Commissioner Giamatti, or John Dowd, or whoever else’s fault — not Rose’s. That he was somehow railroaded.
Go back though. Rose at the time was hugely popular. Baseball had no interest in turning the Hit King out from the game. There’s no reason for them to pursue the matter at all except if they believe the potential harm is greater than the awful public hit they’ll take.
Meanwhile, fellow BP writer Will Carrol has a conspiracy theory on his weblog:
The coordination between SeligRose has been aplenty since their “meeting”, the contents of which Bud now won’t acknowledge. Well how about SeligRose came up with a “let’s do the first apology in a half-ass way” strategy. That way public opinion would go against them (SeligRose), writers would be outraged, and it would look like they’re toast. Then in about a month or so, a press conference would be called, Schmidt/Morgan by their side, and Rose would CRY and say “I’m really, really, really SORRY! I hurt the game! Please FORGIVE ME!”
I don’t think I believe this, and I think we’re seeing evidence of Rose’s manuver backfiring, as John Perricone noticed:
Mike Lupica of the NY Daily News… “If he thinks that by coming clean he is going to get another shot at managing in the big leagues, he is at least only lying to himself now. Pete Rose will never have a field position in baseball, whether Commissioner Bud Selig reinstates him or not. And that reinstatement is no more of a sure thing now than before Rose finally came out on his gambling.”
Bill Madden of the NY Daily News…. “Rose’s admission after 15 years of denial that he bet on baseball is seen as his desperate last attempt to get reinstated to the game by commissioner Bud Selig and finally become eligible for the Hall of Fame.”
Gwen Knapp of the SF Chronicle…. “In writing this book, Rose didn’t stand up. He sold out. It defines him as an entertainer and salesman, not a sportsman. And we all know what hucksters have in mind when they write books or movie scripts: Save something for the sequel.”
Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post…. “Only a man who has lived by his own version of the law, or no laws at all, could make as hollow an attempt at confession and restitution as Rose has.”
For me, I didn’t like Rose much before this, but I can’t imagine a situation where I would put him in the Hall, now that we know he bet for the Reds. Never betting from the clubhouse makes no difference, as far as I’m concerned. I hope he spends the rest of his life banned from the game, which he certainly deserves. What I’m seeing from him is not real contrition, or even close. It’s a cynical attempt to get into the Hall of Fame and back in the dugout, or the start of one as Carroll points out.