20 years ago today, Pete Rose was banned from baseball for life for gambling when he was the manager of the Cincinnati Reds. Much debate has gone on recently about whether Rose sould be reinstated. I, myself, believe he should, but I am not so one-sided that I can't see the other side of the argument.
Mike Schmidt mentioned this recently and it is a valid point. Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, and others have used performance-enhancing drugs and have admitted it. Rose gambled on his team to win. While wrong, I don't believe he deserves a lifetime sentence when Manny Ramirez had to sit out 50 games for doing something much worse.
Steroid users pollute the game like carbon dioxide pollutes the atmosphere. They compromise the game more than gambling on your team does. Let's not forget that Rose didn't throw any games. The gambling didn't have an effect on the game because he was trying to win any way.
Now Pete Rose goes around autographing balls for money all year. While Alex Rodriguez is out making $33 million a year. It is not right. Using steroids has much more of an unfair impact on the game. If Pete Rose is banned, so should the 'roid users.
Here is where I am somewhat conflicted. If Eric Bruntlett got thrown out of the game for gambling, no one would be talking about trying to get him back in the game. Rose is being considered because he is the Hit King. Any regular player would not be given the same treatment.
Whether Rose is reinstated or not, I don't know. He should be reinstated and I'm not just saying that because he is a former Phillie. I believe he has suffered longer than players doing worse things in the game today.