Is Pete Rose going to get a pardon?

Leave a comment

This would be interesting:

Thanks to the behind-the-scenes lobbying from some of the most
influential Hall of Famers, commissioner Bud Selig is said to be
seriously considering lifting Pete Rose’s lifetime suspension from
baseball.

The tip-off that Selig may now be inclined to pardon baseball’s
all-time hit king was Hank Aaron’s seemingly impromptu interview
session with a small group of reporters in the lobby of the Otesaga
Hotel on Saturday. In declaring for the first time that he would want
an asterisk put on the achievements of any steroid cheats elected to
the Hall of Fame, Aaron brought up Rose, who, in August of 1989, was
given a lifetime ban for gambling on baseball, saying: “I would like to
see Pete in. He belongs there.”

My personal feeling on the Rose situation is that, given his past, he
should never ever be allowed to be in a position where he could impact
or effect what happens on the field. That means no coaching, no
managing, no front office position that touches on baseball operations,
and no supervision or authority over anyone who does. But the fact
remains that Rose remains a very popular figure among the fans — he
gets standing ovations simply by walking to a seat for which he bought
a ticket at Great American Park — and could probably do a lot to
promote the Reds in particular, baseball at large, and the charitable
organizations affiliated with those entities if given the chance. Such
a thing could be accomplished if he were given a limited reinstatement.
Such a thing would also likely cut down on the amount of shameless
self-promotion in which he engages as well, because he likely wouldn’t
need to make an ass out of himself for a paycheck, and that’s something
that baseball should care about.

And yes, reinstatement means renewed eligibility for the Hall of Fame
via the Veterans’ Committee. I’ve gone back and forth on this over the
years, but as of now I think Rose probably should be in the Hall of
Fame. Why? Because at bottom, the Hall of Fame is a museum/historical
society, and I don’t like the idea of whitewashing history. Maybe you
don’t give him his big day on the podium like Rice and Henderson had
yesterday, but not having his plaque up there bothers my sense of
historical accuracy far more than having it up there would bother my
sense of ethics. And obviously the plaque has to mention his
bannination and the reasons for it. I realize that reasonable people
disagree on this point, of course.

Of course this raises the question of what, if anything, a Rose
reinstatement would mean for the steroids users. True, they’re not
banned and thus their eligibility for the Hall hasn’t been technically
affected, but I do think Rose being allowed back into the game would
have an impact on them all the same. I say this because I can’t help
but think that, at the heart of many BBWAA members’ feelings regarding
steroids users, is the sentiment that “hey, if baseball can keep out
Rose for violating the gambling rules, I can use my vote to keep out
steroids users.” If Rose was back, isn’t it possible that some writers
would re-think their opposition to the PED guys? That no one should
stand in the way of history being recorded the way it should be?

I suppose reasonable people can disagree about that too.

Jack Morris and Alan Trammell make the Hall of Fame on the Modern Era ballot

Rick Stewart/Getty Images
6 Comments

The Modern Era ballot was revealed last month. The results have been announced on Sunday night. Jack Morris and Alan Trammell will be inducted into the Hall of Fame next summer.

Morris, now 62, pitched parts of 18 seasons in the majors, 14 of which were spent with the Tigers. He played on four championship teams: the 1984 Tigers, the 1991 Twins, and the 1992-93 Blue Jays. While his regular season stats weren’t terribly impressive beyond his 254 wins, Morris has always had a decent amount of Hall of Fame support due to his postseason performances. Morris shut the Braves out over 10 innings in Game 7 of the ’91 World Series. That being said, his postseason ERA of 3.80 isn’t far off his regular season ERA of 3.90. If you ask me, Morris doesn’t pass muster for the Hall of Fame. He now has the highest career ERA of any pitcher in the Hall.

Trammel, now 59, had been unjustly kept out of the Hall of Fame despite a terrific career. He hit .285/.352/.415 across parts of 20 seasons from 1977-96, all with the Tigers. He was regarded as a tremendous defender and made a memorable combination up the middle with Lou Whitaker, who also played with the Tigers from 1977-95. According to Baseball Reference, Trammell racked up 70.4 Wins Above Replacement during his career, which is slightly more than Hall of Famer Barry Larkin (70.2) and as much as Hall of Famer Ron Santo (70.4).

Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons, Luis Tiant, and Marvin Miller were not elected to the Hall of Fame. Miller continuing to be shut out is a travesty. Craig has written at length here about Miller’s exclusion.