Mike Downey at CNN writes a column about how Pete Rose has served enough time and should be reinstated. It’s no different than any of the other gabillion Pete Rose columns so it’s not of any special interest in and of itself. Outside of the fact, maybe, that Downey is a Hall of Fame voter and says that he would like the chance to vote for Rose for rose rather than have him be off the ballot.
While the Rose topic has been talked to death generally, I do think that people have overlooked his actual Hall of Fame chances should he be reinstated. Specifically, I question whether the same voters who have taken moral stands against the PED guys actually would vote for Rose whether he’s eligible or not.
After all, these guys are freely admitting that they’re imposing a higher standard than MLB imposes. I mean, Barry Bonds and all of those guys are 100% eligible for the Hall and they’re not sniffing induction. Who’s to say that Rose will get any different treatment? Some have, in the past, drawn distinctions between Rose and the PED guys. And have drawn distinctions between Pete Rose the player and Pete Rose the manager. As such, I think his vote totals would be healthier than that of say Bonds and Clemens. But I can’t see how a full 75% of the people who have decided that lying and breaking rules and affecting the outcome of games in some way that is unquantifiable is a disqualifying factor for some players wouldn’t be one for Rose.
Personally I’d vote for Rose for the Hall if he were eligible because he was clearly an elite player who deserves induction. But that standard isn’t the one that Hall of Fame voters have applied over the years. As such, I think he’d have a tough sled.