Pete Rose, baseball’s all-time career hit leader, is also one of the most outrageous creeps ever to play the game, which is just as remarkable an accomplishment when one considers competition like Cap Anson, Hal Chase, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez. The amazing thing is that Pistol Pete keeps adding to his jerk resume even now, and he’s 81 years old.
Rose was my very first American Ethics Dunce when the now inactive Ethics Scoreboard debuted in January of 2004. I wrote then,
Pete Rose now admits he bet on baseball (after ten years of lying about it) but says that his bets (always in favor of his team, never against it, he says) as manager of the Cincinnati Reds never effected his management decisions, and thus he did not harm the integrity of the game. He feels he should be let back into the game as a manager.
A couple of things, Pete:
1) Even if this were true, fans of the game cannot put their faith in the outcome of games when they know that those who help determine the outcome might be motivated by their wagers. This is the reason that we call “the appearance of impropriety” an ethical problem.
2) Presumably you did not bet on the Reds when a key player was sitting out, or when your starting pitcher wasn’t feeling good. Right? Or are we supposed to believe that you bet large amounts of money while already in debt to bookies in circumstances when you thought you would lose? So every time you didn’t bet on the Reds, you were sending information to the bookies, and it affected their odds on the game. Got it?
3) You say you never bet against the Reds. You used to say you never bet on baseball. You’re a liar. Why should anyone believe you now?
Later, the Scoreboard made Pete the first (and so far only) Ethics Dunce Emeritus after he admitted that in fact he did bet on every Reds game as a manager. (I really need to add Bill Clinton to the Ethics Dunce Emeritus ranks, among others. Remind me.)After I moved over to Ethics Alarms in 2009, Pete kept making ethics news. We found out, for example, that Rose used a corked bat, which is illegal, while he played. So much for his “I didn’t break any rules while I was playing” claim. Pete also admitted that, well, yes, he bet on games while he was playing too, which he had denied for decades. Periodically, he has made overtures to Major League Baseball to forgive and forget, and most important to Pete, let him into the Hall of Fame, from which he has been banned. These efforts have actually had some value, as Pete’s arguments span the breadth of unethical rationalizations: I discussed this here, in 2015.
But in unethical conduct, just like on the playing field, the hits just keep on coming for Pete Rose.An online sports website paid him to help promote its activities in Ohio by placing the first legal sports bet at the Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati on Jan. 1, 2023, one minute after midnight, when sports betting becomes legal in the state. Pete had previously pronounced himself as a gambling addict, but the scummy gambling operations are happy to enable that addiction, and Pete will do anything for a buck, including flaunting the reason he was banned from baseball. We learned about the casino deal this month, and —I would normally say “incredibly” here, but Pete is such an idiot that it is completely credible—Rose has picked this same month to write again to a baseball Commissioner (Pete probably helped kill the one that initially banned him, Bart Giamatti), this time writing to Rob Manfred, pleading,
“Despite my many mistakes, I am so proud of what I accomplished as a baseball player. I am the Hit King and it is my dream to be considered for the Hall of Fame. Like all of us, I believe in accountability. I am 81 years old and know that I have been held accountable and that I hold myself accountable. I write now to ask for another chance.”