With the All-Star Game approaching in Cincinnati this year, it’s tough to ignore the recent evidence that surfaced against Pete Rose, which suggests he bet on baseball even as a player.
So, what do we make of Rose now?
“I don’t know. It’s kind of old news,” former Red and current Reds radio analyst Doug Flynn said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Everybody kind of had an idea of what Pete (was doing). He even admitted that he did a few things. The problem I’m having, I wish Pete would just call a press conference and look everybody in the eye and say, ‘To my friends, my fans and my family, I made a mistake and I’m sorry. Let’s move on.’ I wish Pete had done that earlier. It didn’t happen. And because of that, everybody’s been trying to get him for something.
“Having said that,” Flynn continued, “if you were looking for a teammate to play with, that would be the one guy that you would absolutely want on your ball club. I know him probably as good as anybody. I never ever saw him or heard him say anything about betting on baseball, and I was pretty close to it. . . . I tell you, he was a great ball player, and it’s a shame that you got 4,256 hits and you’re not going to be in the Hall of Fame. If you look right now, the leading home run hitter, the guy that set the record for home runs in a year, there’s a lot of guys out there now that because of things that went on over the last several years maybe hurt themselves to get into the Hall of Fame.”
This recent evidence will certainly hurt Rose.
“Everybody asks me, ‘Is this the final nail in the coffin?’ I don’t know,” Flynn said. “It would certainly help if Pete would help himself a little bit. I mean, I love Pete. He introduced me to my wife, and I’ve been married 33 years, so I certainly am very thankful for that. But dag gummit, there’s nobody that hurts any worse than I do when I see all the stuff going on. He’s had help from Johnny (Bench) and Joe Morgan. The Hall of Fame committee was trying to help. And then just about that time that you think he’s got an opportunity to get in, something shows up. I really thought before all this happened that there was potential for him to be eligible to get in the Hall of Fame. The talk is right now he may not be because of this latest findings. But to me, it’s all old news.”
As Flynn pointed out, other players who have cheated the game – such as Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte – came clean and were allowed to continue playing. Rodriguez, in fact, got his 3,000 hit last month, while Rose has been in exile for more than a quarter of a century.
“They just came clean real early,” Flynn said. “But that’s not quite in Pete’s makeup, I don’t think.”