Let me preface this article by saying Pete Rose was a heck of a player and deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. He was one of the most formidable links to what was one of the best offenses in baseball history, the Big Red Machine.
It angers me to see current baseball players getting caught using steroids and lying about it and still getting to play within a week or two but see Pete Rose be banned from baseball for an entire lifetime. What differentiates Pete Rose's gambling from the illegal use of steroids is that Pete Rose's actions did not occur during his baseball playing days. The illegal steroids use affects players performances, boosts productivity, and destroys the value of baseball.
I admit that both are wrong and ruin the essence of baseball but for Pete Rose to be banned for life and an illegal steroids user banned for two weeks is ridiculous, absurd, and downright illogical. Keeping Pete Rose out of the hall of fame is unjust. His achievements are far more remarkable than seeing a Rafael Palmeiro hit 30 home runs every season because Rafael had to use illegal steroids to do it.
According to some recent polls, the majority of Americans feel that Pete Rose was screwed and the cheaters were lucky. The ironic thing about it is that the majority of Americans if put in the same shoes would cheat to play better but would not bet on the sport.
We all love to gamble but I doubt most of us would ever consider betting for or against our own team that we either played for or coached for. Sure we can make some extra money by betting but there is still the issue about pride and emotion. Many of us have issues about betting against our favorite baseball teams that we are not even really a part of.
On the flip side, being a professional athlete is tough. The expectations and competition is so fierce that it drives some people to cheat. If we were in the profession and we saw all these other athletes doing it, you best believe that we would do it as well.
Pete Rose will always remain as a legendary player in my eyes because the years he performed those big numbers were in the years of no steroids.
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