No, not Major League Baseball’s technical case. I really don’t care whether the commissioner has enough evidence to keep him out of baseball, or more probably just limit his exposure. This is a sport that has embraced Mark McGwire. What I care about is whether he gets into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. And we’ll talk about the knuckle-dragging, booger-eating (insert Boston Accent) retahds who vote for the members at a later date (Babe Ruth wasn’t unanimous).
Wrong. Say what you will about steroid users in baseball. They cheated. Of course! They jeopardized their health. Sure (not that I care. That’s their business). They glamorized drug use among their youngest and most impressionable fans. Absolutely, and I am sure that there are cases of kids hurting or killing themselves with steroids as a result of baseball players’ use of them.
But steroid users’ goals were simple….to play better baseball. Maybe they weren’t thinking of the success of their teams, but hitting better and throwing harder and recovering from injury quicker has obvious effects on the success of the team.
Pete Rose gambled on baseball for the money. Just like steroid users took PEDs to improve their contracts. But gambling isn’t a one way street. When Pete Rose gambled, he had two significant opportunities to improve his return.
First….as a player he could manipulate the game on the field so that his team had a better or worse chance of winning. As a manager he had even more opportunity to do that. This obviously changed the odds so that his bets would pay off at a higher rate than expected by the bookies and the odds-makers.
Second….he could accept a reduction in his debt to his bookie in return for manipulating a particular game, or provide information to that bookie about his or other teams, enabling that bookie to manipulate the odds in his favor or just make his own bets.
Do I have any proof that these thing occurred? No, of course not. But I believe they do, and he had ample opportunity.
The essence of sport is competition. PED users change the dynamic; tilting the odds in their and their teams’ favor by artificially improving their play. That’s wrong but understandable.
Pete Rose changed the dynamic by tilting the odds away from his team for his own benefit. And that is unforgivable.