Pete Rose, say it ain't so 

1/10/2004 - Pete Rose, say it ainít so.

     You think this article is about him gambling on baseball. Come on, I knew he gambled on baseball 14 years ago. My Beef with Pete is that he does not play chess. I picked up a copy of Peteís new book ď Pete RoseĒ. Pete says he does not have normal hobbies like golf, tennis or chess.  Pete claims he suffers from attention deficit disorder, oppositional defiant behavior and he has a gambling problem.  Pete start playing chess!  Itís a great game and it will help keep you focused and could keep you away from the bookies and casinos.  Chess is exactly what Pete needs to quench his competitive thirst.

      Pete Rose is my favorite ball player.  I remember watching the 1970 all-star game. Itís a tie score in the bottom of the 12th inning, Pete Rose is on 2nd base, there are two outs and Jim Hickman is at the plate.  Jim hits a single to center, Pete Rose rounds third and is coming home, he hesitates a bit, not sure if he will slide headfirst or run over the catcher. Pete decides not to risk breaking his collarbone and will barrel into Ray Fosse.  Center fielder Amos Otis catches the ball and fires it to Ray who is blocking the plate. An instant later Pete comes charging through, there is a collision at the plate. Both players fall to the ground. Rose is safe and the National League wins the game 5-4.  Both Ray and Pete were hurt on the play. Itís one of baseballs greatest plays. In that one instant, Pete achieved baseball immortality.  There is a lot not to like about Pete.  However, there is an element to his approach to his sport that makes him a good role model. He always hustled, even on a walk; he would run to first base. You never saw Pete slack off. It did not matter if he was winning by 10 or down by 10. He always gave his maximum effort. He is the all time hit leader and holds numerous other baseball records.  Pete became known for his head first slide to third base.

         If Pete was a talented chess player, he would never take an early draw, he would probably play for a win in every game regardless of color or tournament standings.  Fans love Pete because, when he was between the lines, he tried his hardest at all times.  I am wondering if chess players can use a little or a lot of Pete Roseís hustle. I think FIDE could use a Big dose of Pete Roseís hustle.  Whoa, that would really energize chess. Chess aside, I think we could all use a little bit of Pete Roseís hustle in our lives. I try to incorporate a little of it in my approach to chess reporter. 

       Should Pete be allowed to return to baseball? Well the rules are clear, however if you are going to allow some one back in, itís Pete Rose. The suspension Pete signed did leave the door open for his return. I donít buy the argument that if you let Pete back in, you got to let Shoeless Joe Jackson back in. I donít equate the two crimes against baseball as equal. If Shoeless Joe Jackson threw the 1919 World Series, he should never be allowed back. Now Pete is only guilty of betting on baseball. I am not condoning that, because betting on a sport could lead to fixing games. At this point there is no evidence to indicate Pete fixed any games. His hustle between the lines indicates otherwise.

      I got Peteís autograph a few years ago in Edison New Jersey. My observations are that Pete needs to pay closer attention to his fans that worship him. Pete could use this to help defeat his gambling problem.

 Common Pete Rose questions:

 1)      Is the release of the book self-serving? Is Pete trying to profit from his banishment and subsequent admission of guilt.

  Yes, but who can blame him. Pete has been denied, by his own failures, from earning a living in his own profession. He canít coach, manage, or announce major league games. Pete also has money problems, most people with gambling problems do.  Bottom line, he has no choice. There is no guarantee that Pete will be allowed back into the game of baseball. He needs to make a living. Pete is more concerned about managing than getting elected to the Hall of Fame.

 2)      Should Pete be allowed back into baseball? 

Yes, but he must be agreeable to extensive monitoring of his finances and recreational habits.  He should not be allowed to go to casinos or horse tracks. NO gambling what so ever. The clubhouse phone should be monitored. Before Pete is allowed back, he must follow late Baseball Commission Bart Giamatti advice. Pete must reconfigure his life.

 My advice to Pete Rose :

a)      start playing chess

b)     show your love of baseball and give up all forms of gambling 

I would like to end this with a joke.  Pete sat on a tack, Pete Rose.





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