Tim Sullivan and Mark Purdy are former Enquirer sports columnists who have dealt with Rose over the years. Here are their views of his confession.
He's more interested in cash than clemency
By Tim Sullivan
San Diego Union-Tribune
Pete Rose has confessed. In a related story, Satan is in the market for a Zamboni.
Fourteen years after baseball's prodigal Hit King was banished for bets he refused to acknowledge making, Hell hath frozen over. The most selfish, stubborn and delusional athlete of our age finally has admitted that he repeatedly broke Baseball's cardinal rule and that he continued to lie about it long after any rational person believed him.
Rose has made these admissions of his own free will and, it should be noted, following a hefty advance from his publisher. His latest memoir, My Prison Without Bars, is scheduled to hit the book stores Thursday. Unlike his last autobiography, this one purportedly is based on fact.
Morality is a zero-sum game with Pete Rose. He comes clean and the rest of us feel as if we need a shower. In scheduling his confession to coincide with the release of his book, Rose has reaffirmed what many of us have long suspected - that he's more interested in cash than in clemency.
For more than a decade, Rose repeated his ridiculous denials in the face of overwhelming evidence. That he has chosen to recant for profit may strike some Baseball executives as tacky exploitation of an industry Rose has already embarrassed and imperiled. Conceivably, it could complicate his case for reinstatement rather than simplify it.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is advised to tread carefully here. Whatever sympathy Rose's admissions arouse, whatever commercial possibilities his reinstatement might bring, whatever value is perceived in bringing closure to this sad, sordid story, Baseball should avoid pandering to addicted gamblers.
Recognizing Rose's past is one thing. Providing him a future in uniform is quite another. Restoring Rose's eligibility for the Baseball Hall of Fame would demonstrate mercy. Allowing him to manage again would demonstrate madness.
. . . Once, he was Baseball's greatest ambassador. Now, the game is better off without him.
He belongs in the Hall of Fame - he always has
By Mark Purdy
San Jose Mercury News
My support has not wavered. Pete Rose is still on my ballot. My pencil is poised.
Yes, he will always have my vote - for the All-Time Not-Quite-Getting-It Team.
Look, Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame. He has always belonged there.
But Pete Rose does not belong anywhere near a baseball dugout or clubhouse as a manager, or a coach, or anyone connected to what's happening on the field. And he has never belonged there, in that capacity.
. . . Ty Cobb once beat up a guy with no hands. Babe Ruth's daughter was not born to Babe Ruth's wife. Cooperstown is a museum. It's not a church. "Fame" is the key word above the doorway.
And no one brought more fame to the game than Rose. I've never understood why the Hall of Fame, which honors a man's past as a player, must be connected to the dastardly things he might have done after he was done playing.
I worked in Cincinnati for seven years, some of it during Rose's tenure. I interviewed him at his house, where I wondered why he had so many television sets connected to so many satellite dishes - but never figured out that it was to keep track of all his wagers. I interviewed him in his office, where he spun tales and filled my notebook. Rose is absolutely correct in saying there is no greater promoter of the sport.
But Rose also likes making cash, voraciously so. And it's telling how, in the book, he mentions how much it hurt to turn down a $2 million offer to promote an Internet gambling site because he "needed the money." He decided not to accept it because he knew it would hurt his chances of ever being reinstated.
Instead, Rose is going to make his dough off the new book - and he knows exactly what he's doing here, releasing this book just as the new Hall of Fame class is set to be announced.
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Editorial: Rose's confession doesn't change a thing
Rose grooves one for Selig
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Gambling problems underestimated
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