Tag Archives: Pete Rose

Pete Rose Should Be in the Hall of Fame, But Needs to Admit Gambling Addiction

15 Dec

By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun

Pete Rose was recently denied reinstatement to baseball by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. Photo by FoxSports.com.

Pete Rose was recently denied reinstatement to baseball by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. Photo by FoxSports.com.

Pete Rose’s bid to get reinstated by Major League Baseball and restore his eligibility for Baseball’s Hall of Fame has come to a bitter end.

Baseball’s all-time hits leader was denied reinstatement back into MLB after being banned for life in 1989 for betting on baseball.

In a three-page statement, Manfred concluded that Rose “has not presented credible evidence of a reconfigured life either by an honest acceptance by him of his wrongdoing, so clearly established by the Dowd Report, or by a rigorous, self-aware and sustained program of avoidance by him of all the circumstances that led to his permanent ineligibility in 1989.”

There are a couple of disturbing, tragic things here in which there are no real winners here and it’s just sad for baseball no matter how you slice it.

Rose’ Hall of Fame career which includes a record-breaking 4,256 hits, a lifetime .303 batting average, three World Series rings, and 17 All-Star appearances is now and perhaps forever persona non-grata in baseball. Rose’s ongoing refusal to admit that he bet on baseball, which is typical of someone with an addiction, has always been the deal breaker.

While Rose has been rightfully banned from working with a team as a manager or in any other capacity in baseball, it’s just wrong to keep him out of Cooperstown. To me that’s the compromise that should have been made in this situation.

I think we all get the message that gambling in baseball is wrong. Rose’s non-participation in baseball for the last 26 years makes it very clear that if you compromise the integrity of the game you will not be in the game in any capacity.
Rose has paid the price for committing baseball’s ultimate sin and he needs to admit to himself that he has a serious mental health problem.

For all of Rose’s flaws and transgressions, he was one of baseball’s greatest players and that’s something you can never take away from him. Rose earned all those hits for what he did on the field. The man gave his all on the field and didn’t shortchange fans by not running out routine ground balls. Rose played the game with the same passion and fury as a Roberto Clemente and a Ty Cobb.

As far as I am concerned sports Halls of Fame whether it’s baseball, football, hockey or basketball, should be monuments to what that athlete did on the field or in the arena. It’s all about the contribution to the sport and nothing else should matter.

Given that the Baseball Hall of Fame has its share of disreputable characters, jerks, and knuckleheads who just happened to be great players, great broadcasters and great sportswriters, Rose would be in great company. This isn’t the Vatican and we are not canonizing saints.

American sports fans need to wake up to the notion that one’s ability to excel in sports doesn’t mean that they’re going to be people of high or low character. They are human beings who reflect the best and the worst of us.

All that said, it’s been long overdue for Rose to come clean and admit that he has a gambling problem. It’s an issue of Rose’s mental health and well-being. That’s something far more important than his reinstatement in baseball and the Hall of Fame.

One of the things that came out of Rose’s meeting with the commissioner was that he was still betting on baseball. Manfred’s report also said that Rose tried to deny it, but then admitted he was still doing it. That spoke volumes and it showed the commissioner that Rose is still denial of his problem.

People recovering from drug or alcohol abuse don’t show up in places where drugs and alcohol are present. A Las Vegas casino is the last place you should ever see an addicted gambler.

For his exploits as a player, Rose should be in the Hall of Fame, but for his own good he needs to acknowledge that he has a problem.

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Can We Finally Allow Michael Vick To Turn His Life Around?

14 Mar

Death Threats Force him to Cancel Book Signings, VFW Appearance

 

By Chris Murray

For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sun

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick had to cancel a book signing in Atlanta because of death threats. Photo by William Z. Foster

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick had to cancel a book signing in Atlanta because of death threats. Photo by William Z. Foster

Late last week, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick cancelled a book signing at a Barnes and Noble bookstore in Atlanta and an appearance at a VFW post in Exton because of threats to his life and his family.

Ever since Vick, who was convicted on charges related to dog-fighting, was released from prison in 2009, he has been a target of protest from animal rights groups.  Despite working with the Humane Society of the United States as a spokesman against dog fighting, Vick is still labeled as an abuser of animals who deserves no forgiveness.

But according to Vick’s publicist Chris Shigas, the vitriol against Vick has taken an uglier tone and it’s not coming from animal rights groups.

“I wouldn’t label these people animal welfare activists,” Shigas said. “[Animal rights activists] never made death threats or threatened his family. This is coming from a few extreme, vulgar violent people. They get stirred up on the Internet with Facebook pages dedicated to hating Michael Vick. They rile themselves up and this is the result.”

Shigas said Vick will resume his book signing and charitable activities in the near future once they work things out with law enforcement officials.

You have to wonder how long will people harbor that kind of hatred to a man who has been nothing but a model citizen on and off the field.  Vick has done just about everything to atone for his crime including spending time in jail.

On one hand, Shigas is right. There are many people out there who just don’t like the man and will never move beyond the fact that he was involved in dog fighting. But on the other hand, Vick has millions of fans who look up to him as a role model for turning your life around after some difficult circumstances.

But despite the efforts of people like Vick, retired Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, and others to show that they’ve grown from their mistakes, the last 30 years have made some of us dedicated, if not hell bent, to never allowing people to turn their lives around, much less forgive them when they make sincere atonement.

I mean, look at Pete Rose. Rose was was banned from baseball for gambling on his own sport and then lying about it. As a player, he retired from the game as its all-time leader in hits.

Rose has since admitted that he had a gambling addiction, which is a mental health problem more than it is a moral failing. Yet he’s still denied entry to Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame because of a staunch refusal to lift the ban against him. When does his punishment end?

Back at the beginning of the 1960s, Alabama Governor George Wallace tried to block an African-American woman from enrolling at the University of Alabama with the infamous cry of “segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever.”

But years later, Wallace sought the forgiveness of African-Americans and took responsibility for his bigotry and the harm that it caused. One of Wallace’s most ardent adversaries of that time was Georgia Democratic Congressman John Lewis.

Lewis said he met with Wallace in 1979 and was convinced that he was truly remorseful for his racism during the Civil Rights Movement.

“But our ability to forgive serves a higher moral purpose in our society. Through genuine repentance and forgiveness, the soul of our nation is redeemed,” Lewis said in a 1998 article in the New York Times.  “George Wallace deserves to be remembered for his effort to redeem his soul and in so doing to mend the fabric of American society.”

If Wallace was forgiven for his transgressions against human beings, doesn’t Vick deserve the same consideration for his crimes against animals?

The Bible says yes.

What do you say?

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