Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Pete Rose

Yesterday, Stephen Green at Vodkapundit posted his thoughts on Pete Rose and OJ Simpson and whether one, both or neither should be in their respective sport's Hall of Fame. You can read about it here.

Here's my take:

Gambling = human weakness

Murder = human evil

Everyone knows that Pete Rose broke a longstanding rule of baseball, that thou shall not bet on baseball. However, there is the spirit of the law and the letter of the law.

The spirit of the law against betting on the game was to prevent players, coaches and managers from engaging in acts that were detrimental to true competition on the field. The sport was concerned that players, coaches and managers might do things differently during a game if they're betting on the game vs. what they would normally do if they didn't have a bet on the game. Perfectly understandable. They didn't want decisions or actions taken that weren't done in the spirit of open and honest competition, ala the White Sox in 1919.

Pete Rose certainly violated the letter of the law. But did he violate the spirit of the law? Did he ever do anything as a player or manager that was purely self-serving for his gambling on a game he was involved in? Did he do anything that violated the spirit of open and honest competition on the field of play? I don't know. If he did violate the spirit of the law, then he's been rightly denied his place in the HOF. But if he didn't, I would have overlooked his violation of the letter of law and allowed his ugly mug a place in Cooperstown.

I guess I'm a softie, but I believe that following the spirit of the law is more important than following the letter of the law. Sue me. (You are so sued. - editor)

As for OJ, well, even though the jury somehow didn't see it, there's no doubt in my mind he murdered two people. He shouldn't be in the HOF in Canton.


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