Will you accept this Rose?

Pete Rose is an extremely polarizing figure in sports.

Valentine’s Day is here, and Donald Trump recently announced on Twitter that he would like to see Pete Rose both reinstated and inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame. How are these two things connected you may ask?

Well, of course, roses and Valentine’s Day go hand in hand (so I’ve been told), so I wanted to revisit one of the most controversial stories in the sports.

In case you are unfamiliar, Pete Rose is the all-time leader in hits (4,256) and still holds the record for including, but certainly not limited to: games played, at-bats and singles. After his retirement and during his role as manager of the Cincinnati Reds, it was discovered that Rose had gambled on his own games. When this was revealed, Rose was put on baseball’s ineligible list and was later banned from being inducted from the MLB Hall of Fame.

It was recently reported that Rose asked MLB Commissioner, Rob Manfred, if he could be taken off the ineligible list after seeing the penalty that the Astros received for their cheating scandal just weeks ago. Let’s compare:

During their 2017 championship run, it was found that Houston stole signs from other teams. At the start of the season, the players also worked to improve the process to steal signs, communicated what pitch was coming by banging on a trash can and multiple people knew this was going on without notifying MLB officials.

The punishment? Executive Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were suspended for the 2020 season and were later fired. The team also lost four draft picks and was fined $5 million.

Pete Rose gambled on his own team to win almost every night.

Rose’s punishment was a lifetime ban from the MLB and it was later decided that ineligible players could not be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Rose never cheated, he never did anything to give himself or his team an unfair advantage. What he did was unquestionably against the rules, but it never changed the outcome of games. The Astros clearly cheated, and their methods changed the result of games in their favor which led to a World Series title.

It’s not a perfect comparison, and there is far more detail to both stories. Many baseball fans agree though that punishment should fit the crime, and that’s why this story is still discussed 30 years later and being brought up again. So, if you’re going on a Valentine’s Day date and run out of conversation topics, go ahead and bring up Pete Rose’s ban from baseball just to spice things up.

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