Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Gabe Kapler doesn't believe Pete Rose should be in Hall of Fame

There are many folks around the baseball community who believe Pete Rose should receive reinstatement to Major League Baseball as well as immediate consideration for the Hall of Fame.

Just don't count former player Gabe Kapler as one of them. For those of you who don't know who Kapler is, he was a well-traveled outfielder that spent part of 13 seasons with eight different professional teams, most notably the Texas Rangers from 2000-2002.

Kapler, as everyone seems to be doing right now, penned a piece for FOX Sports about the Hall of Fame credentials of the current nominees. But he led off the column with a short introductory excerpt about Rose.

I idolized Rose. He was not just the guy with the mountainous pile of hits; he transcended the sport of baseball through his desperate affinity for dirt and gambling. He was a romantic — and in many ways still is — about baseball. Folks were able relate to Rose, an imperfect character who maximized his natural gifts through all-out grit.

Rose’s baseball card entitles him to a plaque in Cooperstown, NY; nobody can fairly dispute that. But he broke baseball law with full understanding that if caught, the consequences would be severe.

I still admire Rose’s style of play and what he accomplished between the lines with every iota of my soul. I also have patience and understanding for him as a human being. We all have rooms in our homes that could benefit from a good spring-cleaning.

So Rose lies where he should; in an uncomfortable bed that he hastily made – outside of the Hall.

For this same reason, we must walk the line and keep others who have knowingly turned their noses up at rules out of the Hall of Fame.

I realize every baseball fan has an opinion about Rose and his worthiness of the Hall of Fame. And every baseball fan is certainly entitled to one.

But with that being said, I cannot comprehend the subjective nature we continue to hold Hall of Fame candidates under the microscope with. There is no denying that Rose is one of the most accomplished players in the history of the sport. A quick look at the record books offers confirmation of that. But there is also no denying the fact that his stats are 100 percent real. 

Although gritty, Rose was never accused of cheating in any shape or form as a player, and that is partly why he should earn induction one day, as a player. The vice that led to his banishment occurred while he was managing. And his managing career isn't worthy of Hall of Fame inclusion, anyway.

For what it's worth, FOX Sports also conducted fan voting for the Hall of Fame, which included Rose on the ballot, and baseball's hit king garnered 66 percent of the vote, leaving him shy of the 75 percent benchmark needed for Hall of Fame induction.

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