Monday, November 29, 2004

Ballot For Future HOF'ers Revealed

I have a problem. I am not a Pete Rose fan. Pete Rose was not in his prime in the years I grew to love baseball. I have not been an advocate for his reinstatement to the league so he can be put in the Hall of Fame. That being said, I have a problem with one name in particular who is on the ballot to potentially become a Hall of Famer. Darryl Strawberry. Pete Rose bet on baseball games. There has never been any evidence Pete Rose intentionally did anything to throw a ballgame. They called him "Charlie Hustle" because of the way he played the game. He continue to say to this day (all though most would say his word doesn't mean much anymore) that he never bet AGAINST the Reds (the team for which he played). What Pete Rose did was against a Major League Baseball Rule...A clear violation...but on the whole, gambling on games is legal in the U.S. Whether Pete Rose placed all his bets legally or through a bookie, I do not know, but making bets on sports is as much a pastime as the games themselves in the good ol' U.S. of A.

On the Other hand, Darryl Strawberry was suspended from baseball on three separate occasions for drug related incidents (1995 and 2000 for testing positive for cocaine and in 1999 following an arrest on a possession charge). He also served 11 months in prison after his playing career was over in 2002-03 for violating probation on a cocaine possession charge. What Strawberry did was against baseball & society laws. Cocaine is not a legal substance anywhere in America. He was caught using it on at least three occasions while he was playing. Obviously this would effect the way he actually performed in a game. You could argue his "problem" affected the outcome of many more games than Pete Rose ever did. Yet, Strawberry is eligible for the HOF.

His 335 career homers, 1000 RBI, 221 stolen bases, 898 Runs & 257 average in a 17 year Major League career may or may not be enough to get him in, we'll see. But should he even be on the ballot if your not going to let Rose be there too? To be honest my personal opinion is that a player should be judged in whole by what he did ON THE FIELD. This would mean that Pete Rose's betting, unless found to affect his actual on field play, would be dismissed while Strawberry's drugs would be considered (he tested positive for drugs during an actual season, therefore effecting his on-field performance). In other words, I think they have this one backwards.