A march to sheer madness…
There is no doubt a stain of mendacity on Rose that never fell on Bias. Rose repeatedly lied in depositions for the Dowd Report, the findings of which led to Rose accepting a ban from baseball in 1989. Rose only stopped lying about betting on baseball in 2004 because he was peddling a book and because he believed — as he said as recently as this week — that if he finally fessed up, Selig would reinstate him. He didn’t do it because his conscience caught up with him but because he was tring to sell books and because he thought he would get off the hook if he said, “Yeah, yeah, you got me.”
It hasn’t worked out that way. And Rose has become a pathetic figure, annually showing up on various media outlets during the all-star break to plead his case. His latest rationale is that what he did wasn’t as bad as what steroid users did. That’s debatable — but it’s also irrelevant to his case for induction.
There’s a character clause on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, which is why no one should ever vote for Rose or any of those who took steroids and lied about taking them.
...In the cases of Bias and Rose, there is no ignoring the numbers — but they can’t stand alone in making final judgment.
Baseball was sullied and damaged by Rose’s actions, which should mean the privilege of being in the Hall of Fame is taken from him in spite of his remarkable achievements.
The same, sadly, should be true of Bias. There’s no questioning he lit up the Maryland campus for four years. But there’s also no questioning he left it in darkness for many years in the wake of his death.
Unlike Rose, Bias should be forgiven. He was young and foolish and paid the most horrible price possible for his mistake. But, like Rose, he should not be honored.
Pitied, certainly. But honored? No.
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