Bet Tu Brutus? Baseball Jumps Into Bed With Gamblers. Will It Jump Into Bed With Pete Rose Next?

The game that banned one of its best for betting on the game just jumped into bed and snuggled up with legalized gambling.

It’s rather amazing actually considering Major League Baseball has pretended publicly to be holier than thou when it comes to gambling and drug use and performance-enhancing drugs over the years. But it has now come out with a new policy that says, “Wellllllllllll.”

According to Peter Gammons of The Athletic, baseball managers must now post tonight’s lineup not on the clubhouse wall, not to the team, not to the kid who runs the lineups upstairs, not to the public address announcer, not to any member of the media, not to anybody before it is sent to…MGM.

Nevada gets lineups first? Sure, Greg Maddox and Bryce Harper are from there, but after that? It has a pretty good NHL team, I guess, but that’s about all I can say about it. I remember one time I stopped there in August, got out of my truck and immediately had the dry desert air suck every bit of moisture right out of my shirt.

And let’s be honest. The state’s best school is in Reno.

So, not reason enough to send lineups to Nevada before anybody with a scorebook can see them. But that’s what Major League Baseball has decided to do for it’s gambling partner, so as much notice as possible can be given to the degenerate who wants to bet the next Orioles v. Marlins’ spring training game.

As my friend Chris Hagan said to me today, “I’ll bet Pete Rose is rolling over in his grave.“

Once I secure a bet from Chris that Pete Rose is actually dead then I plan to collect, because he’s very much alive. And he’s very much out of baseball for betting on it.

We at the office don’t have a sign over a door that says “Thou shall not bet on baseball.” But Rose did. And he didn’t read it. He did bet on baseball and then lied about it. Repeatedly. For 15 years. And then he came clean.

It wasn’t so long ago that new commissioner Rob Manfred took a look at Rose’s situation as the greatest hitter of all time and not in the Hall of Fame. Manfred said, “Uh, no” and Rose is still banished from the game.

But now that baseball has a new agreement with MGM Resorts, lineups go to the commissioner’s office first, then to the sports books. And if Mgmanfred can curl up next to a casino, then maybe he can curl up next to Pete Rose too.

This is what le commissioner wrote not so long ago:

“Mr. Rose has not presented credible evidence of a reconfigured life either by an honest acceptance by him of his wrongdoing, so clearly established by the Dowd Report, or by a rigorous, self-aware and sustained program of avoidance by him of the circumstances that led to his permanent eligibility in 1989. Absent such credible evidence, allowing him to work in the game presents an unacceptable risk of a future violation by him of Rule 21, and thus to the integrity of our sport.”

And now?

“We are updating a number of our procedures to reduce integrity risks associated with the expansion of sports betting in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling last May,” said MLB’s statement this week. “One new procedure is that we now ask clubs to submit starting lineups in a uniform fashion in order to reduce the risk of confidential information being ‘tipped.’”

Unbelievable and total crap of course and full of questions. What exactly is going to happen if a manager finds out his right fielder is nursing a muscle strain he didn’t want to let on about? Does the manager incur the wrath of MGM and Commissioner Mgmanfred by a late change? Does the manager have to risk his player’s health by starting the player? Do we have to start referring to skippers as Mgmanagers?

I sure am glad gambling establishments, are now part of MLB rules on how to run a game. It’s probably the thing that will help Baseball speed up the pace of play. Casinos now have two decks for black jack. Maybe we can have two pitchers throwing at the same time. While we’re at it, maybe the makers of OxyContin will start telling them how to prevent performance-enhancing drug use.

Regardless of the amazingly cozy relationship the game and gamblers now have, Rose is still on the ostracized list?

Look. I don’t have a whole lot of love for Pete Rose. I appreciated at the time how great he was when I was growing up. Of course, he was also master of the bad haircut. I had actually already lost all respect for him when he grew that rat tail, long before I found out he couldn’t lay off betting on the Indians/White Sox. Good grief. He should have been kept out of the Hall of Fame based on that stupid hairdo more than any bet he ever made. But bad hair is not why he’s out. If bad hair were a crime, Bud Selig would never have been allowed to own a team. God, if only there were a way…

Rose is out because he bet on baseball. And he’s out because he lied about it. The difference between Rose and a guy like Barry bonds or Roger Clemens is that Rose finally admitted his transgressions. And once you repent you’re supposed to be forgiven. I haven’t been watching the hands of the clock spin around to keep track of how long Rose has been on the “permanently ineligible” list but I know it’s been a good long while since he finally came clean about his betting on baseball, like 15 years, and that was after 15 years of lying. So, we’re even, right?

Basically, Baseball has become Rose. While they’re making money hand over fist and now pledging to help sports books set a proper line, Pete Rose is selling autographed pictures of anything in Las Vegas to anybody who will buy one and offering his expertise which often may be used to help set a proper line.

Rose was busted as a manager. He was pretty decent at it, but never was a great manager and would not go into the hall as such. What he was, was one of the greatest players to play the game and he has paid his penance. I don’t believe he cheated the game nor do I believe that he did anything to alter the outcomes of the games he managed.

The man was too arrogant and too competitive to think that there wasn’t something he could do to win the game he bet on. The man destroyed Ray Fosse during a collision at the plate during the 1970 All-Star game —an exhibition for god’s sake.

Somehow I doubt he bet against his own team to pick up an extra grand.

He had ego. He broke the rules. He’s been punished. He is also about to turn 78 years old. He is also the most prolific hitter in Major League Baseball history (second all-time worldwide only to Ichiro Suzuki if you count Suzuki’s years in Japan.)

How about we stop pretending we aren’t helping millions do the same thing he did and let the man live his final years with an honor that he so richly deserved as a player. Baseball has jumped in bed with gamblers and oddsmakers, which is fine. The oddsmakers don’t like cheats and neither do I.

Pete Rose was no cheat. Reinstate him.

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