MLB Whiffs Once Again

Was There a Rose Agreement? Don’t Bet Against It.

The question remains, whether the agreement was written or not, why MLB continues to torture Rose, the public, and itself by not simply calling a halt to the fiasco. "It's all a matter of control," says Chuck Korr, a professor of history at the University of Missouri at St. Louis and author of The End of Baseball As We Knew It. "In virtually any system of law you find outside of a totalitarian regime, it's enough for the state to simply make its case and, if the accused is found guilty, announce the punishment. In totalitarian societies, that's not enough: The accused has to admit his guilt. Major League Baseball, as a self-governing body, is pretty much in the position of a totalitarian regime, and as such is demanding that the accused admit his guilt before sentence will be declared."

Hasn't MLB already announced its sentence with a lifetime ban on Rose?

"In that case," replies Korr, "why have both sides continued to meet? What is there further to say? The truth is we all know that the commissioner's lifetime ban can end anytime the commissioner says so."

Bill James, who defended Rose last month on ESPN's Pete Rose on Trial, summed up the feelings of millions of disgusted fans (or at least the 80 percent of the almost 400,000 who voted in the ESPN poll during the show) when he said, "This issue has been sitting in baseball's ass like an undigested late-night snack for 10 years—it is well past time to pass it out and get off the pot."

To which Spaceman Bill Lee adds, "The Pete Rose issue is baseball's Vietnam, except the Vietnam War didn't last as long. Baseball should do now what we should have done in Vietnam: Declare victory and pull out."

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