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And Another Thing

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Oh, no! Pete Rose again!

Three things you can always count on happening this time of year:

1. Your grass turns into shredded wheat.

2. Your kids start whining that they're bored.

3. The Pete-Rose-in-the-Hall-of-Fame debate starts up again.

This time it was Henry Aaron who fired the opening salvo, saying Pete should be in the Hall. Then Bud Selig ramped it up by saying he'd consider reinstating him in baseball, meaning he could get gainful employment in the game again.

OK, last time for this: My official position has always been that Rose should never be allowed in the Hall until he admitted that he bet on the game while he was manager of the Reds. He's done that, so he should go on the ballot.

As far as reinstatement ... frankly, if I were a GM, I wouldn't trust the man as far as I could throw him. The guy's a sleaze and a congenital liar. I don't care how much baseball he knows, he can't be trusted. And I'm not gonna hire a guy I can't trust.

And, please, don't start bringing up the steroid cheats or Michael Vick, who was conditionally reinstated by Roger Goodell this week. It's an apples-or-oranges argument, especially where Vick is concerned. What he did had nothing to do with corrupting the conduct of the game itself; what Rose did absolutely did.

Only in one regard do Vick and Rose have something in common: Reinstating either one may be a pointless exercise. Right now no NFL GM will touch Vick with a 10-foot pole, so his conditional six-game sitdown is moot. And if Selig does change his mind and summons Rose from the wilderness he brought on himself, I'm wondering how many baseball GMs would consider hiring him. Look how badly he betrayed the trust of Reds management the last time around.

Yeah, he says he's learned his lesson, and maybe he has. On the other hand, it wouldn't be the first time Pete ran a con on all of us.

Ben Smith's blog.

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