The People's Voice: Reacting to Rose reactions

Dan Wetzel
Yahoo! Sports

Wouldn't you know that as the Super Bowl approaches, by far the most popular topic for feedback this week surrounded Pete Rose.

We've now got reaction to our reaction. Anyway, we'll run some more this week – after a little Jake Delhomme talk – and then end the debate. I think (although I may be wrong) that we've heard enough of Rose for the time being.

My comments, as always, appear in italics. Now onto the People's Voice . . .

JAKE DELHOMME (Jan. 15: "Jake Del-who?")

Thanks for the write up on Jake. He has been a great inspiration to our kids for a few years. I was proud of him when he came to the basketball clinic a few years ago and sat with our kids. He is a remarkable person. My most memorable moment was when USL beat the Texas A&M Aggies. The goalpost was taken down and the fans carried it four or five miles to downtown. Jake was a BIG part of that game.

Danny P. Comb
Breaux Bridge, La.

Great article. Wonderful story. It's nice to see Jake get some press. He has quietly enjoyed a great season, while Manning, Brady and McNabb have grabbed all the headlines.

Mike Faulk
Lake Charles, La.

Thanks for writing about Jake, I was born and raised in Breaux Bridge and now living in Florida. We're very proud of Jake.

The thing about not making first team all-state, Josh Booty made first team USA Today & Parade All-American (No. 1 high school football & baseball recruit, drafted by the Florida Marlins with the fifth pick in the first round of baseball's draft) and Peyton Manning was (in) high school at Newman High School in New Orleans, not bad company to be finishing behind for all-state honors.

Once again thanks for writing the article. Jack Dale Delhomme (the Mayor) is one of the best guys you will ever meet.

Joey Theriot
Ft. Myers, Fla.

Thanks for your excellent article on Jake Delhomme. I watched him play four years of college at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now Louisiana-Lafayette) and always felt he was something special. The mayor of Breaux Bridge was a teacher of mine in eighth grade and is quite a character. I am glad that you included him in your article. Congrats on a well-written article that the folks in South Louisiana can enjoy.

Charles Duplechin
Lafayette, La.

Thanks for your article on Jake Delhomme. I hope that the Saints realize now that we should have got rid of Aaron Brooks. Ever since Brooks signed his new contract, all he does is laughs when he screws up, which is often, and hits the ground. He is definitely not a pocket quarterback.

Jeff Menard
Jennings, La.

PETE ROSE (Jan. 8: "Why Rose sounds like a Hall of Famer")

Didn't rule 21 on gambling come out after the Rose affair?

Kind of like a grandfathered-in rule.

Pete belongs in the Hall, they should put him in there, ALONG with a section of his arm of the Hall that says what he did and why he shouldn't have done it. Seems like that would be a better educational tool than anything.

Alan Clayton
Marietta, Ga.

I think it's pretty easy to explain the reason that 80 percent of the comments you got about Pete Rose were favorable to Rose, while George Vecsey of the New York Times reports that the email from his "little circle has been amazingly one-sided" against Rose and others have reported the same thing. You wrote a column saying essentially that Rose's transgressions were no big deal and shouldn't bar him from the Hall.

You weren't alone in holding that view, but it was the minority view. People who felt the same way were frustrated and eager to voice their opinions to a sympathetic ear, and many probably also wanted to encourage you to keep it up. It's self-selection, and it worked. You then wrote another column saying most people you heard from agreed with you, creating a second push for Rose, another headline, another spin his way.

This is the way the Internet is working these days. There is a kind of collective intelligence to it, which certainly isn't random or scientific like a real poll.

Kerry Konrad
New York, N.Y.

I agree with your premise although I never said the feedback I got was scientific. But I also think the term "scientific poll" is an oxymoron. Check the Iowa caucuses; no one had that one remotely correct. I think most pollsters are selling smoke and mirrors and the media buys into them anyway.

We need to separate Pete the player from Pete the manager. He would enter the HOF as a PLAYER, not a manager. The truth is out about his gambling problems as a manager. Pete the PLAYER is a whole different situation.

Dick Hanchette
Strasburg, Ohio

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame distinguishes between the two. You get inducted as either a player or a coach. You can also be inducted as an owner or a contributor. Baseball should look into this.

Prior to the past few weeks I favored Pete Rose's entry into Baseball's Hall of Fame. However, after watching and listening to this knucklehead, I think he should be banned on general principles for being an unlikable lout with the IQ of a house pet.

Bryan Atkinson
West Bloomfield, Mich.

Saying Rose has "the IQ of a house pet" isn't fair – to most house pets. I can't defend Rose the person, just criticize the hypocrisy of the system.

Pete Rose misses the point about why betting is so bad to baseball and sports in general. It's not that gambling is a worse sin than steroids and other more insidious crimes but more for its potential to destroy the sport, the potential to turn the results into a farce planned by those who gain from throwing games, etc.

If baseball is turned into the WWE then it cheapens the experience of the fans, the players, and anybody else who loves this great sport. Steroids change player skills, but at least those skills are real and predictable – even if they are synthetically derived.

Justin Aaker
Houston, Texas

The potential damage gambling can do a sport is devastating. But I can't watch Barry Bonds at bat and just sit back and enjoy the action. My doubts about him have already ruined it.

Your article on Pete Rose was great, very funny. How come there has been no real feedback from the players he used to coach or play with? Do any of them say he managed a game carelessly at times, or that he swung at pitches he wouldn't normally swing at? It's been tough to swallow the things that come out of Pete's mouth, but you can't degrade the way he played on the field.

Bill Rielly
Dallas, Texas

Player opinions (although not specific charges of guilty behavior) are starting to trickle in. Of course Gaylord Perry's comment that Rose doesn't deserve to get in pretty much proves my point. Perry is in the Hall of Fame because he cheated as a pitcher. Only in baseball. You can't make this stuff up.

If Rose were reinstated, I would never watch another baseball game for the rest of my life. MLB has little integrity. I would hate to see it lose what little it has left. Reinstating Rose is simply wrong. Only a fool could disagree with that statement.

Tom Jones
Clarksburg, Pa.

Did Pete Rose bet on the game? Yes!

Did Pete Rose sin? No.

How important is this in the daily scheme of things? Not very!

Leave it up to his peers (the Hall of Fame veterans). They probably, more than anyone else, are better able to look at themselves in the mirror and decide whether Pete should or should not be in the Hall.

Me? Doesn't figure in my life's plan (whatever that is)!

Great article.

Gordon Hutting
Mound House, Nev.

Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame for his ability as a player. He should not be allowed to affiliate himself with any job done by MLB. How are these not viewed as two separate entities? He is ineligible and cannot work with MLB ever again. He should go into the Hall of Fame for what he has already accomplished.

Michael Wheatley
MCAS Cherry Point, N.C.

I fully support this position because Rose managing is a scary thought. But the Hall of Fame is a museum. It isn't the gates of heaven.

Your reply to me, "It's the hypocrisy of what doesn't carry such a strong punishment also that bothers me" is porous logic. Bad behavior does not excuse other bad behavior.

There is no room for interpretation of Major League Baseball Rule 21 – none whatsoever. Because of that, Bud Selig is absolutely correct in saying (regarding Rose), "There is no next step." And that is where it should end.

Don't get me wrong. I don't condone the steroid use one bit, and this is what I think you're hinting. It is – as you put it – hypocritical. But until there are hard rules banning such use, you and I can only ethically or morally disagree with steroid use.

Your hands are not morally tied here, Dan. You can't vote for Pete Rose, and you know it. What makes it difficult – damn difficult (and I agree) – is to give a pass to the steroid users because of an absence of a rule like Major League Baseball Rule 21.

Hopefully someday they too will be banned.

John Sinclair
New York, N.Y.

Charlie Hustle's motives were simply that – to hustle baseball fans and readers of the tabloids. By coming clean he has gone dirty. Sell a book, have it become a national bestseller, then earn proceeds to feed his gambling habit. What's the big deal? I read through him from the outset. A rose is a rose is a rose.

Paul Rubalcaba
Redlands, Calif.

A comment about one of the responses you received. Who says that "Field of Dreams" is just a good movie? This movie definitely carries undertones of spiritual values in America. Bonding between father and son is definitely a spiritual thing since it means a great deal to both son and father,

Michael Elliott
Springfield, Mo.

Rose belongs in the Hall, but I think he should be enshrined silently and banned from the ceremony. Make his enshrinement about the game and about the fans, not about Pete Rose. The man with the most hits ever needs to be in the hall for the fans to see, but I, for one, am tired of listening to him, and the last thing I want to hear is his HOF speech.

Scott Allen
Muncie, Ind.

Regarding Charlie Hustler: He agreed to this lifetime ban in exchange for baseball to drop further investigation regarding what he did. While I agree that other offenses should also be re-evaluated, with more realistic penalties imposed, Pete agreed to the punishment for this crime. This is like all those who whined about the players union for not allowing A-Rod to restructure his contract.

It was a signed contract – deal with it. People being held accountable at their word ... what a concept!

Ken Watson
Ocean, N.J.

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