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March 13, 2014

Rose bio reopens old HOF debates

(Continued)

While Major League Baseball strictly prohibits its players from gambling, Kennedy’s book points out that, today, several major league teams have ties to the gaming industry.

“At a time that baseball has over the past decade adopted an increasingly strong stance against performance-enhancing drugs, its resistance to its teams having an affiliation with gambling interests has softened,” he wrote.

Kennedy notes that the Yankees installed the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar at their new stadium, while the Detroit Tigers invite guests to their MotorCity Casino Hotel. Meanwhile, he points out, the Cincinnati Reds display ads at their park for the Horseshoe Casino, and the gaming firm Harrah’s became a “signature partner” of the New York Mets when the team opened Citi Field in 2009.

Horn declined to comment on Kennedy’s book.

“We don’t typically comment on books,” he said.

Horn did say the museum calls attention to Rose’s achievements in its timeline exhibit, in its library and in the records exhibit.

“The only area of the building he is not a part of is the Hall of Fame,” he said.

The rule affecting Rose was passed, he said, because Major League Baseball had put the all-time hitting king on its permanent ineligibility list in 1989. Unless the rule adopted in 1991 is changed by the current Hall directors, Horn said, “he cannot be considered a candidate for election to the Baseball Hall of Fame as long as he is on the ineligibility list.”

Kennedy said Rose has evolved considerably since first denying allegations that he bet on baseball.

“There are a lot of contradictions to Pete,” the author said. “He lied again and again.” On the other hand, he added, the latter-day Rose “is the most honest person you’d ever meet.”

Cooperstown shopkeeper Andrew Vilacky, a friend of Rose, said the Hall of Fame board should shelve the rule that keeps baseball writers from being allowed to consider Rose on their ballots.

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